15 things I’m teaching in Business As Mission in helping students develop a theology of work.
#1 Bisignes. Carrus. Vocacion.
Bisignes (business) originally meant what we care for in our busyness.
Carrus (career) originally meant carrier. We get our word car from carrus.
Vocacion (vocation) originally meant calling. We get our word vocal from vocacion.
Conclusion: Career can be a carrier of your vocational calling. This gives deeper meaning to our description of a “career path.”
If business is that calling, use it to care for others.
#2 Your Vocational Calling in 4D
delight reveals desire. (Ps. 37:4, Luke 12:34)
desire reveals design. (Ps. 139:14)
design reveals destiny. (Eph. 2:10)
If you delight in the Lord he wants to give to you a desire for something. That desire usually coordinates with the way he has designed you. And that design can reveal your destiny (future).
#3 Work As Expression of Belief
You’re not defined by your work but the way you do your work defines what you believe and who you believe in.
#4 Joy and Dedication
Joy is a catalyst for curiosity.
Dedication is a revelation of discipleship.
#5 Excellence and Ethic
Excellence is a catalyst for influence.
Ethic is a cultivator of ethos.
#6 Congratulations, You’re Gifted
Skill is a reflection of the creator who gifted you.
Stewardship of that skill is way of giving what you’ve been gifted.
#7 Work as Worship
Don’t worship your work but your work is an expression of your worship. (Rom. 12:1)
#8 It Doesn’t Have To Be Glamorous To Be Glorious
“For young [people] who have graduated from privileged colleges, or who have been lifted upward by the expensive entitlement culture, their soul life often begins with the basement work in the kitchen.” – Robert Bly (Iron John)
#9 Redeem the Profession
When those practicing a dishonest trade went to John to repent he didn’t tell them to quit their career. Instead he told them to REDEEM the profession (Luke 3, my paraphrase).
#10 The Original Plan
Work wasn’t just a good idea. It was God’s idea. (Gen. 1-2)
#11 The Glory of Co-Creation
It’s a glorious moment when we can wake up and say, “Good morning, Lord. What do we get to do together today?”
When you see your work as your mission wake up even on Mondays and declare, “TGIM!”
#13 Artisanship as Justice
You’re not “just” anything. “Just” an accountant. “Just” a librarian. “Just” an engineer. Once you believe that you’ve reduced your vocational calling. You are an artisan using a skill. Use it to God’s glory in your vocation to bless others. Then you can say, “I’m not just a ____. I am a ____ working justly.”
#14 Work as Partnership
God didn’t create out of boredom but out of desire, creativity, and collaboration. He didn’t need you. He WANTED you. So he invited you as a partner in his startup (creation) to co-create and steward.
After the fall, work devolved from co-creation to “painful toil.” Mission devolved from co-care to, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” Jesus came to restore and redeem both.