Whatever our vocation, God wants us to
carry out our calling with enthusiasm,
dependent faith, and excellence. In doing
so, we fulfill the mandate found in Matthew
5:16 : “Let your light so shine before men,
that they may see your good works, and
glorify your Father which is in heaven.”
This, Scripture tells us, is pleasing to God.
Here are three things to keep in mind as we
take discipleship into the workplace and
strive to use every gift to honor God.
- Whatever Your Vocation, Your Goal is
to Glorify God.
Scripture is clear that the purpose of work
is not solely to gain financial success or
earthly praise, but to glorify God and serve
others ( Luke 10:27 ). As followers of Christ,
we must carry out our work with
excellence, working as if unto the Lord
( Colossians 3:23 ).
This mandate is evident throughout the
Bible: 1st Corinthians 10:31 tells us, “So
whether you eat or drink or whatever you
do, do it all for the glory of God.” In
Ephesians 1:11–12 , Paul reminds us that
we work for a purpose greater than
ourselves: “In Him we have obtained an
inheritance, having been predestined
according to the purpose of Him who
works all things according to the counsel
of His will, so that we who were the first to
hope in Christ might be to the praise of His
As followers of Christ, we believe that God
created His people for work — and each
and every one of us is required to be an
ambassador and image-bearer of Christ.
Throughout Scripture, God calls people to
become united with himself in every aspect
of life, both personally and professionally.
It stands to reason, then, that we are called
to view our jobs as ministry assignments
In chapter eight of Don’t Waste Your Life,
titled “Making Much of Christ from 8 to 5,”
DesiringGod.org founder John Piper
explains why the goal of work is to “make
God look great.”
“So if you go all the way back, before the
origin of sin, there are no negative
connotations about secular work.
According to Genesis 2:2 , God himself
rested from his work of creation, implying
that work is a good, God-like thing. And the
capstone of that divine work was man, a
creature in God’s own image designed to
carry on the work of ruling and shaping
and designing creation. Therefore, at the
heart of the meaning of work is creativity.
If you are God, your work is to create out
of nothing. If you are not God, but like God
— that is, if you are human — your work is
to take what God has made and shape it
and use it to make him look great.”
When we view our work as a ministry of
glorifying God and selflessly serving others,
we are able to better reflect Christ in
carrying out even the most mundane tasks.
- God Has Given Us all Unique Gifts
We don’t need to be employed by a church,
faith-based group, or mission organization
to do the work of the ministry. In fact,
many Christians are called to “secular”
vocations such as business, construction,
nursing, homemaking, or engineering.
Jon Bloom, author and co-founder of
DesiringGod.org, writes that the “New
Testament God draws no sacred/secular
vocational distinctions within the church.”
“The New Covenant vocational distinction
is between the Son of God and the rest of
us (Hebrews 2:17),” he writes. “For now
‘there is one mediator between God and
men, the man Christ Jesus’ (1 Timothy
2:5). We have one high priest, ‘holy,
innocent, unstained, separated from
sinners, and exalted above the heavens’
who offered himself as the once-for-all
sacrifice for sin (Hebrews 7:26–27;
10:12). And being made holy by our great
High Priest, Jesus, all Christians are peers,
fellow workers in the Great Commission.”
Every person’s work matters to God.
Whether we are pastors or nurses,
carpenters or bankers, soldiers or
engineers, our work has deep significance.
Whatever our vocation, our calling as
children of God is to be salt and light to a
watching, sin-damaged world (Matthew
- Work as an Opportunity to Witness
Even the most devout of Christians can
sometimes fall prey to the inevitable
frustrations of the workplace.
Unfortunately, as a result, many of us who
call ourselves Christians fail to live up to
that name at work.
How do we engage with culture while
faithfully embracing the gospel?
In the New Testament, the Apostle Paul
makes an important connection between
the name of Jesus and our daily
interactions with others. “Whatever you do,
in word or deed, do everything in the name
of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the
Father through Him.” ( Col. 3:17 ).
Whatever our vocation, we are to “Rejoice
always, pray without ceasing, give thanks
in all circumstances; for this is the will of
God in Christ Jesus for you.” ( 1 Thess.
Essentially, Paul is urging us to exemplify
love for our neighbor in how we interact
with our colleagues, speaking words of
grace to those around us. “Let no
corrupting talk come out of your mouths,
but only such as is good for building up, as
fits the occasion, that it may give grace to
those who hear.” (Ephesians 4:29 ).
In this way, we are able to be an effective
witness for Christ and exhibit his love,
kindness, and patience to those around
us — whatever our vocation.
In their book Your Work Matters to God ,
Douglas Sherman and William Hendricks
write: “The key to bringing the culture and
the church back together, to renewing the
workplace and reforming the church—may
well be a movement of people who are
known for their hard work, for the
excellence of their effort, for their honesty
and unswerving integrity, for their concern
for the rights and welfare of people, for the
quality of the goods and services produced,
for their leadership among coworkers—in
short, for their Christ-likeness on and off
the job. What could an army of such
As we take discipleship into the workplace
and seek to use every gift to honor God, it’s
important to remember that the end goal is
not merely a paycheck, but rather about
storing up treasure in heaven.
As Jesus says, “Do not lay up for
yourselves treasures on earth, where moth
and rust destroy and where thieves break
in and steal, but lay up for yourselves
treasures in heaven, where neither moth
nor rust destroys and where thieves do not
break in and steal. For where your treasure
is, there your heart will be also.” ( Matthew