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Service in the Workplace

Each Sunday at our church, one of the deacons or deacon candidates gives a short encouragement to the congregation to serve in some capacity. As a deacon candidate, I have had the opportunity of delivering several “Deacon Minutes.” I plan to post them periodically on this blog.

Martin Luther was once approached by a new convert to Christianity. The man enthusiastically told Luther about his recent conversion and asked him what he should do with his life now – what sort of profession he should take up. I’m sure he expected Luther to tell him that he ought to become a preacher, missionary, or something of that sort. Instead Luther asked him what his current occupation was. This young Christian told Luther that he was a cobbler. To his surprise, Luther’s answer was not to go into the ministry. Instead it was simply this: “Make a good shoe and sell it at a fair price.”

Of course this story is just an anecdote, but it represents a truth of what we are called to be in Christ. We are called to serve with excellence in whatever it is that we do. This serving begins with our family and extends to the local church, but it does not stop there. We are called to be servants – not just people who serve on Sundays. We are slaves who belong to Another; thus, there is no part of our life that may not be brought into subjection to Christ. As we become more like “the Son of Man who came not to be served but to serve” (Matt 20.28), we become servants ourselves.

Think about this. The standard full-time workweek is 40 hours. The average American works about 2,000 hours per year. Over the course of his lifetime, that works out to at least ten or eleven years (day and night) at the workplace. If we do not consider ourselves servants at work, then we’re saying that we can spend at least 10 years of our lives outside of subjection to Christ.

As we consider this area of living in the workplace, as in every other area of life, Scripture ought to set our perspective. Paul tells us in Colossians 3, “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men” (v 23 – note that he said work, not just church work). Paul also tells slaves to “remain in whatever condition they were in” (1 Cor 7.24) when they were converted and to serve their masters.

Remember that Christ does not command us to do anything without reason. The reason that we are called to serve in the workplace is the same reason that we are not taken to heaven as soon as we are converted – God wants to use us to be salt and light to this dying world by preaching the Gospel and imitating our Saviour. The workplace both affords us needy sinners who need to hear the Gospel and the opportunity to demonstrate to them a Christlike attitude of service. So, Christian, be encouraged when you get up tomorrow and go into work, knowing that you will have 8 hours (more or less) of gospel service opportunity.

no facebook

Several days ago I decided to de-activate my facebook account. Actually I wanted to delete it entirely, but – surprise, surprise – facebook doesn’t “delete” accounts.  It just keeps them inactive until you decide to log in again. To me that is kind of like saying, “You have just logged out of facebook. We know you will be logging back in very soon.”

Not to be weakened in my resolve, I stayed off facebook. For a few days. Then it hit me — I am responsible for keeping two company’s facebook pages updated. Problem: you cannot administer a facebook page without a personal account. As opposed as I was, I was back on facebook.

Rewind.
Read more…

shortpost

I need to get organized. I sit down and am bombarded by the 27.3 things that I need to get done today. I know that there is a way to wade through and figure out what is truly important and what can wait. Instead, I often just try to do about a dozen things at once and get frustrated when, at the end of the day, none of them are done. Okay. Prioritize. Well, now I can check “blogging” off my list for the day. Only 26.3 things to go!