Can you imagine a day when Christians are publicly known for their love? Could you envision a day when even those who disagree with our doctrines look at us, our churches, our workplaces, and our public engagement, and say, “Look how they love us!”
As culture secularizes and young people increasingly claim no religion at all, the church is searching for a way forward. The Christian response has largely revolved around the politicization of faith, the privatization of belief, or accommodation to the broader culture.
But we believe there’s a better way for Christians to engage a rapidly changing world. We at Denver Institute for Faith & Work (DIFW) believe vocation is first a call to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, your soul, and your mind,” and to “love your neighbor as yourself” (Luke 10:27; Matthew 22:37–40). Vocation is our response to God’s voice in all areas of life.
As I look back on 2019, I’m filled with gratitude. Our mission at DIFW is to form men and women to serve God, neighbor, and society through their work. As we centered ourselves on the Great Commandment, I saw evidence of God drawing the DIFW community into that love over the past year.
Take, for example, Angela Evans. As a 5280 Fellowship alumna and senior editor at Boulder Weekly, Angela lives each day in a secular workplace. Yet the quality of her journalism, her enduring concern for the vulnerable, and her steady convictions as a Christian point all of those around her to the Source of her hope.
In 2019, we welcomed our fourth class of 5280 Fellows, hosted more than 1,000 attendees at events ranging from “God, Energy, and the Environment” to “The Faithful Artist,” and surpassed 10,000 downloads in our first year of The Faith & Work Podcast. We also published a short book, Spiritual Disciplines for Your Work, recognizing transformation must take place “from the inside out.” We believe God’s plan of redemption starts in the depths of the human heart, but He doesn’t stop until renewal stretches into our work, companies, cities, and society at large.
In an age of social isolation, a self-focused vision of work, and dropping rates of civic engagement, your investment in DIFW is creating a growing network of Christians who believe that the gospel is for all of life, work is where we have our greatest influence, and Christians can once again be people of hope for the world.
I’m grateful for your friendship, your support, and your prayers in 2019. Be filled today with the knowledge of God’s love for you and for the world he came to save (JOHN 3:16).
Founder & Executive Director
Denver Institute for Faith & Work
Editor’s note: “People of Hope” is a series of posts from the 2019 Annual Report. Download the full report.
Denver Institute is grateful for support from individuals, foundations, and corporations that invest in our mission to form men and women to serve God, neighbor, and society through their daily work.
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This post was published April 9, 2020
Jeff Haanen is a writer and entrepreneur. He founded Denver Institute for Faith & Work, a community of conveners, teachers and learners offering experiences and educational resources on the gospel, work, and community renewal. He is the author of An Uncommon Guide to Retirement: Finding God’s Purpose for the Next Season of Life and an upcoming two-book series on spiritual formation, vocation, and the working class for Intervarsity Press. He lives with his wife and four daughters in Denver and attends Wellspring Church in Englewood, Colorado.