S7E7: Faith & Work Discipleship in Churches
It’s no secret that the faith and work movement has a bit of a class problem. While many individuals who are curious about integrating their faith and work have white collar or professional jobs, this isn’t the case for everyone. On this episode of The Faith & Work Podcast, we talk with a panel of pastors and church leaders about faith and work discipleship in their churches. They offer a helpful critique when it comes to how we talk about the intersection of work and faith for diverse audiences.
On diversity in the church:
“I live in two worlds every single day. I am bilingual; I grew up in Mexico. I always have two lenses in which I see the world…We have white people at my church who are well off. So how do you preach to both groups with love, compassion, and truth and purpose when two groups are very different?”
On the challenges of demographics:
“How am I supposed to preach to my friend who has to walk two hours to take the bus, who has a bracelet on his foot, and doesn’t have a car? His brother was killed in Nicaragua and if he goes back, he’s going to get killed, as well. And then he has to also walk two hours to take the bus and come back…What should I preach to that guy, and how do I preach ‘vocation’?”
On the limitations of our stories:
“The Faith and Work movement, for all of its strengths, also has some shortcomings because it tends to tell one dominant story of work, where I think the Bible has quite a lot of different stories of work. You tend to hear in these circles, sort of a Genesis 1, Genesis 2 account. Human beings are created to build, and to create, and to exercise power and to build culture. That’s true if you’re in the kind of job where you have lots of autonomy, and resources, and time to do thought work. I realized that that story for work does not connect at all for some folks. I think one of the needs that we’re running up against is to hear one of the other biblical stories of work. I think there’s some creative theological thinking needed to kind of address the full gamut of jobs.”
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