Friday, August 01, 2014
Work, Work, Work
Our culture's hunger for meaning and dignity in everyday work is a window through which Christians can shine the light of the gospel. No civilization can grow and flourish when its people spend the vast majority of their waking hours in an activity they find meaningless. The deepest root of our economic crisis is that people no longer find a worthy purpose in the daily practice of diligence, honesty, self-control, generosity, and service. This creates a timely moment for people to rediscover how God brings dignity and meaning to daily life.You know what concerns me when I read that people find the work without meaning - that we are increasingly structuring the church to resemble our workplaces. Most people that I now that do not find meaning in their work do so because there is a certain "soulless" nature to the work. They are reduced by the structure of the workplace to being mere cogs in a mechanism, Yes, a Christian perspective can help overcome that perception, but the fact remains that when your job is merely to move a stack of papers from point A to Point B you are functioning in a highly mechanical fashion.
Years ago I worked in Communist China for a few weeks. One of the more interesting things discovered at the factory I worked at was that the workers had to be paid by piecework. When their wages were covered regardless of their output - they simply did not work. That had to be taught that there was a direct line between their work and the benefit of their work.
Too often we build out churches so that they are easily compartmentalized. The connections between church and other things are difficult to draw. We organize church so that it fits in the corners of peoples lives. We allow it to be mechanical when it is in reality highly organic. We organize work in the church so that it is mechanical.
There are some great points in the quote above, but if those ideas are going to work we need to radically rethink how we do church.
church connections work