What Does it Mean for Work to be “Christian”?

2013 Work as Worship Conference

In this 47-minute session from the 2013 Work as Worship Conference, J.D. Greear highlights the five characteristics that distinguish a Christian’s work, encouraging believers to live out Christian discipleship in the workplace. J.D. is Lead Pastor of The Summit Church in Raleigh-Durham, NC. He has authored numerous books including Breaking the Islam Code and Stop Asking Jesus into Your Heart.

As you watch this session, take notes and write down thoughts about how this session can impact your life and work.

J.D. gave five distinguishing qualities of Christian work.

1.  Christian Work is Creation Fulfilling

  • When God placed Adam in the Garden, He gave him a job to do
  • Work existed before the curse and is not a result of sin
  • God intended Adam and Eve to be His co-creators

2.  Christian Work is Excellence Pursuing

  • Christians serve a higher boss than their employer (Col. 3:23–24)
  • Even in the worst work situations, the Christian works to the glory of God
  • Hard work is not dependent on any opportunity for advancement or salary renumeration, but on the worthiness of God

3.  Christian Work is Holiness Reflecting

  • Christian work conforms to the highest standard of ethics
  • Christian work seeks to demonstrate the justice and integrity of God
  • Cutting corners is an abomination to the Lord (Pro. 11:1)

4.  Christian Work is Redemption Displaying

  • Those who have experienced the gospel become like the gospel
  • The Christian leverages strengths like Christ leveraged His (Luk. 14:12–14)
  • Work is not just for personal profit, but for lifting others up

5.  Christian Work is Mission Advancing

  • Work done by disciples has a view toward the Great Commission
  • People are growing less inclined to visit a church, the gospel must be shared in the marketplace
  • Evangelism is doing normal life with gospel intentionality

J.D. pointed out that the vast majority of Christians are not equipped to think about discipleship outside of the church. For them, work is just a necessity to be endured to put bread on the table and provide money for the church. How do you view your work? Have you ever viewed work done inside the church (whether by a pastor or volunteer) as more important than the work done outside of it?
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J.D. noted that God placed Adam and Eve in the garden, not to be security guards, but as brokers to grow God’s investment. What skills and abilities has God given you? How are you leveraging those gifts in your work, growing God’s investment?
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When you work, do you work to the glory of God, or are you prone to seek your own glory? What motivates you to work to the best of your ability, even when chances of getting recognition for your hard work are small?
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How do you respond when faced with a situation at work that pushes ethical boundaries? How can you seek to show the justice and integrity of God when faced with ethical dilemmas?
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In what practical ways can you display the grace you have received from God to your employees or coworkers? How can you leverage your position at work to lift others up?
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People are less and less likely to accept an invitation to a church service. Who has the Lord placed in your workplace that needs to hear the gospel? How can you be proactive in looking for opportunities to share Christ with them?
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What opportunities do you have to carry the gospel around the world? Are there opportunities to serve on international accounts, giving you access to people from across the globe? Is there an opportunity for you to work on a short-term project abroad?
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As less and less people have church as a part of their lives, the importance of being equipped as a gospel witness in your workplace grows more and more important. Understanding that God does not just call pastors and missionaries, but also calls doctors, plumbers, and entrepreneurs, serves to clarify your work as worship. Take to heart the challenge given by J. D., "do what you do well for the glory of God, then do it somewhere strategic for the mission of God." 

For information about the upcoming Work as Worship Conference, go to WorkasWorshipConference.org.