The Gospel at Work
Pastor Eugene encourages us to attend the upcoming Equip class on work, to equip ourselves to be faithful in our jobs for the glory of God.
For many of us, a typical day looks like this: wake up, work, eat, sleep, repeat. Work accounts for most of our waking hours. It keeps us busy and is often foremost in our thoughts. It can be a source of joy and satisfaction, but also of disappointment, frustration and exhaustion.
How do we make sense of work? This is a common struggle many Christians have. We want to live faithfully in the world, but our jobs can often seem quite disconnected from our faith. Is my work merely a “necessary evil”—simply a means to make a living so that I can get on with the “real” work of serving Jesus? Can I, or should I, expect to find a bigger purpose for my work?
Then, there is also the struggle with either making too much of our work or making too little of it. On the one hand, our jobs and careers can become idols. We base our confidence and security in our work, depending on it to give us meaning, significance and identity. On the other hand, we may also define ourselves by how we escape from work. We live from pay cheque to pay cheque, just looking forward to our next holiday. Work is tolerated and endured as a means to an end.
Since work occupies such a significant part of our lives, we cannot afford to let it remain outside the sphere of Christ’s lordship over us. If we are not intentionally allowing His Word to shape our work, then we may inadvertently end up conforming to the culture.
Similar challenges confronted the early Christians. Amid the cultural milieu of New Testament times, the dominant Greek view was that work was a curse and nothing else. Manual labour was denigrated and despised. Leading Greek thinkers like Plato, Aristotle and Epicurus, for example, found work demeaning. Much better, they said, to be liberated from labour for leisure. How counter-cultural, then, was Paul’s insistence that “the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labour, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need” (Eph 4:28)!
I trust we are not content to be “Sunday Christians” and leave the gospel aside when we show up for work on Monday morning. As followers of Jesus, we ought to be faithful stewards of what God has entrusted to us during the 9 to 5. How, then, should we connect our faith to our work? Put another way, what difference should knowing King Jesus make to why we work, how we work and what work we do?
Beginning this coming Tuesday (Feb 2), GBC’s Equip class will seek to address these questions as it focuses on the topic of work. Based on the book The Gospel at Work (by Sebastian Traeger and Greg Gilbert), the class seeks to equip us to be faithful disciples of Christ in our workplaces, avoiding the pitfalls of either idolising our work or being idle at work. Ultimately, we serve King Jesus. And who we work for is more important than what jobs we do.
I will be teaching this class, along with Andrew Sung and Ong Koon Han. Along the way, we will also hear from other GBC members about how they have sought to live out the faith at work. Do join us to learn more about how we can worship Jesus with our work.
The class, which will run from February 2 to March 23, comprises eight weekly sessions on Tuesdays from 8-9pm. All the sessions will be conducted via Zoom at this link: tinyurl.com/Equip21. Here’s the line-up of sessions:
This weekend, we will be concluding our mini-series on “Living by Faith”. We will be hearing from Luke 18:31-43 about how spiritual sight comes by trusting in Jesus. He is the promised one of God who died for our sins and was raised for our life. I’d like to encourage us to gather for worship. You can register for either the Saturday or Sunday services here.
The Children’s Ministry will also be resuming all of its classes in-person this weekend. If you would like more information, please email our ministry worker Siew Ting at firstname.lastname@example.org. Do pray for our teachers, parents and children!