Group Chat: Faith & Work

February 16, 2023

Welcome to Group Chat

Yes, being in a conversation with drinks is fun, but we need some guidelines as you enter into conversation with one another:

Everyone is not right, and that's a good thing.

The concepts we talk about in theology can have multiple interpretations, but that doesn't mean they're all right. A lot of theology is investigating the words we use to see if they make sense and are if they're adequate for God. Being wrong is how we improve our theology, not by having all the answers.

Pay attention to how people are using words.

We all use words like “love,” “God,” and “grace,” but the the reality is we often mean vastly different things. Try to listen to how people use words and if they're using them the same way you would.

Ask for people to define what they mean.

We can't have a good conversation if we are all talking past each other. It's not embarrassing to ask people for a definitional a new word or concept, it's just how you have a good conversation.

Make this work for you.

Have someone in the group keep an eye on the questions and try to make sure you're staying on topic. At the same time, it's fine to go down the rabbit holes. Sometimes, the rabbit holes can help us clarify something that we missed.

Have fun.

You won't solve world hunger, you probably won't even convince that person in the group you disagree with. Relax, be respectful, and when the questions run out, enjoy yourself and talk about something that isn't theological. Hanging out can actually be pretty important for good theology too!

Discussion Questions

  • What does it mean to be you? (How to define yourself outside of work)
  • Why do you work?
  • What did you learn about work growing up?
  • What did your parents teach you about work (or model through their words and actions)? If you attended a church, what did religious leaders communicate about work?
  • How have these influences shaped the way you look at work today?
  • In the opening chapters of Genesis, we see God working(reference below). In fact, his work is described using the Hebrew word mlkh, which is also used to describe ordinary human work.  We’re created in God’s image for a purpose—to be responsible for Earth and all the creatures on it. The first instructions given to men and women “are to work alongside God in the care and cultivation of the Earth.“  How do these verses challenge society’s often negative view of work? (i.e. it’s a hassle, a necessary evil, or a curse.)
  • Note that work was in the garden before sin was in the garden, how did the fall corrupt work? How does that impact how we see work if it was a part of God’s original plan for humanity?
  • How does this framework help you think about the purpose of work?
  • How does the image of work laid out in Genesis differ from our work today?
  • Does God care what kind of work we do? Are some career fields antithetical to a Christian life?
  • To what extent, if at all, is your sense of self-worth a matter of what you do in your work and how much money you make?
  • How do we balance a desire for meaningful work with financial goals?
  • Is it ok to have financial goals as a result of work?
  • How much should a company or organization’s morals/values play in our employment decision?
  • Is it okay to have ambition as a Christian?
  • How do we put work in its proper place?

Scripture to Consider

  • Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” / Genesis 1:26-28
  • The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it./ Genesis 2:15
  • Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving/ Colossians 3:23-24

Thoughts from Others

  • “Work doesn’t come after a golden age of leisure. It was part of God’s perfect design for human life, because we were made in God’s image, and part of his glory and happiness is that he works, as the Son of God, who said, ‘My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working.’ (John 5:17)”/ Tim Keller, Every Good Endeavor
  • “You were made to do good— to mirror and mimic what God is like to the world. To stand at the interface between the Creator and his creation, implementing God’s creative, generous blessing over all the earth and giving voice to the creation’s worship.”/ John Mark Comer, Garden City
  • “We’re image bearers, created to rule, to partner with God in pushing and pulling the creation project forward, to work it, to draw out the earth’s potential and unleash it for human flourishing — to cooperate with God in building a civilization where his people can thrive in his presence. And in this cosmic agenda, each of us has a vocation, a calling from God, a way that God wired us, somebody to be and something to do — because the two merge in perfect symmetry.” /John Mark Comer, Garden City
  • “Christians historically have been great risk takers. Like you look at how fast a church expanded, the way that church served people during huge health crises, the historical missions and business. Throughout history, Christians have been great risk takers.” / Eden Chen, Fishermen Labs
  • “Our task is not to somehow inject God into our work but to join God in the work he is already doing in and through our vocational lives.” / Tish Harrison Warren, Liturgy of the Ordinary
  • “The only Christian work is good work well done.” /Dorothy L. Sayers, Why Work?
  • “Christianity is different from all other world religions in that it does not teach that sin entered the world after a golden age of leisure, nor does it teach that the afterlife will include the cessation of labor. Indeed, in the ancient biblical world, Christianity must have seemed odd in its view of work. The Roman gods were divine rulers, the Greek gods where philosopher-kings, and the Judeo-Christian God was a carpenter.”/ David W. Jones, Every Good Thing

The Reunion Team

We are a church who helps people discover Jesus, become like Jesus, and do what Jesus did. Together we want to help all of the greater Boston area to experience the transformative love of Jesus.

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