Practical Tips for Following Jesus at Work: A Q&A with Author David Gill

We have a NEW book coming out this October! Workplace Discipleship 101: A Primer, by David W. Gill, contains encouragement and practical advice for Christians who are serious about living out their faith in their daily work lives. This book is packed with simple, practical suggestions organized in an intuitive format with straightforward language.

Answering questions such as “How can I serve Jesus while I’m at work?” and “What does it look like to follow Jesus in my field of work?”, this book is perfect for Christians who are looking for practical insight and biblical inspiration to take to their own field of work.

We asked David a series of questions below regarding Christianity at the workplace:

Workplace

 

Q: What inspired you to write this book?

A: There are lots of books on the “theology” or “theory” of work, lots on big economic and business matters, and some on workplace evangelism and spirituality, but nothing adequately detailed out the “nuts and bolts” of getting prepared for faithful workplace discipleship and the five main dimensions of faithful Christian workplace presence.  I had to write it for Christians in the workplace, which means most of us.

Q: What does the title “Workplace Discipleship” mean? Who is this book really for?

A: I use the term workplace to include all places where we might work: factories, offices, art studios, homes, communities, etc. and discipleship simply means “following Jesus,” behaving as he would lead us.  This is for all workers in all fields at all stages of their careers.

Q: What would you suggest to Christians who don’t find joy in their work?

A: Sometimes we can change our employment or job assignment but more often it is a matter of bringing joy with us to our work and our workplace, rather than finding it there already. It has a lot to do with our attitude, with our practicing the presence of the Lord, with the quality we bring to our tasks no matter what they are, and with the cheer, warmth, and caring we bring to the workplace. Having a support group with whom to consult, pray, commiserate, and celebrate outside of work can help a lot.

David W. Gill

Q: Do you think it is possible (or even okay) for Christians to have work that is apart from their “calling”?

A: Our primary calling to is love and serve God, then to love our neighbor, even our enemies.  Work is a necessity and sometimes the only work we can find doesn’t fit very closely with the gifts and abilities and passions God has given us. We should usually try to find work that allows us to flourish in those special gifts we have but even hard and difficult work is best carried out as God’s calling for us, at least for the time being. If our work doesn’t invite a full expression of our special gifts, we can try to find volunteer channels in church or community through which to do so.

Q: How does one become more satisfied in their work? (Especially if it seems mundane.)

A: We are all made in the image of the Creator, Sustainer, and Redeemer, the God of Justice, Truth, and Beauty.  Wherever and whenever we work, doing things that bring some creativity and productivity, that uphold and sustain people and planet, that redeem, liberate, heal, and reconcile, that bring a touch of beauty, and some truth, wisdom, righteousness and justice . . . these God-based characteristics bring a deep satisfaction. These impacts are our mission from God every hour at work.

Q: What is the danger in idolizing our work? What does this look like?  

A: An idol or god is something to which we bow down in reverence, organize our life around, find ultimate identity and meaning in, make sacrifices of time and money to, feel a sense of awe from, and get offended if someone criticizes or makes fun of it. Work is for sure one aspect of our identity. Paul wrote to the Romans that we understand something about God from the things he has made;  so too, people understand us partly from our work.  But work alone is too small. We are more than workers.  Life is more than work.  Idolatry is worshipping the created instead of the Creator.  Like all idols and false gods the work idol promises meaning and a great life but it cannot deliver. Workaholism kills life and relationships.

_Life is more than work. Idolatry is worshipping the created instead of the Creator._

Conclusion

Workplace Discipleship 101: Primer is the perfect book for anyone who is searching to understand the importance of work and discipleship in a biblical based way. Coming soon in October 2020!

“Few people I know have thought more deeply and practically about the integration of the Christian faith in the workplace than David Gill. In Workplace Discipleship 101, David Gill’s keen intellect, ethical clarity, and encouraging heart frame a persuasive and practical guide for all apprentices of Jesus who long to embrace an integral faith. This book is an invaluable resource I have been waiting for. I highly recommend it!” ~ Customer Review.


About the Author

David Gill served forty years as a seminary or business school professor of ethics and is the author of eight previous books, including Becoming Good: Building Moral Character (2000), Doing Right: Practicing Ethical Principles (2004), and It’s About Excellence: Building Ethically Healthy Organizations (2008/2011). He has been a pioneer in the “faith at work” movement and now serves as Workplace Discipleship Coach at First Covenant Church in Oakland, California.


Blog post written by Helen Young, Marketing and Social Media Assistant.

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