Imagine if, after graduating from college, you were able to think about calling, purpose, and living out your faith in the workplace with thoughtful theologians and practitioners who challenged you to consider the impact of following Jesus as a worker. What difference would it have make? Would you have gone a different direction in your career? Would you have acted differently in your jobs? Most of us will never know.
LICC hosted a conference for young adults who are just starting out in their careers.
The purpose of this conference was to help them think clearly about these and other questions.
The conference started with one if LICC’s former staff members talking about her experience in the workplace and it’s relation to calling. By definition, having a calling means that someone has called you to do something. She had us write a word on each of our hands, “presence” and “disruptor” (and I suggest you actually try doing that right now – we used dry erase markers). After recounting her personal experience and sharing a little bit of work place theology, she made the case that Jesus always showed in in deeply present and loving ways, but he also never left any situation as he found it. Of course, he was perfect, and we often fail to balance these well.
Did you write on your hands? If you did, you noticed that it’s easier to write on one hand than the other. For me, being right handed, it was easiest to write on my left hand. In the same way, we often tend towards one of the two facets of Jesus’ ministry in the world. We tend to focus on loving presence or disruption – rarely on both, unless we’re challenged and taught to do both.
After this session, we broke up into groups. One group focused on the 6 M’s of Frontline living while the other group split up into one-on-0ne mentoring sessions with local Christian business people from various fields. The 6 M’s is a framework or prism through which we can view faithfulness for God in our everyday lives. The are: Model godly character, Make good work, Minister grace and love, Mold culture, Mouthpiece for truth and justice, Messenger of the gospel. Each of these challenges us to live like Jesus did, both present in love (incarnationally) and as a disruptor who changes the world he or she inhabits for the the better.
As a guest participant, I did not get a mentor to meet with, but the feedback on that section we very strong.
There was a teaching on ambition and stories shared by local working people about the challenges and victories they have experienced in the workplace either by striving to be honest in all their dealings, or working under God’s favor after making crucial, counter-intuitive choices that honored the Lord.
In the end, it was a great day and a great model for a similar approach for young workers back home. anyone interested?