For the past few years, I’ve enjoyed participating in a Faith and Work Book Club in my workplace. We meet early on a Friday morning and are currently working on our fifth book since the group began. It’s a highlight for me each week as I get together with a small group of peers to discuss the book and how to integrate our faith and work and be a positive influence and representative of Christ in our workplace.
I can think of 4 reasons that you should consider starting a Faith and Work Book Club in your workplace:
- To help others with the concepts of calling and vocation. While some people think of their work as a career, many think of it as just a “job”, and a way to pay the bills. They look forward to each weekend and can’t wait for retirement. In your Faith and Work Book Club, you help participants see their work as a clear calling from the Lord. They can see that the work they do Monday through Friday in the workplace is a way to serve the Lord.
Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord. (Colossians 3:23-24)
- To show the value of “secular” work in comparison to “full-time Christian ministry”. Many believers (and I used to feel this way) don’t think that their secular work has value in God’s eyes. Yes, their jobs provide for their families and allow them to support their churches and missionaries, but does God really care about what a computer programmer does in an insurance company, for example? In other words, can they code for the glory of God? I’ve seen the light come on when people realize that the answer to this question is a resounding “Yes”!
One of the books we have read and discussed is Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper. In the chapter entitled “Making Much of Christ from 8 to 5”, Piper writes: “Seek to do your work in such a way that Christ looks more important than your work. Seek to make and use money in such a way that Christ looks more important than money. Seek to have relationships with people in the workplace such that Christ is more important than those relationships”.
In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 5:16)
- I know far too many people who are unhappy in their jobs. When you are unhappy in your job, it can easily carry over into your home life, negatively impacting relationships with your spouse and children. I’m also aware of some who have actually retired earlier than originally planned because they were unhappy in their work. You don’t want your group to become a “gripe session”, but you do want it to be a place of encouragement.
Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. (2 Thessalonians 5:11)
- Prayer and Fellowship. A Faith and Work Book Club can be a place in which rich relationships can be made and strengthened. We share what is going on in our lives and pray for each other (and others) in our group.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. (Philippians 4:6)
These are just 4 reasons that I can think of why you should consider starting a Faith and Work Book Club where you work. Do you have others? Have you started a Faith and Work Book Club in your workplace? If so, please let us know what your experience has been. And feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions about how to start a Book Club in your organization.
There are many excellent books being published to help us integrate our faith and work. Here are 5 that I would recommend that you consider for your Book Club: