Workship: How To Use Your Work To Worship God by Kara Martin. Graceworks. 198 pages. 2017
The author writes of an institute she helped form within a theological college that aimed to bridge the Sunday–Monday divide within the college, church, and the marketplace. That experience has formed the basis of the material for this book.
In this book (volume one of two), the author looks at these areas:
- A Biblical View of Work
- Spiritual Disciplines for Work
- Practical Wisdom for Working
In defining work, the author writes that she believes God sees work as any purposeful activity requiring focus and effort. That means it could be housework, schoolwork, caring for children or parents, study, paid work, voluntary work, etc. She tells us that our work should be done in a way that honors and worships God and that serves God and others.
A danger is if we think that our work doesn’t matter to God. Some think that God is only concerned with spiritual things like Bible reading, church services, mission activity, prayer, and evangelism. But the Bible teaches that work was created as a good thing. It is part of the way human beings were made in the image of a creative and working God. It is God that we truly work for.
Each chapter includes a prayer and a “Taking It Further” section with helpful questions to go deeper with the material in that chapter.
The book includes helpful stories to illustrate the content of the book. It covers a number of topics such as redeeming your workplace, working righteously, an eschatological dimension of work, vocation, calling, identity, and kingdom business.
A particularly helpful part of the book was the discussion of the following six spiritual disciplines:
- Holy Working
- Gospel Working
- Prayerful Working
- Incarnational Working
- Spirit-Empowered Working
- Social Justice Working
For each of these disciplines the author includes a biblical basis for the discipline, the behaviors that demonstrate the discipline, and examples of the discipline, as well as a prayer and the “Taking It Further” section.
The book includes two appendices:
In Appendix 1 is a questionnaire to help you work out your spiritual discipline preference.
In Appendix 2, you will see how the six spiritual disciplines intersect with Mark Greene’s 6Ms in his book Fruitfulness on the Frontline.
I appreciated this book as it looked at dimensions of integrating our faith and work that other books haven’t touched on. I also look forward to reading the second volume.
Here are a few of my favorite quotes from the book:
- Work is a gift because we have an opportunity to be stewards over whatever responsibility God has given us: to love that work, do the best we can with it, and offer it back to God as a form of worship.
- It is God we work for. It is he who gave us work as a gift and prepared us for the work given.
- Work is not simply a means to an income. It is about stewardship, productivity, fruitfulness, relationships, for the good of the world, and for the glory of God.
- Vocation is not so much what you ‘do’, it is about responding to the one who calls you.
- Our call is responding to the one who calls us. It is about being Christlike in the place where we find ourselves, seeking to serve God and others.
- Work will never satisfy us when we expect it to deliver something different than what it was designed for, that is, as a means of working with and worshipping God.
- If work is the source of your identity, self-esteem, and/or your security, then it has become an idol. It means that you are too attached to your job.