Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

Work and Worship BOOK CLUB

Work and Worship: Reconnecting Our Labor and Liturgy by Matthew Kaemingk and Cory B. Willson

Drawing on years of research, ministry, and leadership experience, in this new book Matthew Kaemingk and Cory B. Willson explain why Sunday morning worship and Monday morning work desperately need to inform and impact one another. Together they engage in a rich biblical, theological, and historical exploration of the deep and life-giving connections between labor and liturgy. In so doing, Kaemingk and Willson offer new ways in which Christian communities can live seamless lives of work and worship.

Here are a few takeaways from the Foreword by Nicholas Wolterstorff

  • The question that concerns them (the authors) is this: How does a theological idea about work actually embed itself deeply in the life of a worker? Put another way, how does an intellectual theology of work become a lived theology of work?
  • After an opening section that the authors call “Foundations,” in which they develop the case for their approach, there is a section of six chapters called “Resources” in which they describe, in considerable detail, how work was integrated with worship in ancient Israel and in the early church.
  • In the final section on “Practices,” the authors consider ways in which the worship of the church today can become what they call “vocationally conversant worship.”

Introduction:

  • There exists a profound separation between work and worship in the lives of many Christians today.
  • By and large, most pastors and worship leaders deeply desire for Sunday morning worship to meaningfully connect with the Monday morning lives of their people. But does it? Our goal is to explore how these separated worlds of labor and liturgy might actually come to be reconciled.
  • We’ve become increasingly convinced that theologies of work need to be practiced, embedded and embodied in communities of worship. Theologies of work will never be sustainable if they remain theoretical.
  • Theologies of work matter, but they need to be sung and prayed.
  • The fabric of faith and work needs to be slowly and intentionally woven back together over a lifetime of prayer and worship.
  • Integration is more a habit to be practiced than an idea to be learned.
  • We had three specific types of readers in mind for this book: workers in the marketplace, worship leaders in the sanctuary, and scholars and students in the academy.
  • This book aims to articulate a vision for worship that is “vocationally conversant.” By “vocationally conversant” we mean forms of worship that engage work and workers in a divine dialogue. Worship that is vocationally conversant facilitates an honest exchange between workers and their God.
  • This book is focused on paid work. It rarely discusses unpaid vocations like parenting, marriage, volunteering, or political activism. This book is primarily focused on reexamining Sunday worship in the sanctuary.
  • Our primary goal is to explore how gathered worship on Sunday can help reconcile the modern divorce between faith and work.