Saturday, March 5, 2011

A Christian Perspective on Business as Vocation

Since I was old enough to seek employment I have been actively employed in the workplace.  Even while I was studying in college, I put in as many hours as I could to pay for my school bill and to put a little bit of spending money into my pocket.  I have often harbored hopes of one day leaving the workplace in order to pursue a higher calling in Christian minister.  Really, I never wanted to consider the idea that my being in the workplace was just as much a calling from God.

There have been a handful of authors and speakers who have been a help to me in correcting my thinking from a biblical perspective about the issue of calling and the unbiblical dichotomy I subscribed to regarding secular and sacred (i.e., the workplace and Christian "full-time" ministry).  God, in his kind sovereignty, has called me to labor in both the workplace and the Church.  It is, at times, a struggle to maintain a proper perspective on and appreciation for both spheres of calling together, but I am increasingly learning how involvement in one sphere prepares me for the other.

A brand new resource that asks the kind of questions I have been asking about work in general and about the benefit Christians bring to the workplace is now available.  In Business for the Common Good: A Christian Vision for the Marketplace, by Kenman L. Wong and Scott B. Rae  , you will find a theology of work, calling, business ethics, management, stewardship and more.  I have found this book to be not only theologically grounded, but also practical and realistic.  I wish all of the business men and women in our churches would read this book.  It will provide a much needed perspective on advancing the kingdom of God in a sphere to which many of our "full-time" ministers do not have access.  A work like this could result in hearty discussions among business men and women in the contexts of luncheons and small groups, resulting in businesses that strive to be not only profitable, but also beneficial to local and global economies.  Finally, a work like this could be distilled into a format that might be used to prepare our teens, grounding them in a theology of work, ethics and stewardship, as they seek God's calling, especially if it happens to be in the workplace.

Series: Christian Marketplace Integration Series edited by J. P. Moreland and Francis J. Beckwith.

Series Preface
  1. Your Work Is an Altar
  2. The Shape of a Calling to Business
  3. Business and Spiritual Formation
  4. Wealth, Success and Ambition
  5. The Calling of Business in the Global Economy
  6. Ethics in the Workplace
  7. Leadership and Management: Serving Employees
  8. Marketing: Serving Customers
  9. Stewardship and Sustainability: Serving The Garden and Our Neighbors
  10. Emerging Directions in Business
Subject Index
Scripture Index

Disclaimer: Although a review copy of this work has been provided to me by IVP Academic, the choice to review this book either favorable, negatively or not at all is left to my own discretion.  I receive no compensation for this review and the opinions are entirely my own.