Why We Work

A Brief Summary of the Theology of Work

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God Works:  The Bible opens with God working. Genesis 2 calls his creating activity in Chapter 1 “work.” No less than three times! Later, the Bible speaks many times of God’s “works.” For example, “his works are perfect” (Deut. 32:4). God is called a potter, a shepherd, a musical composer, an architect, a builder, a judge, a ruler, and so on. Jesus said both he and his Father are workers.

We Work Because God Does: God himself is the pattern for who we are and what we do. Made in his image, his likeness, we are similar to him. We cannot, of course, create from scratch, know everything, or be present everywhere all at once. But working is a major way we can show our God-likeness.

After he finished his work of creating earth, sky, land, oceans, plants, animals, and people, he stopped to savor and enjoy it, calling it all, “very good” (Gen. 11).

We Rest Because God Does: Just as we work because God works, we rest because God rests. So God is not a workaholic, and—made in his likeness—neither should we overwork. He set up the sabbath for our well-being. So we need to put into practice a rhythm that includes both working and resting.


We Rule the Earth for God: When God the Worker made us in his image, he gave us a role—to rule the earth and its creatures. Ruling God’s earth does not mean acting like greedy, self-serving bullies or tyrants. No, ruling means using our God-delegated authority for the benefit of the earth. We’re to rule the earth in the way shepherds are to caringly rule their sheep. Good shepherds use the right of say-so given by flock owners to protect the animals from hunger, thirst, disease, and wolves. God loves the earth and its creatures and declared them to be “very good.” We are given authority to look out for the earth on his behalf. We are God’s stewards, property managers of his earthly real estate.

We Rule the Earth by Working: Most people, when they report to work, don’t see themselves as ruling over the earth. And of course neither you nor I can rule over the whole planet. But you can exercise God-given authority over that tiny section of his earth you’re responsible for. Do you work as a bus driver? Then you are to exercise your God-given power over the steering wheel, accelerator, and brakes. You rule by driving in ways that benefit your passengers. Are you a barista? You have authority over how you use your grinders, tampers, steamers, and so on. You rule by keeping them clean to protect the health of your customers. You rule by providing a beverage over which your guests can build relationships with others. Remember, Jesus made wine for another social event, a wedding.
Theology of the Womb:
Human_embryo_silhouette.pngStewardship begins where God’s partnership with mankind is nurtured—in the womb.  God’s call to every person starts in the womb of their mother. He creates each baby in His image, making parents responsible in two major ways. First, they steward and nurture the unique calling of each of their children as they are growing up. And second, they launch them into the world as signs of and agents for the Kingdom of God.  Sadly most Old Testament family stories tell of conflict between siblings, often because their parents compared their children with themselves, favoring the one who was most like one parent or the other. In other words, they owned their children when they should have stewarded them.  They raised them to look like themselves rather than stewarding them  to reflect their Heavenly Father.
God’s Calling Includes Work.
God calls us, first and most importantly, to come into right relationship with him by trusting Jesus. Every Christian has been called by God. When we respond to this summons from God, we enter his Kingdom. As Kingdom citizens, recognize Jesus as our King and Commander.

God commands us to work: “Six days you shall labor” (Ex. 20:9), and “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat’ (II Thess. 3:10).

So our calling includes God’s call to work. He does not call only pastors and missionaries to their work but he also calls you and I to ours.

We Can Offer Everyday Work as Worship.
When they think about worship, some Christians think only of music on Sunday. But worship should include all of life—including our daily work. In the Bible, the Hebrew word for work is also translated as worship and service. So as you offer your work up to God, serving him and his creation, you are worshiping him. Paul told first century workers to do their work “with all your heart, as working for the Lord” (Col. 3:23)
Our Work Can Inspire Praise for God. The world has seen a lot of bad work—cutting corners, cheating, careless craftsmanship, and so on. So when we as Christ-followers do our work in ways that please God and benefit others, that stands out. Our King, Jesus, says “let your good deeds [literally, good works]  shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father” (Matt. 5:16, NLT). Just as God’s good works in his Creation speak a powerful silent message, so does our work when we do it as Kingdom citizens.
Must worship and work remain strangers? This brief video says no—and explains why.

This video was created by Dr. Larry Peabody and the written text of the video can be found in his blog

Work Helps Us Become Like Jesus.
God’s Word makes it clear: trouble is one of his major tools in reshaping us to be like Jesus. If we recognize God’s hand in sending us through all kinds of hardships, we will come to trust him more. James puts it like this: “Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don't try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way” (James 1:2-4, MSG). Today’s workplaces put us through as much or more stress and hassle than any other area of our lives. Work, then, helps mold us as God’s new creations
God Provides for Us Through Our Work. Most work (other than volunteering) gets us involved with a paycheck or an income. Money is not bad—evil grows out of the love of money. God smiles on working for money. As Jesus said, “the worker deserves his wages” (Lk. 10:7). And what we earn makes us able to carry out all kinds of things God wants us to do—provide what we ourselves and our families need, share with others who have less, pay our taxes to support those working for government, give to church workers and missionaries, and so on. God also smiles on making a profit. “All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty” (Prov. 14:23). And it is God who “gives you the ability to produce wealth” (Deut. 8:18). It is no more “spiritual” to work for a non-profit company than a for-profit business.
Work Places Us Near Other Christians.
In most cases (but not all), our work networks will include other Christ-followers. Your work network might include coworkers, bosses, customers, vendors, students, patients, and the like. Most of these, of course, will not be part of the church group you meet with on the weekend. By working with these people, you build relationships with them. You will learn about their families, what difficulties they are going through, their needs. As a result, you are able to do all kinds of mutual one-anothering with them—praying, encouraging, advising, challenging, and so on.
Work Puts Us in Touch with Non-Christians. Where will you most likely encounter people who don’t know or follow Jesus? In your church or in your workplace? Jesus sends those who follow him into the world—and a major part of that world is the work world. Very likely most of the people you work with will be those who have no idea what it means to know, love, and trust Jesus. God sends you into your workplace to represent him there before those who have not yet yielded their lives to him. Paul told the Philippians believers they should “become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life” (Phil. 2:15-16).
Through Work We Bless Others. Life on earth could not go on without the work of countless people around the world. We all have food, clothing, transportation, medicine, artificial knees, hearing aids, and so much more, only because so many folks work with their hands and their minds. God could feed people miraculously as he did with manna in the desert and as he did when Jesus broke the loaves of bread and the fish. But God chooses to keep his world and its people supplied with all they need primarily through the work you and billions of others do day by day.

Blessing Begins When Sending Occurs: 

Where is the church in all of this?

The church is not simply about Sunday.  Its not simply about evangelism—saving people so they can go to heaven.  The church is to partner with families to send believers into all sectors of society.  A theology of work has to include the church taking responsibility to steward all seven days of the week in all sectors of society. Partnering with families to discover, nurture and deploy believers to the public sector, private sector and non-profit sectors of society. In essence, the church has the responsibility of stewarding all the callings of their people and sending them on mission to be teachers, lawyers, government workers, military officers, parents, plumbers, artists etc.  The church is not about the pastor’s calling as much as it is about pastors  seeing their own call as that of sending people to their callings, with a theology as compelling for their work on Monday as a pastors’ calling is for their work on Sunday.  It is God working through the scattered church empowered and sent where the real transformation takes place.
Work and Spirituality Growth

This video was created by Dr. Larry Peabody and the written text of the video can be found in his blog

Farming Gods way in Kakuma refugee camp

Rev. Omari Omollo taught Theology of Work at Kakuma Refugee Camp

Rev. Omari Omollo taught Theology of Work at Kakuma Refugee Camp
 He wrote: "It is believed that Turkana County is semi-desert but can you imagine that after Theology of Work training, people are now using what they learned in class to transform their lives. They are cultivating lands, Planting trees and doing local businesses to earn a living as well as taking their children to school. 
They no longer depend on relief food and handouts from well-wishers.
This is Bishop John Eyanae's farm and what is happening here is amazingly awesome. He is using and exploiting the available opportunities and local resources to change Kakuma region!  Praise God Dad for being instrumental towards this impactful and transformative course!"