I believe there is a huge opportunity for churches to minister to people in their work lives.
Many of us strongly desire to find deeper purpose and meaning in our work, and our faith and spirituality can help us in this quest. At the same time, when people face workplace challenges like stress, the threat of failure, and conflict, their faith and spiritual practices can be of enormous benefit.
The church could play an important role.
Our new book, The Sacred Meaning of Everyday Work, can be a valuable resource. Most of the book focuses on helping the reader connect their own faith or spirituality with their work, but it also includes an article in the appendix offering advice for churches considering establishing their own work life program.
The article describes some common spiritual needs frequently found among people in the workplace and then offers some practical suggestions for how a church might help people meet those needs.
This article is offered here for free in the hope that it will stimulate conversation about this critical issue and maybe even lead to the development of new ideas and approaches. Feel free to circulate it to others (but please include proper attribution).
If you are a pastor, you might want to distribute it to your staff or to selected members of your congregation. If you are a member of the congregation, you might want to circulate it to your pastors and other people in the church you think might be interested. It can also be used as the basis for discussion in seminary classes.
We have an opportunity to help people both inside and outside the church in an important area of their lives. The church that does this in a helpful, constructive manner might find they are engaging with a much broader segment. This is not a church growth issue but an opportunity to fulfill its mission in a powerful way.
The Opportunity for Churches (pdf)
The Opportunity for Churches (html)
More information on The Sacred Meaning of Everyday Work