A Theology of Vocation

work for Jesus “As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” Ephesians 4:1-6 

Looking at research and the needs of church goers, there is a topic rarely covered and yet coveted at the same time. Pastors will rarely preach on it because we tend to not know, usually, what it means to work, as my wife says, “the real world.” And the average church attender desperately wants to hear and know what am I supposed to do at work as a Christian. Thus, it is my attempt to dispense a “theology of vocation.” In other words, what is God’s will and call for us Monday through Friday when we are at work. And make it understandable.

Why do pastors not preach on it? Most of us have worked very sparingly in ‘regular’ jobs. We went from High School to college to seminary. Did internships, academia, and church work. We held some part time jobs, but mostly, no significant time in the blue collar or while collar world. Thus, no experience or real hard knowledge and thus no material for sermons. On top of that there have been few books or topic to guide a pastor and, I hate to say this, most of us do not know our Bibles well enough to exegete a study on vocation.

What brings me to this? I have been asked by a few pastors who know I work full time as a pastor and full time in the ‘world.’ As a missionary an on staff at churches that do not pay much, it has been a necessity. I worked for 5 years in a union blue color job through high school and college. Was “white collar,” as a corporate trainer for a major banking institution for 5 years while in grad school and seminary. I was also a police chaplain and of course on the board of 4 nonprofit organizations besides pastoring. So, I got a lot of work experience. Then I have done sermons series on work and in my book a Field Guide to Building Relationships is a couple of chapters on how to build relationships at work. So, I got game on this subject. Enough about me, what does the Bible say on work?

Hint, it is a place not just to earn money or further one’s profession, it is a place to worship Christ by being an example of His Word in our work. Remember, your whole life, character of who and how you are matters to God!

Cut and paste the passages below into https://www.biblegateway.com/

Key Bible Passages for Christians in the Workplace: Genesis 1-3; Psalm 24:1; 1 Corinthians 7:23; 2 Corinthians 9:6-15; 10:1-6; 11:1-3; Romans 8:17; Ephesians 4:1-6; 6:5-8; Colossians 1:21-23; 3:17-24; 1 Peter 2:9-21

“Slaves (fellow servants in Col 1:7; Rev. 19:10), obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart. Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people, because you know that the Lord will reward each one for whatever good they do, whether they are slave or free.” Ephesians 6:5-8

·         God’s Call For the Employee: Genesis 1:26-28; Exodus 23:12; 35:2; Proverbs 10: 4, 26; 22:29; 24:30-34; 25:13; Ecclesiastes 2:4; 5:12; 10:10; Matthew 18: 23-34; Luke 16:10-12; 1 Corinthians 7:23; Romans 12:11; Ephesians 4:28; 6:5-8; Philippians 2:1-11; Colossians 3: 17, 22-25; 2 Thessalonians 3:6-15; 1 Timothy 6:2, 17; Titus 2:9-10; 1 Peter 2:18-20

·         God’s Call For the Employer: Leviticus 19:13; Deuteronomy 24:4, 4-15; Proverbs 27:18; Malachi 3:5; Luke 10:7; 1 Corinthians 9:6-12; Ephesians 6:8-9; Colossians 3:17; 4:1-2; 1 Timothy 5:17-18; James 5:4-5

·         God’s Call For the Workplace: Ecclesiastes 2:4; 4:7-8; Colossians 3:22-25

o   We are called to work with respect and honor to God and others: Genesis 2: 15; 3: 15; Proverbs 6:6-8; 10:4-5,26; 12:9; 13:4; 14:23; 18:9; 22:29; 31:11-31; Ecclesiastes 3:22; 5:12; Ephesians 4:28; 1 Timothy 5: 8!

o   We Are Called to Work with Integrity: Proverbs 10:2; 15:27; Jeremiah 22: 13; Ephesians 4:28!

o   We Are Warned About Laziness: Exodus 20:9-11; 23:12; 34:21; Proverbs 16:27; 18:9; 19: 15; 22:13; 24:30-34; 1Thessalonians 4: 11, 12; 2 Thessalonians 3:7-15!

o   We Are Called to Honor Just Remuneration: Proverbs 3:27, 28; 27:18; Luke 10:7; 1Timothy 5: 18; James 5:1-5

o   The Dangers: Romans 12:1-2; 2 Peter 1:3-4

·         Building Better Relationships: Proverbs 10:4, 5, 2:11; 12:24; 13:4; 15:19; 18:9; 19:15; 24:30-32; Galatians 6:9; Colossians 3:23-25; 1 Timothy 6:1-2; Titus 2: 9-20; James 1:8

o   Emotional Stress: Proverbs 12:24; 13:4; 19:15; 24:30-32; Jeremiah 29:10-14; Colossians 3:23; Romans 12:1-2; Galatians 6:9; Philippians 4:11-13; Titus 2: 9-20; 1 Timothy 6:1-2; James 1:8; 2 Peter 1:3-4

o   Fear: 1 Kings 19: 1-18

o   Fatigue: Numbers 11:10-17

o   Frustration: Jonah 1-4

o   Excited: Genesis 1: 26-28; Proverbs 22:29; Ecclesiastes 10: 10; Isaiah 40:31; Luke 16:10-12; Romans 12; 1 Corinthians 3:16-17; 6:19; 2 Corinthians 6:16; Galatians 5:22-23; Philippians 3: 13-16; Colossians 3:23; 1 Timothy 6:17-19; Hebrews 10:25; 1 Peter 1:3-4; 1 John 1: 9

Putting it all together: Psalm 1; 15; 40:8; John, chapters 13-15; Romans 5:8; 1 Corinthians 13; Galatians 5:22-23; Colossians 3:15

Coming soon an extensive look into work for sermons and the edification of Christ’s children at work.  At http://www.churchleadership.org/

Previous work on “work” is here: http://70030.netministry.com/apps/articles/default.asp?articleid=32519&columnid=3844

My book, Building Healthy Relationships: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1413771793?tag=intothywordmi-20&camp=14573&creative=327641&linkCode=as1&creativeASIN=1413771793&adid=088S0T3RQ2FVF88TCH55&

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About Biblical Guy

Dr. Richard Joseph Krejcir lives in Southern California and is married to the beautiful MaryRuth and a precious son Ryan, a miracle from God. He is a child of God who is committed to biblical understanding, prayer, spiritual growth, and integrity. He is the Founder and Director of Into Thy Word Ministries, a missions and discipling ministry, with a call upon his heart to bring discipleship materials to pastors and everyone who needs them here and overseas. He is also a researcher at the Schaeffer Institute and spent over fifteen years on an in-depth, careful and through study on End Times. He is the author of numerous articles, curriculum's and books such as "Into Thy Word," and is also an ordained pastor, teacher, and speaker. He is a graduate of Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena California (Master of Divinity) and holds a Ph.D. (Practical Theology) from London. He has amounted over 25 years of pastoral ministry experience including serving as a church growth consultant.
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