"Jesus at Work" Picnic Integrating faith and work

On Sunday August 18 the “Jesus at Work” team of volunteers joyfully saw the fruits of their efforts!

SIM Mission Monthly Meetings and Mission Central hosted a picnic gathering of 100+ young professionals at Trout Lake to share a meal and conversation about the barriers and opportunities in integrating their Christian faith in their work. All participants met in 7 smaller groups:

  • Arts, Culture, Media, Communications with special guest Chelsea McKenzie from Century Group.
  • Business, Entrepreneur, Management with special guest Tim Reitsma, from Spark Creations.
  • Education/Academia with special guest Paul Kane from Burnaby School Board.
  • Health/Medicine with special guest Dr. Joyce Lee from BC Cancer.
  • Law, Government, Public Sector with special guest Bob Kuhn from Kuhn LLP and TWU President Emeritus.
  • Technology, IT, Engineering, Science with special guest Enoch Weng from Freedom 55 Financial and FaithTech.
  • General with special guest Wilson Chan from the Institute for Marketplace Transformation.

I was privileged to facilitate the group discussion for the "Law, Government and Public Sector." Participants were invited to answer this question: What word comes to mind when you think of a Christian working in a secular workplace? The words were:

  • draining
  • self-aware
  • empathy
  • freedom
  • opportunity
  • challenging
  • inappropriate
  • lonely
  • intimidating/light
  • awkward
  • sacrifice
  • relationship
  • politics
  • conflicted

These are rich words that hint to unique and fascinating journeys of faith and work. There was great experience and wisdom shared.

Bob Kuhn, our special guest, encouraged us to have a sense of purpose in our workplaces that goes beyond career or monetary incentives. He also shared about how he feels empowered when he is willing to share personal stories of how Jesus makes a difference in the vulnerable and incomplete areas of his life. He said something along these lines: when we are willing to share out of our weakness, we make room for Jesus to be strong. He also called us to listen well and to ask good questions customized to the level or relationship we have with our co-workers. Listening well and following up with comments that hint to difficult times in our co-workers lives can open opportunities to show practical care for them.

One of the participants, a project manager, shared that it was the practical love of a Christian co-worker that opened her mind to considering Christianity seriously. This co-worker made a 90 minute trip just to accompany her during her mother’s medical treatment.

Other participants spoke of the need to develop relationships of trust and credibility among our co-workers before we can have the privilege to speak about Christ. Another participant shared the need to be transparent when it comes to Christianity in our daily lives. This might just mean sharing how our weekend involves church, or about other Christ connected activities. This transparency may open room for faith related conversations.

In conclusion, our sense of Mission, of God’s calling for our lives, helps us to close the gap between the sacred and secular areas of our lives, which includes the faith and work parts. God is at work in every sphere of society. May He allow us to listen to Him well, so we know how, when, and where we are invited to join Him in his Mission in our workplaces. May His Holy Spirit allow us to respond to Christ’s call with trust and obedience.

Decoration image for quotation

I want you to know that all of life, all of your life is in play and you have been made to scatter – to go, be who God has created you to be, until all of the earth is filled with those who bear the image of His glory….

My prayer is that we will be the first generation that scatters on purpose. That we will scatter to the places where He is not known and take with us the gospel, which has the power to change everything. That we will scatter into every sector of society, business, arts, education, medicine, sports, government and be the Daniels of our day – excellent at what we do, gaining favor in our bosses’ eyes, and having the credibility and freedom to share our faith boldly through our actions and words.

Andrew Scott, author of Scatter

RESOURCES

Books:

  • Redeeming Law, Michael Schutt
  • Scatter: Go Therefore and Take Your Job With You, Andrew Scott ; Scatter Global Video: https://vimeo.com/266157091
  • Befriend: Create Belonging in an Age of Judgment, Isolation, and Fear, Scott Sauls and Ann Voskamp
  • Significant Work: Discover the Extraordinary Worth of What You Do Every Day, Paul Rude
  • The Other Six Days: Vocation, Work, and Ministry in Biblical Perspective, Paul Stevens
  • Life on Mission: Joining the Everyday Mission of God, Dustin Willis/Aaron Coe
  • The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why It Matters, Priya Parker

Organizations and Websites:

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About the author

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Claudia Rossetto (BCS, M.A., D.Min.) is the Manager of Community Collaboration at Mission Central & Missions Fest Vancouver. She connects with churches, organizations, and individuals to share missional imagination and create learning events, both at the annual Mission Central conference (formerly Missions Fest Vancouver) and throughout the year. She also builds connections and explores partnerships with missionally minded individuals and churches, for the purpose of building God's Kingdom.

Claudia is originally from Bolivia where she managed the department of information technology at Food for the Hungry, a relief and development organization. She holds an M.A. from Regent College and a D.Min. from Carey Theological College. She is passionate about evangelism and missionary discipleship as Jesus’ good news for those affected by the lethal impact of social isolation in the world. She has been deeply shaped by her church community, Grandview Calvary Baptist Church in east Vancouver, which is aware of colonial memory, active in social justice, and aims to extend radical hospitality.

Claudia is on furlough until August 2020.

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Church
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Mission Central (Burnaby, BC) — Manager of Community Collaboration (on furlough)

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