Life at Work
The Point: Your work is a reflection of your relationship with Christ.
Get Into the Study
Use the following information to supplement Question #1.
Begin by sharing the following news story:
Facebook recently compiled a list of the top starter jobs—the jobs people have when they’re just starting out in the workforce. They gathered this data based on Facebook users’ responses to a question asking about their first jobs. Here’s Facebook’s list of top 20 first jobs:
- Lab assistant
- Newspaper delivery
- Camp counselor
- Store clerk
- Pizza delivery
- Research assistant
Then read Question #1 (What was your first paying job?)(PSG p. 124) and invite volunteers to respond to the question.
Information for this post was gleaned from here:
— Donna McKinney wrote this Leader Extra. Donna is retired from a career with the federal government of the United States. She is a veteran Bible study group leader living in North Carolina.
Get Into the Study [Activity]
To introduce the idea of work and how we accomplish it, use the following list of mission statements from well-known companies. Invite your group to guess the company when you share the mission statement. [This idea supports the group plan in Bible Studies for Life: Young Adult.]
- To be Earth’s most customer-centric company where people can find and discover anything they want to buy online. (Amazon)
- Our mission is to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected. (Facebook)
- To provide fast and easy video access and the ability to share videos frequently. (You Tube)
- We save people money so they can live better. (Wal-Mart)
- To inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time. (Starbucks)
- To be the most successful and respected car company in America. (Toyota)
- To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete* in the world. (Nike) (The legendary University of Oregon track and field coach, and Nike co-founder, Bill Bowerman said, “If you have a body, you are an athlete.”)
- To glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us and to have a positive influence on all who come into contact with [us]. (Chick-fil-A)
- Our vision is to create a better everyday life for the many people. Our business idea supports this vision by offering a wide range of well-designed, functional home furnishing products at prices so low that as many people as possible will be able to afford them. (Ikea)
- Our mission is to inspire humanity – both in the air and on the ground. We are committed to giving back in meaningful ways in the communities we serve and to inspire others to do the same. (jetBlue)
Live It Out
Use the following activity as a wrap up to today’s session.
Although our daily work is under the curse of sin (Genesis 3), it remains God’s will for us to thrive in our work and glorify Him in it until the return of Christ. Every type of work, from teaching to engineering to cooking, exists to point the world to its Maker in a unique way. Listed below are several companies founded by Christian entrepreneurs and an example of the product they create.
Select a few companies and their products to highlight. Read their descriptions to the class.
- Smile Squared – Toothbrushes
These toothbrushes with antibacterial bristles come in four different colors, each packaged individually. S2 was started when its founder volunteered in dental clinics in Guatemala, where he saw kids with preventable and severe dental problems. (He and his wife also adopted one of these kids.) For each toothbrush you buy, S2 gives one away.
- Soapbox – Soap
Most of us take soap for granted. We even leave partially unused bars in our hotel rooms. But for millions of our global neighbors, not having soap means being susceptible to disease and death. Through our everyday purchases, though, we can make a difference. When you buy this holiday bundle, Soapbox will donate four bars of soap to communities in need.
- Tegu – Wooden blocks
This set of magnetic wooden blocks was a 2014 finalist for Toy of the Year. Tegu employs more than 200 people in Honduras, matches their retirement contributions, replants trees for the ones they use, and invests in schools. It has been in Forbes and Entrepreneur.
- fashionABLE – Women’s handbag
Handcrafted in Ethiopia, this particular tote is a durable, spacious, and gorgeous product. Plus, its proceeds help women, both locally and globally, who have overcome challenges ranging from prostitution to addiction to lack of opportunity. FashionABLE has been featured in InStyle and Fox Business.
Lead your group to discuss the following questions.
- How are these companies uniquely and specifically blessing their communities?
- What explicitly Christian ethics principles do you see at work in the way these companies conduct business?
- Why are these businesses important in a global economy?
- How can you implement something notably Christian from these examples in your everyday work life?
Information for this article taken from: https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/every-square-inchs-christmas-gift-guide-2015
Emily Jennings (M.A., Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary) lives in the metro-Atlanta area and teaches the Bible at First Baptist Church Woodstock. She is married to Brian, has three wonderful sons and pretends to be a runner. Find her on Instagram and Twitter: @emilyejenn
- What is the most unusual job you’ve ever had?
- What’s the best job you ever had.
- Does your work these days feel like an adventure, a circus, or a marathon?
- If you could swap jobs with anyone for a day who would you trade with?
- What qualities make someone a good boss?
- What do you like best about your job? What might you change if you had the chance?
- What does it mean to be a “slave to Christ” in our daily work?
- What are some possible consequences of giving your best at work?
- As Christians, what should be our attitude about our work?
- How can we avoid becoming slaves to our work?
- What principles can we glean from these verses for today’s culture?
- Why is it dangerous to define your identity by what you do for a living?
- From Paul’s perspective, what is the foundation for our obedience and hard work?
- How can we discern if we are attaching our value and identity to our work/roles?
- In what ways might our attitudes at work reveal if we are slaves to sin or slaves to Christ?
- How can we be a witness to our faith through our work?
- How can God receive the glory for the work you do at your job?
- When have you really enjoyed working hard?
- What is the Christlike response to a difficult boss?
- How does the way you work reflect on Christ? How can you see your work as a mission field?
- How can we avoid the temptation of being overly critical when we are in positions of authority?
- What biblical truths can fuel a right attitude toward the people we oversee?
- What are some characteristics of a great boss?
- How can you bless others at your work or in your relationships with people outside your home?
- How should a Christian boss differ from a boss who is not devoted to God?
- What characteristics of Jesus can bosses imitate in the workplace?
Share the following with your group members as either a devotional before the group study or as a follow-up devotional:
Here’s a brief five-minute teaching video about this session: Identity, Session 4.