“Why didn’t I know this? I quit job after job searching for a sense of fulfillment and purpose,” exclaimed a single mom.
“Who am I as a retired person? This course helped to define God’s purpose for this stage of my life,” a retired speech therapist stated.
“As an employer, this course hits all the boxes needed to develop a star employee,” independent business owner.
A business executive in a large oil and gas firm stated, “We all work in environments that are toxic to faith, and begin to develop a split personality—one person at work, and one in our faith-life. This course is teaching me how to speak faith into that work environment in terms of how I react to people, do ethics, resist greed, etc.”
These reactions illustrate the impact of the newly developed STCH Ministries Faith & Work curriculum on diverse groups of participants—sometimes in the very same class. Successfully integrating faith and values into one’s daily work is one of the greatest needs in a Christian’s life. Current research confirms that 75% of adults are searching for ways to make a difference in the world and live a more meaningful life. In a recent Facebook post, one person expressed the emptiness many feel:
“I go to work every morning and come home exhausted, only to get up the next day and do the same thing. Then the weekend comes with two days of relief. But by Sunday afternoon I have knots in my stomach knowing that soon I will have to do this all over again. Is this all there is to life?”
Deeper life crises often spring from an underlying disillusionment with what life holds. Even within the church, Christians sometimes struggle. At times it is as if they are living two lives – the spiritual life, where joy, love and peace are possible, and the secular life, where the demands of work often consume and drain them.
As Vicki Hewitt, writer and editor, expressed so eloquently, “I always desired to honor God in my work, but I was often troubled by the thought that secular work had less eternal value, and God was more pleased with the work I did in the Christian realm.”
There is a great need for spiritual direction in this area, for it is estimated that the average person will spend 90,000 hours at work and approximately 2,000 hours in church during their 40-year work life. The reality is – there is very little teaching within the church on vocation as a calling to follow Christ in everything a Christian does. God created human beings in His own image (Genesis 1:26-27) and divinely designed us to work (Genesis 1:28; 2:5-8, 15). As the authors of Calling: A Biblical Perspective state, “If God cares about our lives, He must care about our work, unless He intends to ignore the biggest part of our lives.”
Jo Saxton queries in Christians at Work, “We have this one gift of a life, and many hours of it are spent in our workplace. What does it look like to partner with God and what He is doing in the world in your workplace?”
Twenty centuries ago the Christian faith spread from Judea across the known world to Syria and Asia Minor, and then beyond into the heart of Rome. It did not spread primarily through churches or synagogues, but in the marketplaces – in the tents of carpet sellers, in wine shops and bakeries, in the stalls that sold household items or produce and in pens that contained doves, sheep, or goats.
But what about today in contemporary America? Is it possible to integrate faith and beliefs into work environments? Can an accountant, a cashier, an engineer, a carpenter or a salesperson answer the call to follow Christ effectively through their work? In what way can work become an act of worship that fills my soul with a deep sense of meaning and contentment?
Seeking the answers to those questions became the motivation for the new Faith & Work curriculum. In fulfilling the mission to honor God, help hurting children and families and enable others to join us, STCH Ministries had invested since 2007 in the lives of women to help them spiritually, and improve their skills to find a better job. This journey led us through a number of different efforts to meet the needs of both men and women in the workplace environment. In 2018, it became clear that we needed our own curriculum. Staff shared their “boots-on-the-ground” expertise while Vicki Hewitt became editor and contributor. The result was the new STCH Ministries Faith & Work curriculum.
Shameka Dukes, top executive recruiter for an oil and gas company expressed, “The curriculum includes spiritual, Biblical guidance as well as practical and tangible ways that I can get faith into my everyday work-life. It is a holistic training on how to unfold ourselves and how to live authentically in our 90,000 hours of work during our lifetime.”
The ultimate goal of the Faith & Work course is to help people grow in their confidence and ability to become committed Faith-Integrators in their workplaces as they live out God’s calling on their lives. This is what will bring the deepest sense of satisfaction and fulfillment in the life of a Christian worker. Through the application of Biblical principles, people will discover how work can be more than a job. It can become a personal response to Jesus’ challenge, “Come, follow me.”
For eight weeks the Faith & Work course builds on the truth that for the believer in Christ, all work is sacred. Additionally – through teaching, discussion, videos, personal assessments and meaningful activities – the curriculum offers people an opportunity to improve skills, overcome obstacles, become stronger leaders and gain confidence to seek the job that fully actualizes their potential.
We believe that the Faith and Work curriculum will help individuals discover God’s purpose for their lives. They will effectively reflect God at work, in social interactions, community service and ministry efforts. Through good works at work, they will glorify the Father in heaven (Matthew 5:16). By shining Hope into the dark places of hearts and contemporary environments, they will have the opportunity to “answer everyone who asks for the reason of the Hope within.” (I Peter 3:15)
Both Faith & Work and Faith & Finances curriculum and participant guides, are available without charge. To find out more information on how to access this resource for your work, church or ministry group, please contact the following individuals for current classes as well as the opportunity to receive training as a certified facilitator volunteer.
Houston Area — Darrell Jackson, firstname.lastname@example.org
San Antonio Area — Tim Tolosa, email@example.com
Corpus Christi Area — Jimmy Rodriguez, firstname.lastname@example.org