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Working Toward Multiple Returns

Posted on April 17, 2017 by Ben Cooper

The way we view our work can be transformative, both individually and collectively. From the earliest days of human existence in the garden, God has been inviting us into the cultivating the world in which we live.

Work has always been one of the ways He shapes our hearts and minds. In fact, we will each spend on average 80,000 hours focusing on work during our lifetime. But seeing this part of our lives as only a means to an end (retirement, for example), falls far short of its potential.

Like the Nashville Institute for Faith & Work, we at FUEL desire a more eternal perspective when managing and deploying the resources with which God has entrusted us. This is the Kingdom and cultural returns we refer to along with financial.

Missy Wallace, the Executive Director of the Institute, recently laid out a vision (interview here) of the impact a renewed perspective of faith and work could have on the city of Nashville:

My first hope is that we can fundamentally change the theological default many have around their work.

I frequently talk to people who see their secular work as lesser than that of a minister or missionary, or even a doctor or an educator. Or, they are lost in their work, defining their worth by it.

If we can have a sea change in the way each and every Christian starts to view his or her work, we may have more opportunity for cultural renewal in our city. If every Christian could see all work as important to God and part of each person’s role in God’s unfolding story, imagine the changes could happen over time.

And I don’t mean evangelism, though that is a likely fruit. I mean real estate developers taking care of families displaced by their gentrification. I mean fashion designers and media honoring the true female physique. Really, the opportunities are endless; my imagination is too small for what might happen.

But my first hope is that we equip a legion of Christian leaders with the view that God cares deeply about their work, and that their work matters.

When you look back at the end of your life, how will you hope you’ve spent your 80,000 of work?

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