Review: The Gospel at Work

By David Gill, reprinted from The 313.

Sebastian Traeger is a veteran business and technology entrepreneur and co-author Greg Gilbert is a senior pastor – a great combination for writing this basic introduction to workplace discipleship. The Gospel At Work begins by emphasizing the major role work plays in our lives, the challenges as well as opportunities of work today and throughout human history. They warn against the two extremes of idolatry and idleness. Their focus on the purpose of work is crucial. We work for Jesus as our Boss. When they detail out what this means they write that our purpose at work is (1) to love God, (2) to love our neighbor, (3) to reflect God’s character, (4) to make money, (5) to find enjoyment, and (6) to “adorn the Gospel.” Good stuff – though I would like to detail out, and emphasize more explicitly, that our calling is to join in God’s own work of creating, sustaining, bringing wisdom, standing for righteousness/justice, redeeming/healing/liberating, and pushing forward toward the ultimate reality of the kingdom.

Individual chapters give great counsel on choosing a job, balancing work, church and family, handling difficult bosses and work situations, being a good leader, if that is your role, and sharing one’s faith at work. Their closing discussions on calling and success are helpful. Our primary calling is to follow Jesus Christ in whatever circumstances we find ourselves, not waiting till we find the “perfect” fit for our gifts and desires. Success is faithfulness, not effectiveness, wealth or fame. Appendix 1 describes five important “practices” to help live out the Gospel at work: (1) daily prayer and Bible study, (2) active involvement in a church,(3) accountable relationships, (4) personal performance review, and (5) regular retreat. Appendix 2 gives a seven-act (!) account of our work in the world – partly about God’s own work and partly about God’s instructions for our work. The Gospel at Work is a readable and reliable basic guide to workplace discipleship, great for individual or group study.

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