Author: The Green Room

Ever heard of a “green room”? It’s the room in a theater where actors and speakers can relax when they’re not on stage….talk to each other about what they really think, fix their makeup, get some coffee, and otherwise prepare for their next moment “on.” Well, this blog is the green room for the faith and work movement, where its leaders can kick off their shoes, grab a cup of coffee or a mug of tea, and talk heart-to-heart about where the movement’s come from, where it’s going, what’s working, and what’s not working. We hope you’ll join the conversation.

Vocational Faithfulness as Public Discipleship: A Video from the 2016 Faith@Work Dallas Summit

The purpose of the Faith@Work Summit is to gather active participants and leaders in the faith at work movement from every industry sector to learn from each other and work together to extend Christ’s transforming presence in workplaces around the world. The next Summit will be in Chicago on Oct. 11-13, 2018. Go to to sign up for updates and to learn more about the Summit. Register for the Summit here!

Vocational faithfulness is not only about individual character but also about applying a biblical-theological lens to the work of the institution in which one labors. (“Institution” here refers to the social sector in which the organization where one works is situated.) We are called to image-bearing in our vocational sectors, which involves practices of both personal discipleship (e.g., prayer, functional dependency on the Spirit) and public discipleship (in love, advancing justice and shalom for the common good).

The public expression of vocational image-bearing is at least threefold:

  • Cultivating within the vocational sector all its creational intent and possibilities; aligning it with what it “was meant to be” in God’s original design
  • Restoring the sector to righteousness (“set-right-ness”) where it has been corrupted
  • Imagining the work of this sector in “the age to come” and offering a foretaste of those future Kingdom realities now


1. Most vocational expressions of public discipleship have focused on white-collar professionals. In what ways can/do blue-collar workers bear Christ’s image for the common good?

2. One way of “going deeper” in vocational faithfulness is the progression from individual to institutional thinking. What other shifts or progressions mark a “2.0” understanding of “faithful presence” in various vocational sectors?

Dr. Amy L. Sherman, a Senior Fellow at the Sagamore Institute, was named by Christianity Today in 2012 as one of the 50 evangelical women most influencing the American church and culture. She’s the author of six books and over 80 articles in periodicals including First Things, The Public Interest, The Christian Century, Christianity Today, and Books & Culture. Her most recent book is Kingdom Calling. You can read a reflection on her talk at TGR here.

Brian Fikkert: The Church and Economics

Getting richer is not making us happier. At the 2018 ON faculty retreat, Brian Fikkert of the Chalmers Center for Economic Development spoke to why that is, why it represents a radical challenge to the narratives that dominate the discipline of economics, and how the church can help people recover a holistic anthropology as a basis for economic thinking and…

Godly Globalization (A Video from the 2014 Boston Faith@Work Summit)

The purpose of the Faith@Work Summit is to gather active participants and leaders in the faith at work movement from every industry sector to learn from each other and work together to extend Christ’s transforming presence in workplaces around the world. The next Summit will be in Chicago on Oct. 11-13, 2018. Go to to sign up for updates and to learn more about the Summit. Register for the Summit here!

Globalization, though not a new phenomenon in history, is causing major shifts and massive impact on social structures and identity, economy, technology and migration. How can Christians through Christ’s cosmic redemptive plan, bring about genuine redemption of His creation through the whole gospel to the whole world? Tim Liu asks us to think about these questions:

  • How do the products and services from my work bring about Kingdom values (or potentially not)?
  • How does my work fit into the larger system of a globalized economy?
  • How can I practically influence my company’s direction toward Kingdom values?
  • How can I work together with other believers in doing what God has called me to do?

(More resources here, too.)



New EWP Talk: Andy Crouch on Isaiah’s “Posterity Gospel”

Reprinted from the Oikonomia Network.

We’re very excited to release our latest EWP Talk: Andy Crouch’s brief but powerful address at Karam Forum 2018. Drawing on the imagery of Isaiah 5, Crouch spoke about the challenge of separating real flourishing from transitory prosperity in the midst of economic growth and technological innovation. In a world where we can have instant gratification in so many ways, what is of lasting importance?

“If you want to have a biblical conversation about flourishing, you are going to end up – sooner or later – at the story of the vineyard,” said Crouch. The image of Israel as the Lord’s vineyard, most fully developed in Isaiah 5 but recurring in many other places as well, contains a wealth of potential insight that speaks to the present state of our own civilizations and cultures.

Like us, the Israelites were prosperous. But the story of Isaiah 5 is not a happy one. The vineyard produces “wild grapes,” which explode with seeming abundance, but aren’t properly tended and don’t last. Crouch compares worldly prosperity built on fragile foundations to sidewalk chalk art in the tradition of trompe l’oeil (“deceive the eye”). It isn’t what it appears to be; take one step to the side and the illusion disappears.

And it’s doomed to be washed away in the next rain. The Lord wants flourishing from his world, Crouch points out, so if we don’t pursue real flourishing we can be sure our efforts will ultimately fall apart.

The point is not that economic success is bad; the point is that we need to change our definition of what counts as economic success. We tend to seek out activities and accomplishments that are “low friction” – that involve less investment and provide a shortcut to enjoyable experiences. But low-friction activities are by their nature unstable; precisely because the barriers are low, today’s quick fix is quickly replaced by tomorrow’s quicker fix. Crouch points to the music industry, which is contracting rapidly because access to recorded music has become effectively free.

What are we producing that is worth preserving? Crouch suggests that while the Bible does not have a “prosperity gospel,” it does have a “posterity gospel” – it calls us to prioritize what kind of world, what kind of culture and what kind of civilization we leave for our grandchildren. We should invest in things that are worth passing on.

The flourishing life is a pruned life. The Lord prunes his vineyard and it flourishes sustainably.

And the irony is that once we accept the pruned life, the massive power and wealth of modern markets become tools we can use to accomplish the Lord’s purposes. An internet-based music community allows musicians to collaborate digitally and produce art that is superior to what the major labels produce. Crouch even points to fast-food restaurants like In-N-Out and Chik-Fil-A, which have been built on serious and worthy visions of what a fast-food restaurant ought to be like. It is people – from the CEO to the fry cook – who live the pruned life who produce and sustain such visions of flourishing.

“This is where the church needs to be,” concludes Crouch, “going to every part of the world of mere affluence and turning it into a vineyard.”

“The Ministry”

  by Fletcher Lowe During my sophomore year in college, I got a note from the Dean of Students to come to his office!! UGH! What had I done to warrant that? So, dutifully and a bit nervously, I came at the appointed time and was ushered in.  The Dean asked me to sit down, and then asked me a…