6 Types of Work Within Your Local Church

One of the ways pastors can better interact with and know their congregants of their local church is to think about how they reflect God’s labor and to encourage them in their kingdom mission and spiritual journey. In her book, Kingdom Calling: Vocational Stewardship for the Common Good, Amy Sherman, senior fellow for the Sagamore Institute, writes about how we all participate in God’s work as image bearers and provides specific examples of how this is seen in our lives. Here are six areas pastors can point to when discussing faith and work with congregants during workplace visitations, during sermons, or in conversations throughout the week.

Redemptive work — Those who participate in God’s saving and reconciling actions, including writers, artists, producers, songwriters, poets, and actors who incorporate redemptive elements in their stories, novels, songs, films, performances, and other works. Evangelists, pastors, counselors, and peacemakers fit here, too.

Creative work — Those who participate in God’s fashioning of the physical and human world, and this category includes sculptors, painters, actors, musicians, poets, novelists, graphic designers, fashion designers, interior designers, potters, weavers, seamstresses, metalworkers, carpenters, builders, architects, urban planners…and more!

Providential work — Those who participate in God’s provision for and sustaining of humans and creation. Includes bureaucrats, public utility workers, public policymakers, shopkeepers, career counselors, shipbuilders, farmers, fireman, repairmen, printers, transport workers, IT specialists, entrepreneurs, bankers and brokers, meteorologists, research technicians, civil servants, business school professors, mechanics, engineers, building inspectors, machinists, plumbers, welders, janitors all who keep the economic and political order working smoothly.

Justice work — Those who participate in God’s maintenance of justice. Includes judges, lawyers, paralegals, government regulators, legal secretaries, city managers, prison wardens and guards, policy researchers and advocates, law professors, diplomats, supervisors, administrators, and law enforcement personnel.

Compassionate work  Those who participate in God’s involvement in healing, comforting, guiding, and shepherding. Includes doctors, nurses, paramedics, psychologists, therapists, social workers, pharmacists, community workers, nonprofit directors, emergency medical technicians, counselors, and welfare agents. 

Revelatory work — those who participate in God’s work to enlighten with the truth. Includes preachers, scientists, educators, journalists, scholars, and writers.

No matter where the people of your congregation spend the majority of their time, their work, and your work as a pastor, matters and reflects God’s work in the world. Spend time learning about different vocations within your local church and how each person uniquely reflects God’s character, creativity, and work each day. You might be surprised at what you learn.

Topics: Workplace Affirmations

About the Author

Matt Rusten serves as the executive director for Made to Flourish. Rusten received his master of divinity degree from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and has served in churches in North Dakota, the Chicago area, Kansas City, and most recently as pastor of spiritual formation at Blackhawk Church in Madison, Wisconsin. He and his wife, Margi, and their daughter, Olivia, and son, Owen, live in Kansas.