- John Van Sloten
Work as a door to God
Sometimes I wonder if the door of vocation will be the one through which the Spirit walks when God decides to wake everyone up to his everywhere presence.
I can feel that possibility in how Every Job a Parable has been received differently than The Day Metallica Came to Church. Unlike God-in-pop-culture, God-at-work doesn't have to get over the just-trying-to-be relevant misperception. While God-at-work still needs to overcome the moralizing and dualizing tendencies of our faith, for some reason this barrier seems more scalable; as though work is perceived as a nobler place for God's activity and presence. Or maybe there's more receptivity because we're talking about God's presence via our vocational image bearing. People of faith seem more open to the idea of God moving in more material ways through their lives, through the work they do.
I can work with that.
And so now I'm starting to dream.
Yesterday Ambrose Seminary mailed out 100 copies of Every Job a Parable, along with a marketing postcard and cover letter, inviting pastors to attend a one day workshop I'm teaching on November 22 - Preaching People's Jobs; How to Exegete and Preach Vocation (300 more email invites were also sent).
As I've been praying about this event, a vision has been growing in me.
I'm imagining 60 pastors attending the workshop, As part of the day's itinerary we're going to do a bit of 'live vocational exegesis' with two or three Calgary Transit Bus Drivers. Once we're done, and we all have the basic outline for a sermon on a bus driver, I'm going float the idea that all 60 of us preach that sermon together; on the same Sunday in January. I can already see the Calgary Herald headline, "Christian Churches Honour City Transit Drivers". And then that story, of course, will go viral. And then we'll hit 'replay' and host a workshop in Edmonton where Police Officers are preached, and then Vancouver where Sanitation Workers are celebrated... and then NYC focussing on Investment Bankers... and in London, cabbies.
How amazing would it be if God where to wake everyone up to his everyday presence through their work? This could lead the transformation of companies, cities, economies and nations. And all God needs to do is will it.