God Designed Work Before the Fall

2015 Work as Worship Conference


Many Christians find themselves wondering if their work is a calling. Believing there to be a divide between the sacred and the secular, they view vocational ministers as those possessing a clear call from God and equipping for ministry in contrast to their own positions. In this 38-minute session from the 2015 Work as Worship Conference, Dr. J.D. Greear combats this notion by showing how God does not give His call to special people. Rather, He calls every Christian, wherever they are, to follow Him in drawing the lost to Christ.

J.D. is the Lead Pastor of The Summit Church in the Raleigh-Durham area of North Carolina. J.D. is the author of a number of books including Jesus, Continued…Why the Spirit Inside You is Better Than Jesus Beside You, Gospel: Recovering the Power that Made Christianity Revolutionary, and Stop Asking Jesus Into Your Heart.



The Great Commission applies to all believers. As J.D. pointed out, the question is not if you are called, but where and how are you called to follow Christ. The answer to this question has the potential to dramatically shift the ways in which you view your work. 

J.D. noted the common trend of people feeling either unhappy or unfulfilled in their jobs. How do you feel about your work? What are the motivators behind these feelings?
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As J.D. pointed out, God placed His call on all Christians when He said, "Follow me and I will make you fishers of men" (Matt. 4:19). Do you feel called to your workplace? Why or why not?
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How well has your church done at equipping people to live for Christ wherever God has place them? What would you identify as some of the obstacles that hinder this process? In what ways could you help change this?
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Focusing on the opening chapters of Genesis, J.D. shared the importance of thinking seriously about how the gospel intersects with the workplace because one of the primary places we experience sin's brokenness is at work.

In Genesis 1-2, the main verb describing God's activity is "create." From the beginning, the Bible makes it clear that God is a Creator. Being made in the image of God (Gen. 1:27) means that you are also a creator. How does that truth impact the way you view your purpose in work? How does it confront any feelings of meaninglessness?
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Since all of humanity is made in the image of God, in what ways does this truth change the way you view the significance of your co-workers?
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When you consider your work, do you believe God is pleased with it? Why or why not?
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Our work holds a significant place in our lives, but sometimes it can become an idol taking the place of priority that belongs only to God. J.D. noted that when God is the primary source of our identity, we are free to carry out our work in service to others. Do you feel the freedom to serve others with your work? If not, what are some ways that you begin to give that over to God this week?
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Work becomes an idol when our joy depends on our circumstances, such as the levels of success or prosperity we achieve. Because of the freedom we have in the gospel, Christians are free to view the workplace as an opportunity for mission. As J.D. shared, the workplace serves as one of the greatest untapped mission fields in America. 

Do you view your work as a mission field for sharing Christ with those around you? What are some of the barriers standing in your way?
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1 Peter 3:15 (ESV)

15but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,

Scripture quotations marked (ESV) are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


As J.D. pointed out, Peter was writing to a community of Christians living in a hostile environment. This verse was meant as an encouragement for them to remain prepared for opportunities to share their faith when people asked about their "peculiar" ways of living. Christians are called to live differently. When was the last time your manner of work provoked a question about faith? How could you begin praying this week about new ways of making your faith visible?
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J.D. listed a number of characteristics for living a life that provokes questioning (e.g. high standards of excellence, ethics, gracious attitude, joy in disappointment, etc.). Did any of these stick out to you more than others? What are some areas that you would like to improve about the way you work?
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J.D. observed that the majority of the miracles described throughout the book of Acts occur outside of the church, many of them specifically within the marketplace. Because of this, he said, "The gospel spreads fastest around the world on the wings of business." Many countries worldwide remain hostile towards religion, but they welcome skilled men and women in business. Because of this, Christians in the workplace possess a tremendous opportunity to influence the world with the gospel of Jesus Christ, not only their immediate work environment.

Do you view God as one who is actively involved in your work? In what ways does it change your perspective knowing that God has consistently used people outside of the church to advance the gospel since its beginning?
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In your workplace, God has given you a key that holds the potential to unlock the nations. How will you pray for God to help you see unique areas of access He has given you with your organization? What are some ways that you could better steward the influence of your work for the glory of God?
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Empowering Christians in the workplace to effective ministry is a critical asset to the advancement of the gospel worldwide. Are any of your co-workers believers? In what ways could you encourage them this week so that together, you can be intentional about reflecting your faith at work?
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The greatest advances of the gospel around the world have not come from the influence of preachers, but from committed men and women who have faithfully followed God wherever He has placed them. Your work matters and God delights in your obedience. Do what you do well for the glory of God and let His glory shine before those in your midst so as to proclaim the light of the gospel in their darkness.

For more information on the Work as Worship Conference or how to attend next year's event, visit www.workasworshipconference.org.