What Does it Mean for Work to be "Christian"?

2013 RightNow Conference


In this 47-minute session from the 2013 RightNow Conference, J.D. Greear highlights the five characteristics that distinguish a Christian’s work and charges pastors with the task of equipping their people to live out Christian discipleship in the workplace. J.D. is Lead Pastor of The Summit Church in Raleigh-Durham, NC. He has authored numerous books including Breaking the Islam Code and Stop Asking Jesus into Your Heart.

As you watch this session, take notes and write down thoughts about how this session can impact your life and ministry




J.D. gave five distinguishing qualities of Christian work:

1.  Christian Work is Creation Fulfilling
  • When God placed Adam in the Garden, He gave him a job to do
  • Work existed before the curse and is not a result of sin
  • God intended Adam and Eve to be His co-creators
2.  Christian Work is Excellence Pursuing
  • Christians serve a higher boss than their employer (Col. 3:23–24)
  • Even in the worst work situations, the Christian works to the glory of God
  • Hard work is not dependent on the opportunity for advancement or salary renumeration, but on the worthiness of God
3.  Christian Work is Holiness Reflecting
  • Christian work conforms to the highest standard of ethics
  • Christian work seeks to demonstrate the justice and integrity of God
  • Cutting corners is an abomination to the Lord (Pro. 11:1)
4.  Christian Work is Redemption Displaying
  • Those who have experienced the gospel become like the gospel
  • The Christian leverages strengths like Christ leveraged His (Luk. 14:12–14)
  •  Work is not just for personal profit, but for lifting others up
5.  Christian Work is Mission Advancing
  • Work done by disciples has a view toward the Great Commission
  • People are growing less inclined to visit a church; the gospel must be shared in the marketplace
  • Evangelism is doing normal life with gospel intentionality


J.D. pointed out that the vast majority of Christians are not equipped to think about discipleship outside of the church. For them, work is just a necessity to be endured to put bread on the table and provide money for the church. How do you think the people in your congregation view their work? Have you ever elevated the importance of work done inside the church over the work done outside it? If so, how?
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Look through J.D.'s five characteristics of Christian work above. How can you strategically communicate these characteristics and the importance of seeing work as worship, empowering the people in your congregation to live out their faith at their jobs?
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J. D. called pastors to do two things:
  1. Equip your people to advance the mission of the gospel in the workplace
  2. Give your people a vision to use their business to carry the gospel around the world.

How does your church equip people to advance the mission of the gospel in their workplace? What resources could you utilize (sermons series, Bible studies, seminars) to further equip your people?
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Think about the business leaders in your church. Are there any who model the concept of "work as worship" well? How can you use them as a resource as you seek to equip Christian workers in your congregation?
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J. D. noted that the majority of countries in the world that need to be evangelized are the same places that need business development. How do you foster a vision of world evangelism among the businesspeople in your church? How might you empower and resource your people to use their business acumen as a means of reaching the world with the gospel?
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As less and less people have church as a part of their lives, the importance of equipping church members to be gospel witnesses in their workplaces grows more and more important. Helping them understand that God does not just call pastors and missionaries, but also calls doctors, plumbers, and entrepreneurs, serves to clarify their work as worship. How can you seek to impress upon your people the challenge given by J. D., "do what you do well for the glory of God, then do it somewhere strategic for the mission of God." 


For information about the upcoming RightNow Conference, go to rightnowconferences.org.