Tuesday, November 08, 2005

how do you sustain a workplace spirituality

On Sunday, I preached on the Bible as a resource for our workplace. I looked at Esther as beauty queen, Nehemiah as urban developer and Lydia as a business women. All were found in hard ethical places and yet sustained a missional spirituality. I suggested the church should be encouraging our young people to be ministers of the gospel in government and politics and business. Halfway through my sermon I thought; “Steve, it would have been really useful and practical if you had some practical tips on how to sustain a workplace spirituality.” But by then it was too late.

So I am on a mission this week to collect resources that would help sustain a workplace spirituality. Here’s my start. What else do you know of?

A theology as big as the city, Ray Bakke,
The Monday Connection, William Diehl
Where’s God on Monday, Alistair McKenzie and Wayne Kirkland

Ways to pray at your computer;
Prayers for various occupations;
An example of peer work mentoring;
Practical suggestions and resources here and here;

Posted by steve at 06:22 PM


  1. A few years ago I was part of establishg a uni-student based congregation. This very issue, of translating mission into workplace spirituality, was one of our greatest struggles. Plenty of my preaching was on ‘big picture’ stuff about the kingdom, the community of faith and socio-political issues. But for tertiary students soon to be let loose into careers how does it translate?

    Mark and Andew were two of the guys who have given me most hope. Despite both of them having incredible gifts for working with young people – they resisted the temptation to become church workers, stuck to their careers (electrical engineer and architect) and tried to find a way through.

    They’ve struggled to understand how their “calling” breaks the kingdom in. One of the ways they see this is through combining their professional skills into creating low-cost, low-environmental impact housing. Surprisingly easy to do actually? They volunteer with Habitat for Humanity, they choose to work in companies that are atleast sympathetic to this way of thinking.

    Their plan is to establish their own company and work alongside of public housing. Their gifts, their calling, their careers.

    The question remains though – how do you develop a spirituality that sustains these callings? How does this vision survive the middle age slide into career and family responsibilities that can so easily blunt these visions?

    Comment by jono — November 11, 2005 @ 12:55 pm

  2. I’m really pleased you’ve raised this issue. I’m starting to try to tie it in explicitly with the idea of praying our life and living our prayer using the Lord’s prayer as a central guide post. A good place to start might be

    Comment by andii — November 14, 2005 @ 6:54 am

  3. I’d be interested to know alittle more abou what you mean by “workplace spirituality”.
    Its now a boom industry in the USA (see my doc prepared for a workshop in Melbourne http://www.ridley.unimelb.edu.au/cace/publicats/Matheson2005_Work.pdf )
    Much of the doc produced by the Yanks is written/promoted by business;nothing almost from a union/worker dimension;like many churches,including the emerging church movement run like hell when unions are mentioned.
    Some good stuff out of industrial mission in the Uk(south london http://www.industrialmission.org/) ;good resources from Intefaith Worker Justice(wwww.nicwj.org/);great resource from a womens perspective (www.awomansjourney.com/workplacespirituality.html)and Workplace Spirituality (newsletter http://www.workplacesprituality.info/);Spirituality and justice (15 ways to strengthen a congregations justice ministry http://www.cta-usa.org/reprint7-99/bobo.html).
    Hope this helps

    Comment by alan — November 18, 2005 @ 12:34 am

  4. Maintaining workplace spirituality–if I correctly understand what you mean by that–is really hard. One thing that has been really awesome in my life has been my daily morning quiet time. I have a quiet time in the morning before I get up and do anything. But this specifically has been helpful to my workplace life when I made a point of starting to pray for my workplace. I especially make a point to pray for my bosses, and I also ask God to bless the company. Because if my company is blessed with prosperity, and my bosses are blessed, it seems to make sense that I’ll be blessed, too.

    Comment by Jonathan Parker Walton — November 18, 2005 @ 4:00 am

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