Work Matters! A Very Important Book

Here is an important interview with Tom Nelson (D.Min., Trinity Evangelical Divinity School), senior pastor of Christ Community Church in Leawood, Kansas, about his excellent new book, Work Matters: Connecting Sunday Worship to Monday Work. (see a book review here, and purchase it from Hearts & Minds Bookstore).

Here are the highlights (scroll down to watch the video)

0:20     Nelson’s heart behind the book
“This book really found me because I struggle as a pastor trying to connect Sunday, life. and work and trying to make it make sense to people. And the book is really a response to my own inadequacies as a pastor of sort of looking at worship and work in very compartmentalized ways rather than a seamless fabric of the gospel, of faith.”
2:39     The importance of a correct theology of work
“To my congregation I apologized because I did not have a rich theology that helped equip them to live life to the glory of God where they were called… And I used language that created a sense of a bifurcation or a dichotomy when the Scripture teaches a seamless integrity about this faithfulness of honoring God in our work… And this impacted my ministry and the people I talked to and how I saw the world and it hindered them from being fully the person God had created them to be and to flourish in their environment.”
4:24      The importance of creating a church with a major theology of work
“If we miss one of the central threads of work and vocation throughout Scripture we are really not equipping people in the way we are called to equip them as pastors... So many people live under a drudgery that is poor theology that what they do doesn’t matter, that just what pastors do and what we do on Sundays is what’s really important…
If you are a pastor, leader, or a lay leader, it will transform not only your life,  but it will transform your faith community. There is an energy, and a health, and a missional transformation that takes place when  vocation is really understood and applied in a gracious way. So I’ve seen the transformation ‘before’ and ‘after,’ and I don’t want to go back to ‘before.’”
7:12      Comments on James Davison Hunter’s concept of “Faithful Presence”
“When we understand that as we engage culture as faithful people that we are present in it, that Christ is present to us always…that the vast majority of the time we spend is in the workplace, wherever that is, wherever we are contributing… What James has done is he’s created a context for us to understand that the primary mission that we have is to be present where God has called us in that workplace…”
8:32     The Mission of God and the workplace
“God has designed the world in such a way in how we live that his mission flows through our workplace. The gospel is not only incarnated there, the gospel is proclaimed there, the gospel is lived out in the workplace. So if we miss the workplace, we miss a big aspect of the mission of God and being faithfully present in it.”
9:15      A theology of work in light of unemployment
“First, get a good definition of work… It’s contribution, not just financial remuneration…and all of us can contribute to God’s world, to the common good… And then I would call people to be a part of a community of faith, where there’s encouragement, where there’s good networking…because we need...hopefulness…
We love God and our neighbor through the Great Commandment primarily through our contribution in work, and all of us can love our neighbor through serving them and work, even if we are not paid for it at the moment.”

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