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Faith at Work: Individual Purpose, Flourishing Communities

Faith at Work: Individual Purpose, Flourishing Communities is a Special Report sponsored by Institute for Faith, Work & Economics and prepared by The Washington Times Advocacy Department.

Recent Stories

The dignity of all work

All work has dignity because it reflects God's image in us, and also because the material creation we are called to care for is good. The Greeks saw death as a friend because it liberated us from the prison of physical life. The Bible sees death not as a friend, but as an enemy (1 Corinthians 15:26), because the created world is a brilliant and beautiful good (Genesis 1:31), destined to exist forever (Revelation 22:1-5).

Understanding God's 'calling' to us in life and work

What do I mean by "calling"? For the moment let me say simply that calling is the truth that God calls us to himself so decisively that everything we are, everything we do, and everything we have is invested with a special devotion and dynamism lived out as a response to his summons and service.

Why the biblical theology of work leads to a flourishing society

There is a significant need to recover a biblical theology of work in our time. In the past there has been a failure of the evangelical church to address a theology of work. William Diehl says in his book "Christianity and Real Life":

Voting with your feet to serve the common good

It's election season in the U.S., and we are hearing a lot about voting. I saw a public service announcement on television the other day, and a Hollywood actress asked us to vote. I suspect she wouldn't want my vote if she knew what it was, but she was encouraging voting nonetheless.

The best workers make the best neighbors

As a boy, I remember hearing the heart cry of a restless generation echoing from my eldest brother's high-powered stereo speakers. The words of pop singer Jackie DeShannon still ring with crystal clarity in my ears. "What the world needs now is love, sweet love; it's the only thing there is just too little of."

Work expresses who we are, what we are, what we believe

A popular bumper sticker in my current home state of Michigan reads something like this: "A bad day of fishing beats a good day at work," which prompts (for me at least) the question: "What if fishing is your work?" And this follow-up: "Would fisherman rather find themselves working in an office, factory, or in retail or agriculture?"

'We've been blessed to be a blessing'

I consider it a personal privilege to be invited to share with fellow travelers a little of my own spiritual journey. Like most of us, I'm just one person struggling to relate faith to life ... but I am grateful to be asked to speak from the heart, about the difference Jesus Christ has made in my life.

Hispanics work like it's holy

One of the unfortunate results of the politicization of immigration in America is that it overshadows the true contribution that the Hispanic community makes in this country. It causes certain Americans to look upon our community with suspicion when — in fact — our community isn't changing America for ill, but reminding America of who she once was.

Thank God it's Monday

Chuck Colson came to work excited. He'd show up at the office at the beginning of the workweek and proclaim to the staff, "Thank God it's Monday!" And he meant it.

Mops, people and the 'soul' of your firm

What does a mop have to do with valuing people, making a profit and living out your faith at work? Well, actually, everything. Let's explore how an $8 billion NYSE firm lived out the answer based upon deploying faith at work.

It takes community to flourish

A Sufi story I once heard was about community leaders of a small village inviting a renowned public speaker to speak to their people.

Sunday faith and Monday work

Made to Flourish, a pastor's network for the common good, fosters outstanding pastoral leadership by helping a rising generation of pastors -- and their congregations -- overcome the sacred-secular divide between personal piety on the one hand and our responsibilities as faithful workers in the larger economy on the other.

Concerned Women for America President Penny Nance said, "The costly Obama policy on transgender soldiers was based on social engineering, not military readiness. CWA opposes any policy that makes our armed services weaker."

The God-given dignity of a woman at work

Vocation, meaning "calling," can come in unexpected forms. For women, especially, we find that our callings are not monolithic, but an organic collection of intertwining roles, various callings we seek to simultaneously enact in the course of our daily lives and often changing through life's seasons.

'Partners with God in the work of creation'

The reason that poverty is such an important issue to me is that, the way I see it, it is more than an economic issue. It is a moral issue. And I think there are millions of people of faith who agree with me.

Work without faith is dead

"If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. No work is insignificant. All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence," said the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

'Come and see' the Museum of the Bible

Since the day I was born, the Bible has played a significant role in my life. My parents taught me to love it, to cherish its principles and to apply them to everything I did.

Works of art: Tangible evidence of God's beauty, glory

For many in the art world, it is a bad word, implying one group of people knows better than another. For American Christians, it hasn't fared much better. It just isn't something you talk about.

Hollywood discovers faith and values improve the bottom line

In the past few years, there has been a tidal wave of Hollywood movies based on biblical topics and featuring overtly evangelistic stories. These include "Risen," "The Young Messiah" and "Apostle Paul," as well as "Miracles From Heaven," "Unbroken" and "Heaven Is for Real."

Education and vocation: A comeback story

Everyone loves a comeback story. And for people of faith who sometimes feel in exile in contemporary society, nothing fires the imagination as much as someone reconnecting to their vocation through their trust in God. In this connection, I am reminded of a story in the life of the great Duke Ellington.

Enjoying the God-given gift of work

For the past several decades, I have met many in the marketplace who suffered from an identity crisis yielding genuine frustration. When work and career have not gone as expected, despondency and depression often followed.

The truth about bringing your faith to work

As the founder of 4word, a ministry organization for women in the workplace, I spend significant time speaking to and mentoring Christian professionals worldwide.

Vocational stewardship for the common good

Churches often teach people about "financial stewardship" — seeing the resources they possess as belonging to God and thus accountable to him for their disposal. Churches need to do better at teaching their members about "vocational stewardship" — seeing their jobs also as God's provision, and deploying their talents through their work in ways that express love of neighbor.

Thy Kingdom come at work?

Why don't people say "TGIM?" TGIF (Thank Goodness it's Friday!) is a popular exclamation for those longing for the end of a workweek and "real life" to begin.