Impacting Culture by Integrating Work and Faith

Nick DeCola and Liz Hartwell

Work is worship. So says Agnes*, a volunteer with LeaderImpact in East Asia. “We want to help churchgoers close the gap between faith and work,” she says.

The challenge is daunting as those in rising companies can work 60-100 hours per week. Yet, Agnes and other volunteers like her are making a difference and helping build a new generation of leaders who serve from a life of integrity and character.

They do so through a 16-week, “for credit” course that they’ve developed in partnership with a multi-national NGO. The course’s core values include leading from a servant heart, servanthood and integrity. The values permeate each segment of the course, which includes topics such as leadership, vision, time management and defining success. In addition, students are placed in teams and tasked with creating a community outreach.

“Businesses are rising in this country,” says Agnes. “It would be nice to have some Christian values, doing the right things, ethical things and to have the whole country be impacted by having God’s values in there.”

The course has been so effective that some of the top universities have asked for the class to be taught on campus.

“How God has opened this up is a miracle,” Agnes says. “None of these opportunities have been pursued by us. They’ve asked our founder Candace* to offer the course to their students.”

Though overt Christian teaching isn’t permitted from the stage during class, students often seek out the volunteer professors, where opportunities to share the gospel abound.

As volunteers, Agnes and her husband have dedicated their lives to helping those in the marketplace find Jesus, integrating their faith with their work and living lives that reflect kingdom values. Both work full time and have changed jobs each year for the last seven years to provide themselves with new opportunities to influence, lead and coach others.

Three things stand out from Agnes’ example:

1)    God can open doors and provide fruitful ministry if we are willing to trust Him. “My husband and I have made a commitment to do whatever God is putting in front of us,” Agnes says. “When God opens a door, we just go.”

2)    Your expertise, with a foundation of character, is attractive. People want to learn from those who’ve been successful and even from a leader’s failure. Many company leaders intuitively know that they will prosper from employees who are honest and have integrity, yet this is often missing in higher learning curriculums.

3)    Integrating our jobs with our faith is essential to making our work meaningful and providing context for building Christ’s kingdom on earth. Seeing work in this context, and the relationships one has in the marketplace, can give vision and encouragement to those that seek to be Christ’s followers.

*Name changed for security reasons

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