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Help! My Job is Boring! Jordan Raynor

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
The Truth Network Radio
January 31, 2024 5:15 am

Help! My Job is Boring! Jordan Raynor

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine

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January 31, 2024 5:15 am

My job is boring... Does this work have any real point? Instead of aimlessly searching LinkedIn, Jordan Raynor offers an alternative solution on how to work with purpose! Could God value your work if it's not "in ministry"?

Show Notes and Resources

Connect with Jordan Raynor and catch more of their thoughts at jordanraynor.com or to his podcasts Mere Christianand the Word Before Work .

And grab Jordan Raynor's book, The Sacredness of Secular Work: 4 Ways Your Job Matters for Eternity (Even When You're Not Sharing the Gospel) in our shop!

Intrigued by today's episode? Think deeper about Faith in the Workplace in our FamilyLife Today episode, Faith in the workplace?

Want to hear more episodes by Jordan Raynor, listen here!

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So we're talking about work today. And I thought of this. I got a question for you. Okay. Who is the hardest worker you've ever seen?

They just work. My mom. Think of them. Think of your mom? Yeah.

Really? You. You're a really hard worker.

No, I wasn't looking for a compliment. I'm Shelby Abbott and your hosts are Dave and Ann Wilson. You can find us at familylifetoday.com. This is Family Life Today. What do you think is important to God? Well, we're going to find out today. We've got another guy in the studio. He's a worker. You're talking about a worker. I don't even know if I can keep up with you, Jordan. And it's like you're running at it. At life.

You know, a 10-second, you know, what is it, 100-yard dash clip. Jordan Rainer's with us back at Family Life Today. Dave and Ann, I'll come hang out with you guys whenever you want. Let's go. We're already going to have fun. I know you're workers. Expending energy, as Paul says.

Continue with all the energy I have. Look at that. Come on. Come on.

Jordan's book is The Sacredness of Secular Work. Come on, tell us what you were going to call it. That wasn't your first title, was it? No, we were going to call it The Unabridged Gospel.

Which we'll get into. Which ended up being the title of chapter one of the book. But The Sacredness of Secular Work says exactly what this book is about. It's helping you, believer, as a stay-at-home parent, as a barista, as an entrepreneur, as a student athlete, see the sacredness of your seemingly secular work. You know, we throw around these words a lot and we don't really define them. That word secular literally means without God.

We believe, as followers of Jesus, that we have the Holy Spirit with us wherever we go. Amen? Yeah.

The only thing you need to do to make your seemingly secular workplace sacred is walk through the front door or log onto Zoom. That's it. Is it this good? It's it. I'm telling you, like, that people are like, their minds are blown because, like, wait a minute. You know what you just did? You just created a viral moment. That right there.

Whoa, right. That's going to be clipped out. Charles Spurgeon could do even better than Jordan Randall. Listen to what Spurgeon says. Spurgeon said, Yeah, that's your subtitle, which four ways your job matters for eternity, even when you're not sharing the gospel. So, I mean, that catches you because you're like, wait, wait, wait, wait. I thought that's why I work, to share the gospel. And when I'm not sharing the gospel, I'm not really working it. And here's the thing. We are sitting on the campus that Bill Bright, the man who helped write the four spiritual laws, you're talking about an evangelist. Who is all about the Great Commission. Oh, yeah. And so for you to say, wait, wait, wait. The Great Commission may not be the only commission.

Explain that, because we got to talk about this. I realize I'm probably not being invited back, okay? So, hey, let's keep it all out here now. Let's remind our listeners, what is the Great Commission? Okay, great. So, Matthew 28, before his ascension, Jesus says, Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you to do.

Okay? And before I get into the problems of making the Great Commission the only commission, let me state this as clearly as I can. The Great Commission is indeed great. It is a non-optional command for every single follower of Jesus. It's just not the only commission God gave us, and there's great danger in treating it as such.

I've been peddling for decades now. Be careful. I know, I know, I know.

Hey, we're not holding back punches here. It's brand new in church history. Prior to 200, 300 years ago, nobody interpreted Matthew 28, 19 through 20 as the exclusive or even primary mission of followers of Jesus Christ. And that term, Great Commission, isn't even a part of the biblical manuscripts. It's a man-made heading that Hudson Taylor invented to recruit people to move to China as missionaries. Very important. Wait, wait, I didn't know that. Yes.

Hudson Taylor. The first time the term Great Commission shows up in print is somewhere around the 1800s when Hudson Taylor invented this as a marketing slogan to recruit people to move to China. Okay? The term Great Commission is not a part of the inerit word of God. It's the catchiest marketing slogan of the modern missions movement.

Now, the command itself, again, absolute non-optional command for every follower of Jesus. Because it's his last words. That's exactly right. So, I mean, he's saying it at a pretty important moment of his life.

Like, if you're dying, you know, he's coming back, but he hasn't come back since. So, of course, he's going to say something very, very critical. That's exactly right. We got to pay attention to this text, but his last words, contrary to how many people interpret this, is not make disciples.

Right. It's make disciples and teach them to obey everything I have commanded you to do. So, that's the last. That's the last.

Not just this command to quote, unquote, win souls. And ironically, when we treat the Great Commission as the only commission, we become less effective at the Great Commission because it makes Christians in the pews feel guilty about going into the very workplaces and schools and communities most likely to make disciples in our post-Christian context. We are living at a time where people are less likely than ever before to darken the door of a church to learn about Jesus for the first time. Entire countries are closing their doors to Christian missionaries. Where in the world are they going to hear the good news of Jesus Christ?

Through you, stay-at-home mom, hanging out with your kids at the playground. Through you, busy executive working shoulder to shoulder with other non-believers Monday through Friday. Today, I'm going to, like a pastor walks in like I'm doing ministry, but a businessman woman might not think that way. Because also, they're thinking as they're sitting in the pews, oh, that's your job. You're the ones that are supposed to tell everyone about Jesus.

You're in ministry, but I'm just in a job. Yeah, that's exactly right. You even said it lasts for eternity. Like, what? Yeah.

Yeah. Paul says this at 1 Corinthians 1558, right? After this long exposition of bodily resurrection, he gets to the end and you expect him to say, based on modern Christian culture, okay, great. We're just waiting for eternity. Let's sit around and sit on our hands.

He says, no. See that you give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord because your labor in the Lord is not in vain. In other words, somehow it matters for eternity, right? And part of that is, yes, we can leverage our jobs to the instrumental end of making disciples. That's eternal impact in our work that all of us are called to. Not just religious professionals, but our work also has intrinsic value, right? Most Christians believe that the only eternally significant thing they do at work is share the gospel.

And if that's true, most of us are wasting 99.9% of our time, right? But Psalm 37 23 says that the Lord directs the steps of the godly and delights in every detail of their lives. That's eternal. God's pleasure, his smile, his joy is eternal. God doesn't just delight in you writing a check to your church. He doesn't just delight in you going on a short-term submission trip. He delights in every Zoom meeting you lead, every diaper you change, every Uber you drive with excellence and love and in accordance with his commands. All of those things are ingredients to his eternal pleasure.

So at the most foundational level, that's how 100% of our time has the potential for mattering for eternity. I mean, Jordan, I go, I mean, I'm just flabbergasted. This isn't taught.

This isn't known by the people in the pews. It's almost like you're, I mean, tell me this, when you were at the White House. Yes, folks, he worked at the White House. George W. Bush, right? Did you have this perspective as you walked in every day?

No, no. I did not have this perspective when I was in politics. I did not have this perspective when I spent the first few years of my career as a tech entrepreneur. I remember going to church and many Sundays sitting in the pews feeling like a second-class Christian because the Great Commission is the only commission. We've neglected the, I never heard anyone preach on the first commission of Genesis 1 to make culture that God never once retracts. And so when, that's all I heard from the pulpit was the Great Commission. When the only people I saw on the platform of my church were pastors and religious professionals and full-time missionaries, it inevitably led me as a mere Christian to feel less than, to feel like I was on the junior varsity team of team Jesus.

And here's what happened, right? When I discovered that God cared about all my work, I became fully alive for the first time in my life. Understanding that God cares about 100% of my time at work and not just the 1% of time I spend on exclusively, quote, unquote, spiritual tasks, that made me come fully alive.

And guess what? Fully alive people attract the lost like honey attracted bees. We do not need half-hearted Christians running around this world. We need Christians who understand that God cares about everything you do at work, spiritual and material tasks. And because of that, we are awakened to this new life.

We have more enthusiasm and energy for the work that we do because we know that God is potentially smiling on every action and that is what's going to win a watching world to Jesus Christ. Jordan, we've had you on before. You're a great communicator. You're an author.

You speak around the country. When you said, before I learned it and then when I learned it, take us back to that. You've been on before, but take us back to when you discovered that.

Yeah, I'll never forget it. The origins of this happened after I was exiting my second company. I was trying to figure out what I was going to do next professionally. And when you sell two companies, the natural thing is, you know, you go start a third. So that was, that was plan A, go start another business. But I didn't feel the biblical freedom and permission to start another business. I felt like if I was really serious about Jesus, right, I would move to a mud hut 5,000 miles away from home. I would go plan a church. And so for a hot minute there, my wife and I were very seriously praying about planning a church. So we had these two paths. Start another business, plan a church.

What are we going to do? Secular, secular sacred. That's how I thought about this. Not great commission, great commission.

That's exactly right. And by God's grace alone, I had this very godly mentor pull me aside after church one Sunday. He said, hey, I hear you're thinking about planning a church and I'm thinking this guy's going to pat me on the back.

Maybe write me my first check to get this church started. He just looks me square in the eyes like, yeah, I got to be honest. That sounds really dumb for you.

It sounds really dumb. I was like, Rick, what the heck are you talking about? He's like, Jordan, you're a talented entrepreneur. You have served your customers and your investors and your team with excellence.

You're fully alive as you do this work. Why do you think you have to plan a church in order to do ministry? Don't you get that your work as an entrepreneur is ministry? And I looked at this guy like he had three heads.

I was like, I literally have no framework for what you're talking about, right? And so he encouraged me. He said, hey, listen, in light of this conversation, I want you to go back to your Bible. I want you to read Genesis one and two. I read Genesis one and two. I've read Genesis one and two 500 times.

I do it. And what I saw changed my life forever. I saw that before God tells us that he is holy or loving or just or omnipotent, he tells us that he is a God who works. Created is the first verb in the Bible, in the beginning God created. And then long before the Great Commission, God gives humankind the first commission in Genesis one, twenty six through twenty eight that he never, ever retracts to fill the earth, to subdue it and rule it for his glory and the good of others.

And that changed my life. So, OK, is that what you meant when you said earlier, you just dropped this little in Genesis, God told us to make that culture. That's exactly what I'm sure. That's exactly what I mean. And the net of this and you'll see this in the book. Christians today have a dual vocation, the Great Commission to make disciples and the first commission to make culture and simply make this world more useful for other human beings benefit and enjoyment.

Right. The big aha moment for readers, though, is, hey, God cares about the spiritual and the material world. He cares about souls that we're saving through the Holy Spirit and the Great Commission. But he also cares about us typing on these MacBooks and sitting at this table because he called all of his creation good in the beginning.

Jesus's blood paid to redeem every square inch of God's good creation that Satan broke in Genesis three. And if you want any evidence for the intrinsic value of our work to God, look ahead to eternity. Scripture makes it crystal clear that eternity is not some endless Hillsong worship service.

Right. We will be worshiping through song. But Isaiah 65 says we will also worship by long enjoying the work of our hands on the new earth. We will not labor in vain. So if God himself works and created us to work in the beginning, if Jesus has redeemed us for good work, see Ephesians 2 10, and if we're going to be working for eternity on the new earth, clearly my labor in the Lord must matter greatly to the Lord in the present. I mean, that's, I mean, part of me wants to jump out of this chair and go work. I mean, we're working right now, but you know what I mean? It just gives such dignity to work. And I didn't say secular work because it's all God's work.

Whatever you're doing. It's all God's world. It's all spiritual.

There is no division really. It's spiritual unto the Lord. In the Old Testament, there's no word for spiritual.

It doesn't show up in the Old Testament because all of life was spiritual. I think this is part of the reason why when at Christmas, when the Redeemer comes to earth, he doesn't show up as a religious professional. God could have chosen to place Jesus in anybody's home. He could have placed him in the home of a Pharisee where he would spend all of his days studying Torah, spiritual work. He could have placed him in the home of a priest where he would spend all of his days in prayer, spiritual work.

But instead, God in his sovereignty placed his son in the home of a small business owner named Joseph where he would spend the vast majority of his life, most scholars estimate 80% of his adult life, swinging a hammer and making things with his hands. If that doesn't give dignity and meaning to the quote unquote secular work you and I do today, I don't know what does. I tell you what, I don't know if we've ever had a guest jump out of their seat as they're talking. I mean, I got one speech. No, I mean, that just illustrates you're passionate about something that needs to be, needs passion. This is not a theology taught anywhere.

I mean, as pastors, I do sermons at my church every year on work, but I never taught it as well as you're teaching it. It is a revolutionary thought that sets people free. That's exactly it. Free. It's freedom. Yeah.

Publishers always like to ask, what's the core benefit for the reader, right? Right. Freedom.

Right. Freedom to lean into the work you are doing right now, not in the future, as an artist, as a barista, as a maker, as a mechanic, as a landscaper, whatever, as the very thing that God created you to do and redeemed you to do, showing you the sacredness of that secular work. Paul writes about this.

I think it's in 1 Corinthians 7 where he's addressing a group of new believers and they're like, hey, do we change jobs? Do we marry, unmarry? What do we do? Do we change everything?

He's like, hey, hey, hey. Stay in the position you were in when you were called. Why? Because all good work can glorify God. All good work has the potential to matter for eternity. Embrace your seemingly secular work.

Change your relationship to that work. It's no longer about you. It's no longer about your fame.

It's no longer about your fortune. But embrace it as a primary means of glorifying God and loving your neighbor in the present. And, oh, by the way, shaping the eternal kingdom of God.

Jordan, I think people are going to be like, I need to listen to this every single day before I go to work to remind me. But what about, I mean, there's a majority of the people that hate what they're doing. Like, I hate my job. I'm not doing what I want to do. How do I make that a spiritual time for me?

Oh, man, this is so good. So, number one, take encouragement that this is not what God intended. Work was not a punishment for sin. Work existed prior to the fall. Work is curse because of sin, but is not itself the curse. Okay? So that's number one. This is not how God originally designed work to be.

I should say it that way. Two, there's a day coming when you will long enjoy the work of your hands. Nobody will spend eternity in heaven.

Nobody. Heaven's coming to earth. Jesus did not promise that we are going to, we sing this every Christmas, fit us for heaven to live with him there. He promised heaven on earth and to dwell with us. Here, see Revelation 21. And some people just thought, well, that's depressing because this place isn't that great. That's right. But on a new earth that is perfect and pure and free from all injustice and all ugliness and all smog and all natural disasters, that's great. And work that you know in your bones you were made to do, but for whatever reason in this life, economic realities, caring for a sick loved one you couldn't do, it is perfectly within God's character to give you that vocation, that thing you always dreamed about doing for eternity on the new earth. But let's bring it down to today. Right? I don't love my job. What do I do?

How do I maximize it for eternal impact? I'll say two things. One, this is the context of Colossians 3, 23 and 24. Paul's talking to slaves. This is one of my life verses. It says, work heartily as unto the Lord's slaves and servants, knowing that there's an eternal reward coming for you. Right? So that's number one. And number two, especially if you hate your job, but even if you love it, make sure you are doing your work with God and not just for him.

Right? We go to work and we believe that, man, God needs us to do, God doesn't need you and I to do anything. He doesn't need us. He wants us. And part of our response to that is just to welcome his presence as we go about our workday, to talk to him in between meetings, to seek his word as we're at work, and to do that work with him as a response of worship.

And when we do that, we're bringing him eternal pleasure, especially if we're in a job that we don't love, because that is an act of sacrifice and worship. Give us an example of what that could look like. I'll give you. Okay, great. I love this. One of my best friends, who I write about in the book, had an internship at Hilton. She's at this big corporation. She's like, man, I want to do my work with God.

What does that look like? So she created an email address. And throughout her day, when she felt disconnected from the Lord, she would shoot an email. As if she were emailing God from the same platform that she'd be emailing her coworkers. When she felt attacked or tempted to take shortcuts at work and disobey God's commands, she would send an email and pray and ask God for his favor and his presence in the present. So that's one way to do it, to practically do your work with God. There's a bunch of others in the book.

I'll give you one for me. Any time I pass through a doorway, I try to remember that God is with me wherever I go. So I've just attached a reminder of his presence to the threshold around doors. So when I walked in here, it was a subtle reminder, God is with me here, right? And I'm doing this and I'm doing all of life and I'm doing all of work for him.

He is very present with me in this moment. And that brings me peace. And it also helps me remember how to do my work as under the Lord and not for the ways of man. Early in my tenure as a chaplain in the NFL with the Troy Lions, I've never mentioned here in family life that I did that. I've never heard this. I've never heard this.

But it would have been mid-80s. There was a belief among many coaches in the NFL that sort of got out there, and there was an article once in Seattle about it, that you don't want Christian ball players in your locker room because they care so much about God, they don't care about football. So they're good people, but God's their number one priority so they don't play as hard. And when you lose and some player made a comment after a game, well, it was God's will we lost. And coach is like, get that guy out of here. So I remember I did a chapel to address this because I didn't know if our head coach was thinking that, but it was starting to like, you're not going to make a roster if you are vocal about your faith.

Just keep it quiet because they're not going to keep you. And I remember doing this thing. I was getting all fired up like Jordan Rainer.

I was like, let me tell you, if you're a follower of Christ and you're in a locker room, every coach and every GM in the league should be begging to get you. You know why? Because you're going to be the best worker. You're going to show up early. You're going to leave late. You're going to outwork everybody. You're going to be kind. You're going to be considerate. And I came up with the three I's.

Tell me if this works. This is how Christians should work. Intensity should be, it's Colossians 3 with all your heart. You don't show up late. You bring everything you got, even if you're punching papers. You bring everything you got every day because you're not working for a boss or a GM.

You're working for God. Secondly, integrity. Your word is your bond. You can be trusted. You're not going to gossip. You're not going to slander. You got a problem.

You're going to go to people. So there's this integrity part. And then the third one, I'm sure there's 15, but I had three. Intensity, integrity. And the third one is intentionality. You're working with intentionality. I'm hoping that the way I work draws attention, not to me as just that I'm a Christian, but I'm such a hard worker.

People are noticing. I do this with excellence. I study. I prepare.

I don't loaf. And when they ask me, why do you work that way, I'm intentional to say, well, I'll have to tell you, my boss is Jesus Christ. And this is how I think everybody should work. What do you think of that?

That's exactly right. I like it. You should be a pastor.

I think you should. Well, yeah. I spent 80% of this book, The Sacredness of Secular Work, talking about how our work matters beyond the Great Commission.

Yeah. But the last 20% is, oh, and hey, by the way, the Great Commission is also incredibly important. We got to get good at it. How do we get good at it in a post-Christian context without leaving tacky tracks in the break room? Number one, pray. Number two on my list of seven things, be so good they can't ignore you. Yeah, I read that. That was awesome.

That was so good. Mastery is winsome, not mediocrity, right? When your employer only cares largely about your ability to make her money, man, mastery will preach every single day. It enables you to, as Paul says, win the respect of outsiders.

But without that, it's going to be really, really hard for people to take you or the God you say you glorify and image very seriously. Wow. That's really great stuff. And you're going to hear more from Ann and Jordan here in just a second. But, you know, I, for one, am super convicted to be very now intentional about how I do everything to the glory of God so others can see how great the God I serve is. Really good stuff.

I'm Shelby Abbott, and you've been listening to Dave and Ann Wilson with Jordan Rayner on Family Life Today. Jordan's written a book called The Sacredness of Secular Work. It really challenges the common perception that people who are in full-time ministry are the ones who hold eternal value. And really, the everyday aspect of work, everything that you do from the mundane stuff to, like, the really, quote, unquote, important stuff is profoundly meaningful in the eyes of God.

He talks about that in his book. And you could go online to pick up a copy at familylifetoday.com or click on the Today's Resources link in the show notes. Or you could just give us a call. Our number is 800-358-6329.

Again, that number is 800 F as in Family, L as in Life, and then the word Today. You know, we here at Family Life Today really do value, appreciate, and love the people who partner with us in order to make this ministry possible. You are our family life partners. And when you become a partner with us in order to take the message of the gospel into homes all over the country to make marriages and families more strong by the power of Jesus Christ, you not only get the benefit of being a part to prop up this ministry, you also become what's called a family life partner, and you get exclusive benefits by being one of those, including a free Weekend to Remember gift card for both of you, you and your spouse. You can go to a Weekend to Remember marriage getaway for free. You also get insider ministry updates about things like new products, pre-releases, and exclusive viewing opportunities that we give just to you. There's also invitation-only events with unique opportunities to hear insider information about what God is doing through your partnership and special communications from family life leadership. If you want to become a partner with us, you can go online to familylifetoday.com and click on the Donate Now button at the top of the page. Thank you so much. If you are a partner already, we really value and appreciate you. And if you want to become a partner again, click on the Donate Now button at familylifetoday.com. All right, let's hear just a bit more about how to apply what we've learned today from Jordan Rayner.

Well, Jordan, we're out of time. Give us some homework for our day. And then we'll continue this conversation on tomorrow.

Here's what I would give you. Go back to Genesis 1, 26 through 28. Read the first commission and find your place in your current job in that first commission, right? So there's four commands to this. Number one, be fruitful and increase in number, essentially procreate. Number two, fill the earth, essentially create good things, not just good people, but good culture. Three is this command to rule, to partner with God in ruling this world for his glory. And then number four, subdue, which Wayne Grudem says is simply to make this world more useful for other human beings' benefit and enjoyment.

Okay? So take out a pen and paper and write down which of those four elements of the first commission best represents the job you do today. And then number two, in response to that, write out what it means to you that that is the very thing that God created you to do from chapter one of this story. How does that shape your perspective where we sit today in this current scene of redemptive history?

Did you know that 80% of conversions in early Christianity happened through the context of everyday work? Well, tomorrow, Jordan Rayner is back with David Ann Wilson to challenge your common perceptions about evangelism. That's tomorrow. We hope you'll join us. On behalf of David Ann Wilson, I'm Shelby Abbott. We'll see you back next time for another edition of Family Life Today. Family Life Today is a donor-supported production of Family Life, a crew ministry helping you pursue the relationships that matter most.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-02-20 13:18:43 / 2024-02-20 13:31:15 / 13

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