The movie Office Space was extremely popular at the turn of the century. It is a comedy about a man named Peter Gibbons who just decides he is not going to work anymore. A conversation he had with Joanna, his waitress, captures the essence of the movie:
Joanna: So, where do you work, Peter?
Peter Gibbons: Initech.
Joanna: In... yeah, what do you do there?
Peter Gibbons: I sit in a cubicle and I update bank software for the 2000 switch.
Joanna: What's that?
Peter Gibbons: Well see, they wrote all this bank software, and, uh, to save space, they used two digits for the date instead of four. So, like, 98 instead of 1998? Uh, so I go through these thousands of lines of code and, uh... it doesn't really matter. I uh, I don't like my job, and, uh, I don't think I'm gonna go anymore.
Joanna: You're just not gonna go?
Peter Gibbons: Yeah.
Joanna: Won't you get fired?
Peter Gibbons: I don't know, but I really don't like it, and, uh, I'm not gonna go.
Joanna: So you're gonna quit?
Peter Gibbons: Nuh-uh. Not really. Uh... I'm just gonna stop going.
Joanna: When did you decide all that?
Peter Gibbons: About an hour ago.
Joanna: Oh, really? About an hour ago... so you're gonna get another job?
Peter Gibbons: I don't think I'd like another job.
Joanna: Well, what are you going to do about money and bills and...
Peter Gibbons: You know, I've never really liked paying bills. I don't think I'm gonna do that, either.
Joanna: Well, so what do you wanna do?
Peter Gibbons: I wanna take you out to dinner, and then I wanna go back to my apartment and watch 'Kung Fu'. Do you ever watch 'Kung Fu'?
Joanna: I love 'Kung Fu'.
This is funny to laugh about when we watch it on a movie or read the transcripts. On the other hand when this is the way most people feel about their job then it is no laughing matter. A Gallup poll that was taken in 2013 reveals that the Peter Gibbons attitude is one that most people in the work place have. The results of the poll show that of over 150,000 people surveyed only 30 percent admitted they honestly enjoy their job and their bosses. Those who show up but are less than thrilled about it — or “disengaged — made up the biggest category at 52 percent of workers. The remaining 18 percent are people actively disengaged — those who vocally express their discontent in the workplace. So, half of all workers are disengaged at their job at best and 18 percent are completely hostile towards their job. This is not healthy nor is it biblical. It is a sad reality that many Christians fall into this same statistic. That comes from a failure of the church to teach on the importance of one’s vocation and fulfilling the vocational assignments for the glory and honor of God.
God Has Given to Each a Specific Vocation
Our “secular” vocations, Martin Luther said, are like “masks” God wears in caring for the world. “When we pray the Lord’s Prayer,” he said, “we ask God to ‘give us this day our daily bread.’ And how does God answer that prayer?” He does so, Luther said, “by means of the farmer who planted and harvested the grain, the baker who made the flour into bread, the person who prepared our meal. All these are in play when God answers our prayer for daily bread.”
Martin Luther reflecting on the words in Psalm 147:13-14, “He strengthens the bars of your gates and blesses your people within you. He grants peace to your borders and satisfies you with the finest of wheat” had this to say:
The Calling to Make Disciples
J.D. Greear in His book, Gaining by Losing further elaborates on the importance of having a proper view on our calling and focusing on leveraging that calling to make disciples. Here is what he had to say:
"Every Christian, you see, had at least two major callings: (A) The call to use your vocation for the glory of God and the blessing of others; and (B) the call to make disciples. Thus every believer should ask these two questions about their lives:
A Real Life Story
I witnessed the impact that marketplace ministry can have for the expansion of the kingdom. When I was 19 years old and struggling at many different levels my older brother Matt invited me to go the a business conference with him. To be honest I was not all that excited about it. Nonetheless, I went. There was a lot I gleaned from the conference and at the end I was glad I attended. Then an event took place that transformed my life. My brother invited me to attend a worship service the next morning that the founder of the business organization was hosting and it was at that service that God opened my eyes bringing me to a saving faith in Christ.
The owner of the business is a Christian. He strategically brought in a pastor on Sunday morning to preach at a worship gathering at the same venue the business conference was held at. During the event they promoted the church service from stage and they prepared their leaders to extend as many personal invites as possible. I was one of those personal invites! Later I found out that literally thousands of people have come to faith in Jesus through this man committing to use his business for the glory and honor of God. He is known as a "leadership guru" as well as a New York Times bestselling author and has leveraged his skills in an effort to make disciples for the kingdom of God. To model after his example find a skill to master and then strategically think how you can use that skill to make disciples.
Contributor / Eric Stewart
Eric Stewart is the Lead Pastor of ONElife Church in Flint, MI.