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Work with Purpose Booklet

The Work with Purpose Initiative recently published a concise booklet that explores biblical and theological perspectives on work. This helpful tool provides an excellent, accessible foundation for pastors, ministry leaders, and lay Christians on why work matters to God.

From the Forward:

"People spend a majority of their waking hours in the context of work. The Work with Purpose team at Bethel Seminary believes that God cares deeply about our vocational lives. God also cares deeply about how our work contributes to the good of those around us... We hope this brief book will be an important resource for you as you seek to encourage and equip the church to effectively engage in all work for the glory of God."  

— Justin A. Irving, Ph.D., Director, Work with Purpose Initiative, Bethel Seminary

Contributing authors:

  • Glen Scorgie, Professor of Theology, Bethel Seminary San Diego
  • Jeannine Brown, Professor of New Testament, Bethel Seminary San Diego
  • Paul Ferris, Professor of Hebrew Bible, Bethel Seminary St. Paul

How to order:

To purchase copies, send an email to work-with-purpose@bethel.edu and include your name, shipping address, and desired number of copies.

The cost per booklet is $5 (including tax and shipping). We will contact you for payment information.

Must-Read Books

There are a number of high quality resources to consider as you explore how faith fundamentally shapes the purpose of our work and our understanding of vocation. Here are a few titles that we particularly recommend.

  • Every Good Endeavor:Connecting Your Work to God's Work
    Timothy Keller & Katherine Leary Alsdorf
    Constructs a solid introductory biblical and theological foundation for work and identifies several ways that our faith expresses itself in and through a redeemed understanding of daily work.
  • Kingdom Calling:Vocational Stewardship for the Common Good
    Amy L. Sherman
    Provides a theological framework through which to understand how everyday work might directly contribute to flourishing communities. Moving from frameworks to case studies, this is an invitation to imagine what happens when the people are God are called to steward their faith and work for the greater good.
  • God at Work:Your Christian Vocation in All of Life
    Gene Edward Veith Jr.
    A wonderful summary of Christian calling or vocation, Veith unpacks the implications of vocational service in one's own career, but also in families, churches, communities, and beyond.
  • Responsive Labor: A Theology of Work
    David H. Jensen
    Written for workers, Jensen is very pragmatic in approaching everyday work in light of Christian faith - not shying away from the challenges and burdens of work while still moving toward a liturgical, practical, and constructive theological understanding of Christian service in the world.
  • Work Matters: Connecting Sunday Worship to Monday Work
    Tom Nelson
    Nelson is a pastor who writes from his experiences in shepherding a congregation toward an integrated vision of faith and work. As he lays his theological and conceptual frameworks, he weaves in engaging and practical stories from congregants and makes a strong case for the importance of faith-work integration in the life of the local church.

Articles and Papers

  • In his paper on faith and work (pdf), Roger Anderson identifies some of the key challenges that churches face in considering a worldview that assumes the integration of faith and work, as well as suggests some thoughtful solutions to these challenges.