At Work & Theology 101

Wrestling with Pressing Questions about Faith & Work

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The number one fear of millennials is living a meaningless life. We’ve written a few times about our efforts to help young Christians navigate difficult issues like:

  • Wondering if they need to quit their job and attend seminary in order to have a truly significant vocation. 

These are all issues facing students who were in attendance at IFWE’s first major event, held this past Monday at Regent University in Virginia Beach, VA.  Speaking to about 3-400 students, Hugh Whelchel and Art Lindsley gave students practical, biblical teaching on calling, purpose, and other issues related to faith and work. Rick Wellock, a vocational expert and director of organizational development at Serving Leaders, joined our team and led the students through an exercise to discover more about themselves and their vocation.

Before the event, we conducted a brief text-message survey asking students to share how they felt about their future. One in four students responded that they felt “scared,” “uneasy,” “unsure,” “confused,” and “apprehensive” when thinking about their future vocations.

After the conference, though, students were beginning to feel differently. We asked via another survey what students thought was the most helpful information they learned that day. The two ideas they found most helpful were that:

  • All people are created uniquely by God. From this students understood that they need to know themselves – their gifts and their life stories – in order to discover their vocations.
  • All work is important to God. From this students better understood the biblical view of work and success.

We don’t often share general IFWE news events in this forum, but today we wanted to give you a glimpse as to how the biblical doctrine of work is impacting the lives of young people as they enter into the next stage of their lives. Understanding what the Bible says about work is the first step to living a theology that integrates faith, work, and economics.

Here’s an excerpt from an article published by Regent University about the event. You can read it in full here.

The years between high school and adulthood are often rife with uncertainty and trepidation as young adults attempt to navigate college and decide on a career. That’s where the Institute of Faith, Work & Economics (IFWE) steps in.

The IFWE is a unique organization that recently partnered with Regent University’s College of Arts & Sciences (CAS) to help give students direction and focus toward their future career goals. The conference was held on campus Monday, Jan. 14.

“We loved the opportunity to talk with students about some of life’s most pressing questions surrounding faith and work,” said Hugh Whelchel, executive director at IFWE. 

“It is obvious that Regent students care deeply about discovering their calling and being faithful to God,” he added. “We will be praying that God continues to guide them. It sounded like many had some real ‘a-ha’ moments in realizing the Bible teaches that all work matters to God.” 

We’ll have more insights to share in future posts as we further analyze the survey responses students gave us. In the meantime, please join us in praying that God would continue to guide these students, and all Christians, as they discover what the biblical view of work means for their lives and vocations.

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  • Fantastic! So good to see events like this, aimed at equipping University students. Keep it up IFWE!

    • gregoryayers

      Thanks, Paul. We’re trying to think of other creative ways of engaging college students, too.

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