We often think our work only matters if we’re in full-time ministry, going overseas to do missions, or running a para-church organization.
The truth is, all work matters to God.
He has wired us with certain gifts and talents and he is for us in our work, regardless of what passions he has placed in our hearts.
Three years ago, I founded ONE2 Conferences to create a space for college students, recent grads, and Christian leaders to talk about the intersection of faith & work.
This year in Athens, GA, we hosted our fourth and biggest event yet with over 150 students and recent grads, plus 50 Christian leaders.
The one-night conference began with this manifesto: We believe that work is good because God created us to work.
Our work can honor God, satisfy our souls, and change the lives of the people around us. God gave us passions and talents, he wired us uniquely, and he wants us to use those passions and talents for his glory.
Throughout the night, we talked about the tension between our future dreams and the work we’re doing right now. Often our dream job and our day job, whatever is in front of us right NOW, don’t line up.
Sometimes our “now” is a logical prerequisite to our future (like medical school for a doctor), and sometimes it’s out in left field.
But here’s the truth: God has put something in front of you right NOW, and you are called to do it well.
Matt Perman, our first speaker and author of What’s Best Next?, explained how the gospel applies to our work and helps us better handle what is in front of us right now. He talked about how our work, both now and later, matters to God and gave us several practical ways we can work in a Gospel-centered way.
Because God accepts us on grace alone, apart from our work, we can devote ourselves to working radically for others first instead of ourselves.
– Matt Perman
Tyler Reagin, executive director of Catalyst Conferences, gave us practical ways to use what is in front of us right now for God’s glory.
No matter what is in front of us right now, we can ask great questions, fight for humility, keep learning, become self-aware, choose integrity, and serve. If you ignore the process of developing your character right now, Reagin said, you will miss the plan God has for you.
You might not always be the most competent person in the room, but you can always have the most character.
– Tyler Reagin
At the end of the night, we reminded everyone that, regardless of what’s in front of us right now, God is calling us to do it well. We can do good, love others, and work with excellence for God’s glory by asking ourselves two questions
1. What is in front of me right NOW?
2. How can I do it well?
We concluded with a quote from C. S. Lewis reminding each of us that this message isn’t something new to be learned, it’s a truth we need to remind ourselves of over and over again. The quote, which we turned into a print and gave every attendee, simply said this:
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