This week, Pastor Chris brought a powerful about worship and work according to the book of Proverbs. Chris sought to answer what makes a God-fearing, worthy worker. He also expressed what a Godly team member should look like. Our work, like every aspect of our lives, is meant to be an offering of worship to the Lord. To be an ideal team player, we need to seek humility, relate well with others, and be driven by Godly hunger and passion.
Worship and Work
- Work is godly – Work is not a product of the fall.God told Adam in the garden of Eden that he would work the land, and God worked when he created the world.
Genesis 2:15 (ESV)
15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.
- Sin is the problem, not work – Work is under a curse because of the reality of sin. In Genesis, work became a toiling and laborious reality because of the fall.
Genesis 3:16–19 (ESV)
16 To the woman he said, “I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children. Your desire shall be contrary to your husband, but he shall rule over you.” 17 And to Adam he said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life;18 thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. 19 By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”
- Work from our rest – We are created to work from rest. Culture says that we work for rest, but the Bible says to work from a place of rest.
Exodus 31:15 (ESV)
15 Six days shall work be done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, holy to the Lord. Whoever does any work on the Sabbath day shall be put to death.
- Work is part of your worship – Your work is worship, no matter what job you do. What you do with your hands can be done for the Lord (or not).
Colossians 3:23–24 (ESV)
23 Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.
- Workers are sacred and secular, not the work – Workers are believers or unbelievers, not the work itself. Work can become sacred when a genuine Christian performs it.
“Your work is a very sacred matter. God delights in it, and through it He wants to bestow His blessings on you. This praise of work should be inscribed on all tools, on the forehead and faces that sweat from toiling.” Martin Luther
“The Ideal Team Player” (Patrick Lencioni)
1. A Humble Team Player – This is a person without ego. Humility is thinking less of yourself and choosing to serve others rather than self. A humble team player looks for opportunities to bless others.
Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.
Toward the scorners he is scornful, but to the humble he gives favor.
He who tends a fig tree will eat its fruit, and he who looks after his master will be honored.
…ruthless men gain only wealth. A kind man benefits himself, but a cruel man brings trouble on himself.
Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.
2. A Relationally Smart Team Player – This is a person with strong emotional intelligence. This person is trustworthy and furthers the mission of the team.
A wise man fears the Lord and shuns evil, but a fool is hotheaded and reckless. A quick-tempered man does foolish things, and a crafty man is hated.
He who robs his father and drives out his mother is a son who brings shame and disgrace.
Like a roaring lion or a charging bear is a wicked man ruling over a helpless people.
A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy man keeps a secret.
Proverbs 28:23 [NLT]
In the end, people appreciate honest criticism far more than flattery.
A hot-tempered man stirs up dissension, but a patient man calms a quarrel.
Starting a quarrel is like breaching a dam; so drop the matter before a dispute breaks out.
3. A Hungry Team Player – This worker has integrity, dependability and passion. They don’t need anyone else to jumpstart them.
The laborer’s appetite works for him; his hunger drives him on.
Lazy hands make a man poor, but diligent hands bring wealth.
All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.
He who works his land will have abundant food, but the one who chases fantasies will have his fill of poverty.
Do you see a man skilled in his work? He will serve before kings; he will not serve before obscure men.
- Where do you see the effects of the fall in your daily work life?
- Pastor Chris said that the world works for rest while Christians are meant to work from rest. What did he mean by this? How do we pursue this?
- What would it look like to make your work a part of your worship to God?
- Which of the three characteristics of the ideal team player do you need to grow in (humility, relationally smart, or hungry)?
- Based on your answer to question 4, determine how you will pursue growth in that particular area. Ask the Lord to give you what you lack.
- Read Genesis 1 and 2 this week and meditate on the Lord’s work and rest when He created the world. Ask the Lord to reveal any area you may need to align with Him in regard to your work.
- Look for opportunities this week to bless others at your job. See what an offering of service does to your heart.
- Do you struggle with finding or pursuing rest from your work? Take time this week to ask the Lord how you can surrender your free time into His hands in order to find true rest.