This Week in Church: Choosing Priorities and Labour That Saves the World

Welcome to the series wherein I share my take-aways from church. The things that, I think, are beneficial to all of us to know or think about, whether or not we believe in any church-related things.

A picture of a small chaple with a steeple in a field, with the text This Week in Church written on the sky.

This week in church we talked about priorities.

Specifically, do you prioritize momentum and growth or actually dealing with problems, even when they are inconvenient?

More specifically, the example was about the early church when it was in rapid-growth mode and a complaint rose up from the Greek members that the Hebrew members weren't taking equal care of their widows. There was a choice there: do they deal directly with this issue, acknowledging an inequity in their system and potentially forcing people to do something they don't really want to do, or do they ignore it? Facing the problem could damage their momentum. But ignoring it would neglect a core value: taking care of one another. (Little did they know we would radically forget that value in the coming millennia anyway.)

Whether you run a business, a family, or even your own life, there will be times when you need to choose: will you prioritize your values and face a problem head-on, or will you ignore it all in favour of some kind of momentum or growth?

This week in church we talked about labour saving the world.

"Human labour has intrinsic value." - Amy L. Sherman. (Not Amy Sherman Palladino of Gilmore Girls and Marvelous Mrs. Mazel fame.)

There are different kinds of work you can do that are valuable to the world in different ways: redemptive work (anything that lends to the reconciliation, resolving conflict); creative work (creation or physically making things); providential works (the vital work of keeping things running smoothly and taking care of people); justice work (maintaining justice); compassionate work (work that offers comfort and healing); and revelatory work (work that enlightens truths in the world).

The same job could fit into multiple categories. An artist may be doing redemptive work, creative work, and revelatory work. A shop owner may be doing providential work and compassionate work.

The point is that pretty much any kind of job or vocation can fit into at least one of these categories and then your labour can help save the world, depending on how you look at it and what kind of energy you put into it.


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