How Your Work Impacts Your Relationship with God: An Interview with Denise Daniels and Shannon Vandewarker

Denise DanielsHow will we invite God into our sensible residing? How ought to we incorporate religious disciplines into the abnormal rhythms of on a regular basis expertise? How can we be reworked into Christ’s likeness by our jobs and day by day work?

Bible Gateway interviewed Denise Daniels and Shannon Vandewarker (@shannonvande) about their e-book, Working within the Presence of God: Religious Practices for On a regular basis Work (Hendrickson Publishers, 2019).

Shannon Vandewarker

What have you ever noticed that required penning this e-book?

Denise Daniels and Shannon Vandewarker: This e-book was a product of chasing curiosity. We have been initially interested in how folks might virtually dwell out their theology of labor in a approach that was transformative for his or her relationship with God, for the folks they labored with and served at work, and for the work itself. We realized there was plenty of content material about religious disciplines on the market, and there have been plenty of sources that centered on a theological framework for work, however there wasn’t actually something that bridged the 2, giving sensible utility to the theological framework. So, we got down to write a e-book that did simply that.

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Briefly, what’s the theological basis for work on which you’ve constructed your e-book?

Denise Daniels and Shannon Vandewarker: We consider that work was created by God and given to Adam and Eve within the backyard previous to the autumn (Genesis 2:15); thus, work is inherently good. We additionally consider that work – like the whole lot on this planet – has been damaged on account of the autumn (Genesis 3:16-17). And whereas work is damaged, Christ can redeem it (Colossians 1:16-17, 20). Lastly, we consider that the goodness of labor will likely be absolutely restored within the “new heaven and new earth” (Revelation 21:1).

[Learn the Bible Gateway Weblog submit, QUIZ: What Does the Bible Say About Work?]

Clarify what you imply by “the importance of the ordinary.”

Denise Daniels and Shannon Vandewarker: God meets us, communes with us, and transforms us in the course of the mundane. That implies that God is within the midst of the abnormal components of our on a regular basis lives. We regularly dismiss the abnormal, focusing as a substitute on our experiences of “ministry” or “spirituality” in a church service, a service mission, or different “Christian” actions. However all through Scripture we discover that God is simply as involved in regards to the abnormal components of individuals’s lives (drawing water from wells, making and consuming meals, elevating youngsters, touring, working, referring to others, and so forth.) as he’s in regards to the issues we deem to be “spiritual.” So, the abnormal nature of our on a regular basis lives is deeply vital. If we dismiss the issues that appear mundane—commuting, e mail, conferences, work, meals, loading the dishwasher, and placing on youngsters’ footwear—we’ll miss an enormous chunk of what God is speaking to us in our lives.

Why do you embrace commuting as being a part of work and what’s the “liturgy of commute”?

Denise Daniels and Shannon Vandewarker: We embrace commuting as part of work as a result of we consider our work rhythms matter. Most of us have some kind of commute to work—whether or not it’s two minutes or two hours. For many people, the commute begins the rhythm of our work day. If we start by being attentive to how God is perhaps talking on our commute, we put together our complete selves to be attentive to God all through the day. Will or not it’s the figuring out think about how the day will go? Most likely not. However throughout our commute we are able to hear from, work together with, and be shaped by God.

A liturgy of commute is usually a observe by which you enter into worship of God and search to listen to directions from the Lord in regards to the day forward. Within the e-book of Deuteronomy, God tells the Hebrew folks to recollect the instructions he’s given them: “Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up” (Deut 6:7). They’re to concentrate on God and his phrases as they go in regards to the ordinariness of their days, together with the time they’re strolling alongside the street—the early Hebrew equal of the modern-day commute.

Why do you say it’s vital to learn Scripture at work and the way, virtually, ought to or not it’s executed with out offending the boss or coworkers?

Denise Daniels and Shannon Vandewarker: The time and place through which we learn Scripture shapes our understanding of it. For instance, Jesus’s instructing on loving your enemies reads in another way within the managed setting of your favourite cozy chair in entrance of the hearth in your house, than it does in your workplace area the place a co-worker with whom you might have clashed has simply walked by. Studying Scripture within the area through which you’re employed can have a transformational impact on the methods you expertise God, love your neighbors, and dwell out the gospel.

For a lot of, studying Scripture within the office must be a artistic endeavor relying on the folks, duties, and tradition of the office. Some methods to do that would possibly embrace: listening to Scripture (by the Bible Gateway Audio App!), listening to songs the place Scripture has been set to music, inserting inventive renderings of Scripture in your partitions to learn all through the day, or utilizing a verse reference or phrase from Scripture as a pc password and mentally reciting the verse from reminiscence as you sort it in.

Clarify your ideas of confession at work and lamenting work.

Denise Daniels and Shannon Vandewarker: Confession requires humility, a need for the reality, and a willingness to make amends after we’re within the fallacious. Confession at work is telling the reality in regards to the methods through which we’ve fallen brief, whether or not deliberately or unintentionally. It’s a recognition that the methods we’ve been doing issues will not be in one of the best curiosity of everybody concerned. Such a confession invitations the listeners right into a redemptive dialog about what therapeutic and reconciliation would possibly appear to be. It additionally brings with it the willingness to alter, study, and discover new methods of being on this planet. By way of confession we invite and obtain a renewed hope.

Lament, alternatively, is a kind of prayer. Laments are lifted to God to specific sorrow and heartbreak, notably when we’ve got restricted potential to alter the circumstances through which we discover ourselves. To be clear, a lament shouldn’t be a whine. Quite it’s a prayer that opens us to God’s response, enter, and correction within the scenario. Lament produces change in us as a result of it’s a two-way dialog with God. There’s a humility in lament—an openness to take heed to, and listen to from, God the place we’d have contributed to the sorrow of our circumstances. In lament we pay attention for God’s type correction and knowledge for what the fitting response is to the scenario that’s out of our management.

What’s the observe of examen as utilized to work?

Denise Daniels and Shannon Vandewarker: On the finish of a workday, the examen for work systematically explores what occurred all through that day. Within the examen we have a look at, flip over, and see from all instructions, the occasions that we skilled. Reviewing these occasions permits us to note and take note of the conversations we had, what we’re grateful for, the interactions or duties that irritated us, and our feelings at work. We additionally establish the place we heard from God and, simply as importantly, the place we missed God, failed to acknowledge the Lord’s exercise, or deliberately pushed God away.

What’s sabbath and why ought to or not it’s noticed?

Denise Daniels and Shannon Vandewarker: Sabbath is the act of ceasing to work and is without doubt one of the Ten Commandments given in Exodus. It’s fascinating what number of Christians who in any other case worth the Ten Commandments appear to view sabbath-keeping as kind of non-compulsory, relying on how busy they’re!

The observe of Sabbath is a crucial antidote to a contemporary tradition that calls for continuous devotion and dedication to work. In order we have been writing about ways in which we are able to interact in religious practices at work, we additionally wished to emphasise the vital religious observe of stopping our work every week. One of many chapters in our e-book focuses on among the causes for participating in sabbath, in addition to sensible methods to think about what it means for a Christian to maintain the sabbath.

What’s a favourite Bible passage of yours and why?

Denise Daniels and Shannon Vandewarker: Romans chapter 12 is a favourite passage for each of us, as a result of it talks about taking our on a regular basis, abnormal lives and inserting them earlier than God as an providing in response to the whole lot we’ve been given. This chapter supplies sensible recommendation for all types of office conditions, from methods to interact with these above and under us in an organizational hierarchy, to responding to troublesome folks, and resolving battle conditions. It helps align our hearts and lives with God’s functions, and reminds us to supply all we do—work, e mail, parenting, marriage, friendships, cleansing, the whole lot!—again to God as a grateful response for the life Christ has given to us.

What are your ideas in regards to the Bible Gateway App?

Denise Daniels and Shannon Vandewarker: Bible Gateway has been a really accessible useful resource for evaluating totally different translations of Scripture side-by-side. As individuals who love learning Scripture, it’s fantastic to know we are able to shortly go to the Bible Gateway App and have so many alternative translations obtainable as we’re writing and learning. Thanks to your work, and stick with it!

Bio: Denise Daniels (BA, Psychology and Economics, Wheaton School; PhD, Organizational Conduct, College of Washington) is professor of administration at Seattle Pacific College, and govt producer for the Religion & Co video sequence ( She additionally serves as a marketing consultant, offering govt teaching companies and management improvement coaching. Energetic within the religion at work motion, she recurrently speaks on the subjects of significant work, Sabbath, management, gender, and motivation. Denise lives in Seattle along with her husband and has 4 adolescent and younger grownup youngsters.

Shannon Vandewarker (BA, Biblical Research, Azusa Pacific College; MDiv, Bethel Seminary) served in Cascade Fellows Program at Fuller Seminary, the place she designed theological research and sensible workouts to assist disciples discover the mixing of their on a regular basis work with their discipleship. Shannon writes on the theology of an abnormal life on her weblog at Shannon lives in San Diego along with her husband and three younger youngsters.

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How Your Work Impacts Your Relationship with God: An Interview with Denise Daniels and Shannon Vandewarker