Where do people spend most of their time? Where do they have the greatest opportunities to influence others? Where do they face the majority of troubling issues?
It’s not the church or even the home. It’s the workplace.
People spend more than 50 percent of their waking hours at work and 45 percent of their time engaged in their home life. Only 5 percent of a person’s daily life is spent at church. Do the math.
A recent article on WorkLife.org points out that the majority of church programs have little to do with the way people spend the main portion of their time. Most people never have heard a sermon on the value of the workplace, even though it is a mission field in itself and contains many opportunities for witnessing that believers never would find in church alone. Just as God uses prayer, Bible studies, evangelistic events and other forms of ministry, He uses the workplace as an important tool in a person’s life. Eugene H. Peterson, scholar and translator of the Message Bible, says, “I’m prepared to contend that the primary location for spiritual formation is the workplace. Even C.S. Lewis wrote, “a sense of divine vision must be restored to man’s daily work.” So what do we do?
In 1994, WorkLife Founder Doug Spada was at a crossroads in his life. “I did not understand God’s loving call to me to receive His forgiveness or His calling and direction for my work life,” he says. “I had grown up hearing people say things such as, ‘I have been called to preach,’ or ‘I have been called to be a missionary.’ I never heard anyone say, ‘I was called to this job or this work,’ so I wondered where that left me and the rest of us in the workplace.” He adds, “The church didn’t seem like it could or would affirm me for what God had called me to do—there was a significant disconnect.”
“I basically wanted to quit church,” Spada continues. “Pain and struggle led me to perform research in the congregation. I asked people, ‘What if our church recognized you for what you were called to do and we equipped you to do that?’ The church is here to equip you to be a better writer, nurse, doctor or businessman. This is about every worker in every manner of work, because all of it has values in God’s eyes.”
Ten years ago, Spada started the Maestro WorkLife program at his church, creating the online coaching system to help the church practically and affordably equip its congregation. He notes, “Maestro empowers the church to address this big issue that it’s never really addressed at all. Most churches never teach on work at all, let alone the problems people face at work. People wonder, ‘What does this sermon have to do with the gossip I’m dealing with at work?’ If we ever hope to reach culture in this generation, we must figure out how to equip people.”
A former nuclear engineer who spend almost a decade serving on fast-attack submarines, Spada compares the process of outfitting believers to the act of launching an aircraft carrier on a mission. “Only as the carrier arms, equips, briefs on the battle plan, fuels the jet and launches,” he explains, “will it assume maximum dominion. God wants to renovate the way churches function—from a cruise ship mentality to that of an aircraft carrier. People come on board to be trained, to be equipped and to be launched out to fly their mission. We need to operate as an aircraft carrier instead of as a cruise ship, which hits a couple of ports and then comes back to the same place without advancing new territory.” With the Maestro WorkLife program, churches can fulfill their biblical role in the work area. Believers in the work place already are positioned in places of influence, and if they can take hold of their work calling, they will be able to “unleash the most effective, indigenous, discipleship and evangelism forces on the face of this earth, to reach the largest and most fertile mission field of the work place.”
Maestro WorkLife aids believers with a 24/7 coaching system that identifies significant work issues, asking, “What is breaking your rhythm?”
“You take an assessment,” Spada explains. “The whole congregation takes an assessment.” He adds, “The program is branded for the church as if it were launching a mission discipleship program. The church’s greatest ministry is the people it deploys into culture.”
In everyday life, challenging work problems can distract us from our relationship with God. Struggles include balancing work and family life, sexual temptation, feelings of unfulfillment, peer pressure and even questions such as, “Does my work even matter to God?” Dealing with real life issues, Spada’s WorkLife program turns practical problems into areas of growth. It achieves success by assessing issues, cultivating the ability to respond to these issues and navigating a believer’s work situation by strengthening his or her rhythm. Maestro WorkLife encourages believers to realize that “every follower of Christ is in full-time ministry” and describes work as a “symphony in progress led by a divine maestro—a concert in which everyone on the planet is invited to play.”
The WorkLife program has received great feedback from a number of churches, such as Discovery Church in Florida, Peachtree Presbyterian Church in Georgia and Venture Christian Church in California. Dr. Leith Anderson, president of the National Association of Evangelicals and senior pastor of Wooddale Church, uses the practical program at his own church, saying, “We leveraged the experience of WorkLife and brought Maestro to our congregation in a way that has made a revolutionary difference.”
Not only is WorkLife Maestro impacting churches in America, but it is also making waves overseas. Spada mentions Harvest Christian Church in South Africa, which uses Maestro to equip the entire congregation. “They actually had a commissioning service and commissioned 1,400 people as missionaries in the work place,” he says. “It was just like they were commissioning people into the foreign mission field; it’s the same kind of concept. They literally called people up and anointed them for ministry at work. Wow.”
A simple and affordable program that tackles the problems stemming from the place where people spend more than 50 percent of their time, WorkLife effectively empowers believers to make a difference in their culture. That adds up.
To see how Maestro could work in your church, visit WorkLife.org for a free tour and a free top issues report.
About WorkLife Inc.
As one of the leading “Faith at Work” voices in America, WorkLife pioneered the first scalable and sustainable WorkLife coaching system via the Web called Maestro WorkLife Coaching. Founded by Doug Spada (CEO) nearly 10 years ago, WorkLife has collaborated with God, equipping organizations to empower working people to practice an effective life at work. WorkLife is now serving faith-based networks, churches, corporations and small groups across America and beyond.
Visit: WorkLife.org to find out how to use Maestro WorkLife Coaching system can serve your group or organization.
Videos: WorkLife Videos