Last weekend our Pathway group decided to hold an ‘induction service’ for one of the group who was starting a new role as a minister with a local church organisation. In case you’re not sure what an induction is, it is simply a chance to stop and pray for people who have been called into ministry, and to ‘set them apart’ for that important work. It usually involves reading some relevant passages of the Bible, hearing about the specifics of this new role and then praying for a ‘blessing’ on this new minister.
That all seems like good stuff, however once we got to planning the day some uncomfortable thoughts began to emerge.
Thoughts like, “Why are we inducting this guy into a ministry job as if it is more special than anyone else’s job?”. “If we believe in the doctrine of the priesthood of all believers, then why doesn’t everyone get inducted into their jobs?”. “Does this induction service actually send the wrong message to our kids who God might call to be teachers, accountants, policewomen and stock brokers?
So, after mulling on this for a while, we decided that actually we are all called to represent Jesus in our day to day work. It is not more important or holy to be a minister than it is to be a baker. God is vitally interested in all of the various professions and that he is already building into our kids, passions and skills that will enable them to build the Kingdom of God through every good endeavour.
We went ahead with the induction service but we inducted three people that day. Our friend who was called to paid ministry, our friend who was called into ‘web strategy’ for a major consulting firm, and our friend who was called into working with and NGO to help struggling families straighten out their finances. It was one of the most fun church events I have ever been to and I could see in the eyes of our kids, that they got the message that God might really call them to be any number of jobs for the sake of others.
Maybe, your group could consider ‘inducting’ some of your own people in the near future.
Here’s what we did for those who are interested….
1) Coffee, cake and conversation – essential
2) Scattegories ~ we broke people up into teams of 4-5 and asked them to think of a job or vocation for every single letter of the alphabet. You only scored points for ones that no other group got.
3) Vocation 101 YouTube clip – http://youtu.be/ihnzFH2L818
4) Interviewed each of the 3 people with the following questions.
What did you want to be growing up?
What is the best job (or the worst job) you have had and why?
What areas of work do you really love and feel like God uses you best?
What is the role you are about to do?
How do you think God could use you in the work you are about to do?
This month for the Big Year we are ‘Trusting God’. What makes you think that God is leading you into this new job?
5) Prayed for them
6) Got to work – we sent people out in those same teams from earlier to do 10 mins of work together. Weeding the yard, washing up and cleaning the kitchen, folding washing, washing cars (kids)
7) Reinforced the following points
Work is good for us – healthy, manageable, meaningful work.
All of our work can contribute something to the lives of others and can build God’s kingdom.
Work is sometimes fun and fulfilling, and sometimes hard and frustrating but it can all be offered to God as an act of worship. Worship is living as if God is worth it.
8) Meme competition – we set everyone the challenge of creating a meme with the phrase below and asked them to post it to our group Facebook page.
‘Work at its best, is about connecting our passions with the needs of the world.’