Intrinsic Value of Work and God's Work

“Vocation is integral, not incidental, to the mission of God in the world.” -Steve Garber

God is a worker. He makes people in his likeness and image reflecting their Maker as workers. 

The vocations, labors, and works of ordinary image bearers are essential to the work of God in the world. In the seemingly inconsequential daily work of people God’s mission and work is fulfilled on the earth.

Labor and work has intrinsic value on its own because God has commissioned all people to partner with him in the redemption of all things.

How so?

Robert Banks in his book Faith Goes to Work describes God as a Vocational Director reflected in the specific kinds of work people do on a daily basis:

1. Redemptive Work (God’s saving and reconciling acts).

People participate in this work as:

  • Pastors
  • Counselors
  • Peacemakers
  • Evangelists
  • Writers
  • Poets
  • Filmakers
  • Actors
  • Performers/dancers
  • Songwriters (when they incorporate redemptive elements in their art)

2. Creative Work (God’s fashioning of the physical and human world).

People in the arts display this work:

  • Poets
  • Writers
  • Painters
  • Sculptors
  • Novelists
  • Musicians, etc.

And, people who are craftsman and use creative skills in their work:

  • Potters
  • Weavers
  • Interior designers
  • Builders/construction
  • Metalworkers
  • Carpenters
  • Architects
  • Urban planners
  • Fashion designers

3. Providential Work (God’s provision and sustaining of humans and the creation).

This work includes anything that sustains and maintains the creation in a beneficial and orderly fashion. And, whatever redeems, conserves, replenishes, and creates :

  • Bureaucrats
  • Policymakers
  • Public utility workers
  • Shopkeepers
  • Career counselors
  • Shipbuilders
  • Farmers
  • Fireman, police, paramedics
  • IT specialists
  • Repairmen
  • Entrepreneur
  • Bankers and brokers
  • Plumbers
  • Engineers
  • Business school professors
  • Plumbers
  • Welders
  • Janitors
  • Mathematicians
  • Sales

4. Justice Work (God’s maintenance of justice). 

  • Judges
  • Lawyers
  • Paralegals
  • Government regulators
  • Legal secretaries
  • City planners
  • Prison wardens and guards
  • Policy advocates and researchers
  • Law professors
  • Diplomats
  • Supervisors
  • Administrators and law enforcement

5. Compassionate Work (God’s involvement in comforting, healing, guiding, and shepherding). 

  • Doctors
  • Nurses
  • Paramedics
  • Psychologists
  • Social workers
  • Therapists
  • Pharmacists
  • Community workers
  • Non-profit directors
  • Emergency medical technicians
  • Counselors
  • Welfare agents
  • Homemaker

6. Revelatory Work (God’s work to enlighten with truth).

  • Pastors
  • Scientists
  • Journalists
  • Scholars
  • Writers

God continues his work in the world through a variety of vocations on the earth. We must celebrate the intrinsic value of work because God gives it significant weight and eternal value, honor, and importance for his redemptive purposes.  

May this give new meaning to your work on Monday. 

*If your job is not mentioned please forgive me. Add it to the appropriate category.