In season 1 of the All Things New Podcast, we’ll be exploring work as calling and what it looks like to view our work as God’s work in the world.
So, we have a podcast now. It’s pretty neat. All 11 episodes from season 1 will be available on Monday, November 13. To subscribe to your preferred podcast service and listen to the teaser episode, go to summitview.com/blog/podcast. To learn more about season 1, keep reading.
t was a Monday morning, the last day of February, 2011. I walked into the office five minutes after eight and was immediately ushered into the conference room by the vice-president and owner. They proceeded to tell me that they were going in a “different direction” with my position and that my employment was terminated, effective immediately. I was given about a half-hour to clean my desk and gather my things and was home by 9 a.m.
Thus ended the first job I had landed after graduating from Colorado State. It was at a small ad agency, and I had been there for just shy of three years, having worked my way up from project manager to assistant creative director.
Truthfully, I had been looking for the next step in my career for some time. So I was not exactly in despair about not working at this particular company anymore, but I was in despair about the future. I was not planning on being unemployed in Greenland
. I was not planning on filing for unemployment benefits and spending the next seven months looking for a job. That Wednesday, two days after the firing, I found myself sitting on the couch in our living room, sobbing, holding onto my wife as hard as I ever had. “I’m so scared,” I cried, over and over again.
My fear was fueled in large part by the fact that my self-worth was based on the satisfaction I found in my work. So if I was miserable while holding a job I at times loathed, there was at least the consolation that I had a job—I was at least doing something
. Not having a job was like having the rug of my identity pulled out from under me. The floor is hard and cold.
That first week of unemployment, I picked up the Bible for the first time in a while. At that point in my Christian walk, I saw God as the Giant Pez Dispenser In The Sky, who doled out the goodies if I pressed the handle just so. Over the next seven months, God re-worked a lot of the wiring in my heart. I came to a much deeper understanding of the gospel; I realized I could find joy and contentment regardless of circumstances because Jesus is enough; I grew in my understanding of work and what God wants from our vocations. Those seven months were hard, and the Lord kept dishing up servings of humble pie. But God used that season to redirect my heart and my life. I am truly, deeply grateful for those seven months.
Eventually, I got a marketing job in Greeley, which lasted for about seven months. Then I interviewed with the pastors for the communications job at Summitview, and, well, here we are.
ou probably have your own stories about the joys and frustrations of work. It gets into our bones, work. It can be the greatest thing and the hardest thing all at once, offering us purpose while positioning itself as an idol in our hearts. The Bible’s narrative is pretty clear that we were made to work, but in our everyday lives, it can be hard to connect our faith to our work in a meaningful way. Too often, we sit disillusioned on the couch, fearful about the future and uncertain of our calling or what difference it makes in the grand scheme of things.
The topic of work and how the gospel shapes the “how” and “why” of it is the theme for the first season (!) of the All Things New Podcast (!). We’ll be dropping all 11 episodes at once, Netflix-style, on Monday, November 13. And each episode attempts to answer a particular aspect of the question of work—what is it good for? Why does it matter?
Christians have a hard time answering that question with clarity. Only a third
of American believers can identify how their work relates to their faith and God’s redemptive work in the world. Many Christians limit the value of their work to providing for their family and tithing to their church. Both good things, but what if our work was an outpouring of love for God and for our neighbors? The Bible’s story depicts our work in this way. We were created to work and serve, using our gifts, talents, time and energy for the good of others and the glory of God.
Our guests range from artists, to entrepreneurs, to teachers, to bakers, to pastors. Jen Dekorte, owner and founder of Sweet Petite Bakery, talks about balancing owning a business with homemaking. Jim Hewitt, owner of The Cupboard, shares his stories and wisdom. Gary Ozzello, outreach and engagement director at CSU, passionately talks about how God uses broken people to do his work. Torgun Lovely, assistant principal at Liberty Common High School, and many others, take deep dives into the intrinsic value of work and what it means to be made in God’s image. We’ll also discuss why vocation is first about becoming a certain type of person who finds identity and value in Jesus.
I can’t tell you how excited I am to share these stories and insights with you. Every episode offers thoughtful and biblical reflections on why our work matters to God. All of the guests love Jesus deeply, and their stories are full of grace and truth. Their willingness to work as unto the Lord (Colossians 3:23-24) is a beautiful, exemplary thing that we would do well to model. I am tremendously grateful for all of them.
Creating this podcast has in itself been a labor of love. It started one summer day as Silas Nelson, Steve Parker and I kicked around ideas in Steve’s in-home recording studio. We’ve had our share of not-sure-what-to-do-with-our-hands moments, but God provided everything. I have a huge amount of appreciation for Silas, Steve and Sebastien Dekleva. Their time and passion—all of it graciously given of their own accord—made this resource a reality.
You can subscribe to the All Things New Podcast on iTunes
. You can also stream every episode at summitview.com/blog/podcast
. Next week, we’ll be posting excerpts from a few of the episodes. If you like what you hear, if the stories are of any value to you, I humbly ask that you help spread the word.
Thanks for listening.