What does it mean for Christians to have a vocation? How may we glorify God through our work? Most people spend the majority of their waking hours at work, but rarely consider how they glorify God through their vocation.
In Every Waking Hour, Benjamin Quinn and Walter R. Strickland II offer a theological framework for understanding the intersection between the Christian life and the various ways we spend our time. “Work” isn’t simply our careers, it’s any way we engage with God’s creation. Doing so helps us develop a more robust understanding, based in Scripture, of how Monday through Friday intersect with Sunday morning.
Christ-followers are not merely chaplains on the job site—we are ministers in God’s world. We are to join our work with Christ’s work of making all things new.
Many Christians struggle to make sense of their work lives. Some of us are tempted to find our identities in our careers. Others of us are tempted to see our work as drudgery. This book shows us how to see our work through the prism of the kingdom of God. This book is biblical, practical, and wise.
—Russell Moore, President, Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission
Evangelical Christianity continues to fall prey to the idea that the Lord’s work is done only by pastors and missionaries. Every Waking Hour helps us correct this error with a vision of ministry as something every Christian can and should do. Beginning with a robust biblical theology of work and vocation, it builds a wise and workable vision of kingdom life in the workplace. Then we will recognize that equipping God’s people for works of service (Eph. 4:12) is as much for cubicles, school rooms, and communities as for church.
—Gerry Breshears, professor of systematic theology, Western Seminary, Portland
I have often thought it was risky to designate a single person in a congregation as ‘the minister’ when the Christian Scriptures seem to place ‘the work of the ministry’ on the shoulders of all who follow Christ. For this reason and more, Every Waking Hour is a gift to us all one hundred times over. Strickland and Quinn remind us that our job descriptions cannot ultimately be written on cards, etched into name plates, or affixed to email signatures. They are given by God for the world's good and God's glory. This book casts a compelling vision for vocation that is relevant to any believer with breath in their lungs and it arrives not a moment too soon.
—Jonathan Merritt, author of Jesus Is Better Than You Imagined, contributing writer for The Atlantic
“So where does work take place? Wherever people interact with God’s world—whether planting bulbs or planting churches, raising children at home or driving to the office, writing a song or writing an amicus brief—it is all work.” (Page 7)
“The essence of humanity’s goodness is that we are image-bearers of God himself, which means that, like God, we exist in relationship to the things and people around us. Human existence is characterized by four relationships that illuminate the scope of redemption and demonstrate how our work furthers God’s plan of redemption: relationship with God, with one another, with oneself, and with God’s creation.” (Page 10)
“We argue that every Christ-follower is a minister by virtue of his or her relationship to God and the world around them.” (Page 3)
“The metaphorical space between the ‘ordained’ and the ‘ordinary’ in the church, however, is unfortunate and unbiblical.” (Pages 2–3)
“In the end, a worldview divided into sacred and secular spheres undermines the teachings of Scripture (Gen 1; 1 Tim 4:4) and fails to recognize that the Christian life as a whole is dedicated to the Lord.” (Page 10)
Benjamin T. Quinn serves as associate dean for institutional effectiveness and assistant professor of theology and history of ideas at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and The College at Southeastern. Quinn received his PhD in theology from the University of Bristol, UK, and lives with his wife and three children in Wake Forest, NC.
Walter R. Strickland II is special advisor to the president for diversity and instructor of theology at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. Strickland holds an MDiv and ThM from Southeastern and is pursuing a PhD in theology from the University of Aberdeen (Scotland).
Natan de Carvalho