by Sara Breetzke, TCA Head of School
I have recently had the pleasure of participating in a book study with a group of Christian business professionals in Omaha. We are reading a book about the intersection of faith and work in our daily lives.
The purpose of our book study is to address this reality: many workers today don’t see a direct connection between their Christian faith and their day-to-day work. Our discussions have led us to see that a right understanding of work requires a reforming of the purposes and desires we have for work.
Each meeting of this group confirms to me the necessity of Christian education and provides vision for TCA graduates in the workplace. Our discussions have brought to light that the work we do is from and for God. Even if our work is seemingly in vain - punching the clock or pushing paper - it is forming us. Our work days are making us more like Jesus or less like him. Ultimately, the book study has discussed that all of our work is to be done alongside the Spirit, empowered and directed by Him.
Here is a group of Christian professionals, serious about living out our faith in the world. And yet, in our 30s and 40s, we are just beginning to understand God’s sovereignty and grace in our work. Why is this kind of workplace dependence so unnatural for us?
I contend it is in part because in our first workplace, in school, many of us were taught that our relationship with God had nothing to do with our work. He was entirely separate from worksheets or math or group work or PE or a correctly written sentence. Nothing could be further from the truth. And if it shocks you that I even suggest such a connection, I’d invite you to consider: is that perhaps because you, too, were formed in a classroom where work was definitively removed from your faith?
How might we think differently about our current workplaces if in elementary or high school our teachers had invited the class to pray for diligence before beginning a difficult assignment, recognizing that the knowledge we would need ultimately came from him? Or if we had considered seventh period science to be a time to learn about God’s creation and to image him in our schoolwork? Or if we had been courageous to take academic risks in the classroom, recognizing that our identity in Christ freed us from fear of failure? Or if when we encountered challenging peer relationships we were reminded of God’s sovereignty through prayer with a trusted adult at school?
If we never had these unifying experiences of faith and work as students, how much more difficult to believe that God cares about and is present in our work as adults. The habit of self-reliance and the forgetfulness of God’s presence at work became our natural response long ago - likely in elementary school.
The goal of a Christian school is not to keep Christian students in a bubble. The goal is to give them the spiritual resources, habits, and identity that allow them to continue operating from a God-awareness once they enter the secular workplace. The ideal TCA Graduates will be convinced that God’s word is true and it speaks to every area of life, empowering them to be a faithful presence in the workplace.
And so we pray that the Spirit will open the eyes of our children’s hearts to what is true of all of our work, from cleaning to lecturing: it is for the glory of God and the good of his people. This is a goal we cannot reach without daily dependence on him, both in the workplace and without.