Jethani Urges Christians to go to Work "with" God at At Work on Purpose Marketplace Mobilization 2017

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Minister, writer and blogger Skye Jethani tells working Christians at the 14th annual At Work on Purpose Marketplace Mobilization to embrace a more authentic relationship with God by being aware of His constant presence in our lives.

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Skye Jethani addresses Marketplace Mobilization audience. (Memories Matter Photos)

Ninety-five percent of Christians separate God from their work, and only about five percent struggle every day with parking our spiritual selves at the door when we go to work.

Skye Jethani urged Cincinnati’s working Christians to go to work “with God” March 4 at the 14th annual At Work on Purpose(AWOP) Marketplace Mobilization 2017 at Cincinnati Christian University.

Jethani, an ordained minister, author and blogger from the Chicago area, speaks on a wide range of topics, including why Millennials are leaving the church; Christianity and consumerism; the intersection of faith and vocation; and what it looks like and means to live with God, not for, under, over, or from him.

His book, With: Reimagining the Way You Relate to God, discusses four postures Christians can create for themselves that prevent them from having an authentic relationship with God.

“This book spoke to me in a profound way,” said Chuck Proudfit, AWOP founder and president. “Ninety-five percent of Christians separate God from their work, and only about five percent struggle every day with parking our spiritual selves at the door when we go to work.”

“Sometimes we have the view that our primary purpose is to obey God to win his approval or blessings,” said Jethani. “The idea of living 'under' God is that if we do the right things, we can control him and get him on our side.

If we live 'over' God, we believe that by understanding natural laws and principles and placing more faith in science and technology than Him, we can take direct control over our world, he added.

“We put God over to the side, and he is not engaged in our lives,” he said. “A Christian version of living 'over' God is believing that if we run our lives and businesses according to biblical principles, life will go our way.”

Living 'from' God is probably the most common posture in American culture, said Jethani, because it is linked to what he calls ‘consumer Christianity,’ a view that sees God as a spiritual vending machine.

“It’s the idea that God exists to be used like any other consumer product,” he said. “Since we live in a consumer culture, we are often tempted to use God for our own needs or desires. I this posture, God is not the goal, He is the means to achieve that goal… our consumer culture teaches us to use everything, including God.”

Finally, Christians can fall into a trap of believing that they need to live 'for' God. Jethani cited activist Christians, evangelists or social justice workers as examples of people who can become caught up in the belief that their lives only have value in relation to how much they achieve for God in this world.

“What the Father desires most is to have his children with him. The most important thing to God is not obedience or service, it’s your presence,” said Jethani. “God doesn’t need you; he wants you.”

Jethani said Christians can live a life “rooted in the Father,” in which we abide in Him as He abides in us. This can be achieved through prayer, listening to God and cultivating a constant awareness of God’s presence in all that we do.

AWOP leaders held four breakout sessions addressing how working Christians in each of the four posture categories can work toward living "with" God instead of under, over, from or for Him.

Session leaders included: Dan Busken, president and CEO of Busken Bakery; D. Michelle Thompson of Designed for Destiny, LLC; John Hartz, owner of Hartz Sealcoating; Trip Bodley of Smart Data Systems; Daryl Nelson, owner of Chick-fil-A of Bridgewater Falls; Bryan Kaiser of Vernois; John McCarthy, CEO of AGI Hospitality Recruiting; and Rachel Eklund of Witheos.

AWOP, located in Blue Ash, is the nation’s largest, citywide marketplace ministry, connecting more than 8,000 working Christians in greater Cincinnati and the Miami Valley. Founded in 2003, AWOP is dedicated to equipping everyday Christians to find and fulfill God’s purposes for them at work.

For more information, visit http://www.atworkonpurpose.org.

Contact:
Laura Jackson
Email: ljackson(at)skillsource.com
Phone: (800) 513-9580

About At Work on Purpose:

At Work on Purpose is the nation's largest, citywide marketplace ministry, connecting more than 8,000 working Christians in the Cincinnati area and Miami Valley. The nonprofit is dedicated to to equipping everyday Christians to find and fulfill God's purposes for them at work.

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