My friend Lukas Naugle, who is a principal at Marketplace One, has written an excellent, super informative, well reasoned article summarizing some of the main insights he recently gained from reading a few dozen books on faith and work.
It’s called The Faith-Work Frankenstein’s Monster. Here’s the gist:
Those who haven’t gained a full-orbed view of the integration of faith and business are still the majority, and they come in various shapes and sizes. Here are some of the faith-work Frankenstein’s monsters I’ve met, and how to avoid releasing a monster yourself.
And here’s one of the best parts (among many others):
It’s important to affirm that business activity has intrinsic value in God’s world, not just instrumental value. Unfortunately, many faith leaders seem to focus on the instrumental value of business. The boss, the client, the church, and perhaps even the family often can treat the businessperson like a tool. We love to be useful to people, and our instrumentality is meaningful, but it’s not healthy to be a tool. Tools are manipulated, abused, demeaned, and wear out over time. A vision of mere instrumentality often leads to the erosion of meaning and motivation in a person’s work.
If you recognize yourself in one of the “monsters” he describes at the beginning, don’t fear. Keep reading to gain a well-articulated, biblical correction to many approaches to integrating faith and work that have some elements of truth, but ultimately fall short.