“I Hate My Job”

I am going to change directions with my blogging for awhile. Though at times I will address other subjects, I am for the most part going to use my blog to further discuss or get input on subjects I talk about at our Sunday gatherings. I invite your comments about issues I have already addressed or ones that I will be teaching on in the near future.

So let’s start with this one. This week in our study through the New Testament book of Colossians we are talking about the work place setting. With all men (or almost all) in the work force and over 50% of the women, I would be interested in your word or brief phrase that describes how you feel about your work. Here are some examples of how others responded when asked the same question.

“I enjoy work. My kids like to eat. I enjoy the camaraderie with the guys. It’s good. I’ve got to pay my bills and make a living.”

“What I think about work is you have to do it so hopefully you’re doing something you like so just not complain about it.”

“I don’t really mind it, but it’s not something I want to do every single day.”

“Work’s great when you’re on your lunch hour. But if you like what you’re doing it’s really fun and that’s the way it should be.”

“Work? Work is a necessary evil. You owe bills so you’ve got to pay. If I didn’t owe bills and had a lot of money I wouldn’t work.”

“It’s a necessity now. We have to work. If I had my druthers I think I would probably go golfing every day. But we don’t have the luxury of doing those types of things.”

“What do I think of work? Work is too much time spent at a place I don’t want to be. I’d much rather be in business for myself and making time for myself and spending more time with the family than spending ten or twelve hours a day doing a job for somebody else, making somebody else rich.”

So, what’s a word that would describe how you feel about your work? Don’t worry, I won’t give this to your boss.

You will spend approximately 40% of your life at work, your job — about 150,000 hours. Surveys show that about 1/3 of Americans say “I hate my job.” Other surveys show that nearly 2/3 of Americans are in the wrong job. You can even like your job and not be in the one that is best suited for what you are. Even many people who are successful at work really don’t feel very fulfilled by their work. They are making money, they have a lot of income, but they don’t really feel fulfilled by their work.

How do you feel about your work? I would be interested in hearing.

Here’s A Big Surprise

When we launched New Venture over three years ago we realized that our style and approach to doing church would attract a certain kind of person. We are contemporary/rock in our music and very relaxed and informal in our environment. Our services are media driven with lots of variety and change from week to week. We meet in a move theater and we are constantly using the big screen for anything from songs to video clips. Our message, though sensitive to the audience, is very direct and filled with appeals for action and life change. We are not what you would call the typical church and therefore we realized we would connect best with an atypical audience.

But one recent connection is somewhat different than expected.

Each week we send out welcome letters to guests who come our way for the first time. Included in the letter is something we call a “First Impression Response Card.” We ask guests to answer four very simple questions.

Last week I received a card back from a couple that has come to New Venture for the last three weeks. The first question on the card is, “How did you hear about New Venture?” Their response was, “I just saw the location when I was working at Enterprise and parked cars in the theater parking lot.”

The second question on the card is, “What did you notice first.” And their response was, “The happy looking people going to church.” That made me feel good.

The third question is, “What did you like best?” For that question their answer was much like others we have received, “The happy people and the music and sermon. It is the way we like it.” I was a little disappointed that the sermon was at the end of the list but I liked the response.

The final question is, “What would you suggest changing?” and their answer was, “Nothing.”

It is not uncommon to get answers like these on first impression cards. What is so unusual and surprising is that the couple attending and responding is in their seventies, and the wife walks with a cane. They are a precious couple. I guess even some in the senior generation finds New Venture to be an exciting place to worship God.

So if you were thinking your neighbors or relatives or co-workers might not like our style or relaxed approach, think again. Give them a chance to see for themselves. You might be surprised as well. What do you think?

What Helps You Grow?

In a recent message I built my thoughts and comments around some interesting words found in the New Testament book of Colossians. Here they are from chapter one, verses twenty-eight and twenty-nine. “We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ. To this end I labor, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me.”

This says to me that the work of Gods leaders is to present everyone they can “perfect in Christ” to the Lord. That sounds daunting, if not impossible, until you understand what “perfect” means. It can mean absolutely sinless. Or it can mean mature and full grown. In this case the word means the latter, mature and full grown.

God wants us to grow up in our relationship with Christ. He wants us to become full grown, mature followers of Him. He wants us to move from spiritual milk to solid spiritual food. He wants us to grow up to become all He wants us to be.

What are some disciplines and practices in your life that help to grow you up as a Christ follower? Let’s be honest, it won’t happen by accident. It will only happen by intention. So what do you intentionally do to help grow you?

One thing I do is keep an appointment with God each morning (or most mornings) at the same time for a little reading, either from the Bible or a good book that will grow me. It gets my thinking in the right direction as I begin the day.

Another thing I do is exercise and pray. I am a speed walker. I walk 3-4 miles a day three or four times a week. I always spend a large part of that time talking with God. It is so refreshing to be outside walking and talking with the creator of it all.

I am also on the lookout for ways that I can help my neighbors. That includes those near and far but especially those right around me. I want to exercise my faith in practical serving ways to those I connect with on a regular basis.

These are a few of the “practices” of my life that stimulate me to grow in my faith and relationship with Christ. What about you? What do you do that helps you grow. Would you be willing to share one or two with our readers so that we can learn from each other? Come on! Hit “Add a Comment” and let us hear from you.