Mon, Jan 30 2012
Do faith and work mix? And if so, as America’s workforce increasingly wants meaning beyond a paycheck, do pastors help? From a recent national study commissioned by Dallas-based LeTourneau University’s Center for Faith & Work, answers are, “Yes,” and “Not enough.”
“Ninety-three percent of pastors say they want to help members of their congregations integrate faith and work but fully two-thirds of them admit their efforts fall short,” Bill Peel, Center for Faith & Work executive director, said. “People work more, and better, when their labor carries a sense of calling. But most employers can’t give it, and most pastors don’t.”
The church-work gap emerges in data from two surveys commissioned by the Center and conducted by the Barna Group. Highlights:
The LeTourneau University Center for Faith & Work, founded in 2011, reflects a burgeoning “faith at work” movement to help the employed—and unemployed—find God beyond church doors. The Center’s website, www.CenterforFaithandWork.com, assembles resources, tools, and curriculum for churches, students, and the global Christian community to equip and connect them to live out their faith in the workplace. Foundational to the Center is the notion that God values good work well done.
“From Genesis to Revelation, work is essential to human flourishing,” Peel said. “Pastors and pew populations too often default to esteeming ‘church work’ over traditional business. But God doesn’t draw that line.”
“In 1946, R.G. LeTourneau, industrialist and inventor, founded LeTourneau University in Longview, Texas, and his refusal to separate faith and business formed the DNA of the university,” said LETU President Dr. Dale A. Lunsford. “The Center is the university’s strategic initiative to graduate professionals prepared to integrate their faith and work.”
Peel, the founding executive of the LETU’s Center for Faith & Work, is an award-winning author of seven books, including “Workplace Grace,” “What God Does When Men Lead,” and “Discover Your Destiny.” Peel is available for interviews and can provide content for publications on a variety of topics, including:
• Executives’ Faith at Work
• The Faith at Work Movement
• The Bottom Line on Faith at Work
• Five Ways Church Can Send Faith to Work
• What Americans Want: 21st Century Work and Meaning
LeTourneau University is an interdenominational Christ-centered university with its main campus located in Longview, Texas. LETU offers academic majors in aviation, business, criminal justice, education, engineering, health science-nursing, human services, liberal arts, science and psychology. LETU also offers graduate programs online and at educational centers in Athens, Austin, Baytown, Bedford, Dallas, Harlingen, Houston, and Tyler.