By Michelle Choi
We can only see ourselves in the context of what we experience, and sometimes interruptions shift our understanding of life. I took the Faith & Work Intensive during a two-year period of personal growth and discovery, when God was working to upend my desires, thoughts and beliefs to love, forgive, and wait. I was involved in different ministries in the city, but lacked a sense of ministry at work.
The Intensive surrounded me with a cohort of accountable friends who cared about my day-to-day work and spiritual life, and prayed for me regardless of failure or success. The weekly devotionals, prayer groups, and theological coursework not only elevated my spiritual discipline but also transformed my heart in a way only God could do to eradicate years of lazy and selfish habits.
I encountered struggles in my career and everyday circumstances such as picking up double workloads and managing an underperforming team while dealing with the end of a serious relationship, to which I normally would have responded with anger, disconnection, and complaints. Given the context of the journey, I prayed for discernment and practiced glorifying God even in my reactions.
Practicing gratitude through unhappy times became a rhythm. The circumstances forced me to dig deeper as to why achievements made up a large part of my core identity, occupying my pride more than my identity in Christ.
The framework of the intensive — the prayer and reading discipline along with transformational exercises — allowed me to rectify again and again what it meant to follow Jesus. The internal process organically turned outward, and my perspective of work changed from contributing in order to increase ROI and revenue to finding meaning in the work that allows effective information to be shared with people ... all of which God cares about.
For those of you who have considered this course, but may have hesitations, I’d encourage you to jump in. As long as you commit to being open, willing, and present with the other members of your cohort, you’ll experience the richness and fullness of the gospel for renewing everyday work.
The 12-week Faith & Work Intensive is part of Redeemer’s Formation programming and hosted by the Center for Faith & Work. Work is one of the primary areas of calling where we are sent as those transformed by Christ to be about the renewing work of God in the world. The next intensive will be held in the Fall of 2018. More details at faithandwork.com.