As we sat around the table over dinner, considering how to truly live out our faith at work, we pondered this question. What is whole life discipleship?
“I don’t know!”
“It’s looking for God in all the opportunities”
“It’s being open to what good works God has prepared for us to do “
“It’s knowing all the days are not an accident, but God has a purpose for all that happens”
“It’s living an integrated life”
The group, which included a GP, a psychologist, a university administrator, a scientist, an accountant, a businessman, an HR specialist and a retired teacher, reflected that we live as if the different parts of our life are separate. We operate separately in our church life, home life and work life; unintentionally but nonetheless separately.
It’s a conversation that I have heard many times over as I mentor people who want to live as disciples at work in a way that transforms their workplace.
Bishop Graham Cray speaking about 21st Century discipleship said: “Discipleship is about living it. It is about living the difference that Jesus makes in whatever context your daily life puts you ….” I am passionate about helping people know how to discover that whole life discipleship is living intentionally in every moment, every situation, every work decision, every relationship, every leisure pursuit… listening for God in each encounter and expecting God to work, and seeing God work in our whole life.
I came to this fairly late on when, as a young(ish) director, puzzled by the dilemmas of a busy work life, a young family and active church, I felt conflicted by the demands of church, work and family.
Surely there had to be more to life than this!
As I stumbled through this dilemma over the next few years, God opened my eyes to whole life discipleship. What he seemed to say to me was “Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering” (Romans 12 verse 1)
Now, many years on and with a portfolio career as a business consultant, non-exec director of several charities and LICC’s ambassador for Transforming Work, I am more convinced than ever that we need to be liberated into being disciples wherever we are.