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Non-Holy Work

2007This article is part of CT's digital archives. Subscribers have access to all current and past issues, dating back to 1956.

This month's cover package reminds us with both contemporary examples ("The Mission of Business," page 24) and theological insight ("Work Is Our Mission," page 30) that all work is holy. As Uwe Siemon-Netto writes, "[W]e perform our priestly duties by going to the polls and running for election, by cooking for our families and doing the bookkeeping, by cutting someone's hair. …"

For my birthday recently, my wife bought me a gift certificate to a local hair salon. She apparently thought that my barber was not doing his priestly duty well. When my new stylist was done, I could see her point, and I was reminded of what a service—and even a gift to one's wife—a simple haircut can be.

Most would assume that the people at Christianity Today don't need to be reminded of the holiness of their work. After all, we're "A Magazine of Evangelical Conviction" that thinks and writes about Christianity. Indeed, we begin each week with a prayer meeting, and whenever someone embarks on a major journey (like designer Gary Gnidovic's and editor Rob Moll's recent trips to China), we gather to ask for God's blessings on their journeys. Seems holy enough to most people.

But what I've discovered both as an editor of a religious magazine and as a former pastor is that a lot of holy work boils down to non-holy work done well.

Take pastoring: It is indeed about the "cure of souls," but the calling requires one to perform myriad soulless tasks well. To be a good pastor, you need to be able to balance a budget, run meetings, proof newsletters, manage worship-flow, and most importantly, remember to mention Mrs. Hansen's granddaughter's graduation in the announcements. These are the sorts of things anyone managing an organization has to be ...

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