Facilitating Marketplace Ministry in a Blue-Collar Context: Results
Building upon the insights gleaned from the literature review as described in chapters 2 and 3, the field project consisted of two related pursuits. First, the work- and faith-related perceptions of blue- and white-collar workers were compared and contrasted through the analysis of data from a national assessment instrument. Second, that information was combined with other project research to create ministry tools designed to establish and strengthen the understanding of work-faith relationships among blue-collar workers. These resources were field tested through implementation in a local church setting. This chapter details the preparation and execution of the project, summarizes the results of the project, and offers thoughts on the project’s contribution to ministry.
Preparation of the Project
The preparation of the project was accomplished in two distinct phases: (1) Data Assessment and (2) Field Intervention. The next two subsections detail these processes.
The Discipleship AssessmentTM from Discipleship Dynamics1 served as the measurement tool for work-related attitudes among blue-collar and white-collar workers for this project. Jefferson Assembly of God was one of six churches involved in the reliability assessment phase of the development of this new instrument. Discipleship AssessmentTM measures five broad discipleship dimensions and forty specific outcomes of discipleship. The data for the validity and internal reliability of this instrument is high.2 For this study only the responses to the eighty-three questions related to the dimensions of faith and work were analyzed.
Of the initial 319 Discipleship AssessmentTM participants, 128 people identified themselves as white-collar workers while fifty-three identified as blue-collar. Given the disparity in the number of participants from each category, and in order to provide equitable groupings for analysis, several steps were taken with the data before analysis. First, all participants not working full-time were eliminated, leaving eighty-three white-collar workers and thirty-one blue-collar workers. Next, the records of white-collar workers were randomly deleted, first by eliminating every second participant in the data list (beginning with the second participant listed) and then by deleting every fourth participant (beginning with the first participant listed). After completing those two steps, the records of thirty-one full-time white-collar workers remained, matching the number of full-time blue-collar workers who completed the assessment.
Each question was answered on a seven-point Likert Scale. The averages were computed separately for every answer, and the results of the averages obtained by white- collar workers were compared to those of blue-collar workers. When the average scores between the two groups differed by 10 percent or more, it was deemed that a significant difference existed in the average scores between the two groups. Tables 1 and 2 list those statements where the mean responses between the two groups were significant. Table 1 shows statements perceived by blue-collar workers to be less characteristic of themselves, while Table 2 shows those statements they perceived to be more characteristic of themselves.
Table 1. Statements Less True of Blue-Collar Workers by a Difference of 10 Percent or More3
|Assessment Statement||Mean White Collar Response||Mean Blue Collar Response||Numerical Difference||Percentage Differenc|
|A||I feel like I'm on a "divine mission" when I'm at work.||2.96||4.42||1.46||21%|
|B||My debt is under control.||2.43||3.65||1.21||17%|
|C||I understand the competitive advantage that my company has.||2.71||3.79||1.08||15%|
|D||My career has become a "divine mission."||3.01||3.92||0.91||13%|
|E||My work provides me a sense of purpose in life.||2.82||3.67||0.85||12%|
|F||I don't really have any contact with poor people.||4.25||5.06||0.81||12%|
|G||I have a good grip on the future challenges that face my field of work.||2.37||3.16||0.79||11%|
|H||I feel like a "shepherd" for other disciples.||3.09||3.88||0.79||11%|
|I||God has called me into the career that I am in now.||2.67||3.35||0.68||10%|
|J||The primary purpose in my career is to make a difference for others.||2.42||3.09||0.67||10%|
Table 2. Statements More True of Blue-Collar Workers by a Difference of 10 Percent or More 4
|Assessment Statement||Mean White Collar Response||Mean Blue Collar Response||Numerical Difference||Percentage Differenc|
|K||I believe trying to play the good guy in business will harm profitability.||6.39||5.51||0.88||13%|
|L||I would rather our youth participate in gospel outreach than in community service.||5.27||4.45||0.81||12%|
|M||I often wish I could have a clearer understanding of my gifts and talents.||3.99||3.20||0.80||11%|
Overall, the results of the data align with the expectations held when approaching this project. A review of the data prompts four observations. First, and most striking among all the results, blue-collar workers consistently indicated less awareness of any certain calling in their work than did white-collar workers. The following statements—six out of the thirteen statements for which significant differences exist—all relate to a lack of a sense of divine purpose on the job:
- I feel like I’m on a “divine mission” when I’m at work.
- My career has become a “divine mission.”
- My work provides me a sense of purpose in life.
- God has called me into the career that I am in now.
- The primary purpose in my career is to make a difference for others.
- I often wish I could have a clearer understanding of my gifts and talents.
In each case, blue-collar workers revealed a more limited perception of divine mission, calling, and purpose, and likewise a more limited understanding of their gifts and talents, than their white-collar counterparts. A key challenge of the field intervention, then, became connecting what might be perceived as ordinary or mundane work to God’s divine purpose. The biblical record of Adam fulfilling God’s mandate by cultivating a garden, the hands-on nature of Bezalel and Oholiab’s craftsmanship, and Paul’s exhortation to slave laborers in Colossians 3 all took on deepened significance as a result.
The second most prominent distinction relates to the first, reflecting a potential lack of connection on the part of blue-collar workers with their workplaces and perhaps with others in the workplace. Blue-collar workers consistently perceived the following statements as less true of themselves than did white-collar workers:
- I understand the competitive advantage that my company has.
- I have a good grip on the future challenges that face my field of work.
- I feel like a “shepherd” for other disciples.
With these statements, blue-collar workers indicated less understanding of their company’s competitive advantage, less understanding of future job-related challenges, and less awareness of any personal leadership influence toward other followers of Christ who share the workplace with them. To some degree, a white-collar worker might rightly be expected to have a broader perspective on the company as a whole and the unique opportunities and challenges that lie ahead. Equally, a white-collar worker might be more likely to carry supervisory responsibilities on the job and therefore live with a greater awareness of his or her circle of influence.
Still, these distinctions highlight the risk of the blue-collar laborer reducing his or her work to nothing more than the machine-like completion of a series of assigned tasks in order to receive a paycheck. The Scriptures present work differently, giving rich dignity to all honest labor and tying the work of even the least-esteemed workhand to the greater work of God. Here, then, the biblical revelation of God himself as a worker and of humanity’s capacity for work as a reflection of His image carry deepened consequence. Additionally, the role of the Holy Spirit in calling and equipping individuals according to God’s plan adds eternal value to every job. Moreover, positive relational influence on the job should be capitalized upon regardless of whether a worker carries supervisory responsibilities or not. During the field intervention, Adam’s role as a creator of culture helped address this challenge.
Responses to statements B and F—“My debt is under control” and “I don’t really have any contact with poor people”—highlighted the financial challenges sometimes experienced more acutely in the blue-collar context. The strong concern about debt among blue-collar workers confirmed the conclusion of chapter 3 that financial security remains one of the weightiest issues within the blue-collar community. Perhaps as a result of those financial constraints, blue-collar workers are also more likely to have had contact with poor people. While all of this accentuates the challenges of blue-collar workers in terms of financial limitations and may point to the need for additional practical instruction in matters like money management, it also suggests that the blue-collar community itself may serve as a significant avenue for ministry among the poor through pre-existing relational connections.
To the advantage of such ministry, the Scriptures clearly declare that while the wealthy may face unique challenges that hinder their embrace of the gospel (Luke 18:25), the Kingdom is within close reach of the poor (6:20). The harvest may be most plentiful (10:2) among those who possess the least. Additionally, as a heightened awareness of the significance of human labor impacts job performance positively, the potential exists to see “redemption and lift" 5 improve the financial status of blue-collar laborers.
In another interesting disparity, responses to statement K revealed that blue-collar workers are more likely than white-collar workers to believe that “trying to play the good guy in business will harm profitability.” This attitude may issue from the somewhat rough- and-tumble nature of blue-collar culture in general, where a sense of life as a fight for survival dominates. This view may also, however, reflect a focus on conflict over labor rights within a company itself more than a focus on the fight for any company’s success in the marketplace at large. Blue-collar workers often view the world through the lens of labor- management battles. Addressing the limited sense of connection that blue-collar workers feel with their company overall may form part of the solution here.
The blue-collar propensity for simple and direct communication appears to show up in statement L, where—significantly more than white-collar workers—blue-collar workers agreed, “I would rather our youth participate in gospel outreach than in community service.” In the same way that broad generalizations sometimes describe the whole world for the blue- collar worker, life is often viewed in fairly distinct categories—for example, the rich versus the poor, labor versus management, or liberal versus conservative. Here, the blue-collar workers see a strong distinction between gospel outreach and community service. They do not as easily recognize, understand, or embrace holistic and nuanced approaches. This project addresses those challenges by connecting and overlapping otherwise distinct concepts like work, ministry, and calling.
Analysis of the data, then, suggests that the church’s greatest challenge involves helping the blue-collar worker understand and develop his or her sense of divine calling and purpose. Concurrent with that challenge, the typical blue-collar worker needs help understanding the unique capacities afforded him or her both in the form of natural talents present at birth and fresh gifts resulting from the presence and anointing of the Holy Spirit. Additionally, blue-collar laborers would benefit from a fresh understanding of ministry opportunities and a more holistic conception of ministry.
The Review of Published Research
Research into the biblical foundation for a theologically-grounded understanding of work shaped the creation of project-related ministry tools used in this intervention. Four key themes emerged as central components behind any biblical perspective on work. The literature review revealed that (1) work is not something to endure or avoid, but something to embrace and enjoy as God’s gift to humanity and as an expression of His image and dominion; (2) Sabbath rest serves an essential role in humanity’s experience of work, providing a necessary counterbalance against humanity’s propensity to give work unwarranted significance; (3) the Holy Spirit’s calling and equipping interlaces the work of every willing individual with the work of God himself and of others toward accomplishing God’s eternal plan, and (4) work gives humanity the opportunity to prophetically expresses the ultimate consummation of all things in Christ in ways that God himself will redeem, refine, and renew in His Kingdom come.
A review of blue-collar-related contemporary literature focused on identifying key characteristics common among blue-collar workers and exploring both the historical and current relationship between blue-collar workers and the Faith at Work movement. Although economic developments and technological advances have resulted in significant changes within the blue-collar environment over the past fifty years, a review of contemporary literature suggests that blue-collar workers retain the same sort of down-to-earth qualities present since the earliest days of the labor movement. In short, blue-collar workers appreciate direct communication, hold close-knit loyalties, and value hands-on practicality. Additionally, blue-collar workers share three common concerns: job security, financial stability, and the challenge of building a positive personal identity in a milieu often filled with mixed messages regarding significance and worth. All of these factors shaped the development of ministry tools employed in the local church field project.
The Scheduling of Field Intervention
The intervention design originally called for a ten-week project—four consecutive weeks of Sunday services trailed by six weeks of small group follow-up. However, when research highlighted the strong blue-collar partiality toward brevity of speech and practical application, I compacted the Sunday services and small-group follow-up meetings into a single, more intense, four-week process. The shorter timeframe also simplified plugging the intervention itself into the broader church calendar. The project was also compacted and simplified by replacing planned focus groups with informal, one-on-one conversations with blue-collar workers. These conversations confirmed the conclusions drawn in chapter 3 regarding the nature and challenges of blue-collar labor.
Considering potential dates for the field project, I eliminated the summer months of June, July, and August, as well as the winter months of November and December due to competing activities. Between the remaining spring and fall options, the fall was preferred due to the density of pre-existing activities on the spring calendar. Having assessed the best fit for the church calendar overall, the intervention began on September 28, 2014.
The Development of Field Project Materials
Development of the field project materials focused on introducing blue-collar workers to the truths uncovered in the biblical-theological review while giving particular attention to the unique qualities revealed in the contemporary literature review and the comparative analysis of assessment data. I developed four sermons, each focusing on one of the four biblical themes unearthed during the work-related biblical-theological research. From those sermons, I also created discussion guides designed to expand on and reinforce key themes from the messages through small-group interaction. A brainstorming session with church staff members produced the series title: 9 – 5 ‘til Kingdom Come. We chose this title in an effort to tie the ordinary workday to Christ’s eternal Kingdom. Additionally, this title was chosen in hopes that, through participation in the project process, what might have sounded foreboding upon first reading—the thought of laboring without end—would become, ultimately, a confident declaration of human work as a prophetic anticipation and expression of Christ’s Kingdom.
A project graphic was created for all printed materials and electronic media used throughout the campaign. In an effort to mix the often manual and mechanical nature of blue- collar labor with the future-orientation of Kingdom work, the graphic featured “9 – 5” in a handwriting-styled font and the words “’til Kingdom Come” in an LCD-display type font layered over an electronically enhanced representation of mechanical levers and gears. Utilized in church publications, promotional posters, Facebook posts, sermon graphics, and small-group discussion resources, the image visually connected the various elements of the project.
Preparation for the final Sunday service required the creation of a second project- related graphic. As part of that service, participants were commissioned for ministry in their workplaces much like a person might be ordained as part of a public worship service. Often, in the commissioning of ministerial professionals, candidates receive a shepherd’s crook, an ordination stole, or some other token as a tangible reminder of those spiritually significant moments. For this project’s commissioning service, a simple but emphasis-appropriate t-shirt was prepared as a sacred reminder for each participant.
The commissioning gift bore a logo designed to reinforce the instruction offered particularly during the second half of the project. Specifically, the third service for this project focused on work done in the empowerment of the Holy Spirit as evidenced by the Old Testament craftsmen Bezalel and Oholiab (Deut. 31:1-11). The final service focused on the reward promised in Scripture for work done “with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters” (Col. 3:23). In an effort to memorably connect the participants’ commissioning experience in the final service with the pneumatological example of Deuteronomy 31 and the eschatological promise of Colossians 3, each participant received a denim-blue t-shirt featuring a screen-printed, pocket-sized logo. The logo featured the image of a crown and, below the crown in ornate script, the words “Bezalel & Oholiab.” Below that, in smaller block letters, the shirt read “By Appointment to His Majesty the King.” To the casual observer, the logo might appear to simply promote a quality-focused business; however, to the cognizant wearer the shirt provides a reminder that he or she, through Spirit-empowered, Kingdom-focused work, serves the same eternal King and God-glorifying purpose as did Bezalel and Oholiab.
The development of project materials also required the creation of various paper forms, email lists, and electronic spreadsheets for the purpose of recruiting participants to the project and tracking their ongoing participation.
The Recruitment of Field Project Participants
I primarily recruited project participants from among the attendees of Jefferson Assembly of God in Meriden, Kansas. Given the breadth of job categories occupied by blue- collar workers, I only set two parameters: participants were to be employed thirty-two hours a week or more in a job not requiring a college degree. I recruited through announcements made during public services of the church, email appeals, and personal conversation with known contacts. A printed recruitment and response handout offered details on the expected level of involvement for participants and a perforated card for removal and submission by interested parties. Thirty-one different participants engaged the process on various levels. Ultimately, twenty-five individuals completed the project by participating in exit interviews designed to provide a qualitative assessment of the project.
Execution of the Project
The local church intervention phase launched on September 28, 2014, with that Sunday’s morning service at Jefferson Assembly of God. Mid-week follow-up began that Tuesday, as small-group discussion opportunities for each sermon were available Tuesday and Wednesday evenings at 7:00 p.m. and the following Sunday morning at 9:00 a.m. throughout each week of the campaign. Evening meetings generally lasted an hour and a half while the Sunday morning sessions were limited to an hour. Participants had the option of attending whichever follow-up session best fit their schedule. In the event of a Sunday morning absence, I asked the participants to listen to the message online the following week. Participants unable to attend a discussion session during any given week were asked to review the discussion questions privately.
The project’s first week focused on Genesis 1-2:3 and “The Gift of Work.” Examining the Scripture’s creation account, participants were encouraged to recognize work as part of God’s gift of a perfect world to His human creation, a reflection of what it means to be made in His image, and a means of filling and subduing the earth in His authority. The follow-up session for week one made use of a number of discussion questions and included a brief video by Andy Crouch titled Stepping into Culture.6 In the video, Crouch highlighted various ways in which the church has approached culture over the last century, but—building on Genesis 2 and Adam’s responsibilities in the Garden of Eden—encouraged believers to embrace the priorities of creating and cultivating culture.
Week two also emphasized Genesis 2:2-3 and “The Gift of Rest,” arguing that a biblical understanding of work remains incomplete apart from a biblical understanding of Sabbath rest. A brief video titled Workaholic7 introduced the Sunday morning message, which presented Sabbath rest as a form of testimony, an opportunity for celebration, a tool for building identity, and a prophetic expression of the eternal rest promised the people of God (Heb. 4:9).
Having rooted humanity’s work in the creation account, week three focused attention on “The Gift of Ability” and the role of the Holy Spirit in human work. The story of Bezalel and Oholiab in Exodus 31:1-11 introduced a message about the purposeful calling, abundant empowerment, and cosmic connection the Holy Spirit provides to humanity’s work. This service also utilized a video testimony by actor Stephen Baldwin describing how a Spirit- empowered housekeeper led him and his wife to the Lord.8 The discussion group material connected all of this more explicitly to the theological concept of vocation.
Week four celebrated “The Gift of Future” and the eschatological promise of “an inheritance from the Lord” for labor offered “as working for the Lord, not for human masters” (Col. 3:23). The sermon particularly emphasized the concept of humanity’s work as something the Lord “preserves, sanctifies and directs … toward the future age of God's redemptive reign.”9 As a celebration of human labor, the congregation was encouraged to “Wear your work clothes to Worship!”—dressing for church service as if it were an ordinary work day. At the close of this final service in the series, the thirty-one project participants were invited to present themselves before the congregation as the church’s spiritual overseers gathered around them, laid hands on them, and commissioned them for ministry in their workplaces. Over the following week, the series concluded with discussion of Sunday’s material in small-group follow-up meetings.
Results of the Field Project
Three weeks after the conclusion of the field intervention, twenty-three participants reflected on their 9 – 5 ‘til Kingdom Come experiences in small-group and one-on-one interviews. Interviews were conducted using open-ended questions about project themes along with a checklist of key thoughts for noting congruent responses. The interviews were conducted in a variety of locations convenient to the participants, including the church facility, a local restaurant, and a workplace cafeteria. Each interview gave participants the opportunity to articulate their experiences as they desired while the interviewer listened for points of correspondence (or dissonance) between what was said and the primary emphases of the study series.
This qualitative assessment by way of interview responses showed a strong understanding of and appreciation for the materials presented along with a corresponding transformation of attitudes about work and its place in the life of faith. With regard to the emphasis of week one, presenting work as God’s gift, one participant remarked, “This filled my understanding of work with a whole new purpose. I spent a long, stressful time lining up with corporate goals. Now I’m lined up with God’s goals.” A production line worker noted a fresh perspective, as well. “It’s great to know I’m not just putting in my time,” he announced. “I have a new awareness of purpose.” A bank clerk announced succinctly, “My work became bigger.” A print shop employee caught the connection between Adam’s activity and his own: “By my work,” he boasted, “I’m bringing things into being. Even if it’s only cutting dog food labels, I’m creating.” What had been merely a job for many became, instead, a means of expressing God’s character and accomplishing God’s purposes through work.
The conversation surrounding Sabbath rest during week two also sparked significant reflection and transformed action. One couple described how they were now choosing to intentionally practice Sabbath rest by establishing certain non-negotiable boundaries for themselves. They had agreed together to make sure their Sabbath had a different character than other days. A machinist acknowledged a deeper understanding of the reasons for and principles behind Sabbath rest. “Life has changed to the point that Sunday isn’t the only day for the Sabbath,” he said. “For today’s schedules, it’s not so important the day of Sabbath but that you actually acknowledge the Sabbath.” Others commented on how what had been a ritualistic requirement was now becoming a treasured priority. “I had treated Sabbath as ‘got to’—as though I was going to work,” said one. “Now I realize ‘I get to.’” Another participant—a secretary—said about Sabbath observance, “I did it happily, but on autopilot. Now, I experience deliberately looking forward to … to anticipating … the refreshing.”
A number of participants were now considering the concept of the Sabbath from a new perspective and pondering what it ought to look like for them. My administrative assistant, in observing this process, made the following comment: “It seems as if, for these participants, it had always been something legalistic—something one had to do,” she observed. “Now, some were experiencing their new-found Sabbath freedom with a bit of anxiety. They were being forced to ask themselves, ‘What should Sabbath look like?’” In a culture that increasingly views every day as just like any other day, this study challenged workers to consider the implications of the biblical call to Sabbath rest.
The impact of week three, focusing on the equipping and empowerment of the Holy Spirit, seemed more difficult for participants to articulate. Men, in particular, found describing the place of the Holy Spirit in their work problematic. Still, the sessions carried impact. One young lady who after a fairly recent job change labeled her new job as “underwhelming” still described how the Holy Spirit was helping her recognize her gifts and abilities through her employment. “Although this job is not what I imagined,” she shared, “through it the Holy Spirit has given me a fresh understanding of myself and who I am.” A young man described the work of the Holy Spirit this way: “He helps me to remember who I serve … who’s my boss … that I’m working for God and I want to please Him.” A heavy equipment operator summed up his on-the-job experience with the Holy Spirit by saying, “We were created to work. And work is worship. And the Holy Spirit is in our worship.
Therefore He’s always on the job.” Although points of correspondence between the instruction offered and the comments of the participants interviewed seemed not as direct as some of the other emphases, still, participants found reason to celebrate a fresh awareness of connection between themselves and the activity of the Holy Spirit on the job.
Week four, on the other hand, carried particularly distinct and rich impact. Participants found the concept of a renewed earth (as part of a “new heaven and a new earth”) particularly compelling, especially when coupled with the idea that work today might somehow connect both to eternal reward and to continuing work in the age to come. Because of this fresh perspective on eternity, one participant—a truck driver by day and blue-grass musician by night—remarked, “I’m going to have to rewrite every gospel hymn I ever sang!” As a result of his new outlook, that worker was called into his boss’s office so that his supervisor could reprimand him—tongue-in-cheek—for being too happy on the job.
People were consistently taken aback by the thought that eternity might not involve so much an escape from this earth as the renewal of this earth and the continuing participation of the redeemed with it as part of God’s eternal plan. “I’d seen heaven as a giant sanctuary where we couldn’t help but stand and worship forever,” said one individual. “But the idea of work continuing in a new earth excites me!” Said another, “I was concerned about being flat-out bored in heaven. I’m happy to know the value of work and that in heaven, I’ll be busy!” A third participant—a custodian—announced with fresh understanding, “My work is part of something spectacular.”
One laborer shared a fresh understanding of his responsibilities as a steward of the earth: “God didn’t create the earth and all that’s in it and say, ‘It’s no good—I hate it, but I’ll use it for now.’ No, he rejoiced over it … and we have a responsibility in it now!” A construction company employee celebrated his new understanding of the connection between today and eternity: “Wow—I’m excited—excited that somebody would step away from the old to embrace the new. The box is open. We’re in the game!” In the past, he said, “we’ve raced toward Sunday to receive a blessing, and thrown six perfectly good days away. It’s all now!” As the project developed, the connection between today and eternity seemed the most important connection to form. Encouragingly, it appeared to be the insight that carried the most weight when the process was completed.
The Project’s Contribution to Ministry
Over a century ago, Christian leaders who understood the implications of the gospel for every worker acted on behalf of the common laborer in the context of the workplace. As a result, work conditions improved, the workweek was reduced, on-the-job safety enhanced, job security strengthened, pay increased, and the American middle-class born. That biblically-rooted challenge of contemporary labor practices, paired with the harnessing of the American propensity toward productivity and creativity, resulted in national prosperity on levels never seen before or since. Certainly not every day was prosperous or trouble-free, but on the whole, America grew to a place of international leadership in large part through the labor of her people.
In more recent years, the connection between the workplace and the gospel has been largely forgotten. Lack of understanding, neglect of biblical truth, and broader cultural challenges to the Judeo-Christian heritage historically so characteristic of this nation have resulted in separating Sunday’s worship from Monday’s workplace. Where the sacred finds honor at all, it still often remains subject to the now-so-common sacred-secular divide. Where efforts are being made to restore those connections in the marketplace, the focus lies almost exclusively with business owners, entrepreneurs, and upper-level management— people with some level of liberty and autonomy to infuse their workplace with biblical values and a sense Christian mission.
This study set out to change that by renewing the faith-work connection for blue- collar laborers—people with workdays often characterized by limited workplace autonomy, undesirable and sometimes unsafe work environments, and employer practices that too often fail to recognize the humanity of employees and the dignity of honest labor. Although the challenges for the blue-collar worker may be different than they were a century or more ago, the biblical implications for every laborer remain just as significant and compelling. Moreover, if the glory of labor as the Scriptures portray it could once more capture the sleeping giant that is the American workforce, significant transformation would result on multiple levels. Not only would a new spiritual vitality infuse work, but common employer challenges like absenteeism, tardiness, and employee theft (of product, materials, or company time) would plummet and productivity would, of necessity, increase. The American economy, so marked by stagnation and lethargy in recent years, would, by default, awaken. The economic recovery sought so earnestly through political and financial manipulation would, instead, become a happy by-product of spiritual revitalization.
This project, in ways I am unaware of otherwise happening, offers a small and initial expression of how to initiate this spiritual rebirth. Rooted in the most common and basic entities—the eternal truth of Scripture, the dynamic organism called the local church, and the everyday American worker—this promise of national revitalization requires nothing that the most ordinary American community lacks. Because of that, although the present impact of this study remains limited, the potential for exponentially greater impact stands—and stands in a way that pleads for development and duplication. The day that every person who claims the name of Christ works as a Christian ought to work—“for the Lord, not for human masters” (Col. 3:23)—the world will be unable to ignore the transformation.
Johan Mostert, “Holiness as a Function of Psycho-behavioral Monitoring and Spiritual Mentoring: The Talmideem Agenda Research Project” (presented at the 42nd Annual Meeting of the Society for Pentecostal Studies, Seattle, WA, March 23, 2013), and Johan Mostert, “Outcomes-based Research on Spirit-filled Discipleship: Progress Report (Year II)” (presented at the 43rd Annual Meeting of the Society for Pentecostal Studies, Springfield, MO, March 6, 2014).
Mostert, “Outcomes-based Research.”
This table is an abbreviated version of Table 1 in Appendix A, which provides the complete list of assessment questions.
This table is an abbreviated version of Table 2 in Appendix A, which provides the complete list of assessment questions.
Donald A. McGavran, Understanding Church Growth, 3rd ed., rev. ed. C. Peter Wagner (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1990), 209.
“Stepping Into Culture by Andy Crouch,” Q Ideas, accessed August 14, 2014, http://old.qideas.org/video/stepping-into-culture.aspx/.
7 “Work as Worship Video Kit with Matt Chandler, Norm Miller of Interstate Batteries and David Green of Hobby Lobby,” Work as Worship Network, accessed August 4, 2014, http://www.workasworshipnetwork.org/work-as-worship-video-kit-with-matt-chandler-norm-miller-of- interstate-batteries-and-david-green-of-hobby-lobby/.
“Stephen Baldwin - I Am Second,” I Am Second, accessed August 4, 2014, http://www.iamsecond.com/seconds/stephen-baldwin/.
Murray Dempster, “Christian Social Concern in Pentecostal Perspective” (presented at the 20th Annual Meeting of the Society for Pentecostal Studies, Lakeland, FL, 1991), 36.