Discussion Guide for The Gift of Work for Blue Collar Workers
These discussion questions relate to Kent Duncan’s sermon: The Gift of Work for Blue Collar Workers. Learn more about his integrated outreach to blue collar workers by reading his thesis: Facilitating Marketplace Ministry in a Blue-Collar Context.
Tell us something about yourself by answering one of the following questions:
- How’d you end up with the job you’ve got?
- What’s the best part of the work you do?
- What’s the worst day on the job you’ve ever had?
- What do you do/make at your job?
- If you could have the perfect job, what would it be?
Discussion Questions relating to this week’s sermon: The Gift of Work for Blue Collar Workers
- Read Genesis 2:8-17. This passage shows that Adam had work-related responsibilities even in the Garden of Eden. What does this suggest to you about the nature of work? How’d you imagine Adam’s experience of labor in the Garden of Eden?
- Genesis 1:27 says that humanity is created “in the image of God.” Ancient accounts from other cultures use that phrase as well, but only of a nation’s king as their god’s representative over the land. What do you think is the significance, then of Genesis describing every human as formed “in the image of God”?
- In Genesis 1:28, Adam’s assignment is to “fill the earth and subdue it,” to “rule over” it. In Genesis 2:15, Adam is directed to “work” and “take care of” the Garden of Eden. How does this relate to God’s creative activity in Genesis chapter 1?
- The Hebrew words translated “work” and “take care of” in Genesis 2:15 are the same words used throughout the Old Testament for the ministry of Israel’s priests. What does this tell you about how God views human labor?
- G. Charles Aalders suggest that “caring for” the Garden included defending it against “hostile forces."1 Bruce Waltke agrees, declaring that “as priest and guardians of the garden, Adam and Eve should have driven out the serpent."2 These comments suggest that Adam’s responsibilities in the garden included not only the cultivation of the ground but also the defense of God’s territory. In what way do your work responsibilities reflect these of Adam?
- Andy Crouch suggests that over the last 100 years or so Christians have typically reacted to culture in one of four ways: by (1) condemning, (2) critiquing, (3) copying, or simply (4) consuming it. He suggests a fifth possibility: cultivating culture. How do Adam’s responsibilities to cultivate and create within the Garden shape your thoughts about God’s purpose in your work?
- In what ways might you view your work differently this week in light of the Scriptures we’ve looked at today?
G Charles Aalders, Genesis, The Bible Student’s Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1981), 92.
Bruce K. Waltke, Genesis: A Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2001), 87.