Engage 2010 has been over the last 2 weekends with speakers Tim Blencowe on Titus and Steve Timmis on 1 Peter.
We effectively heard 2.5 talks from each of the speakers – a short introductory talk on the Friday night, followed by a full talk on the Saturday and Sunday mornings, breaking the normal tradition of a Saturday night talk. That talk was replaced with a panel of 5 people speaking through various experiences of work combined with a Q&A time. I didn’t find it particularly relevant or helpful, and subsequently fell asleep during it. After the Saturday night session the Steve Morrison Quartetplayed, joined by the talented Con Campbell and featuring an impromptu performance by Colin Buchannan.
The talks were based around good work and identity in Christ; following Jesus’ example and shaping the world from the margins. These things didn’t seem specifically targeted to the ‘young worker‘, they would have worked just as well with older workers. There was no push to how to go about doing this good work, or even what it was, it was just a kind of blanket command to do them….
One thing that was said from the pulpit that struck me was that
Within 2 years of working, many many many people turn away from Jesus. They disconnect.
This is a pretty short time in the scheme of things… And yet it appears to ring true. The world is a place in which you can lose yourself. I looked at the reasons why I was still a Christian, having spent 6 years in the workforce, most of those in a large corporate company, and came up with the following:
- I know and love Jesus Christ as my savior and redeemer, I know of the great sacrifice that He made by giving up His life in submission to God the Father.
- I’m involved in my church, and have found a way to be loving and serving the members on a regular basis.
- I’ve kept ‘the world‘ at arms length, by not relating as much as I could to it, because I know and have seen the great sin and temptation that flows out there. This has it’s disadvantages in that I’ve not been able to be a great witness to my non-Christian friends though.
I think that Engage needs to address some of these issues. Not just speak of how to do what the world expects us to do and take what we’re given there, but to stand up and make a difference and to know that we’re not alone out there. We have unity in Christ and unity in the Church as the Body of Christ. Some things that I’d like to see are:
- Talks on evangelism, targeted at method that can be used in the workplace. Encouragement towards events that have been setup to help evangelism, like City Bible Forum
- Examples of what people have done to continue to build themselves and each other in the workplace. When I was at the bank, I found a Christian in my workplace and ended up forming a group of 5 guys that met up with each other to read the bible and pray over lunch once a week. I was also able to gather people that attended my Church; past and present to meet up on occasion to share in fellowship over a meal.
- Talks on generosity and money. Young workers are in a unique position, generally single and looking at mortgages, or at least saving to buy a house. They have a responsibility to be good stewards of the financial gifts that God has bestowed on them. Why not be generous rather than materialistic??