InterVarsity’s Ministry in Daily Life was started 20 years ago, out of the recognition that the bulk of Jesus’ ministry took place in the working world, among working people. Ministry in and through the workplace continues to be a growing movement.
During December’s Urbana 06 Student Missions Convention, the Open for Business track challenged business students to use their passion to create commerce in the service of the gospel. The track included nearly 1,000 attendees, approximately two thirds of them from Asia.
The track organizers sponsored a cash competition to encourage business plans that would bring about economic, social, and spiritual change, help Christians think creatively about confronting global poverty, and educate students and business people to think differently about what it means to be a Christian entrepreneur. More than eighty business plans were submitted for consideration. First prize of $15,000 went to Cards from Africa, a Rwandan company that employs orphans who also support their brothers and sisters.
InterVarsity Press publishes books that address business as ministry, such as i>Mastering Monday: A Guide to Integrating Faith and Work. In an interview with i>Christianity Today, author John Beckett said that the importance of this movement is still largely unrecognized within the church at large, “Relatively few churches and pastors are reinforcing the legitimacy of a call into so-called ‘secular work.’”
However, aspects of the trend are being recognized by the media. Articles on the growing number of chaplains in the workplace, for instance, have recently appeared on National Public Radio, in the St. Petersburg Times, the New York Times, and in the Greater Fort Wayne Business Weekly.
InterVarsity’s Professional Schools Ministry, also shows students how to serve God in the career they have chosen. All students involved in InterVarsity learn that Jesus is Lord of all, which means their studies as well as their future careers.