The Gospel-Centered Life at Work
by Robert W. Alexander
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Tired of the daily grind ? If you asked a dozen Christians why their work matters, you’d probably get a dozen different answers. Whether paid or unpaid, skilled or menial—each of us longs to find meaning in what we do from day to day. Can the gospel really help us in our quest?
The Gospel-Centered Life at Work invites CEOs and homeschooling parents, doctors and plumbers, white, blue and pink collar-workers to sit down and discuss our work as a common call to follow Jesus in all of life. Whether we struggle with complaining at work, defensiveness, fearing the future, frustration, or troubling ethical decisions—work brings challenges to each of us that we cannot handle apart from Christ. The Gospel-Centered Life at Work shows us how to turn to Jesus in repentance and faith and to both work and rest in Him.
The 10 lessons in this small group study help participants to build a bridge from personal faith to the difficulties of the daily grind. Each lesson in The Gospel-Centered Life at Work is self-contained, featuring clear teaching from Scripture, and requires no extra work outside of the group setting. The self-explanatory Leader’s Guide helps small group leaders with discussion questions and background material that clearly explain and apply the gospel truths from each lesson.
Robert W. Alexander, MBA, is the Operations Officer of Redeemer Presbyterian Church, Winston-Salem, North Carolina and its network of sister churches. He is the former Director of eCommerce and Mass Markets for PECO Energy and Southern Regional Vice President of Constellation Energy and is the author of Professionals: Men and Women Partnering with the Trinity in Everyday Life. Rob and his wife Rebecca also teach a multi-campus Graduate Student Fellowship focused on faith and life integration. They have two children.
"This is an incredibly important guide. I know of no other book that so fully incorporates the meaning of the gospel and of our work and what it means for my life as a Christ follower in the marketplace. It is equal parts illuminating, practical, inspiring, and encouraging. In the truest sense of the word 'rich,' I am a richer man for having read it. I will recommend it to all that I come across."
Henry R. Kaestner, Managing Principal, Sovereign's Capital; cofounder and chairman, Bandwidth.com
"Following in the footsteps of The Gospel-Centered Life, Rob Alexander has written a wonderful small group study on work, which is highly applicable regardless of whether our work happens in the office, on the road, at school, or in our home. Using clear examples, accessible language, and important biblical lessons, Alexander forcefully illustrates the ways that God can use our work to shape us as Christians while also using us to shape our workplace."
Christian B. Miller, Director of the Character Project; professor of philosophy, Wake Forest University
"Alexander rightly redefines our understanding of work as a meaningful vocation in partnership with God, which God uses to advance his kingdom and to make us more like himself. Churches nurtured on this engaging and insightful study and its gospel-centered principles will become agents of God's love and redemption in places and in ways they never thought possible."
Catherine L. McDowell, Assistant Professor of Old Testament, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, Charlotte, North Carolina
"The Gospel-Centered Life at Work is a fresh take on the challenge to integrate our faith and work. Rob Alexander's dual experiences of (1) life in the workplace trenches and (2) life in the pastoral ministries of the church give him a rare capacity to prepare this study. His passion for the Word of God and for the world of work are infectious. What the marketplace needs is not just condemnation and criticism but the kind of life-giving gospel served up in this volume."
David W. Gill, PhD,Mockler-Phillips Professor of Workplace Theology & Business Ethics; director, Mockler Center for Faith & Ethics in the Workplace, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary; author of It's About Excellence and Doing Right
"One of the church's great lapses in judgment has been the neglect or disregard of work's importance to spiritual formation. Rob Alexander's experience in business and church leadership gives him a unique ability to address this hole in discipleship and help men and women discover the transforming power of the gospel in their lives and daily work."
Bill Peel, Executive Director, Center for Faith & Work at LeTourneau University; coauthor of Workplace Grace
"Rob has done an excellent job of releasing the power of the gospel in our everyday work life. Whether you are a lifelong Christian or new to the faith, this book is a must-read. As a business owner, this study guide has reshaped me as an employer, service provider, husband, and father to try to become Christ's ambassador in all that I do."
Dave Marley, PharmD, CEO, Marley Drug, Inc.
"Too many Christians see their daily work as something separate from their faith, except for their opportunity to share faith. Rob Alexander, in his thoughtful and challenging book The Gospel-Centered Life at Work, helps us see that our work is important to God. Even in the tough times at work, God is at work in and through us. This is an important contribution to the life of any Christian."
Al Erisman, Executive in Residence, School of Business and Economics, Seattle Pacific University; cochair, Theology of Work Project
"God's purpose involves us being at work in this world—a vocation, a calling. Rob Alexander says, 'Work is one of the primary ways we respond to God in gratitude for all he has done in Christ.' He includes exercises and excellent discussion questions to help Christians in the working world."
Will Metzger, Campus Minister,University of Delaware; author of Tell the Truth
"Martin Luther King Jr. said, 'All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.' Yet, we often don't think imaginatively enough about how our everyday work serves others. In this helpful guidebook, Rob invites leaders—whether in the home or in the marketplace—to explore a biblical understanding of work that changes both us and the communities of which we are a part."
John Terrill, Director, Center for Integrity in Business, Seattle Pacific University
"Here is a timely and thoughtful study of work as a sacred calling. Rob Alexander has put together a deeply provocative and unfailingly practical guide for the Christian community to think anew about the meaning of discipleship in the workplace. There is so much to ponder in these pages!"
Van Weigel, PhD, Professor of Ethics and Economic Development, Eastern University, St. Davids, PA
"Many of the Christians I encounter every day are struggling to find real meaning in their work. Without a gospel lens, work either becomes a necessary evil or an all-consuming idol. Rob provides the gospel lens so desperately needed today. If you want to see your life and work as Jesus sees it, pick up this book and read. You will find it a paradigm-shifting experience that will nourish your soul!"
Jeff Gissing, Director of Discipleship at the First Presbyterian Church of Bethlehem, PA; teaching elder in the Presbyterian Church