Raising Next Generation Workers


Our house was invaded last evening! My son, Jarod, turned sixteen this weekend, so a gaggle of his marching band cronies arrived for his party. There was uproarious laughter, scrumptious food, and spontaneous singing. Of course, this momentous event triggers additional milestones. In the next few days, he will go test for his driver’s permit. (Watch out. Consider yourself warned—go buy a helmet!) I am thrilled that in a couple weeks he will begin his first real, paying, part-time job at a local business. Yes, in case you cannot sense it, here is one “proud papa.” (Deep down, I’m even more thrilled that I might actually keep a little more cash in my pocket.)

In our previous post, I introduced the issue: How can parents ready a next generation of workers? How can we know with confidence that our kids are growing up truly ready to engage in a lifetime of God-honoring endeavors in all they do?

We are joined again by Dr. Christian Overman, the Director of Worldview Matters. http://www.biblicalworldview.com.

John: “Christian, in our first round, you shared the importance of a biblical worldview—gaining an accurate view of God, one’s life purpose, pursuits in the world—including one’s personal perspective on work. So I’m wondering, what seem to be the biggest present-day roadblocks to a healthy, God-pleasing worldview being cultivated in the next generation? Where do you see these blocks showing up and why?”

Christian: “The biggest challenge, as I see it, is that kids today live in a secularized society, and parents do little to counter this. Kids hear and see messages throughout the day that never make reference to God, or His Word. Not in math class at school, not in TV programs at home, and not in public shopping malls. This has the effect of convincing kids that ‘God things’ are ‘Sunday things,’ and reinforces the ‘Sacred-Secular Divide’ which keeps Christians thinking that some times are ‘God times’ such as times of personal devotion, church services, or saying grace at dinner, and everything else is ‘something other.’ But in reality, the biblical worldview makes no provision for ‘something other.’ The earth and all it contains is God’s. Jesus is Lord of all. Therefore, washing dishes is a ‘God time,’ mowing the lawn is a ‘God time,’ and doing homework is a ‘God time.’

John: “Wow! Perhaps I should try that as a motivator for getting my kids to actually DO their homework. Ha! Seriously though, it strikes me that getting over that barrier, this ‘great divide,’ is a humongous key to reshaping our framework and helping a next generation realize that they truly can be doing all for the glory of God (1 Cor. 10:31).

So one more question. Please share what you deem the ‘basic essentials’ parents need to emphasize for raising kids who are ready to work for God’s glory. What do you believe a parent needs to most cultivate in order to get a kid ready for a life of God-pleasing work?”

Christian: “Parents can emphasize that any kind of work that does not violate God’s will is work worth doing, has great value, and qualifies as ‘God’s work,’ whether it is done for pay or not. We don’t find meaning in our work. We bring meaning to our work. Parents can teach their kids to bring meaning to their daily work by doing it ‘heartily as unto the Lord.’ Work, at its best, is a practical way of loving God and loving people. The sooner kids view it this way, the better. We were created to work. That’s what God had in mind for us when He said, ‘Let us make man, and let them rule…over all the earth.’ This earth-ruling role requires all sorts of work, from farming to building airplanes. It is all a sacred task. We don’t have to be a pastor or a missionary to do ‘the work of God’ in the earth. Helping kids to ‘get’ this concept helps us all.”

John: “Those are profound essentials we need to make sure we are passing along if we want to effectively prepare the next generation for leading, creating, managing, and otherwise working on God’s earth. Great big thanks, Christian, for sharing with us in these posts!”

Want to know more? Intrigued to take this further with your kids and your own workplace perspectives? Grab empowering ideas from Christian’s book God’s Pleasure At Work: Bridging the Sacred-Secular Divide.

Order a copy at http://biblicalworldview.com/bookstore.html

God's Pleasure at Work





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