Because of the gospel, our work can be an expression of our redeemed humanity. The gospel is at work to both humanize humanity and to humanize work, and it is this dual humanization that brings about a greater societal flourishing, restoring the Genesis mandate to cultivate the earth, filling it with people and ruling over all with care. (Genesis 1:28). When work places are humanized, there is a renewed flourishing.
In the coming year, CFW would like to identify, explore, highlight, and cultivate workplace practices that promote a humanized workplace. What does it mean for individuals to embrace the gospel vision of work and desire to see their workplaces flourish? How can our interactions with co-workers advance this vision for our work at all levels? What workplace policies and practices promote the full exploration and development of the human potential? To these ends, we invite you to our CFW Conference in the fall.
The CFW Conference on “Humanizing Work” (November 8-9, 2013) will 1) develop the theological underpinning and rationale for the importance of this concept, 2) show examples of the effects of a dehumanized workplace, 3) highlight best practices and the companies that have developed and promoted such practices, and 4) launch a website to help gather examples of humanized workplaces around the world.
Our upcoming conference will be focusing on four particular values or characteristics that we believe promote a humanized workplace. These do not reflect the bare minimum requirements of a humane work place, but values that resonate with what it means to be created in the image of God, called to bring order and flourishing in the world around us.
1. Training: Providing proper job training and preparation for the assigned role.
2. Fairness: Advancing equity and transparency
3. Innovation: Encouraging creativity at all levels.
4. Opportunity: Offering encouragement and posibilities for further growth and upward mobility.
The Biblical story of our work does not end with the resurrection of Christ. It continues with the ultimate vision of hope in the return of Christ. The topic of one of Jonathan Edward’s dissertations was “The End for which God Created the World,” and in this influential work, Edwards concluded that the ultimate reason for God’s creating this world was a desire for the fullness of His own infinite goodness to be eternally communicated through His creation, stewarded by humanity. When Christ returns all that hinders and frustrates our work as the expression of our divine image will be wiped away, and for all eternity the work of humanity’s hands will forever creatively display God’s glory in an increasing and never-ending progression. With this final vision, we see that the Kingdom of God is truly at hand and that the work of grace abounds in our world to bring glimpses of this greater glory to come.
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