Over the past few years I have been engaged in an initiative called the Kingdom at Work Project. The purpose of the project is to address the inadequacy of the church’s engagement with the world of work. The Christendom church took the world of work for granted because earning a living took place mainly in the parish where the local church, physically and socially, held pride of place. However, that form of church struggled to stay in touch with the working population as it moved into the cities or dispersed across the country. So Christians employed in the wider world currently receive little acknowledgement or support from their local church. The diaconal church seeks to re-engage with the world of work in new and creative ways.
The Kingdom at Work Project takes as given that the world of work is a hugely significant part of life. Its wealth creation, economic underpinning, organizational forms, activities and leadership are crucial to the survival and well-being of the planet. When the world of work becomes volatile or dysfunctional – as frequently happens – then millions of people suffer. These include not only those thrown out of work but those who, directly or indirectly, depend for their living on supplying the enterprises, businesses or services concerned. So the communal transformation of the world of work through the gifts of the kingdom community – life, liberation, love and learning – is a human as well as holy imperative.
The project seeks to foster an awareness amongst Christians and others of the importance of the communal transformation of the workplace. It is founded on a comprehensive text entitled The Kingdom at Work Project (see Publications Page). This sets out a communal approach to mission in the workplace, from its theological underpinning to an exploration of the nature and forms of mission at work.
The project also publishes an occasional Bulletin which is emailed to over 250 church leaders across all denominations in the UK engaged in facilitating mission at work. Each Bulletin covers a theme such as ‘Christian faith and the economy’, ‘Spirituality in the workplace’ or ‘Servant leadership’, sometimes in partnership with an Christian agency engaged with the world of work. Back copies of the Bulletin can be downloaded from the web site of St Peters Saltley Trust, Birmingham, ( http://www.saltleytrust.org.uk/faith-and-work-in-theological-education-and-training/ ) with which the project works closely.