Discipling Congregants with Monday in Mind

Luke Bobo and Skye Jethani | March 20, 2017

Mike cuts dog food labels every day. He works the second shift—from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m.—at his printing plant, which is a 30-minute drive from his home in Topeka, Kansas. With the exception of a 30-minute dinner break at 6 p.m., Mike spends eight hours on his feet, feeding sheets of paper into cutting equipment. Although the equipment is computerized, it requires constant manual adjustments to function properly.

Some refer to Mike’s labor as “blue collar” since it involves manual work at a factory. He says it’s monotonous—“the same stinkin’ thing all day”—but not stress-free or thoughtless. If his measurements are only slightly off, and he fails to catch it, he’ll ruin thousands of labels—and be held responsible for it.

Mike’s pastor, Kent Duncan, did his doctoral studies in the area of faith-and-work integration for blue-collar workers. But he faced a hard sell in trying to convince his congregation—which includes many blue-collar workers like Mike—of the importance of such integration. That’s because, historically, distrust and suspicion have marked the relationship between blue-collar and white-collar workers.

After hearing Duncan preach for many weeks and participating in a small group Bible study about how we image God by working, how we…

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