How to Connect Sermon Application to People’s Jobs

Dan Doriani | November 25, 2016

In his book Work: The Meaning of Your Life, Lester de Koster observes, “Work is the chief place where we love our neighbors as ourselves.” De Koster means paid labor, but if we add the unpaid labor of raising children or volunteering, the statement is even truer.

Work is also a chief place of service to the Lord, as we both serve people and, we hope, present the claims of Christ. At work, we fulfill our call to be a royal priesthood (Exod. 19:6; 1 Pet. 2:9; Rev. 1:6). As kings, we govern God’s creation for him and under him. As priests, we “act on behalf of men in relation to God” (Heb. 5:1).

Believers often wonder how they can serve God and neighbor at work, and often doubt the value of their work. But pastors can help, and the strategic sermon illustration is a leading tool in our arsenal. A good illustration is like a parable, presenting a case that is both particular and universal, specific and common.

Work for Others, Not Myself

Consider my daughter, Abby, who landed a job with a large corporation right out of college. She spent all day cooped up in a tiny, windowless office, crunching…

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