Dear Lionshare Friends:
We hope many of you were able to implement Dave Buehring's teachings from last month's "The Pacing of Jesus" article into your life. Or perhaps, you finally took the leap and subscribed to his daily, video devotionals to meditate on the character and nature of God.
This month, we are thinking and talking about the centrality of work in American society. The Atlantic published an important essay about how this worship of work is not just a means for economic advancement but is core to a person’s identity. Here's an excerpt:
“We’ve created this idea that the meaning of life should be found in work,” says Oren Cass, the author of the book The Once and Future Worker. "We tell young people that their work should be their passion. ‘Don’t give up until you find a job that you love!’ we say. ‘You should be changing the world!’ we tell them. That is the message in commencement addresses, in pop culture, and frankly, in media, including The Atlantic.”
But our desks were never meant to be our altars. The modern labor force evolved to serve the needs of consumers and capitalists, not to satisfy tens of millions of people seeking transcendence at the office. It’s hard to self-actualize on the job if you’re a cashier—one of the most common occupations in the U.S.—and even the best white-collar roles have long periods of stasis, boredom, or busywork. This mismatch between expectations and reality is a recipe for severe disappointment, if not outright misery, and it might explain why rates of depression and anxiety in the U.S. are “substantially higher” than they were in the 1980s, according to a 2014 study.
So instead of crushing it, work is crushing us! The article goes on to talk about millennials and how this "gospel of workism" is creating burnout.
What are we passing onto the next generations? Finding value and identity in work? Lionshare board member Heather Zempel spoke passionately about discipling millennials, generation Z and the upcoming alpha generation during last year's National Disciple-Making Forum. She quoted a statistic most of us have never heard -- 34% of generation Z (born 1995-2010) are "nones" -- they claim no religious affiliation. Is that a hindrance to discipleship or our greatest opportunity yet? Heather recommends using the power of storytelling to help them understand the gospel, using technology as a resource because it is so important to them, helping them create community, teaching on identity, being authentic and transparent and not shying away from teaching on tough topics.
Please take the time to listen to the talk via podcast here or watch the video here.
Please consider joining Lionshare and dozens of other discipleship ministries at this year's National Disciple Making Forum in Nashville, Tennessee November 7-8. You can register here and use promo code LIONSHARE to get 20% off.