Who Do You Work For?

In my role as discipleship pastor, I am tasked with overseeing, guiding, and evaluating the performance of other ministry workers. I have also performed this role as a computer programmer overseeing other computer programmers. This gets a little interesting around evaluation time.

I once read a great book titled First Break All The Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently. In this book, the authors claim that employees don’t generally leave companies. They leave managers. Have you ever had a great manager who inspired you and went to bat for you? Have you ever had a terrible manager who disrespected you or undermined you? Where does your current manager fall on the scale?

And so, when it comes time for evaluations, the biggest question of all is this: “who do you work for?” Who determines whether or not you did a good job? Who determines what your goals are over the next year? Who determines whether you get a raise or a thank you note?

The Bigger Answer

But the answer to this question is often bigger than it seems. For instance, who wins when work and family demand the same segment of time from you? What wins when you have doubts about what your company is doing? Is there a bigger answer to the question?

This reminds me of the scene from the movie Miracle that depicts the 1980 US men’s hockey team’s unlikely march to the gold medal. The coach, Herb Brooks, wants the players to get a new boss. He doesn’t want them to play for their school. He doesn’t want them to play for him. He wants them to play for The United States of America.

Herb Brooks knows that, unless they see the bigger picture, his team is toast.

So, getting beyond your direct manager, who do you work for? At the end of your day, at the end of your week, at the end of your year, at the end of your life…who will be on the other end of your evaluation meeting?

Working For God

Here are four scriptures that outline what it means to work for God:

Colossians 3:23 – Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. (NLT)

Ephesians 6:7 – Work with enthusiasm, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. (NLT)

Ecclesiastes 9:10 – Whatever you do, do well. For when you go to the grave, there will be no work or planning or knowledge or wisdom. (NLT)

Matthew 6:24 – No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. (NIV)

Basically, this is asking you to see God as your manager…as your boss. We will work differently for a manager we like or respect than for a manager we dislike or disrespect. In the same way, can you work differently for God since he has shown you what pleases him in the Bible?

How can you honor God with your work? What would it look like to have good marks on your annual evaluation meeting with God? What kinds of things would God place on your annual objectives?

Discussion Starter

  • How might God evaluate your work?
  • How might you honor God in your work?
  • What would God like to see from your work over the next year?