Q&A : What is Monday Church ?

The specific title “Monday church” is associated with a book written by Darrow Miller called “LifeWork: A Biblical Theology for What You Do Every Day”. The concept it embodies however is the integration of faith and work, something which many Christians have been talking about over the centuries.

Most of us spend majority of our time in our work. How does being a believer in the gospel and a citizen of the kingdom shape our understanding of and involvement in work? Christians have answered this question in different ways. Miller himself identifies two common ways Evangelicals have answered it. Both of them are marred by a dualistic worldview. The Gnostic division of secular and spiritual realms undergirds both these answers. In the first view, secular work is seen as unspiritual, evil and bad. Only full time ministry is considered as real work. Thus all work other than pastoring and missions are by definition bad and inferior. In this view, anyone who is zealous for God ought to prove it by entering full time ministry. Thus there is nothing you can do about your work other than reach a level of zeal whereby you quit it and enter the real work of  spiritual ministry. The second view sees secular work not as entirely evil but as a place for doing spiritual ministry. In this view you see your workplace as a platform for reaching out to co-workers. Work in this view is just an excuse to be in this mission field called office. Both these views are wrong and do not consider the biblical theology of vocation seriously.

Miller then offers what he believes is the biblical theology of vocation. Work according to the Bible, he argues, is a vocation – a calling from God. Any work is thus sacred work and all Christians are in vocational ministry. Unlike the first view, all legitimate work is holy and good. During the Protestant Reformation, when the priesthood of all believers was clearly affirmed, the doctrine of vocation was seriously considered by the magisterial reformers, especially Martin Luther. Luther argues along the same lines and says all vocation is equally holy. Unlike the second view, you serve God through your work and not merely in your work. In other words, it is not that your work enables you to do kingdom work, rather your work is kingdom building work. Underlying this view is the assumption that God is at work in the world building His kingdom and every vocation is a call from Him to participate with Him in this kingdom building work. Luther argued that work is how God cares for His creation. Your work, be it in any field, is one of the ways by which God is caring for His creation. Not only is He caring for His creation, He is also bringing redemption and restoration to the fallen world. However kingdom work is not just evangelisation. The whole biblical storyline of creation, fall, redemption, restoration have a bearing on our understanding of God’s work in this world and our work with Him.

A Monday church is thus not a church per se, but it is the people of God realizing that every work is a participation in God’s kingdom building work and then excelling in it by His grace for His glory. Your work in and of itself matters to God and His kingdom purposes. It is imperative to have a kingdom perspective to embrace this vision of work. For as we saw, all work is a participation in God’s work and He does not just work in the church and religious realm alone. He is the Lord of both the spiritual and the physical world, including your field of work. Monday church is a call to join God at your workplace for all He is doing for His kingdom in and through your particular vocation.

For more on integration of faith and work:

Every Good Endeavor:Connecting Your Work to God's Work by Tim Keller