Can 9-5 Work Be an Avenue for Christian Creativity?
When believers realize that all work is a calling from God, they can use their jobs as an avenue to share the love, creativity, and nature of the Father.
Serial entrepreneur and national best-selling author Jordan Raynor is passionate about Christians connecting the Gospel to their work. His book, Called to Create, became an instant best-seller when it was released in November 2017. His new book, Master of One, was released in January 2020.
Tell us about your journey to entrepreneurship, and the consequent journey to empower others to live out their calling as entrepreneurs.
I have spent my whole career as an entrepreneur, but only half of it with the understanding that my work is a primary form of ministry. When I realized that my work could be a means of revealing God’s creative character, an avenue of loving others, and an opportunity to make disciples of Jesus Christ it changed my life.
“Jesus called every single one of us to be a missionary, making disciples as we go through life, wherever we are and in all that we do.”
I am now focused full-time on producing content that helps Christians unpack these truths.
What do you feel is the biggest challenge that keeps Christians from being creative?
We have to debunk the unbiblical, conventional wisdom that says that unless you are a pastor” or “full-time missionary” (I hate that term, by the way) you aren’t doing ministry. Jesus called every single one of us to be a missionary, making disciples as we go through life, wherever we are and in all that we do.
What made you decide to start writing books?
I think books are one of those products that are incredibly romantic, even more so in our digitally saturated culture. In 2014 I wrote Start-up Stories, 20 little stories from the experience of a startup that I had. When writing this book, I listened to other entrepreneurs and told their stories.
That first book did well and we hit a couple of bestseller lists. People said, “Hey, this is actually great, you should consider writing.” So then I had the idea for Called to Create. I knew I wanted to use a traditional publisher, and it progressed from there.
Why do you think people are so hungry to hear about faith, work and entrepreneurship?
I think people are hungry to follow Jesus in every aspect of life, and since most of us spend more than 50 percent of our waking hours working, I believe we are all trying to understand how our faith impacts our careers.
“What did Jesus command? That we love God and love others. I would argue the way we do both is through a ministry of excellence.”
The very first thing God reveals about Himself in Genesis is that He is a working, creating God. No other religion claims that. Every other religion teaches that the gods created humans, so that the humans could work and serve the gods. Only Christianity proclaims that God worked to serve us. That is radical. And that truth gives great dignity and meaning to all forms of work.
Share your thoughts on the process of building a business as a Christ follower.
As a Christian, I seek to follow Jesus in every aspect of life, and that obviously includes the process by which I build my businesses. What did Jesus command? That we love God and love others. I would argue the way we do both is through a ministry of excellence — by building exceptional ventures to reveal the character of our excellent Father, and through love and service to our neighbors the way we would want to be served.
What would you advise young believers to look into as they search for their calling?
The world will tell you to “follow your dreams” and “pursue your passions.” This isn’t bad advice, but it is woefully incomplete. The Christian life is one of service, and the way you serve people is by doing exceptional work. So yes, pay attention to your “passions,” but give far greater weight to your giftings.
This article was adapted from Champions (Vol. III), which will be made available for sale soon. To find out more about Jordan Raynor and how to purchase his books, check out his website.