As Christians, many of us view our careers as a sacred and purposeful journey that extends beyond the daily routine. As God infuses our lives, He can also transform our perspective of work. But how do we integrate our Christian faith into our professional experience?
Barry Rowan, a Harvard Business School graduate, has held executive roles, specialising in the development and revitalisation of businesses, particularly in the technology and communications sector. He came to what he describes as a surrendered faith due to a crisis of meaning in his professional life.
Expression Of Who We Are
Barry’s latest book, titled The Spiritual Art of Business: Connecting The Daily With The Divine, explores his passion for reshaping how Christians perceive their faith in the context of work. He recently joined us on 20Twenty to discuss how we can stop being defined by what we do, and instead let it be an expression of who we are.
‘We work something like ninety to one hundred thousand hours in our lifetime,’ said Barry. ‘That’s a lot of hours to not find a sense of meaning. That was really what led to the crisis at work for myself in my late twenties.’
Over a period of many years, God took Barry through a series of paradigm shifts that have animated his life over the last twenty-five years. ‘As I speak around the world on these kinds of topics, I see that so many of us have the same questions. And I think that if God can transform somebody like me, He can transform anybody.’
The Lordship Of Christ
Barry believes that the secular divide we often talk about is an artificial distinction contrived in the minds of mankind. ‘I think the world is really very seamless and it’s all under the Lordship of Christ,’ said Barry. ‘So we can fully live our lives for God at work.’
Barry says the real challenge for many of us is to understand how what we’re doing in this moment connects to our purpose in life. ‘Fundamentally I was trying to derive meaning from the work instead of bringing meaning to the work.’
For a business to formulate a mission and contribute to the betterment of society, that mission has to be seen through the eyes of God. ‘For me, once that congruence comes together, then we can come alive in our work life.’
Seen Through The Eyes Of God
Spending time with God and going to church is another important priority for Barry. ‘If we get that part right, the part with God, then everything we do is an expression of Christ in us, including our work.’
‘And that’s what animates the work in ways that for me, it didn’t until I understood that.’
Listen to Barry’s full interview on 20Twenty below: