Pastor Van Sloten asks us this important question “Do you know how much your work matters to God?” In the book Every Job a Parable, he works to show us how every job can showcase who God is. He shows us how every type of job matters to God and helps us to fulfillment in our careers regardless of what they are.
Who is the Author and What is his purpose?
John Van Sloten pastors a church in Calgary, Alberta, who has also written The Day Metallica Came to Church. He teaches preaching at Ambrose Seminary. John tells that through the pages of this book “you’ll encounter God’s revelation through various vocational parables, as shared with me by the people I interviewed. You’ll learn how a firefighter’s passion is like God’s, how the nature of automotive restoration uniquely reflects the renewing mind of God, how the cultural product of the culinary arts reveals something of the hospitable heart of God, and how a geophysicist’s search for subterranean truth informs humanity’s collective search for God’s truth.”
In Every Job A Parable, Pastor Van Sloten uses one through five jobs as examples in his illustrations, showing us how Janitorial jobs show us God at work keeping creation clean, how Wal-Mart greeters showcase the hospitality we are to show to each other, and how doctors help us see how God brings all that he has into saving us. We are shown jobs from across the spectrum: medical personnel, lawyers, flyer delivery people, hairstylists, parents, and more. Every job that a person can do showcased the image of God in some way.
Pastor Van Sloten does not spend the same amount of time with each position that he discusses, some are mentioned only in passing, others more in-depth. There doesn’t seem to be any rhythm to those he spends more time with, again, his time crosses spectrums of “job importance”. Interwoven throughout the stories of people and their jobs he intersperses scripture passages.
What do you get?
Four sections, divided up as follows.
What does it mean to Image God?
- all work matters
- imaging God with your whole being
- learning into God’s signature moves
What is a Parable, and how is work a parable?
- noticing God’s unnoticed presence
- the iconic nature of vocational parables
What Does God reveal to about himself through our work?
- God made all things
- Sin distorts all things
- God is saving all things
- God will make all things new
How can we more effectively and consistently image God Through our work?
- Stepping into the Story that is your job
- employing the gift of gratitude
- slowing down, opening your eyes and seeing
- becoming a vocational mystic
- trusting that God will use your work
Each chapter opens with a couple of quotes and ends with a series of discussion questions, along with distinctive section headers.
I found this to be an interesting book to read, I didn’t always make the same connections in positions as the pastor did, but I found it fascinating how he pointed out what he did for each position and how it showed us God all the more. This read is great to help people look deeper into their own jobs. To find the God-given responsibilities and gifts from each. God finds a way to be showcased regardless of what job we hold. We should take pride in the fact that we are part of that, finding ways to be the people he has called us to be in the jobs given to us. Pastor Van Sloten’s goal is to help us see how we can better use our jobs to show God to the world around us. Whether it’s in providing good service, helping people make connections, encouraging people to be the best they can be, how can you use the job that you are in to help people see Christ? How can you live out Christ to the world?
Every Job a Parable: What Walmart greeters, nurses & astronauts tell us about God
John Van Sloten
220 pages, softcover,
Christian living, Christianity,
Reviewed for Nuts about Books.