Blog - Doing Earthwork
Thanking God for Pete HammondWednesday, September 07, 2011
I met him only twice before his death in 2008—once when he spoke in our church gathering, and again when he visited our hometown. But God, through Pete Hammond, encouraged and affirmed me all out of proportion to those rare in-person meetings.
Hammond served 41 years with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship (IVCF), most recently as a senior vice-president. He moved to IVCF’s headquarters just in time to help organize the 1979 Urbana Student Missions Convention. Hammond’s commitment to the "marketplace-faith movement” began when an IVCF vice president said, "Pete, we think we have a problem. We are hearing comments like, ‘Urbana—that’s where you go to become a career missionary or feel guilty the rest of your life!’ Pete, we want you to figure out the problem and fix it.”
For the next seven years, Hammond organized events to help prepare college students to serve God in their careers after graduation. "We sought,” he wrote afterward, "to refresh the biblical call to all Christians to serve Christ as ministers who see work as inherent to their makeup as persons ‘created in the image and likeness of God’ (Gen. 1:27-31).” These quotations are taken from The Marketplace Annotated Bibliography, a book Hammond co-authored with Paul Stevens and Todd Svanoe. This book lists and briefly describes nearly 700 books on work, business, and vocation.
In 2007, IVCF published Lessons, Prayers & Scripture on the Faith Journey . . . in family, church, friendships, community, citizenship and work. Shortly before his death, Hammond mailed me a copy of this book. Several months ago, my wife and I began incorporating it into our joint devotional time each morning. Here is a sampling from page 113—this one on our everyday work:
gifts on loan from God, not rights.
callings to honor God by serving co-workers, customers, suppliers, etc.
sacred opportunities and places for God to receive worship-filled work.
modeled by men and women in Scripture.
invitations to utilize resources (products, services, relationships, etc.)
for the benefit of God and others.
membership in a community of peers whom we can serve.
chances to develop skills and gifts given to each of us by God.
fraught with pain, sweaty toil and frustration
since the Fall in the Garden of Eden.
not identical with our identity.
much more than just a way to get a paycheck.
not a long dark tunnel between leisure weekends.
opportunities for good by delivering salt, light and
leaven into broken places and troubled people.
Lord, thank you for designing me like you
to work as your worshiper,
stewarding your creation and serving others.
Help me to do my job well.