Blog - Doing Earthwork

Thanking God for Pete Hammond

Wednesday, 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:

 Jobs Are:

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.

Comments (4)

John Terrill (9/24/2011 2:10:20 PM)
Pete was a wonderful colleague, friend, and mentor. He lived these principles daily, and reinforced them in the lives of thousands of others with whom he interacted, taught and befriended. He was a giant in the field, and all of us leading in the "faith at work" movement owe him a debt of gratitude. Thank you Larry for a wonderful tribute of an exceptional man.
Al Erisman (9/7/2011 12:13:37 PM)
Great tribute to an inspirational person. You may know that the Pete Hammond Marketplace Library is now at SPU and we have a committee to add to the collection. Your book on Daniel recently joined that collection.
Larry Peabody (9/8/2011 7:25:29 AM)
Thank you, Al. Yes, I have visited the Pete Hammond Library at SPU. As I recall, Pete donated more than 2,000 books to get it started, and it is continuing to grow through the work of your committee. A great resource.
Don Dewey (9/9/2011 10:44:40 AM)
Thanks Larry for honoring Pete Hammond. He had a vision that has inspired so many of us, and for me, it has changed both Gwen's and my life forever. Do you have a copy of the Bible Pete Hammond, supported by others such as Ray Bakke, called the "Word in Life?" I know you must have one, but if you want one I have a couple of them left that I am hoarding, but will be happy to give you one.

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