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Recovering the Dignity and Mission of Work

by | Nov 18, 2021

“What do you do?”

This is a common question asked whenever meeting someone new. It’s one we all answer differently based on our day- to-day activities.

One might answer, “I’m a student,” “I work in such- and-such industry,” or “I’m the mother of four children.” (She might rightly respond that she does four full-time jobs!)

No matter our season of life or the scope of our responsibilities, we all work for a common company. As followers of Christ, we are all in the family business. What does one do in the family business? Each one manages a metron.

A metron is a measure of responsibility delegated by God to you, in the midst of creation, culture and spiritual history. The Apostle Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 10:13 that, “We, however, will not boast beyond measure, but within the limits of the sphere [metron] which God appointed us…”


In the same way, we too, find ourselves with a delegated sphere of responsibility in the Kingdom of God. And without this fundamental concept in place, we struggle to find purpose.

Have you ever asked yourself the following questions:

Why in the world am I here? Why am I doing this mundane job? Is my ‘work’ getting in the way of doing something spiritually significant?

If this sound familiar, then you’re not alone. But I would suggest that no work is outside the family business and all work matters to the owner (God).

In other words, no work is without Kingdom purpose. All work either advances or hinders the aims of the business; no work is without eternal consequence.  Therefore, each of us is called to live On Mission and to advance the footprint of God’s business.

So, if you want to recover the dignity and mission of your vocation, start by  applying these metrics to your work and your metron will never be the same:

  • Am I bringing order out of chaos?
  • Do people experience the God’s presence when they are in my presence?
  • Do I value this project as if it was precious to the Father?
  • Is the wisdom of God made known through the solutions I bring to my vocation?
  • Does the culture in my metron reflect the culture of heaven?

God has given you permission and a co-mission to work.
There is mission in every metron – are you fully living out yours?

Check out the Discover Global Conference on December 4th! Our own, Chief Operating Officer, Ben Kirksey will join an awesome lineup of speakers that will equip you to live on mission at work, at home, and overseas. Learn more here.

Jonathan Nowlen

Jonathan Nowlen is the author of Managing Your Metron and the founder of the Metron Management Project. He is a career missions leader who has worked in 60 countries over the last few decades. Jonathan is an author, public speaker and consultant with a focus on theology of work and the future of missions. He is passionate about recovering the dignity and mission of vocation. For more than 25 years he has led mission efforts and kingdom enterprises with an emphasis on leadership, marketplace ministry and community development. Jonathan is focused on equipping all believers to missionize and thrive in their vocations as they advance the Kingdom of God.