Work and Fulfilment of God's Purposes and Calling

by Wong Kron Joo
June 4th, 2022

This research project sought to equip Christians in Singapore to integrate their faith and work in fulfilling God’s calling and purposes. A qualitative research survey was undertaken for 20 Christians with interviews conducted both one-on-one and in focus groups. Three Christian leaders were also interviewed for their responses to the survey results. While a high majority of the survey participants had acknowledged the significance of their work in fulfilling God’s calling, this survey data may not be representative of the national Christian population in view of the sample size. The survey participants observed the Church valuing “professional and full-time ministry,” i.e., pastoral and missionary work, more when compared to work in the marketplace, and also having higher significance in fulfilling God’s purposes. The perception of sacred and secular divide among the congregation and the Church leadership was evident and mirrors an earlier quantitative national study of Christians in Singapore on their faith and work integration by Matthews (2017), who observed that “half of the respondents agreed that the church tends to value work directed at helping the church rather than work performed in the marketplace” and with “a third of respondents however, a church-based calling is still viewed as more important compared to a calling to the secular work” (p. 107).

For future research projects. I recommend the pastoral staff as a key segment to research on Church support for Christians fulfilling God’s calling and purposes in the marketplace. The other group of focus will be young adults as they have many decades of work-life ahead, and it is important to be aware of challenges faced by them in integrating their faith and work and finding significance in their vocations and work.

The research survey also showed the low level of Church support for participants’ vocational work and the expectation that more could be done in equipping the members. The action plan following the survey analysis was the identification of four themes for an equipping resource series for facilitation by mentors: Understanding the Theology of Work, Dualism and Sacred Secular Divide, Work and Spiritual Formation, and Faith Work Integration and Calling. Five participants participated in the pilot study and feedback was positive on the development of an equipping framework from a biblical perspective to support Christians at work.