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Preaching to Your People's Vocations

'How will our idea of work impact the life of a church?' An interview with Tom Nelson

Tom Nelson pastors Christ Community Church in Leawood, Kansas. PreachingToday.com editor Matt Woodley talked with Tom about preaching's relationship with a Christian theology of work.

PreachingToday.com: Why the passion for preaching on faith and work?

Tom Nelson: My current passion has come out of my past failure.

I would call it "theological malpractice." It wasn't intentional—I graduated from a very fine seminary. I grew up in a Christian home and loved my tradition. But after being a pastor a while, I realized that I was spending the minority of my time addressing what the congregation did for the majority of their lives. This Sunday-to-Monday gap was theological—how I understood how the gospel speaks into all of everyday life. I missed the integral nature of work in God's story in Scripture.

When I realized this 10 or 15 years ago, I stood up before my congregation and said, "Hey, I want you to forgive me because I have not been the pastor I should be based on the vocation ...

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