The biblical concept of whole-life discipleship integrates a theology of stewardship (oikonomia) with our calling to cultivate creation through work (“economics”). However, Christians often separate these concepts in practice, restricting discipleship to religious works. This consultation seeks a holistic theology of work and economics that re-integrates them.
For millions of churchgoers, Christianity is something they do on Sunday morning, not a way of life. Too many churches have disconnected discipleship from the largest portion of human life – our work in the home and in our jobs. This renders the faith irrelevant to the totality of people’s lives, and risks the rise of a new monasticism in which discipleship is equated with religious works. A renewed biblical understanding of discipleship would re-integrate a God-centered commitment to holistic stewardship (oikonomia) with a God-centered commitment to cultivate the world (“economics”). All legitimate work is a calling from God and fulfills God’s mission in the world; this, more than anything else, makes work valuable.