In the 1990s, I was fortunate to spend a year studying Theology at Regent College in Vancouver. R. Paul Stevens was the Professor of Marketplace Theology. His teaching struck a chord with me. I am not called to ordination. I am called to ministry in the marketplace. Professor Steven’s teaching highlighted the examples in scripture and in the lives of believers of the understanding and outworking of faith in the workplace; in the everyday.
To be called into mission, means to be led by the Spirit, and to use the gifts and talents given to you. Working where you are, responding to need, and applying what you have learned in life, in and outside of a church. My own professional life has been a call, a theology of work. Most of the team at Baptist Care SA also find themselves in a workplace that is not a church. They are not doing what may be considered by many to be applied theology or spirituality. It couldn’t be further from the truth.
All of Baptist Care SA’s team, whether they identify as a Baptist or not, are using their gifts and talents in mission and ministry in the Baptist movement. It doesn’t matter if it is frontline social work, or office-based finance and payroll; the contribution, the outworking of talents, is theology and spirituality in action. We all benefit from their ministry.
Over the last month, I have personally seen how Baptist Care SA team members have worked tirelessly to meet the needs of the vulnerable across South Australia. When I reflect on the title of this publication, Together in Mission, I am drawn to the work of all of those in the marketplace, particularly those working in Baptist Care SA, as they work together in mission.
Baptist Care SA works with many of those who are vulnerable and powerless, walking alongside, developing strategies and pathways for restoration. Supporting those who are without a home or those without a family. If this isn’t spirituality of every day and an expression of the theology of work, I don’t know what is.
CEO, Baptist Care SA