Every Job a Parable: What Walmart Greeters, Nurses, and Astronauts Tell Us about God
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NavPress / 2017 / Paperback

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Every Job a Parable: What Walmart Greeters, Nurses, and Astronauts Tell Us about God

NavPress / 2017 / Paperback

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Stock No: WW465482

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Product Description

In Every Job a Parable, John Van Sloten leads an innovative investigation of vocation. The good news is that all work matters to God because all work reflects some aspect of his character. Through Biblical teaching and real-life stories Van Sloten shows how everyone's work, from the hairdresser, to the astronaut, to the real-estate developer, has lessons to teach us about ourselves and the personality of God.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 208
Vendor: NavPress
Publication Date: 2017
ISBN: 1631465481
ISBN-13: 9781631465482

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Publisher's Description

A Walmart greeter, a nurse, and an astronaut walk into a church. . . .

They each bring with them their own exhaustions and exasperations, their own uncertainty about whether and how their work matters to God. Good news: All work matters to God, because all work reflects some aspect of the character of God. God created the world so that it runs best when it mirrors Him, and we ourselves find the most fulfillment when we recognize God behind our labor.

John Van Sloten offers a fascinating and innovative reflection on vocation: Our work is a parable of God; as we work, we are icons of grace.

Editorial Reviews

Based on years of research and interviews, Van Sloten (The Day Metallica Came to Church) explores how Jesus speaks to individuals and to the world using vocation as parable. He urges readers to stop and consider how character traits of God are reflected in the things that make us good at the work we do, and to experience God more on the job. The book is organized around four key questions, with chapter groupings around particular themes. Van Sloten weaves in vignettes from various occupations that reflect aspects of God’s image in the traits that help people excel in those professions. He delves into what it means to live in the image of God, how work is a parable, what God reveals to people about himself through their work, and how people can become closer to God through work. In some places Van Sloten diverges considerably from the topic at hand, but he faithfully returns to the image-bearing nature of day-to-day work. His writing will be best suited for pastors and others with a broader interest in vocational topics.

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  1. contemplativereflections
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Book Review: Every Job a Parable
    July 31, 2017
    Quality: 0
    Value: 0
    Meets Expectations: 0
    In "Every Job a Parable," John Van Sloten argues that every vocation creates opportunities to know more about God. The author draws on a vast array of different vocations including hairstylists, language translators, and florists to show how God's characteristics can be seen in the action being performed in those professions. Van Sloten begins in stating that work is God-ordained and is one of the most important arenas in which we can image God. Thus, work is an entryway by which we can more fully understand who God is and how He wants us to reflect His character in our dealings with the world. Moreover, the author describes our vocations as modern-day parables in which God teaches us about Himself using even the most mundane details of our work. Just as when Jesus used many work-based parables to teach his followers about God and His kingdom, the author asserts that God is also doing the same today through our jobs and the jobs of others. For example, in chapter four, Van Sloten describes how sanitation workers, sweepers, homemakers, and cleaners may seem to have unimpressive jobs but he or she is, in a way, participating in God's work in cleaning up the world and making it new again. In the latter portion of the book, the author discusses how our jobs play a part in God's grand plan to redeem and recreate our fallen world. Lastly, the author provides some suggestions on how we can be more attentive to receive and learn more about God and ourselves in our daily work and the work of those around us.

    I would recommend this book to those who struggle to link their everyday work to God and His purposes. Many Christians often swerve towards the two extremes of either idolizing their careers as their lifelong pursuit or discounting their jobs as merely bringing bread to the table. Van Sloten reminds readers that work is a gift from God to allow us to gain greater knowledge of Him and bring about His redemptive plan. May the Spirit open our spiritual senses to gain greater appreciation of how various aspects of our jobs can lead us to a deeper understanding of God.

    In compliance with Federal Trade Commission guidelines, I received a review copy from Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for a book review.
  2. gcw1
    York, PA
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: male
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Every Job A Parable
    July 5, 2017
    York, PA
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: male
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5

    What Walmart Greeters, Nurses & Astronauts Tell Us About God

    By John Van Sloten

    Do you think your job is important to God? Does God think your job is important to Him? The answers can be found in this book about jobs and how they serve God. The author has compiled many stories from across the USA about the different occupations and vocations from the people that work every day for a living. Many of these people do not realize how important their job is and how much God is using that job and them for His glory. Stories from the high paying to the job that own pays minimum wages, every job is important to God. The book is written in four parts; What does it mean to image God?, What is a parable, and how is work a parable?, What does God reveal to us about Himself through our work?, and How can we more effectively and consistently image God through our work?.

    A very easy reading and a lot of information in this book. The book can be used in discussion groups and other studies. There are sections at the end of each chapter called Lectio Vocatio, that has some discussion questions.

    A quote from the back of the book; John Van Sloten leads an innovative investigation of vocation. Its a fascinating journey that illuminates how your work is a parable of Godas you work, you are an icon of grace.

    I received this book free from Tyndale Blog Network Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255
  3. Cricket
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Fresh Look at God's Value of Work
    June 30, 2017
    Quality: 4
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 4
    So often we read and talk about looking for a break, rest, or a vacation. We long for those as a result of our day-in/day-out work schedules and duties. No one seems to feel there is enough "free time" in the average week or month. Few of those outside jobs within Christian ministry look at their positions as spiritual or representative of God despite the growing emphasis on "marketplace ministry".

    Into that context, John Van Sloten's new book, Every Job A Parable, challenges the reader to reconsider work and its value and attributes of God. At the outset he tells the reader the purpose of the book:

    "to help kindle a new kind of vocational imagination, to help you experience God at work more, and to help you read the parable that is your job."

    From Van Sloten's opening chapters to the end of the book his theme looks at what it means to "image God" through work. To illustrate his theme, he identifies attributes of God and then looks at how those line up with various jobs or occupations. As he does so, he shows the value and nature of God in our work from the lowliest positions to the highest and many that fall somewhere in the middle.
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