Students need equipping to live out calling at work — report

Christian students are aware of a calling on their lives but may not be equipped to live out their calling at work, suggests the latest report released by Christian marketplace initiative Call 42.

The report based on an online survey of 1 300 Christians, including more than 400 students, highlights a gap between most of the students’ perceptions that they are ready to serve God at work and the experience of working Christians. Only a quarter of all 1 300 respondents indicated that they are purpose-driven Christians living their calling in the workplace.

Working Christians identified a great need for career-oriented, Christian mentors and testimonies of what God was doing at workplaces. They said that diverse cultures and viewpoints at work are the greatest barrier to living out a God-given calling at work.

While it seems that churches have done a good job of cultivating an understanding of workplace calling in students, the students may not be adequately equipped to live it at work, says the report. Close to half the students surveyed said they have not heard of companies that apply Biblical principles, and more than half said they are not aware of any material or support that could help them to live out their Christianity at work.

The Call42 report suggests some action steps that could be taken in student ministry to prepare young people for workplace Christianity. Suggested steps are:
• Inform students about available workplace Christianity resources, material and support.
• Tell them about the value and role of marketplace ministry.
• Create awareness of Kingdom-focused companies, i.e. business role models.
• Provide thorough teaching on the principles of vocation and calling.

The report lists a number of South African initiatives and organisations, and some books, that could assist Christian students to prepare to live out their calling at work.

Call 42 aims to create awareness of the potential for marketplace Christianity in South Africa and to highlight the issues and obstacles in the way of realising that potential. To date it has published an executive report, a demographic report, a church leader report and the student report. Company managers and marketplace ministers will be addressed in further reports. Published findings are open for public use and available on Call42’s website where one can subscribe to receive future report notification.

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