My friend Elizabeth Knox has been a leader at National Community Church for many years. In the many hats she has worn and roles she has played, I have admired the way she has walked in faithfulness and integrity, wrestled with questions of faith, and poured herself into other young leaders coming behind her. So I was thrilled to find out she was writing a book on integrating faith and work- Faith Powered Profession. I was able to interview her about the book and wanted to share it here.
What prompted you to write the book Faith Powered Profession?
Several of my friends and I were encountering challenges at work like workplace inequalities or ensuring we had healthy relationships with our male colleagues. We felt like our faith should influence how we approached these challenges. I went in search of a resource to figure out how we could address these struggles while being true to our faith, but I didn’t find any.
I had the idea for a book, but was a little intimidated to go straight into writing. I happen to belong to this awesome church (ahem) that believes discipleship can happen anywhere. We have small groups around almost any topic you can think of, and so I started one for professional Christian women. I tested the ideas for a book out through developing small group Bible Study curriculum. As interest in this topic grew, I knew I should start writing.
What is your primary prayer for your readers as they read this book?
We’re all trying to figure out how to honor God and do well at work. Sometimes it can be really challenging to do both simultaneously. I pray that the book helps women understand that their jobs are important, I want them to walk away with practical approaches to struggles they face at work, and I want the book to encourage women as they seek to have a vibrant faith and a productive career at the same time. That’s what I wanted for myself and that’s what I want for Christian women everywhere.
You talk about the importance of addressing practical issues at work – what types of issues are you talking about?
The theology behind integrating your work and your faith is pretty well established – there are a lot of books on that topic – but they don’t all get into the nitty-gritty of everyday life. My friends and I were asking each other questions like: “billable hours… what counts and what doesn’t?” “what do I do when my boss pats my head like I’m a little girl?” “there’s a guy across the hall who keeps asking me out, I’m not interested, and I’m starting to hate going to work… what should I do?” or “there’s a guy across the hall who keeps asking me out, I’m interested, but I don’t know how to approach it at work.”
You have to go beyond theological discussions into a lived theology – exactly how do we live out our faith in professional environments.
What is God doing in your life right now that is keeping you from separating your faith from your work?
Well, writing a book on the topic is a start! I want to be honest: I wrote this book because I was struggling with these things myself. I still am. I’m tempted to ignore what my faith says about a complicated decision at work because it’s “easier” to just do what everyone else is doing. So writing the book has at least provided some motivation to keep my heart tuned to God and His Holy Spirit speaking into my life. I also have people in my life ask me questions about the specific areas where I struggle – on a regular basis they check in and when I come back with less-than-ideal answers, we talk through solutions to implement.
About Faith Powered Profession
Faith Powered Profession: The Woman’s Guide to Living with Faith and Values in the Workplace addresses the vital question: Can a professional Christian woman combine a vibrant faith with a productive career? This book provides a toolkit that empowers women to walk confidently in both their faith and career. Faith Powered Profession is broken up into three parts:
- Getting Grounded: the theological foundation for thinking about work as a Christian woman
- Getting Real: conversations about the challenges we face at work
- Getting Going: ensuring our faith is present in every aspect of our lives, including our jobs
About the Author
Elizabeth Knox writes about the intersection of work and faith. You can find out more about her on her website or follow her on Twitter. Faith Powered Profession is available online at Amazon, Barnes and Noble or directly from Russell Media.