‘Lunch and Learn’ message: Build wealth, share it
By Rick Vacek
GCU News Bureau
A turnout of about 175 Grand Canyon University faculty sat in rapt attention Friday for two important talks about the relationship between work and faith and how to make proper use of prosperity.
The occasion was the Integration of Faith, Learning and Work “Lunch and Learn” at Ethington Theatre, and the topic was a juicy one: “Faith, Work and the Good Work God Has Called Us to Do.” The speakers didn’t disappoint.
First, Dr. Joshua Greever of the College of Theology lectured on how God works in the marketplace. He said it isn’t a sin to work hard to honestly build wealth — the sin comes in taking from someone else’s wealth or not sharing our wealth with the less fortunate.
Greever referenced two Biblical passages, Titus 3:8-14 and Ephesians 4:28.
Titus alternates between the good and evil aspects of working hard — do good works in 3:8, avoid division in 3:9 and back to doing good works in 3:14.
Ephesians starts with the negative (don’t steal), gets to the positive (work hard) and then states the purpose of work (share with the needy).
Greever said there are three implications from those readings:
● Christians should do good works in every sphere of life — family, church and the marketplace (Colossians 3:23 — “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.” In other words, it doesn’t matter if your task is the lowest of the low; our mission is to do that job to the best of our ability.
● Christian good works in the marketplace undergird and enable Christian generosity. You can’t share with others what you don’t have.
● Instructors should model hard work for their students in every sphere of life and encourage them to do likewise.
Greever noted the sayings of Agur in Proverbs Chapter 30. Agur asked God not to give him too little or too much wealth.
Next up was GCU President Brian Mueller, who gave an impassioned talk about the mission of the University and how it relates to west Phoenix.
Mueller talked about the effect the Depression had on his parents and grandparents in Bay City, Mich. “We are too many generations removed from that Depression,” he said. “I think we no longer have an appreciation for where prosperity comes from.”
Good works are normally thought of as charity, he said, but the University is trying to bring lasting restoration to its neighborhood by building infrastructure that helps people every day rather than handouts that last only a short time.
“The only thing that turns things around permanently is business and jobs and prosperity,” he said. “We were created for the purpose of restoration. … It’s impossible for us to have prosperity on our campus if there is not prosperity in our community.”
Mueller complimented the faculty for its unity and students for their widespread works of mercy in the community, some of which are not organized University activities — such as when students recently washed the feet of homeless parents in front of their children to show how valued they are. That was all the students’ idea, Mueller said.
GCU, he said, “is going to be a case study that a lot of people will want to look at. I think you’re part of something that has unbelievable transformative potential.”
Contact Rick Vacek at (602) 639-8203 or [email protected]