Chapel message works toward new view of career
By Rick Vacek
GCU News Bureau
Most people put a lot of thought into choosing a career. Will I be good at it? Will I have passion for it? Too often, the main question is this: Will it pay?
Oye Waddell posed a more important question Monday morning when he spoke at Chapel in Grand Canyon University Arena:
What does God want me to do?
Waddell, pastor of New City Church in downtown Phoenix, told of how he decided to start a ministry, Hustle PHX, designed to help inner-city entrepreneurs.
Its motto: “Let the hustlers hustle — for the common good.”
His motto: God wants to work through us in everything we do. And that includes work, which Waddell calls “essential to who God made us to be.”
“A lot of times we live in this dualism where we have this sacred vs. secular and we don’t believe that God owns it all,” he said. “We think that God owns faith, Bible studies, who we meet in our community groups. … Things like politics, sports, religion, government, business, education, work, we put that in another category like God doesn’t have anything to say about it.”
Waddell, a former football player at the University of Washington, said he struggled with what to do with his life after he got a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of Southern California:
“I had this great business idea that can serve a lot of people and really bring flourishing to the community I was in (Compton, Calif.). But I also had this ministry idea — I wanted to do urban ministry. And you know what I chose? I chose ministry. Vocational ministry. You know why? Because I felt like God would be more pleased with me if I started a vocational ministry and didn’t go into business. But I didn’t understand that God owned everything.”
Waddell divides our calling in life into three categories: primary, secondary and directional.
Our primary call, in his view, is to bear the image of God.
“The cultural mandate is to affect your area of life for Christ Jesus,” he said.
Our secondary call, he said, is to restore God’s image by making disciples.
“The only way we can make disciples,” he said, “is to be in community — community with God and community with each other.”
Our directional call is to be a blessing, even if it might seem difficult. There is no greater example of that, Waddell said, than the way Jesus ran toward the cross.
Waddell used several Bible verses to show how deeply God cares about work, including:
Genesis 2:15: “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.”
Ephesians 2:10: “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
1 Corinthians 10:31: “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”
Waddell’s point: “God is a worker.”
He has brought that spirit to Hustle PHX, which aims to bring intellectual, social and financial capital to urban entrepreneurs who need it to get started.
“My passion,” Waddell said, “is to be a salt and light in these urban communities and bring the love of Jesus to these communities through business, giftedness. I’m a shepherd, I’m a starter, I’m very entrepreneurial, I have the heart of an entrepreneur.
“An entrepreneur is someone who wants to solve problems. Every time I see a problem, I want to solve it through a business or an idea. … God has uniquely gifted me to be a blessing to urban inner-city communities.”
Becoming an entrepreneur usually requires a good deal of pain and perseverance before the business succeeds. Waddell warned students in the audience that no matter what they choose in life, “You may never reach your dream job or your dream career or how much money you want.”
In the end, he said, we must remember one thing: “Our call is to be a blessing.”
● For a replay of Waddell’s talk, click here.
● Next Monday’s Chapel speaker will be Emma Tautolo of Athletes in Action.
Contact Rick Vacek at (602) 639-8203 or firstname.lastname@example.org.