With a foreword by jo Anne Lyon
Contributions by Rebecca Whitesel, Christin Taylor, Patrick Eby, and Keith Reeves
Today we are all too well acquainted with a view of work and economics as necessary evils—means to an end. Our culture shouts its disapproval of work as bothersome, if necessary. It is conflicted over competing economic views and challenges the notion that one system can be better than all the rest. Even in the church the importance of work and economics can be undermined or dismissed. But what if we took great joy in our work? What if we began to develop an economic vision that reflects God’s own design?
In How God Makes the World a Better Place, David Wright and his team challenge teachers, preachers, and business leaders to use their influence to create, maintain, and affirm communities that value work and that value the systems that make work possible and rewarding for the most people. They are urged to inspire in others the dignity of labor and achievement that leads to real meaning and satisfaction. They must ensure that the world creates economic, legal, and organizational structures that enable work that truly will make the world a better place.
As the authors look back in time, many of the principles they outline are drawn directly from the lives of John and Charles Wesley—two devoted ministers of the gospel who took their work seriously as a tool for serving God. In doing so they transformed the spiritual landscape of England at the dawn of the Industrial Revolution. John Wesley was particularly captivated by the truth that we are created in the image of God. This foundational teaching of the Wesleyan movement is of utmost importance to our understanding of what it means to be a follower of Jesus in our work.
“My own kingdom zeal has been renewed by this compelling ‘little’ book. Built off the life-changing truths of the Wesleyan tradition—which are, themselves, so solidly built on the living Word of God—this timely read is for anyone who desires their work to express the transforming character of Christ. And in so doing, change their co-workers. Their communities. Their world.”
president and CEO
“At a time in history when work and accomplishments are being battered by some, it is good to see a book written about the positive and spiritual aspects of work. John Wesley had a healthy definition of work as is shown throughout this book. The book shows the connection between our spiritual lives and our work lives. There should be no distance between them. Enjoy this refreshing book of advice and testimonials about the blessings of working as unto the Lord.”
"You can find significant biblical and theological reflection on work and vocation among contemporary evangelicals. You also have a variety of traditions represented: Roman Catholic, Reformed, Lutheran, and Baptist. However, a sound and practical Wesleyan perspective is sorely lacking. Dr. David Wright fills this gap with a book that fleshes out a Wesleyan theology of work. His book is informed by our distinctive doctrine of individual and corporate holiness and makes relevant application to contemporary culture, helping readers to make connections between Wesleyan theology and life."
Christopher Bounds, Ph.D.
professor of Theology
Indiana Wesleyan University
"John Wesley taught that good works are necessary to grow in grace and the image of God. In many respects, this is the Wesleyan tradition discipleship formed by the mastery of spiritual principles and applied in the disciplines of work and service. There is no one better than Dr. David Wright to bring this message. As provost at Indiana Wesleyan University following other Christian higher education posts in the U.S., Haiti and England, Dr. Wright fuses a rich exploration of John and Charles Wesley¹s theology with keen insight into faith and work integration. He distinction between employment, vocation and money is especially useful for Christians who aspire to be a faithful presence in society. Modern culture asks us to choose between self and others. Wright counters that the pursuit of happiness is found in the alignment of spiritual maturity, contributing to society and loving neighbor as self."
White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives