Women Making a Kingdom Impact at Work – Part 1

  1. Share
0 0

Michelle Myers and Somer Phoebus, co-founders of She Works His Way (SWHW), share their journey of relearning what God had in mind for living out their faith at work. 


 

“I am wired for work. I am wired for business,” says Somer Phoebus, co-founder of SWHW. For Somer, it’s both the friendships and challenges in the workplace that spark that excitement.

 

But mostly, it's just how God wired her. 

 

Growing up in church, Somer learned to straddle two worlds. One foot in her ‘secular’ workplace – problem-solving and making good ideas better – and the other firmly planted in the world of faith and ‘ministry.’ But this balancing act wasn’t easy. 

 

As a Jesus follower, she often felt torn between the two worlds, unable to fully embrace who she was and what God made her to do in either. 

 

“I remember hearing this verse about being set apart (Hebrews 10:10) and I believed that ‘set apart’ (was) a literal setting away,” Somer shares. So, she taught herself to compartmentalize. One person at work and another at home or church, Somer wrestled with what it meant to be a Jesus follower in the workplace.  

 

“I believed the extent of my ministry was inviting people to church. I never fully understood that I was in ministry at work.” 

 

At the same time, Michelle Myers, co-founder of SWHW, was on a similar journey. Michelle’s background is in the fitness industry, working closely with people from all different walks of life. However, she didn’t immediately make the connection between her God-given wiring and kingdom impact in her workplace. 

 

“As it turns out, where there are people, there are gospel opportunities,” Michelle would discover. But God had a good bit of relearning for her to do first.

 

“I don't think I saw the workplace as a mission field until I truly wrapped my head around the gospel,” she says.

 

The first step? “I had to say no, to what I thought a call to ministry looked like: go to seminary, graduate, (then) work at a church.” God’s desire for his people is so much bigger than a one-size-fits-all route to ‘ministry,’ Michelle explains.  

 

When it came to her job, Michelle realized that God had intentionally placed her in the fitness industry, in that season, for a kingdom purpose. It was in this setting, that Michelle got to reflect her Creator while doing a job that she loved and was uniquely wired to do. 

 

“Instead of seeing this as just my job and this over here as my ministry, I realized these (things) are not separate,” she says. 

 

Michelle and Somer quickly discovered that women in many stages of life and career were actively wrestling with these same questions. What began as a group of friends meeting together, going into God’s Word, encouraging and challenging each other to be kingdom-minded in the workplace, grew into the She Works His Way online community of working women who love Jesus.

 

“Over the years, we've just invited more women into that conversation,” says Michelle.  

 

So, what does it really mean to be a working woman who loves Jesus? 

 

It’s being a reflection of Jesus wherever you are – be that in your workplace, church, community, neighborhood, or home. It’s also being available and recognizing that God is already at work in these places.

 

“God has been planting seeds in hearts… and I’m just making myself available to be one more seed,” Michelle says. “Sometimes I get to be the one to share, and sometimes I’m just the seed. But regardless, God is using it.”

 

Stay tuned for more in Part 2.

 

For more from Somer and Michelle, be sure to check out  She Works His Way and join in the conversation. 

 

Comments

To leave a comment, login or sign up.

Related Content

0
SCATTER STORIES: Serving Others in the Service Industry
Reagan's Story – Customer Service Professional   Like many working their way through college, Reagan has held various customer service jobs over the years. On one particular day, however, he remembers casually asking his manager, “So, how’s your day going?”  Surprisingly, this question caught his manager off guard.    Why would such a simple question be so unexpected?   “Nobody thought to ask (about her day) because we were all at work,” Reagan recalls. But we don’t stop being a person once we walk through the doors of our office, retail store, or job site, he explains. For Reagan, the customer service industry is the perfect place to reflect the love and hope of Jesus to customers and colleagues alike.    Putting others first and looking for ways to actively serve often meant taking the occasional extra shift and filling in for a colleague last minute. “(It’s) the easiest way to show I care,” says Reagan. “It just really opened up their entire world to me.”    Work is a gift, explains Reagan – even the hard, furthest from ‘dream job’ roles. “I've always thought of it as a real gift that the Lord gives (us) to steward little pockets of creation. So, when you're at work you are a steward, and living faithfully in that domain is glorifying to him whether anybody else knows it or not.”   But what about seasons when work is less than fulfilling? Does God have a kingdom purpose in mind when our 9 to 5 feels a little mundane or even meaningless?    “Start praying,” says Reagan. Ask the Lord, “What do you want me to do with this day? He’s faithful; He’s going to show you what you can do.”   Look for opportunities to practice, learn, and develop a specific skill related to your job. Find ways to become better. A year into working at a local coffee shop, Reagan discovered latte art, which provided a creative outlet and specific skill to learn. Each day, he got a little better.   Christians should always strive to be great in their places of work, says Reagan. “It’s a way for people to ask, why are you doing this? (And for us to answer) Well, Jesus.”  Are you frustrated and wondering how God could possibly use you in your current role for his kingdom? Start each day with a simple prayer: God, what do you want me to do with this day?    Because as image-bearers of God, we have been created “to do good works, which God prepared beforehand (Ephesians 2:10).” Yes, this means even those jobs which are simply paying the bills and might feel a little mundane.   Are you in the service industry? How have you reflected Jesus in your workplace?    Scatter Stories is a monthly series spotlighting how God is using everyday people in everyday jobs around the world for his kingdom.  
0
Jesus - Echo, Signpost, Redeemer
I’ve always loved Christmas. Growing up in the snowy prairies of Canada, this was a time of endless outdoor fun. Our tradition celebrated well.  Food, extended family, ice skating while celebrating the majestic and mysterious story of Jesus, Immanuel, God with us – the All Creating One becoming 100% human and pitching his tent on this planet next to our own.     The wonder surrounding this event should never get old. But what was less talked about, was how this idea of God dwelling with his people was not a singular event. It sits squarely in the center of God’s Big Story but also serves as an echo and a foreshadowing – all to highlight God’s unwavering commitment to his world.   THE ECHO   God's desire to walk alongside his people was nothing new. Long before the nativity scene, his feet had strolled through a garden, his voice had been heard in conversation with humans, his presence had been enjoyed by all living things.    In the very early days of his Story, it was a love story that began in a garden. The Creator set in motion a rhythm of intimacy and shalom (wholeness, peace, goodness, fruitfulness - everything as it should be). God and his people would work in intimacy and unison. Together they would shape a flourishing world for the good of all creation and the glory of His name.   This had always been the plan - humanity working in harmony with their Creator, bearing his image and cultivating his world.     The coming of Jesus marked a new beginning, an echo of what had been lost, an opportunity for redemption.   THE SIGNPOST   Jesus’ coming also foreshadowed a coming reality. "Look,” John cries out. “God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God."    At the end of this chapter in history, God is coming down to earth and will restore his original intent – to make his permanent and divine home with his people. A time where everything will once again be reconciled to its rightful place, and God's people will rule and reign with him forever.   THE REDEEMER   The coming of Jesus - his life, death, and resurrection, is the final statement on God's faithfulness to his creatures and his world. He will not leave us alone, he insists on uniting himself with his people. He insists on redeeming the whole world back to himself. And he invites us into that Big Story to be renewed ourselves and to begin the work of reconciling all things back to him.    As Rich Villodas says, "The good news of advent is not that we are faithful in our waiting (we often aren’t) but that God is faithful in his coming."     This Christmas season, let’s press into this truth that God never stops pursuing us; this was his plan from the very beginning. He meets us right where we are, and he’s relentless about making his dwelling with us.    If we believe this to be true, then how should this relentless love Story shape how we live next to our neighbors, our colleagues, and our family members?     By Jonathan Thiessen  Scatter Global President and Co-Founder