MULTI TALENTED GOD … By telling the stories of those working in an industry and the issues they face, explores where and how God might already be at work in what we all do day by day. My hope and prayer is that multi-talented God will not just inspire Christians to see how they can make a difference at work; rather it will equip them with a new confidence and vocabulary to bring salt and light to their every days, unleashing fresh engagement with those they spend the majority of their waking lives with. Fashion is the first sector to come under the microscope. The Character of Fashion presents the findings.
GOD IS A FASHION DESIGNER!
SO ran the headline above an online review the day after an event at which I spoke about “A life of faith in the world of fashion.” It was forwarded to me by my PR department at the British Fashion Council, who picked it up – “Great review, Simon!” A friend, working in construction, who had been at the event also saw the review and emailed me that afternoon: “Hey, God is a civil engineer as well”!
The seed was sewn … oops, sown! The Creator is a MULTI TALENTED GOD, not just interested in those working in all manner of different jobs, but passionate about the work itself and the way it is carried out. The Bible speaks into our world of work and our own stories bring alive the principles laid out millennia ago.
Scroll back a couple of years … I was helping a great fashion friend of mine, Chrissie Abbott, as she got Fashion for Christ up and running. FFC is a support group for those working in fashion, and we were having a prayer room for the first time the following weekend in Somerset House, at the heart of London Fashion Week. I was pondering what we might pray about – something a bit more insightful than: “Please make the shows a success and help everyone write lots of orders.”
I started jotting down a few thoughts as to what might be God’s priorities if He was in charge. It was big picture stuff and, when I finished, I ran my finger down the list. There were ten items. I laughed out loud, it was obvious; here were …
GOD’S TEN COMMANDMENTS FOR FASHION
MULTI TALENTED GOD does not give advice on how to evangelise work colleagues! Rather, it explores where and how God might already be at work in what we all do day by day. My hope and prayer is that MULTI TALENTED GOD will not just inspire Christians to see how they can be making a difference at work; it will equip them with a new confidence and vocabulary to bring salt and light to their every days, unleashing fresh engagement with those they spend the majority of their waking lives with, regardless of where they stand on faith.
FRESH PERSPECTIVE ON FAITH & THE WORKPLACE
35 YEARS working in fashion as a Christian have revealed a number of things:
- there are many great people working in fashion, but there are also those trapped by the (false) notion that fashion is the most important thing in the world;
- fashion is not an easy place to talk openly about the Christian faith and I have singularly failed to “evangelise” my fellow workers;
- if this was crucial, I would be right in feeling very guilty;
- God, however, has shown favour to me in enabling me to have a “successful” career, even though I have often questioned if it was the right place for me;
- this implies to me that God has wanted me to learn from the world of fashion;
- it is crucial that Christians act as salt and light in a spiritually high risk industry;
- a fresh approach may be appropriate to reveal God’s love for a needy world.
Reflecting on this over a number of years, has led me to the following conclusion:
- Christianity has a poor reputation in the average 21st Century Western workplace;
- traditional “evangelism” may not be the most effective way to share God’s love;
- if there was an alternative, it might release millions of Christians from feeling guilt at their own ineffectiveness and set them free to help change the world;
- all Christians are called to be salt and light to prevent decay, bring out flavour and reveal things as they really are;
- a serious focus should be placed on how to be this salt and light, in a way that is relevant to the jobs we do and the people we work with, because …
- work is the place, and these are the people with whom we spend most time, engage with life’s challenges and who see what we are really like and what we stand for.
Rather than focussing so much resource trying to bring people into church, should not churches be empowering people in their day to day work? For:
- I am the vicar in my workplace
- my workplace is my parish
- my industry is my diocese
MULTI TALENTED GOD has a go at defining and resourcing such a fresh approach.