Sunday morning went great. You gathered with God’s people. You served on a volunteer team. You went home spiritually encouraged.
That was 24 hours ago. Now it’s Monday morning. Now God feels like the planet Saturn. You know he’s out there somewhere. He just seems really small and distant compared to the project your boss just assigned you.
Being a Christian isn’t about what we do on Sunday morning. It’s about how we do all of life, Monday morning included. That’s why the focus of our annual Men’s Retreat this fall is on the gospel and work. We’re taking 2 days to understand how the historical reality of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection transforms Monday morning.
In preparation for the retreat, I’m asking different men in the church to explain the work they do and how their faith in God changes the way they work. If you want to participate, leave a comment below. We’ll hear from a different man each week, starting with Shawn Rozier.
1) Where do you work? Give us an example of some of your responsibilities.
I work at Henrico County Social Services as the Assistant Director for service programs which includes child protective services, foster care, adoptions, adult services, child care, and employment services. Without boring people with all the technicalities, some of the most important things I do include making recommendations for who we hire, making program decisions about how we do our work (policies/procedures) and how work is assigned, approving certain big decisions on cases, and working with staff on difficult situations where problems must be solved.
2) What do you enjoy the most about your job?
I really enjoy working with the foster care and adoption program. With adoption it is so encouraging to see God put a family together for a child who is in foster care. They have usually been through so much pain and trauma from what happened with their birth family, and coming into foster care is also traumatizing. The love of a family is a powerful healing tool. I get to approve adoptive placements, attend the court ceremonies when the Judge signs the final adoption papers, and approve post-adoption support services for families. Seeing God rescue children from really dangerous circumstances is also a blessing. Sometimes foster care is absolutely needed to do this for a child.
3) What’s the most spiritually difficult part of your job?
The workload and the pressure to keep on top of so many things, combined with the difficult work that is involved. People are struggling with so many things, and emotions often run very high. That impacts not only the people directly involved, but also those of us who do the work. Balancing the rest of life and not burning out is a challenge. For me, I struggled with sinful self-reliance and working as if it all depends on me, and yet I do have responsibilities to manage.
4) How have you tried to proclaim or adorn the gospel at work?
Mostly through the example of how I deal with problems and crises that come up. I have been able to share with some of the people who work directly for me about some things that I have prayed for and how all of us need God’s mercy. My co-workers really walked closely with me when we experienced Hunter’s healing and recovery, which Caring Bridge really helped to facilitate. That was an opportunity that God created to proclaim His wonderful name to just about everyone at work, and it was amazing to watch Him work in that. People at work know that I am a Christian. The people at work who know me the best also know that I will do whatever I can to support them.
5) How can we pray for and support you in the work God has set before you?
I would ask that the church pray for all of us in the decisions we must make everyday that impact people’s lives (both children and the disabled/elderly). The decisions about protection for adults and children, and the decisions about placement and adoption are very important. For the kids who are struggling to cope with all of this, pray that God will heal them, bring them into families, and encourage us not to despair as we work with them. Pray for the safety of everyone involved to include our staff.
Thank you for your example of glorifying God in your work, Shawn!