So many followers of Jesus Christ spend the majority of their waking hours at work, yet ministry is often perceived as something that happens on the weekends – or something you quit your job to do. Finding no developed “work-life ministry model” at his church, entrepreneur Chuck Proudfit began seeking practical ways to live out Christian faith at work. Proudfit identified five spiritual struggles that most people face in the workplace: Sacred vs. secular, calling vs. career, righteousness vs. compromise, improvement vs. stagnation, and stewardship vs. ownership.
In 2003, he founded At Work on Purpose (AWOP), a network of programs and initiatives to mobilize the work world for Jesus Christ. “In the book of Acts, the marketplace was the scene of ministry,” says Proudfit. “It was the arena for spiritual transformation.” The non-profit has become a vehicle for innovation and spiritual growth for business and work communities across the world, and – Proudfit anticipates – a key model for citywide ministry. AWOP has created jobs and a platform for community in Proudfit’s hometown of Cincinnati and several villages in Nigeria. Ministry members have pioneered outreach initiatives such as prayer boxes in clinics. Next up, AWOP hopes to expand to new cities, including Portland, OR; Lexington, KY; and Maui, HI.