Sacred v. Secular (Faith & Work Integration Intro)

By Breon Wells

May 7, 2017

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.”

Colossians 3:23


A cross with spheres of influence radiating outward.

Photo © W.Ling

This past weekend, I had the distinct pleasure of being a speaker at a gathering of believers who were contemplating the integration of faith and work. I felt right at home, since this movement has characterized my life over the past decade, and is the nexus behind my organization, The Daniel Initiative. During the conference, David Kim, Executive Director of the Center for Faith & Work in New York, had eloquently provided an argument for the mental deconstruction of the concept of sacred vs. secular – the notion that expressions of faith are only acceptable in churches or sacred circles. This wall of separation is all too common in the mind and life of believers. We have our sacred space where we revere God and sanctify a space for him in our hearts. Then there is “our time and space” where we do “life,” including our work. This however was not the intent of God when he redeemed us through the blood of his son, Jesus.

While I was listening to David Kim speak, God reminded me that Adam and Eve never knew the concept of sacred vs. secular. These premier human beings just existed in perfect harmony before the God that created them. Every action that they took was worship unto their King. When Adam worked in the Garden of Eden, he was not working to make ends meet, but more as an extension of his worship towards the Lord. In fact, before there was an established church, there was the partnership between man and God in the context of work. God made the Garden; Adam was responsible for maintaining it. In the same way, God is Lord over the marketplace and every other “secular” space – we are to be stewards over these places as well.

Colossians 3:23 encourages us to do everything under the lens of God’s Lordship in the earth. This does not mean that we must take tracts with us everywhere, or even always verbally speak the name of Jesus in the workplace. However, it does mean that we must internally recognize that all of our time, space, finances, and resources belong to God and are at the disposal of his good pleasure. When I exhibit excellence in the workplace because of my love for God, I am breaking the barriers of sacred and secular… I am inviting God to actively dwell in all of my spaces. In this series, I want to invite you to take God out of the confines of your “sacred” experience and make him Lord over your entire existence, especially in the workplace. Let this be the beginning of your faith and work integration.


God, as we reflect on you, we are reminded that the earth is yours and the fullness thereof. Forgive us for compartmentalizing your influence in our lives. We did this out of ignorance, but we thank you now for the knowledge of your Sovereignty. Teach us how to give you full reign and authority in every part of our existence. Use this series to help us understand your plan for our lives more fully. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.


Explore more at the Theology of Work Project online commentary.

Breon Wells


Breon Wells is the Founder and CEO of The Daniel Initiative. He is a political consultant, musician, vision management consultant, ordained minister, and motivational speaker. After spending six years as a Congressional Staffer, Breon le...

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