In Why Work?, Dorothy Sayers has choice advice for pastors: “particularly the Christian clergy must get it firmly into their heads that when a man or woman is called to a particular job of secular work, that is as true a vocation as though he or she were called to specifically religious work.”
She observes the church has failed “to understand and respect the secular vocation.” “The Church’s approach to an intelligent carpenter is usually confined to exhorting him not to be drunk and disorderly in his leisure hours, and to come to church on Sundays. What the Church should be telling him is this: that the very first demand that his religion makes upon him is that he should make good tables.”
It has also “forgotten that the secular vocation is sacred.” It has for instance “forgotten that a building must be a good architecture before it can be a good church; that a painting must be well painted before it can be a good sacred picture; that work must be good work before it can call itself God’s work.”
It too often takes Christian workers away from their proper calling into “churchly” activities. “The Apostles complained rightly when they said it was not meet they should leave the word of God and serve tables; their vocation was to preach the word. But the person whose vocation it is to prepare the meals beautifully might with equal justice protest: It is not meet for us to leave the service of our tables to preach the word.” Instead, “when you find a man who is a Christian praising God by the excellence of his work — do not distract him and take him away from his proper vocation to address religious meetings and open church bazaars.” ”If you take him away from that, he will exhaust himself in an alien technique and lose his capacity to do his dedicated work.”
Some things haven’t changed much in the last 75 years!