We are very excited to introduce you to Elizabeth Knox, author of Faith Powered Profession. Her new book, releasing September 1, is the sequel to Work, Love, Pray. Elizabeth shared with us her passion for professional women and changing the workplace environment.
4word: What was the inspiration behind Faith Powered Profession? What affect would you like to see the book have?
Elizabeth: We’re all trying to figure out how to honor God and do well at work. Sometimes it can be really challenging to do both simultaneously. I would like the book to help women understand that their jobs are important. I want them to walk away with practical approaches to struggles they face at work, and I want the book to encourage women as they seek to have a vibrant faith and a productive career at the same time. That’s what I wanted for myself, and that’s what I want for Christian women everywhere.
4word: How did writing Faith Powered Profession change you and/or your work?
Elizabeth: The book is divided into three sections:
Getting Grounded – the theological foundation for thinking about work as a Christian woman
Getting Real – conversations about the challenges we face at work
Getting Going – ensuring our faith is present in every aspect of our lives, including our jobs
Writing the “Getting Real” section was the most meaningful to me. It’s important to know why we’re working and that God is honored by our work (“Getting Grounded”) and to ensure our faith is integrated into our lives (“Getting Going”), but I really wanted to address the struggles we face at work. I wanted to talk about everyday problems - such as interacting with male colleagues or ensuring we stay true to our moral principles - and offer practical solutions.
4word: At the end of the first chapter, you write “talented and committed Christians need to be present in every area of society.” How is this especially pertinent to the workplace?
Elizabeth: If God has given us professional skills, then I believe we have a responsibility to use those skills to serve the world He loves. We should be out using the gifts God has given us in practically every field – business, the arts, government, politics, education, entertainment, law – working with integrity and excellence. I want Christians to be excited to be contributing to meeting people’s needs, contributing to a well-run government, or adding quality content to our entertainment options. Think of the tangible ways we can serve and minister to the world!
4word: You talk about the different views of women’s roles throughout history and specifically about a Christian’s role in the world. How can honest conversations on these topics change the workplace?
Elizabeth: Thankfully, Scripture offers us some guidance in Galatians 3. In Paul’s day, Jews were thought to be better than Greeks, free people were perceived as being superior to slaves, and men were valued far above women. Paul is saying that in God’s eyes, we are not loved any more or less because of our gender, ethnicity or socioeconomic status. One of our jobs as believers is to promote God’s kingdom of justice and mercy here on earth.
If we approach our work environment perceiving ourselves as a peer to all colleagues, we create opportunities for meaningful dialogue. Whether male or female, if we act respectfully toward our employees or our bosses, we convey a portion of God’s kindness toward His people.
Honest conversations about our worth in God’s eyes can change the workplace when we recognize that God loves our cube-mate just as much as He loves us. As women, we can lead the conversations that help everyone recognize that we are a stronger business, organization and society when we fully utilize the talents of all called to a particular field - men or women.
4word: What advice do you have for young women just beginning their careers?
Elizabeth: I want to encourage them to seek God’s priorities for their lives - through scripture, prayer, and influence from mentors and peers. I want them to really understand that they are serving God through their jobs and to take that responsibility and honor seriously.
4word: What advice do you have for women who are established in their careers, but still struggle with many of the topics discussed in your book?
Elizabeth: Let’s keep talking! The collective knowledge we’ve gathered over our years in the workforce is so valuable. I would love to see women who are more established in their careers start to lead the conversations around these topics of navigating faith and work – discuss their struggles and triumphs, bring young women into the conversation where they can be encouraged, and share the wisdom they are gaining as they start out.
Faith Powered Profession is available for pre-order on Amazon. Click here to reserve your copy!