Understanding the Connection: Faith, Work, and Discovering God’s Will for Your Career |  POD 018

Understanding the Connection: Faith, Work, and Discovering God’s Will for Your Career | POD 018






Paige Wiley – Guest

Paul Brandes – Co-Host

Bill Gorman – Co-Host

Show Notes

Understanding the Connection: Faith, Work, and Discovering God’s Will for Your Career

How should faith and work intersect? Today we have a special guest, Paige Wiley, joining us. Paige brings a wealth of knowledge and experience, having worked in various settings and ministries and now working within the team at Made To Flourish as the Associate Director of Engagement. In this episode, we explore the importance of understanding one’s vocation and how it connects to our faith, as well as the anxiety and questions that arise when it comes to discerning God’s will in our careers. Paige shares insights from her recent project on bridging the gap between college and the next phase of life as well as the fascinating concept of “skills mapping” for churches and how it can be utilized to foster community and discipleship. Listen now to this thought-provoking conversation about work, calling, and the journey towards finding purpose in our daily lives.


  • The importance of integrating faith and work: There is a journey to understanding the connection between faith and work. Work is not just a means of evangelizing or giving money to the church, but a valuable way to live out God’s design and contribute to the restoration of all things.
  • Addressing vocational anxiety: There is increasing anxiety among college students about their future careers and which has increased the need to make a meaningful connection between work and identity. There is a common fallacy of viewing God’s will as a specific target or destination, which can contribute to stress and anxiety. For this reason we need to talk early and often about faith and work to alleviate vocational anxiety.
  • Utilizing skills mapping for church community and discipleship: Skills mapping is a process that helps churches understand the vocational skills and passions of their congregation, and can be used to create support groups and facilitate connections among individuals with similar professions or roles. We want churches to engage with people across different life stages, including young adults and older adults, to foster community and discipleship around the work that we do, paid or unpaid.

#FaithAndWork #CallingAndVocation #BridgingTheGap #SkillMapping #ConnectingCongregations #SundayToMonday #IntegratingFaithAndLife #SupportingProfessionals #ThirdThirdOfLife #ChurchBeyondSunday



Paige Wiley grew up in a Christian environment where work and faith were presented as separate entities. This upbringing shaped her curiosity about the intersection of work and calling. While studying communications and media at Kansas State University, Paige was heavily involved in her campus ministry and also worked at a career center, helping students discover their career paths. This experience intensified her interest in understanding why people choose a certain profession and what drives their vocational choices.



“At the end of the day, my belief was that work is part of this necessary evil that we have to do in order to either evangelize to our coworkers or to give our money to the church.”
— Paige Wiley


“Within redemption, we get to see how work is a way of loving and serving our neighbor, and this allows us to see glimpses of heaven.”
— Paige Wiley


“One of the ways that I like to frame it is: A good shepherd knows his sheep, and the skill mapping survey is really meant to ask folks where they’re at. Instead of asking to put more on their plate, ask, “What’s on your plate? What are you doing? Where are you already on mission, where are you already serving?””
— Paige Wiley



Made To Flourish

Skill Mapping

Worked Up – Paige Wiley & Luke Bobo

Work Matters: Connecting Sunday Worship to Monday Work – Tom Nelson

Every Good Endeavor: Connecting Your Work to God’s Work – Tim Keller

Just Do Something: A Liberating Approach to Finding God’s Will – Kevin DeYound

Whatever You Do: Six Foundations for an Integrated Life – Luke Bobo

God at Work: Your Christian Vocation in All of Life – Gene Veith

Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life – Bill Burnett and David J. Evans



[00:06:10] Faith and work: wrestling and finding fulfillment.
[00:08:10] God at the center, wrestling with work theology.
[00:12:51] College students struggle with identity and anxiety.
[00:15:14] God’s will as a problematic treasure hunt.
[00:17:46] Gathering to discuss faith and work after college.
[00:22:20] Made to Flourish offers a skill mapping process.
[00:26:28] Interviews explore Monday life of congregation members.
[00:29:26] Connecting educators, healthcare workers, entrepreneurs, and parents.
[00:32:46] Is God with me in career choices?
[00:34:38] Dream job for Paige Wiley.

4 habits to start in your first 5 days at college

In college, you become an adult. At least, that’s what they tell you.

But sometimes, I wonder if that’s true. I know just last month, I had popcorn and carrot sticks for dinner.

Nevertheless, my undergraduate education is in the rear view mirror. And I managed to leave school with good friends, great memories, some savings, and a degree.

Not too bad, if you ask me.

In the next month, thousands of freshmen will begin their college careers at campuses across the country. And a good number of students from our church will head off to the places God has called them to learn and grow.

It’s an exciting time. But in the midst of the frantic activity that accompanies this period of incredible change, it can be easy to neglect long-term planning. Few people take intentional steps to cultivate their mental, emotional, and relational health while at college.

It doesn’t have to be that way.

Here are four things first-year students can do in their first five days on campus to ensure that their time at school is healthy, balanced, and well spent.


Habits are easy to form, harder to break, and impossible to avoid. Given time, everyone develops a rhythm. In your first five days at school, think carefully about your routine. How will you fill your day?

If your first few nights end on YouTube at 3am, chances are high that you’ll have a nocturnal semester. If you spend those early afternoons at the gym, your odds of uncovering that six pack by Spring Break will dramatically increase. If you go to church your first Sunday, you’ll keep going. If you don’t, you probably won’t start. Habits are like that. They develop quickly and sometimes unintentionally.

There are many ways to craft a routine. The worst way is without any thought.

Be deliberate about what you do during your early days on campus. Establish an enjoyable, sustainable, and healthy schedule. In November, you’ll be thankful you did.


It will be impossible to accurately describe the things you’ve done and the people you’ve met to your high school besties. So don’t. Stop texting them so often. Live where you are.

Too many first-year students avoid the healthy social awkwardness that accompanies new places and unfamiliar people by doubling down on their digital relationships with old friends. Don’t make that mistake. Old friends are good. But new friends are worth making. And your first five days at college present an unequaled opportunity for beginning new relationships. Everyone’s looking for friends. New bonds are easily formed.

This incredible social openness only lasts a little while. Don’t waste your time.

Join clubs and attend events. Get new numbers. Make plans. Do fun and fascinating things on your new campus with new people. Then, you’ll have good stories to share when you see your old friends at home during Thanksgiving Break.


Dorm life and international flights have a lot in common. Both involve sharing a small space for a long time with a relative stranger. Though polite conversation can make the first hours pass pleasantly, the moment comes when you realize you’re stuck with the person next to you until the trip is over.

You’ll be living with your college roommate for the next eight months. The honeymoon will end. Friction is coming. Start preparing now.

Many take time to get to know their college roommate in their first few days on campus. But few establish healthy lines of communication that will facilitate successful coexistence over the long run.

Though it’s exciting to explore a roommate’s past loves, favorite movies and biggest regrets, the discussion must progress. It’s important to determine how you will approach each other with frustrations, to set expectations for borrowing items and inviting guests into your space, and to schedule regular times to address simmering conflicts or to clean common areas.

These discussions aren’t always fun. But they’re the kinds of conversations that make long-term relationships work.

Healthy communication with your roommate will go a long way in guaranteeing that your first year on campus is absent from unnecessary conflict and stress.


College will change you. Expect it. Exposure to new ideas and people brings transformation.

But not all change is good change.

Before the semester has time and space to shape you, sit down with a pen and paper. Give yourself 10 minutes. Write down who you want to be, what you’d like to do, and how you want to interact with others. And be honest. This exercise is worthless if you aren’t.

This written record of your aspirations and values won’t be useful for a few months, so store it someplace safe. But after some time has passed, pull it out and read it. See if you’re still on track to be the person you wanted to be.

Maybe your goals have changed. If they have, ask why. Use this document to assess if your new perspectives and ambitions are for better or for worse.

A college student who reflects on who they are and how they are changing is a rare thing. Making this small effort during your first five days on campus could pay huge dividends, allowing you to use your four years on campus to bring about the type of maturity and growth you’ve wanted when you began.

College life flies by fast. Your first five days will be over before you know it.

Enjoy them. Fill them. And use them wisely. Take time to do what’s meaningful and healthy. A little bit of thinking and effort at the beginning can save you from a whole lot of problem solving at the end.