‘Mad Men’ and Christian career choices

Josh Larsen

Matt The Church Of No People
August 14, 2009

I'm continually more and more thankful for the people who do the work I cannot do - the jobs outside the church that make my life better. It's hard to decide where you'd be doing 'the most good,' but as a bi-vocational pastor, I'm all about people being out in the real world, interacting with real people on a day to day basis. When we start insulating ourselves by only working for the church, there's a real tendency to lose some of that perspective.<br><br>And while I haven't watched more than a couple of episodes of Mad Men, it is really good. Personally, my wife and I are really excited for 'Breaking Bad.'

August 14, 2009

Did Christ not spend majority of his time among prostitutes and tax collectors and the 'dregs of society'?<br><br>1 Peter 2:12 comes to my mind regarding this topic: "Live an exemplary life among the native so that your actions will refute their prejudices. Then they'll be won over to God's side and be there to join in the celebration when he arrives." (The Message)<br><br>We're called to let God's light shine. If we're witnessing only to Christians, how bright is that light shining among our world? We're commanded by God to proclaim the Good News out of darkness into His marvelous light.<br><br>For Peggy's circumstance, where is there more potential for God to be glorified? Serving Chrisitans at a church or witnessing among the secular world?

August 14, 2009

As someone who is currently attempting to leave a 10 year career for ordained ministry, i think I have come to a point where I feel what I do for my company is not glorifying God, and need to make a change. Though I know God wants me to provide for my family, and we'll be facing some risk, and lower household income with this change, in the long-run, we'll be closer to God, and I'll be working toward something I believe in with my whole heart.

August 14, 2009

I made the Mad Men career choice. After college I went to work as an art director in an ad agency in 1977. Even as an art director I wore a tie, sportcoat and slacks every day to work. Today it is really rare to see anyone in the ad industry wearing a tie. Even in new business pitches I rarely see a client with a tie. De rigeur is blue jeans. It was an honor to finally be invited to morning coffee at the Red Coach with the president and account executives. Only men were allowed. Account executives were expected to wine and dine clients, drink at lunch and go for drinks at five. Fortunately, the creative department did not have to participate in those liver challenging male bonding rituals, we were considered wierd. The problem that creatives had to deal with was the pressure to be profane, to try to get away with sexually suggestive, profane or scatological references in ads. There were a few Christians in the business and we would meet occasionally for Bible study and prayer. <br><br>One of the most committed Christians I know was the creative director for the biggest agency in town. He was also charismatic or pentecostal and once laid hands on the president of his agency for physical healing. And he was! He gave his car away once to a woman who had none. Wow! He had a lot of respect in the creative community just for being so out there, so compassionate, consistent and committed. <br><br>Today we have several ad agency owners who are Christians. The creatives have inherited the power in the ad agencies, (the geek shall inherit the earth) and women are equals. It’s a different world now with tighter budgets and less tolerance for empty suits and ritual drinking bouts. The key is to be honest, not hypocritical and open about what you believe. At agency celebrations I join the group for drinks but stop at one or two. And now as a creative director and agency president, I steer creative people away from exploitive, profane and sexually suggestive advertising.

August 14, 2009

(spoiler warning) I'd be interested to hear what you think as Season 2 progresses. I found the priest's interest in Peggy to be a bit intrusive at times and almost paternalistic? After learning Peggy gave up the baby, I read the priest's interest in her to be using his power in a religious community to "save" her, force a pastoral intimacy where it was not sought, and almost coerce a confession to God. <br><br>Certainly we in the church are called to seek out those in distress, but just as Peggy's personal boundaries were not taken into consideration in the bar with the clients, I felt the priest was ignoring her personal boundaries in the series.

August 14, 2009

I am not called to evangelism, nor am I called to the ministry. I am called to open the doors of the prison, as Jesus read from Isaiah. I sometimes participate in ministries such as assisting older church members with home repairs, or serving as historian, or child care. I generally find the jobs I work at for money introduce me to aspects of the world it is good to become familiar with, but I haven't had a life long career, or even a half life. I am also called to explain that the conceptual framework of evolutionary biology is all laid out in the first two chapters of Genesis, but that does not mean I am called to ministry. We all have to read the Bible for ourselves, as Wycliffe taught. (I haven't seen the show, I don't get cable, but I despise advertising. What a waste!)

August 15, 2009

i think doing your job to the best of your ability, with integrity, is the way to do it. people notice. no matter if you work in a church or anywhere else.

August 16, 2009

That sounds fantastic

August 24, 2009

Though "not everyone can work for a church, Christian school or other ordained ministry", yet we are admonished to exhibit our christ-like attributes wherever we are. According to Col. 3:23-24 "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, 24) since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Jesus Christ you are serving". It is not where you work, it is who you really are!

August 24, 2009

i write software. i write programs that bankers and accountants and lawyers use. you have never heard of it. but my goal is to make sure it runs correctly and smoothly. i don't have a ton of human interaction. and that is because i'm doing my job well. when i do a good job, somebody doesn't have a bad day and won't take it out on their family. someone else can leave early the day before a holiday and spend more time with their children. a marriage going through a rough patch won't hurt more because somebody has to work all night on something they messed up, because i am an expert and i know what they did, and so i fixed it in 2 hours instead of letting them fix what they messed up. and i walk out to my car and i see the sunset and all the different colors, and i see patterns in nature and small things that indicate other things, and sometimes, i think maybe one of my coworkers says a prayer and remembers me in their prayer.

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