Changing Careers, Changing Lives

Jeff AnsorgeJeff Ansorge recently made a huge life transition without changing careers when he left his job as an executive chef at a posh downtown Minneapolis restaurant to accept a position as the chef for the Salvation Army Eastside Corps Community Center in St. Paul.  He exchanged a staff of 17 for a volunteer team of helpers and saw his salary decrease by 2/3.

For Jeff, the change is a part of a wider spiritual awakening.  After a childhood during which he contemplated the Roman Catholic priesthood, his faith became dormant in his 20s and 30s.  In 2010, his world began to unravel.  His marriage ended.  He began reading the New Testament.  He longed to find his identity in Christ rather than in his work or relationships.  As a result, he made the move to live out his faith by starting over as a Salvation Army chef.

So What?

While I have never met Jeff, I have had the privilege of meeting many people who have made career changes as a result of their faith.  In most but certainly not all of these situations, the individual has moved to a lower paying position that he or she feels makes a real difference.

This type of shift isn’t for everyone nor should it be.  Every person who follows the Way of Jesus should, however, live into that identity in all aspects of life – including one’s professional pursuits.

  • How has your faith shaped your understanding of work in general? of your specific professional pursuits in particular?
  • In what ways do you find your work and/or volunteer efforts make a real difference in the world?

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