Is Working as a Financial Adviser as Spiritual as Working for World Vision?

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Mark Sheerin was once an international aid worker for the Christian ministry World Vision, traveling around to distant lands and helping the poor. He quit that job to go create a financial planning and wealth management firm.

And, get this, he is convinced that his current work glorifies God as much as his former work did.

Sheerin wrote the Blue Ribbon winning essay for Christianity Today’s This is Our City project with “Why I Left World Vision for Finance: And why my current work matters as much as my former work.”

He writes,

"I used to define my World Vision job as bringing opportunity to the poor so they might thrive. I used to define my new job in finance as providing guidance to people so that they could make the most prudent decisions to meet their goals and leave legacies. Now I describe both my careers in the same way: creating redemptive spaces in a fallen and tangled world."

We’ve all been inculcated to believe that there are varying levels of Christian service. Those who have submitted all-out to God are those who have dedicated their lives to third-world missions. And then there are those who went to seminary and are leading churches as pastors. Next are those who are on staffs at Christian organizations and churches. And, running in the rear, are the rest of us—normal Christians who are working in normal jobs, living normal lives, and supporting all those who are doing really important stuff. But Sheerin gets it right, correcting this skewed vision of vocation:

“Leaving the refugee camp for the boardroom was a complicated decision. One part of my soul condemned me: How could I justify trading a vocation of serving the poor for a career among the wealthy? Believing that finance and feeding starving children both amount to good work in God's eyes still challenges me on my best days. But then I remember Jesus' mission to conquer sin and its effects in all its forms and in every place. Fighting against economic injustice through World Vision or through a financial planning firm are both mandated by God. Both tasks are valuable, both tasks seek redemption of broken systems and fallen people. Instead of digging wells, my firm walks with widows through the jungle of probate. Instead of sponsoring children, my firm partners with families through difficult, end-of-life decisions.”

This is an excellent and exciting article. Be sure to read the entire thing at This is Our City.

Post by Bob Robinson, Faith Editor for The High Calling and the Executive Director of The Center to Reintegrate Faith, Life, and Vocations. Follow Reintegrate's tweets at @re_integrate and Bob's personal twitter at @Bob_Robinson_re