In many vocations, you can clearly see how God is using your work for his glory. A construction worker builds a home that families can live in. A teacher invests in the lives of young children. A doctor saves lives.
In other vocations, the connection is less clear. What if your work involves scribbling ideas on pieces of paper? What if you spend most of your working hours in a office, looking at a computer screen?
Jenna Anderson is a graphic designer at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, and many of her days involve such tasks. Recently, we had a chance to chat with Jenna about graphic design. In our conversation, you’ll see how God can use her work for his glory — and how he can use yours, too. Here’s our conversation:
What does a graphic designer do? How did you become interested in it?
Graphic designers take information and find ways to express the same information in a visual way through images.
I have always been interested in art since I was a child. It was one of my favorite subjects in school, and I found I had a natural artistic ability. I didn’t know what I could do with it, and I didn’t want to teach because I never felt gifted in that area.
In college, art became more of just a hobby, and I decided to study Sports Medicine. It was not until my Sophomore year in college that I realized I could use my talents as my vocation. My uncle was starting a new business and asked me to design his logo. Designing his logo opened a new reality that I could have a job doing something creative. I enjoyed taking his idea and making it a reality that expressed a message he wanted to get across. After that, I changed my major and studied art with a focus in Graphic Design.
How does your faith inform your craft? How does your work give glory to God?
Occasionally I’ll have moments when I create something that leaves me in awe just thinking about how I am serving the ultimate artist. I am blown away at all that He has created — even that He created me and gave me this unique gift. As Paul writes, “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31)
Some people have a hard time understanding how their faith connects with their vocation. What encouragement would you give them?
During my undergrad, I felt called to missions overseas and decided that after I graduated I did not want to have a 9-5 job. I wanted to engage a different culture and share the gospel. I didn’t think I could do that with Graphic Design because I had a picture of what a missionary looked like, and it was not behind a desk.
God changed my perspective and reminded me that there is nothing he can’t use for His glory. I wanted to go to Ethiopia with the International Mission Board, but God closed that door and instead opened a door to serve in South Asia with the IMB doing graphic design. It was frustrating at first, but I soon realized that I could create things that were visually appealing, and my brothers and sisters in Christ were able to use that to share the gospel with people in their own language. I could also create things for fellow believers back in the states sharing the work that God was doing in a different country that they might not be able to go to.
My time there reminded me that we are called to tell His good news wherever we are and whatever we are doing. It taught me to be intentional with my neighbors and the relationships God put in my life. I realized, even if I hold a 9-5 job, it could be in a secular atmosphere and that would be my mission field.