1. How did you get your first job? Who was involved?


The book of Ruth tells a story from the time of the ‘Judges’ in the Hebrew Bible. Ruth and mother-in-law Naomi are the main characters; we pick up their story just after their husbands have died. They had left their homeland during a famine, migrating to Moab, a territory neighboring Israel. At this time and place, widows were very vulnerable. Widows depend entirely upon the husband’s kinfolk to survive. Ruth insists on remaining with Naomi, supporting her by gleaning grain left at the edges of the field. Gleaning was a right accorded in the law of Moses to the poor and landless. These two women secure their place within the extended family by marriage. Once married, Ruth and Boaz produce a child in Naomi’s name, which secures property and support for them all. Their child is ‘Obed’, meaning ‘Servant’ or ‘Worker.’ King David’s lineage begins with Ruth and Boaz.


God’s Story

Have someone read Ruth 2: 1-23. As you listen, imagine yourself in a supervisor’s position similar to Boaz or to a supervisee’s position, similar to Ruth.


Finding My Story in God’s Story

  1. As you put yourself in this story, what word, image, or feeling do you sense in this passage?
    • Having harvested grain or other crops, it was like __________.
    • Never been a farmhand, so I am lost in this story.
    • Having been widowed, or raised by a single mom, I feel like __________.
    • Knowing male-female relations in many workplaces, I’m surprised by __________.
    • Other __________.


  1. Workplaces present us with situations that make for emotional difficulties and moral challenges. Factors might include: differences in culture, wealth, ability, age, or gender; likewise, tensions presented by family ties, friendships or sexual attraction. When have you faced such situations, and how did you handle it at the time?
    • An employee going through significant personal difficulties.
    • An employee who shows promise but has so much to learn.
    • An employee who is also a close relative of mine.
    • An employee who comes on to me, or to whom I am attracted.
    • An employee who is noticeably different (older, younger, weaker) than others.


  1. What have you found most challenging about working under a supervisor?
    • “I know this job better than the boss!”
    • I sense them to be a dangerous or hostile person.
    • Lacking clear expectations and/or needing to ask for more direction.
    • I hate being micromanaged, I work best without close supervision.
    • Conflicts arising from friendship or association outside work give me trouble.
    • Other __________.


  1. What is Ruth seeing and feeling, as she takes direction from Naomi and encounters Boaz?
    • Everyone has an idea of what I ought to do!
    • Sure, I’ll try that…. What could go wrong?
    • What is this Boaz guy after, anyway?
    • I trust Naomi, so whatever she says is a good next step.
    • Other __________.


  1. Boaz asks his foreman “Whose young woman is that?” He could have ignored Ruth but didn’t. Why does he ask about her?
    • A boss’s job never ends at quitting time but extends to life after the shift is over.
    • A boss has responsibilities and concerns beyond the utilitarian value of employees.
    • An effective boss can see what else is going on that may affect someone’s work.
    • A good boss cares as much or more about people as profits.
    • Other __________.


Our Story

  1. If you were to supervise others as Boaz did, what responsibilities would be new, even awkward, for you?
    • They need to keep up with me, I’m responsible to my boss and the bottom line.
    • I set the tone and expectation, we do a good job, and we look out for each other.
    • I give extra help to those struggling on the job, but with a goal and expectations.
    • I submit my power and influence to God for maximizing my impact on his or her soul.
    • Other __________.


  1. What challenges or responsibilities at work is God helping you to see through Boaz?


  1. What might God have for you to receive or learn in this through the example of Ruth?


  1. What next step in life has become clearer to you?


  1. How can this group hold one another in prayer and mutual support until we meet again?