The Value of Work Experience

Author: Kathie Lowans, Advisor

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Living and working with excellence is an appropriate description of our goal in the Work Experience program at Primrose Hill Teen Challenge called Prim Goods. The establishment of Prim Goods derives its inspiration from the Bible, which views work as one of the central purposes for human existence.

“Then God blessed them and said, ‘Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and govern it.’ “

Genesis 1:28 NLT


Work is the fruit of a repentant lifestyle. Where one has led a less than wholesome life involving anti-social behavior, there is further moral imperative to compensate for the wrongs done by providing for oneself, and to have enough to give to those in need.


“If you are a thief, quit stealing. Instead, use your hands for good hard work and then give generously to others in need.” Ephesians 4:28 NLT

Work also wins the respect of the community. One of the primary objectives of the PHTC program is to encourage students to live in repentance from a self-destructive lifestyle. Participating in work assignments is one means by which students may practice and develop the habit of a repentant lifestyle prior to their return to society.


“Make it your goal to live a quiet life, minding your own business and working with your hands…Then people will respect the way you live and you will not need to depend on others.” 1Thessalonians 4:11, 12 NLT


Working in Prim Goods often help surface unhealthy attitudes towards work, authority and God, and sometimes, racism, dishonesty, and disorganization. Work may also reveal why students may have used drugs and alcohol to cope with their failures. Exposing and addressing attitudes, provides the staff the opportunity to teach students the benefits and blessings of mature Christian character. Participating in Prim Goods is designed to teach a positive work ethic, responsibility and taking pride in a job-well-done. Because Prim Goods helps to generate funding for PHTC, students are given the opportunity to contribute to their own recovery through their work, which gives them a sense of productivity and dignity.


Work also prepares students to live a productive life after they complete the program. Students learn specific principles regarding a healthy work ethic such as punctuality, collegiality, collaboration, initiative, correlation between job production and future wages and the satisfaction of a job well done.


“Our people must learn to devote themselves to doing what is good, in order that they may provide for daily necessities and not live unproductive lives.”            Titus 3:14 NLT


Prim Goods permits the PHTC staff members the opportunity to train and equip students to apply first-hand the lessons they are learning as they seek to undertake a new drug-free, mentally sound, emotionally balanced, socially adjusted, physically well and spiritually alive lifestyle upon their graduation from PHTC.


Our students say it best:

“After being a failure for so much of my life, in Prim Goods, I can now create something of beauty and value. My favorite product is the sugar scrub. It smooths my skin –even my dry feet, and the affect lasts for days.”


“I was never a team player. Making bath and body products at Prim Goods, with the other women, has taught me how to work with others to achieve a goal.”


“I pray over each product as I label them.”


“To make quality products in Prim Goods, is very exciting. We have repeat customers –they are not just buying because they feel sorry for us –they really like them!


“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” Colossians 3:23 NLT