Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

Integrating Faith and Work: Connecting Sunday to Monday

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Faith and Work

 Quotable:  Resolved, never to lose one moment of time; but improve it the most profitable way I possibly can.
– Jonathan Edwards, Resolution #5

  • My friend Kirk passed along that author and speaker Todd Gongwer will speak on “LEAD … for God’s Sake” Saturday, November 8 at 7:00pm at the Shirk Center on the Illinois Wesleyan University campus. The event is free. Check out Todd’s website here: http://leadforgodsake.com/
  • In this week’s Tuesday Tip, Dr. Alan Zimmerman offers ten ways to building relationships that work.
  • Marcus Goodyear writes in “Your Work Is Not as Important as You Want It To Be: A Review of Mark Labberton’s New Book” that “This little book calls the entire faith and work movement to task, reminding Christians to focus on the First Thing. My career, my success, and my productivity are not elements of my primary calling. A Christian’s calling is not a personal one, but a shared calling with other Christians to something very simple and straightforward: love God and love your neighbor.” Read his article here:
  • “Counterfeit Gods at the Water Cooler”. In this article from the series “Idols at Work”, Caroline Cross writes: “Gossip, workplace or otherwise, indicates what St. Augustine called disordered loves. Keller and Chalmers attest that only the supremacy of Christ’s compelling love can heal our hearts at the deepest level. His perfect love can transform even our talk at the water cooler.”
  • Here’s an interview with Professor Sean McDonough, professor of New Testament at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in South Hamilton, Massachusetts, about how to get the most out of the resources offered by the Theology of Work Project. Here are some of his thoughts on what’s been useful to him as he works with Christian students.
  • In his article “Should Your Passion Determine Your Profession?” Dr. David Leonard writes that “Whether you’re a full-time student or a stay-at-home parent, God has called you to use your vocation to serve others, to promote the common good, thereby acting as a vessel of his grace in a fallen world. That is certainly an ideal that we can all be passionate about, regardless of its practical outworking.”
  • “Does Your Team Trust, Respect, and Like Each Other (and You)?” Eric Geiger writes that “The healthiest teams share mutual trust and respect and like each other. They trust each other, have respect for one another’s contribution to the whole, and enjoy each other.” http://ericgeiger.com/2014/10/team-trust-respect-like/#.VED4Bo0tD3h
  • Newbrand Analytics CEO Kristin Muhlner discusses all of the things she says “No” to at work. Check them out here: http://www.fastcompany.com/3036409/how-i-get-it-done/the-many-many-many-things-you-should-say-no-to-at-work
  • The Lethal Drug in Your Dream Job” by Marshall Segal of Desiring God. “Wherever we work, we’ve been deployed by God as agents of everlasting joy. So, let’s labor and succeed as those who’ve already won in Christ. And let us work — in whatever field — that others might experience the freedom, love, and security we enjoy with God.” http://www.desiringgod.org/blog/posts/the-lethal-drug-in-your-dream-job.
  •  In his article “100,000 Hours: Eight Aims for Your Career” Marshall Segal offers eight aims that should drive every Christian career path. http://www.desiringgod.org/blog/posts/100-000-hours-eight-aims-for-your-career
  • Here are ten time management tips from the Time Management Ninja (seriously): http://timemanagementninja.com/2014/10/10-quick-tips-to-improve-your-time-management/
  • In “The Biblical Meaning of Success: Working Diligently for the Master’s Glory”, Hugh Whelchel writes “Two great lies have been promoted in our culture during the past 20 years. They are told to children in school, students in college, and workers throughout the business world. The first great lie is, “If you work hard enough, you can be anything you want to be.” It is often sold as the American Dream, expressed in sayings such as, “In America, anyone can grow up to be president.” The second great lie is like the first one, yet it’s possibly even more damaging: “You can be the best in the world.” These lies are accepted by many Christians as well as non-Christians. Read Hugh’s helpful article here: http://byfaithonline.com/the-biblical-meaning-of-success/
  • Productivity. Tim Challies continues his series on getting things done by first reviewing his definition of productivity: Productivity is effectively stewarding your gifts, talents, time, energy, and enthusiasm for the good of others and the glory of God. Read this installment of the series on task management here: http://www.challies.com/articles/how-to-get-things-done-task-management
  • In “How to Get Things Done: Organization and Systems” Tim Challies continues his series on productivity. http://www.challies.com/articles/how-to-get-things-done-organization-systems
  • “How To Get Things Done: Finding the Right Tools”. Tim Challies writes that over the past couple of weeks he has been working on a series titled How To Get Things Done, and is continuing that series with this article. [Part 1: How to Get Things Done, Part 2: Define Your Areas of Responsibility, Part 3: Time, Energy & Mission]. He spent the first few installments of the series trying to lay a solid foundation. In this article, he chooses tools, because like any other work, the work of productivity requires tools.
  • In his article “Productivity is Really About Good Works” Matt Perman writes that “Chief among the reasons to care about productivity is this: Productivity is really about good works. That’s worth saying again: Productivity is really about good works — which we were created in Christ to do (Ephesians 2:10) and which we are to do eagerly and enthusiastically (Titus 2:14). That’s why productivity matters, and that’s why I write about productivity. My aim is to help Christians be effective in good works. http://whatsbestnext.com/2010/11/productivity-is-really-about-good-works/
  • In “Representing Christ in the Workplace” Dr. Timothy Ewest, in part 6 of his series “Historical Practices of Christians in the Workplace” writes that “Representing Christ in the workplace typically takes either a verbal or nonverbal expression. Verbal representatives are not afraid of incorporating their faith into conversations when appropriate. Nonverbal expressions range from wearing religious jewelry to having religious signs up or performing charitable acts of justice.” Read his article here: http://blog.tifwe.org/representing-christ-in-the-workplace/
  • How Do I Change My Mindset from that of a Producer to that of a Leader?” John Maxwell’s new book is Good Leaders Ask Great Questions. Check out the answer to this question that came from his blog readers.
  • In his article “Sloth and Diligence”, Ken Jones writes that the Protestant work ethic is so named because “one of the things articulated or re-established by the Reformers is the idea that all lawful work (not just religious or church-related work) is sanctified by God. In short, the Reformers recaptured the biblical concept of the dignity of human labor.” Read his article here: http://www.ligonier.org/learn/articles/sloth-diligence/
  • Are you going through changes in your job? This short e-devotional reminds us to seek God during those times as Daniel did. Read it here: https://otm86890.infusionsoft.com/app/hostedEmail/14691316/4c61cc48ed504cb1
  • “What does it mean to live as a follower of Christ in the workplace?” That’s a question that I have been pursuing a lot this year. Matt Perman states that the answer to that question is to love your neighbor at work. Read his entire article “Work and the Kingdom of God” here:  http://www.gospelproject.com/2014/10/work-kingdom-god/
  • “Repairing the World”. Steven Garber, author of Visions of Vocation, writes: “This week I went further up and further in to the vocation of “tikkun olam,” a calling that belongs to all of us, sons of Adam and daughters of Eve that we are. The vision makes sense of the brokenness of life, of everyone’s life, of life for everyone—whether my son’s house or my colleagues’ business, whether your hope or the heartaches of neighbors a world away. We yearn for things to be made right, for life to be as it could be, as it might be, as it should be—as it is supposed to be.” Read his full article here: http://www.washingtoninst.org/8804/repairing-the-world/
  •  Grumbling at Work? Andrew Spencer writes “That it is important for Christians to avoid habitual complaining to represent Christ well and to increase our own joy in our labors.” Read his article “How Can We Keep From Grumbling at Work?”
  • In her article “Applying Scripture to Your Work”, Bethany Jenkins writes “Most people don’t work in places where public prayer is encouraged. They don’t open their business meetings by reading Scripture. But that doesn’t mean prayer and Scripture can’t be applied to our work. “Over the years,” says Lourine Clark, an executive and leader coach based in New York City, “I’ve learned that God’s truth is truth, and it applies everywhere.” Watch the full 21-minute video to hear David Kim, Executive Director of the Center for Faith & Work at Redeemer Presbyterian Church, talk with Clark about other ways she applies Scripture to her work and how she integrates prayer as a habit in her daily life.”
  • “You Do Not Labor in Vain”. I had two classes at Covenant Seminary with Dan Doriani. In this article he states “At work we have the greatest skill, training, time, and resources. If, by faith, we strive to love God and neighbors at work, then we serve him.’ Read his article here: http://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/you-do-not-labor-in-vain
  • This article from the Theology of Work Project, Inc. states that “It is important to note that when work became toil, it was not the beginning of work. Some people see work as part of the curse, but Adam and Eve had already worked the garden. In fact, work becomes more important as a result of the Fall, not less, because more work is required now to yield the necessary results.” Read what happens to work in Genesis 3: 16 here: http://www.theologyofwork.org/old-testament/genesis-1-11-and-work/people-fall-into-sin-in-work-genesis-31-24/
  • In his article “The Christian’s Work Ethic” John MacArthur writes that “The chief reason God allows believers to remain in this world is so He might use them to win the lost and thereby bring glory to His name.” http://www.gty.org/resources/bible-qna/BQ090312/The-Christians-Work-Ethic?Term=work
  • Do you want to be a “Beyond You Leader”? In a video clip from this year’s Leadercast event, Andy Stanley discusses how to empty your cup by looking for opportunities to pour into people around you. Watch this third video in the “Beyond You Leader” series here: http://andystanley.com/free-resources/
  • Did anyone attend the Boston Faith and Work Summit last week? I found these posts from Marcus Goodyear at The High Calling of interest.
  • “A Prayer for Days When You’re Feeling Scattered” by Scotty Smith: http://www.thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/scottysmith/2014/10/20/a-prayer-for-days-when-youre-feeling-scattered/

Faith and Work Book Clubs – Won’t you read along with us?

God at WorkGod at Work Book Club

God at Work: Your Christian Vocation in All of Life by Gene Edward Veith Jr.

When we visited St. Andrews Chapel, where R.C. Sproul is one of the pastors, recently, this book was the church’s “Book of the Month”. I’m excited to read it. We’ll look at a chapter each week. This week we cover material from CHAPTER 1 – Introduction: The Christian’s Calling in the World.

What's Best NextWhat’s Best Next Book Club

We continue with our overview of What’s Best Next: How the Gospel Transforms The Way You Get Things Done by Matt Perman, a new book on productivity from a Christian perspective. I’ve highlighted a number of passages and would like to share from the end of Chapter 18 and from Chapter 19 – Weekly Planning.

The Gospel at WorkThe Gospel at Work Book Club

I’m involved in a book club with peers at work discussing The Gospel at Work by Greg Gilbert and Sebastian Traeger. Last week we continued with Chapter 9: How Can I Share the Gospel at Work?

 

 

 

 

 

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Author: Bill Pence

I’m Bill Pence ~ married to my best friend for more than 38 years and a St. Louis Cardinals fan. Before retiring I served as a manager at a Fortune 50 company; I'm a graduate of Covenant Theological Seminary and in leadership at my local church. I enjoy speaking about calling, vocation and work. I am a life-long learner and have a passion to help people develop to their fullest potential and to utilize their strengths more fully. I am an INTJ on Myers-Briggs, 3 on the Enneagram, my top five Strengthsfinders themes are: Belief, Responsibility, Learner, Harmony and Achiever, and my two StandOut strengths roles are Creator and Equalizer. My favorite book is the Bible, with Romans my favorite book and 2 Corinthians 5:21 my favorite verse. Some of my other favorite books are Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper, The Holiness of God by R.C. Sproul, The Prodigal Son (originally titled A Tale of Two Sons) by John MacArthur and Crazy Love by Francis Chan. I enjoy Christian hip-hop/rap music, with Lecrae, Trip Lee and Andy Mineo being some of favorite artists.

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