Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

FAITH AND WORK: Connecting Sunday to Monday

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connecting faith and work

Links to Interesting Faith and Work Articles

  • Even the Dullest Work Can Be Done Unto the Lord. Bethany Jenkins interviews John Yates, Rector of Falls Church Anglican in Falls Church, Virginia, about his first job.
  • The 5 Types of Work That Fill Your Day. Scott Belsky looks at the five kinds of work we do every day how we can audit our day and the types of work we engage in most.
  • John PiperHow to Serve a Bad Boss. John Piper offers some helpful advice for those who work with a difficult boss.
  • Don’t Divide Your Christian Principles from Your Practical Decision Making. Matt Perman writes “Regardless of the situation you are in, always remember to ask not only “what are the typical practices for handling this situation in my industry” but also “what does God have to say about this type of thing, and how does that apply to me as well?”
  • The Spiritual Importance of Scheduling. Michael Kelley writes “If we are proactive in time management, scheduling out time can help us leave the worries of tomorrow until tomorrow.”
  • The Only True Disability in Life is a Bad Attitude. Dr. Alan Zimmerman writes “You can have an attitude that will take you across the finish line in every part of your personal and professional lives.”
  • Optimistic. In this “Minute with Maxwell”, John Maxwell talks about what it means to be optimistic.
  • The Key to Greater Impact. Mark Miller writes that the key to greater impact is how we use our time.
  • John MichelEverybody Matters Podcast: John Michel. A former Air Force General, John Michel has not only used his leadership experience in service of his country, but also to help transform businesses into places that think more about people than profit. John talks about his leadership journey on this edition of the Everybody Matters podcast, from his life in the military to what he is doing today.
  • The Church is a Leadership Factory. J.D. Greear writes “If developing leaders is what Jesus got most excited about in the church, isn’t that what we should be most excited about, too? Let me suggest four important implications for how we should approach ministry.”
  • Battling the Unknown. Mark Miller shares these four steps that have served him as a leader when plagued by doubt.
  • 21 Things You’ll Never Regret as a Leader. Carey Nieuwhof writes “While I haven’t gotten every situation right in leadership (far from it), I took some time to make a list of 21 things I’ve never regretted doing as a leader. My guess is when you’ve done them, you’ve never regretted them either.”
  • Avoiding a BIG Landmine for Leaders. Brad Lomenick writes “For many leaders, the greatest threat to our influence right now is our tendency to read our own press clippings, and continually put a “wall” up around us that protects us from any kind of honest feedback.”
  • What Do Leaders Do? Mark Miller provides this list of some primary activities leaders must engage in to be successful in today’s world.
  • 5 Leadership Questions about Reading Habits and Leadership Books. In this episode of the 5 Leadership Question podcast Todd Adkins, Eric Geiger, and Barnabas Piper talk about leaders as readers. They discuss the best ways to engage books, how to create reading habits in the midst of a busy schedule, and which particular books are the most helpful.
  • Measuring the Return on Character. Fred Kiel writes “The researchers found that CEOs whose employees gave them high marks for character had an average return on assets of 9.35% over a two-year period. That’s nearly five times as much as what those with low character ratings had; their ROA averaged only 1.93%.”
  • You are Micromanaging if…. Eric Geiger writes “Micromanagers typically can’t help themselves. Beneath the surface there are at least three underlying beliefs or practices that cause the micromanagement.”
  • We are One: Team Alignment. Teams are typically focused on working together toward a common goal or solving a problem. How do you keep a team aligned when the problem is solved or the goal is reached? How do 0video, Andy Stanley suggests that it all begins by clearly answering one question: What do we want to accomplish?
  • Beyond Collaboration: Discovering the Communal Nature of Calling. This year’s Center for Faith and Work Conference will be held at ArtBeam in New York’s Chelsea neighborhood November 7-8. Registration is now open.

CFW_Conference2015_HP-01

Kingdom Calling Kingdom Calling Book Club

Kingdom Calling: Vocational Calling for the Common Good by Amy L. Sherman

I first read this book in a “Calling, Vocation and Work” class with Dr. Michael Williams and Dr. Bradley Matthews at Covenant Seminary two summers ago. It’s an excellent book, so let’s read it together. This week we’ll look at the introductory material:

  • A growing number of people share an awareness that kingdom assignments typically involve venues beyond local church real estate and programming.
  • Kingdom callings play out in all of life, because that’s where life plays out!
  • Amy Sherman shares with us her conviction that “vocational stewardship”-the intentional deployment of our workplace knowledge, skills, platforms and networks-provides us a way to advance the kingdom for community transformation.
  • Lindsay’s careful research showed that the vast majority of evangelicals perched atop their career ladders in various social sectors displayed a profoundly anemic vision for what they could accomplish for the kingdom of God. And that made me cry,
  • Keller explained that the “righteous” (Hebrew tsaddiqim) are the just, the people who follow God’s heart and ways and who see everything they have as gifts from God to be stewarded for his purposes. Keller wrote, “The righteous in the book of Proverbs are by definition those who are willing to disadvantage themselves for the community while the wicked are those who put their own economic, social, and personal needs ahead of the needs of the community.”
  • By the intentional stewardship of their time, talent and treasure, the tsaddiqim bring nothing less than foretastes of the kingdom of God into reality.
  • Our King wants us realize that the kingdom of God has begun to break into our time and space. His work was about offering foretastes of kingdom realities-and this is the life and mission he calls us, his followers, into. The tsaddiqim gladly join King Jesus in that glorious mission.
  • I realized that what I’d been trying to do all those years is help churches “rejoice” their cities-whether accomplishing that “rejoicing” requires at least two big things. First, it means that many churches need to have a more robust, comprehensive view of what they should be aiming at missionally. Second, it means that churches need to take vocation much more seriously. Learning how to steward our vocational power is a major component of growing as the tsaddiqim who rejoice our cities. By vocational stewardship, I mean the intentional and strategic deployment ofour vocational power-knowledge, platform, networks, position, influence, skills and reputation-to advance foretastes of God’s kingdom.
  • For missional congregations that desire to rejoice their cities, vocational stewardship is an essential strategy. To accomplish their big vision, they need to capitalize intentionally on the vocational power of their members. I decided to try to write a book to help missional leaders do just that.
  • There are very few churches that have strong, intentional systems for deploying their people’s time and their talent.
  • Congregants in our pews need to know that they should-and can-connect their workaday world and their faith.
  • We must do a better job of inspiring our members about the role they can play in the mission of God and equipping them to live missionally through their vocation.
  • This is a book primarily for pastors and ministry leaders-particularly those already committed to leading missional churches (that is, churches that seek to follow King Jesus on his mission of making all things new). I also hope pastors will hand it out to individual congregants who are struggling to integrate their faith and work.

OVERVIEW OF THE BOOK

  • Part one, “Theological Foundations,” provides the biblical underpinning for both the “foretaste-bringing” mission of the church and the strategy of vocational stewardship.
  • Chapter two describes the tsaddiqim who try to undertake this labor.
  • Chapter three examines the obstacles that have kept many Christians from living as the tsaddigim, and chapter four discusses how churches can respond to those obstacles.
  • Part two, “Discipling for Vocational Stewardship,” provides practical how-to guidance for church leaders. It begins in chapter five with a look at the current state of evangelical thinking on faith/work integration-and the shortcomings therein.
  • Chapter six, “Inspiration,” offers a concise biblical theology of work that should undergird any vocational stewardship initiative. Chapter seven examines the task of discovery-helping congregants to identify their passions, “holy discontents”” and the dimensions of their vocational power. Chapter eight then addresses the critical task of formation-that is, the necessary shaping of congregants’ inner life that enables them to be effective, humble and wise stewards of their vocational power.
  • Part three gets into the meat of vocational stewardship. First, I offer a brief introduction to four pathways for deploying congregants in the stewardship of their vocations:
  • Chapters nine through twelve take up one pathway each.
  • American workers, on average, spend forty-five hours a week at work. Thats about 40 percent of our waking hours each week-a huge amount of time. If church leaders don’t help parishioners discern how to live missionally through that work, they miss a major-in some instances the major-avenue believers have for learning to live as foretastes.

Next week we’ll start with Chapter 1. Won’t you read along with us?

Quotes about Faith and Work

  • God normally calls us along the line of giftedness, but the purpose of giftedness is stewardship and service, not selfishness. Os Guinness
  • God has created us and our gifts for a place of His choosing – and we will only be ourselves when we are finally there. Os Guinness
  • When there is trust, conflict becomes nothing but the pursuit of truth; an attempt to find the best possible answer. Patrick Lencioni
  • God is more concerned with your character than your career, with who you are than what you do, with how you live than where you live. Steven Lawson
  • Few things diminish the attractiveness of faith more than pettiness. Major in the majors and minor in the minors. Scott Sauls
  • Great leaders today no longer need a title, corner office, or reserved parking place to have real influence and real impact. Brad Lomenick
  • Remember, what gets recognized gets repeated. Mark Miller
  • Admit to and make yourself accountable for mistakes. How can you improve if you’re never wrong? Coach K
  • I long for nothing more earnestly than to serve God with all my might. Charles Spurgeon
  • I think whether you’re having setbacks or not, the role of a leader is to always display a winning attitude. Colin Powell
  • Being average means you are as close to the bottom as you are to the top. John Wooden
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Author: Bill Pence

I’m Bill Pence ~ married to my best friend for more than 37 years, a St. Louis Cardinals fan, a manager at a Fortune 50 company, 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 Colossians 3:23 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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