Links to Interesting Faith and Work Articles
- Rethinking the Rat Race: Five Reasons for Overwork. Clint Archer shares this helpful list of reasons for overworking.
- Am I Overworking? In this episode of the Ask Pastor John podcast, John Piper addresses the following: “Thee biblical pattern for our week is set in creation: Work six days; rest one day. Here in the United States we live on a 5-day workweek, with 2 days off — a rhythm that apparently was innovated by Henry Ford to encourage workers to work only 40 hours a week so that they could consume more. So here’s the question: Should Christians work on Saturday, too? How should we reconcile the creation pattern of working six days with our American practice of working five days?”
- Stealing on the Job. Bill Newton writes “Do you have games on your work computer or smartphone? Do you play them while on the job? If you do, do you realize you are committing robbery?”
- Seizing Your Commute. Jessica Schaeffer offers some practical ways to steward your commute time well.
- 20 Dumb Things Organizations Do. I enjoyed this article from Brad Lomenick. How many of these do you recognize?
- 10 Things You Can Do Right Now to Find Your Purpose. Dan Cumberland writes “Finding more passion, more purpose, and more meaning in your work and life is a process of identity formation. It’s a process of discovering more of who you are and what you have to offer the world.”
- Does Your Work Matter in God’s Eyes? Bill Peel writes “When we meet legitimate human needs, we are working for God as much as a pastor, missionary, or evangelist.”
- Five Lies I Believed about Faith and Work. Kevin Halloran writes “Several times I had to learn the hard way of how God wants us approach work as a Christian. God, in His grace, revealed to me several lies that seeped into my work life. I pray that the lessons I learned will give you a greater view of God and His purpose for your work while strengthening you to work for His glory.”
- Albert Mohler: Work Is Not a Result of The Fall. In the latest video from Made to Flourish, Al Mohler reminds us that it’s our job as Christians to discover God’s original design for work and recover it for the glory of God.Global Leadership Summit. Here are two articles about the recently Global Leadership Summit from Matt Perman and Mark Miller.
- Is The Sunday to Monday Gap More Perilous Than We Thought? Tom Nelson, author of Work Matters, writes “I see at least four very perilous congregational consequences resulting from a wide Sunday to Monday gap.”
- The Myth of Calling. J.D. Greear writes “Every Christian, you see, has two major callings: (A) The call to use your vocation for the glory of God and the blessing of others; and (B) the call to make disciples. Thus, every believer should ask these two questions about their lives: 1. What skill has God given me by which I can bless the world? and 2. Where and how can I do it most strategically to advance the mission of God?”
- Trust. In this “Minute with Maxwell”, John Maxwell talks about the importance of trust in leadership.
- Forgiveness is the Path to Rebuilding Trust – 8 Principles to Remember. Randy Conley writes “There are many misconceptions about forgiveness, like it’s a display of weakness, it lets the offending party off the hook, or opens the door to people taking advantage of you. Those are misconceptions for a reason: they’re wrong. As you consider forgiving someone who has betrayed your trust, here are 8 principles to remember.”
- 10 Attributes of a Humble Leader. Ron Edmondson writes “Humility is a desired, but often neglected characteristic of good, servant leadership. It seems in the day of platform-building and social media the more we promote ourselves online, the more the characteristic of humility is being forgotten and certainly is less celebrated.”
- Avoiding a Big Landmine for Leaders. Brad Lomenick writes “If you are surrounded by only yes people, you’re probably unaware of things that could be jeopardizing your leadership. This is a major land mine for leaders.”
- Seven Practices of a Listening Leader. Eric Geiger writes “How do you listen as a leader? What does a listening leader do?”
- 20 Ways to Know if You are a Leader. Paul Sohn shares 20 questions to help you determine whether or not you’re an (effective) leader.
- Recognition, Motivation, and How to Train a Whale. In this “Tuesday Tip”, Dr. Alan Zimmerman writes “So what can you do to give recognition that is not only sincere and appreciated but highly motivating as well?”
- Four Ways to Stimulate Growth in Others. Mark Miller writes “One way to drive engagement, not to mention productivity and satisfaction, is to help people grow. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of ways to do this. This is a topic we’ll certainly revisit in the future. For now, here are four things you can do as a leader to help those around you grow.”
- Four Warning Signs You Are Not Listening to Your Team. Eric Geiger writes “Wise leaders listen to the people they lead. They recognize they are finite in their knowledge and wisdom, don’t have all the answers, and benefit from the minds of those they serve alongside.”
- Speaking Gracefully – One of the Great Joys of Leadership under the Authority of Christ. Glenn Brooke writes “Leaders must master their words as they respond to others – especially when people say and do things which infuriate us, frustrate us, or grieve us. People are messy, complicated, and can be ungrateful, unthinking, and hurtful.”
- 16 Books Every Church Leader Should Read On Their Next Sabbatical. Katie Fridsma writes “Every church leader I know is a voracious reader. In fact, every leader of every kind is always hungry to gain more knowledge and wisdom about leadership, team building, vision casting, personal development, and strategic thinking.”
- Delegation Dilemma. In this month’s Andy Stanley podcast he continues his discussion on the delegation dilemma he started last month.
- Work is a major instrument of God’s providence; it is how he sustains the human world. Tim Keller
- A word of encouragement after failure is worth more than an hour of praise after success. Coach K
- A boss has the title. A leader has the people. Simon Sinek
- Lack of openness causes others not to trust you. Dan Rockwell
- Whatever leadership role I have is temporary, and to make the biggest impact I’m going to need to develop other leaders, not just get work done but actually develop people. Eric Geiger
- A team is not a group of people that works together. A team is a group of people that trusts each other. Simon Sinek
- If you need everyone to be happy, you should be a party planner not a leader. Mark Miller
- Look at your problems as problems and they’ll continue to hold you down. See them as blessings in disguise and that’s what they truly become. Coach K
- Employees and co-workers who feel as if their achievements are noticed will always work harder and perform at their best. Dr. Alan Zimmerman
Kingdom Calling Book Club – Won’t you read along with us?
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. King Jesus is on a mission to bring restoration in every sphere of society and has invited His followers to join Him in this Kingdom-advancing work. Learn to deeply, creatively and intentionally steward your vocational power in ways that advance foretastes of the coming Kingdom of shalom for our neighbors near and far.
It’s an excellent book, so let’s read it together. This week we’ll look at Chapter 1:
- Preeminently, the preview passages reveal that the consummated kingdom is marked by two major, closely related features: justice and shalom. A rejoiced city, therefore, is one where ever-greater tastes of justice and shalom are made real.
- When the righteous prosper, justice prevails. The tsaddiqim seek to bring into reality three dimensions of justice that mark the consummated kingdom.
- Rescue. The consummated kingdom is marked by the end of all oppression. In it, the poor, the innocent and the helpless will be rescued from all the grim realities they face at the hands of violent oppressors.
- The work of rescue is about remedying these sorts of violent injustice. It involves identifying, exposing and transforming situations where there is an abuse of power, typically perpetuated through coercion and deception.
- Equity. The second dimension of justice we see in the preview passages is equity. Equity is not a simple word to define. It denotes fairness and impartiality. Equity is about ensuring that the poor and weak are not disproportionately burdened by society’s common problems. It is about promoting public policies that do not favor the rich over the poor but treat people equally. It is about avoiding policies that unfairly burden the poor and weak.
- Equity is somewhat easier to describe than to define. Consider, for example, the process of seeking equitable solutions to the challenge of providing affordable housing in a community.
- Restoration. The third dimension of biblical justice we see in the grand story of creation/Fall/redemption/consummation concerns restoration.
- Biblical justice is not solely concerned with the punishment of wrongdoing, but with the healing of wrongdoers and their restoration to the community. Justice and salvation are linked concepts.
- In a rejoiced city, the criminal justice system includes this notion of restorative justice, as opposed to focusing exclusively on retributive justice. Certainly it calls offenders to account, yet it also seeks to address the harm of the crime, not just the legal offense against the state. It takes the victim seriously and seeks the reinstatement of the offender into the social fabric when possible. Recognizing that crime is about harm to human relationships, it seeks reconciliation of those relationships to the greatest degree possible.’
- A rejoiced city is marked by the three dimensions of justice noted above: rescue, equity and restoration. It is also a place where justice’s twin sister, shalom, is evident in increasing measure.
- Theologian Cornelius Plantinga Jr. defines shalom as “the webbing together of God, humans, and all creation in justice, fulfillment, and delight…. We call it peace, but it means far more than mere peace of mind or cease-fire among enemies. In the Bible shalom means universal flourishing, wholeness, and delight.”
- The consummated kingdom is characterized by shalom in the four fundamental relationships of life: peace with God, peace with self, peace with others and peace with the creation.
- Intimacy with God. At the center of our joy in the consummated kingdom will be our intimate relationship with God.
- An essential part of our mission now is introducing people to a personal relationship with God. Evangelism that leads people to follow Jesus offers new believers a foretaste of the intimacy with God they will one day experience for eternity. Many of us have opportunities to do evangelism through our work based relationships.
- Beauty. In the new earth, nature’s comeliness will reach its pinnacle; the wilderness itself will burst into blossom, and streams will gush in the desert (Isaiah 35). To complement all this natural beauty, human culture will flourish.
- Health/wholeness. How wonderful it will be in the age to come when we enjoy freedom from the decay of our bodies.
- Hope. There is a way in which all the preview passages are about hope. All make promises about what the glorious future life in the new heavens and new earth will be like. They speak to us in the midst of our pain and assure us that none who hope in the Lord will be disappointed.
- Offering hope to those who feel hopeless is kingdom work.
- Comfort. God cares about the wounded in spirit.
- His comfort is expressed in multiple metaphors in Isaiah 54-of those rejected and abandoned who experience embrace; of the disgraced and humiliated who receive new dignity and healing; of the widow who experiences the Lord himself as husband.
- Presence with the grieving, counseling for the afflicted-these are kingdom works.
- Unity. In the consummated kingdom, we will experience deeper, richer, more satisfying community with other people.
- Security/lack of violence. One day, God will cause all wars to cease (Psalm 46:9). In the new heavens and new earth, swords will be remade into plowshares (Micah 4:3). Nations will no longer take up arms against one another. The day of violence will be eternally ended, and God’s people will enjoy perfect security.
- Economic flourishing. The new heaven and new earth will be a place of economic bounty. All people will have access to the resources needed for their economic well-being.
- Believers advance foretastes of the kingdom when they devote themselves to the great work of relief and development; to hunger alleviation; to microenterprise; to sustainable agriculture; to efforts to find new ways to provide everyone with adequate shelter and clean water; and to advocacy for the rule of law so that just, free enterprise can flourish.
- Sustainability. So many of the preview passages speak of the healing of the creation itself as God restores what was once barren.
- We show forth his goodness and his future intentions by stewarding the creation with care.
- On the one hand, some parishioners might wrongly assume that they (or the church) can “just do it.” That is, they may vastly underestimate what it takes to usher in these foretastes of justice and shalom.
- On the other hand, we must not allow parishioners to believe that, because the full vision of the preview passages won’t by realized until the “age to come,” we don’t need to do anything now.
- To put it succinctly, we need to remember that the kingdom of God is both now and not yet.
- My hope is that the pictures painted here of Christians working to advance tastes of justice and shalom help us to see what is possible and plausible in this time when Christ’s kingdom is mysteriously both now and not yet.