Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

FAITH AND WORK: Connecting Sunday to Monday

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connecting faith and workFaith and Work News ~ Links to Interesting Articles



  • A Prayer for Mondays to be Celebrated as Fridays. Scotty Smith prays “May we see our work less as a job and more as a vocation—less as a way of just paying the bills or preparing for retirement, and more as a means of expanding your kingdom and revealing your beauty.”
  • Five Questions to Ask Yourself When Considering a Job Change. Andrew Spencer writes “Here are five questions I used to evaluate my recent job change.
  • This Story Isn’t About Marriage. Bethany Jenkins writes “Kim Davis, a county clerk in Kentucky, has refused to issue marriage licenses to all couples—gay or straight—since the Supreme Court’s Obergefell decision in June. As a Christian, Davis objects to gay marriage. Six couples have brought suits against her, arguing she must fulfill her duties as an elected official despite her religious convictions.”
  • Let Your Wine Age….Not Your Bad News. Dr. Alan Zimmerman discusses the right way to deal with bad news.
  • 9 Steps to Start Growing Early. John Maxwell writes about beginnings and how to start well. He states “So whether you have children, grandchildren, students, or young adults that you’re mentoring, here are some ways you can assist young people in starting early.”
  • Rethinking WorkRethinking Work. Barry Schwartzaug writes “Work that is adequately compensated is an important social good. But so is work that is worth doing. Half of our waking lives is a terrible thing to waste.”
  • Thrive. In this “Minute with Maxwell”, John Maxwell encourages us not only to strive, but to thrive.
  • ‘Good’ Is a Protest Against Moral Decay. Carey Anne Bustard interviews Ned Bustard, owner of World’s End Images, is a graphic designer, art gallery director, author, illustrator, and printmaker. He edited It Was Good: Making Art to the Glory of God and co-edited Bigger on the Inside: Christianity and Doctor Who.
  • Three Dangers of Only Looking at the Present. Eric Geiger writes “The present reality is a strong pull on leaders. When a leader wants to rise above the day and look to the future, the urgent can quickly pull a leader back to focusing on today.”
  • Do I Need a Job to be able to Work for God? James Clark writes “Keep searching for job prospects. Think hard about your calling. Ponder your strengths and in what sort of job they could be best harnessed. Beware of the spiritual pitfalls that accompany joblessness. But please do not let yourself believe that apart from a job you have no work to do.”
  • A Worker’s Prayer. The Getty’s write “Before You I Kneel (A Worker’s Prayer)” is a hymn for the working day, a prayer for each task we are given. The spark for the song came from our good friend, Jeff Barneson, who introduced us to a special service called “The Holy Ordination to Daily Work” that Intervarsity conducts annually at Harvard University. As Keith and one of our new Nashville friends, Jeff Taylor, put the melody together, they reflected on JS Bach who finished his working day of writing for the church by inscribing SDG (Soli Deo Gloria) at the bottom of the manuscript page. It became the hook that we built both the song and this particular arrangement on where we hear Bach’s timeless melody, “Wachet Auf,” played on folk instruments.”
  • 7 Elements of a Strong Work Ethic. Jacqueline Whitmore writes “A strong work ethic energizes you and your employees to face your challenges head-on, be your best and keep you at the top of your game.”
  • 5 Rude Emails You Send Every Day. Travis Bradberry writes “Even the most likable and well-mannered among us can still look like jerks in an email. Writing an email that comes across just like you do in person is a fine art. Most of the mistakes people make in their emails are completely avoidable. The following list digs into these subtle mistakes and hidden blunders.”
  • ahh-procrastinationTo Stop Procrastinating, Start by Understanding the Emotions Involved. Shirley S. Wang writes “Researchers say chronic procrastination is an emotional strategy for dealing with stress, and it can lead to significant issues in relationships, jobs, finances and health.”
  • Five Consequences of a Life Out of Balance. Michael Hyatt writes “If you are working more than fifty-five hours a week, you are out of balance. You are putting at risk at least five very important assets.”
  • The Powerful Effect of Noticing Good Things at Work. Joyce E. Bono and Theresa M. Glomb write “Before turning on the radio or getting on a call during your homeward commute, take a moment to reflect on the good things that happened at work. Doing so can help you capitalize on the small, naturally occurring flow of daily positive events — a ubiquitous but too-often-ignored source of strength and well-being.”
  • Mountaintop Lessons. Jena Lee Nardella writes “When I stand on a mountaintop I am reminded of two important lessons I had to learn somewhere along the way — 1. to take on immoveable mountains, the first thing you have to do is move; 2. it’s important to take moments of true rest.”
  • 5 Dysfunctions of Teams. Watch this 37 minute video from Patrick Lencioni based on his classic book, one of the most helpful books I’ve ever read.

Quotes about Faith and Work

  • Leaders who don’t listen will eventually be surrounded by people who have nothing to say. Andy Stanley  
  • Stress is more often related to what you are doing, not how much you are doing. Andy Stanley
  • The genius at the top doesn’t make the team look good. A good team makes the person at the top look like a genius. Simon Sinek
  • Leaders trying to be managers — managers trying to be leaders — Frustrating themselves and others. Ron Edmondson
  • Sabbath is a redefinition of how we work, why we work, and how we create freedom through our work. Dan Allender
  • Mission includes our secular vocations, not just church ministry. Tim Keller
  • Successful leaders release rather than control. Dan Rockwell
  • Great leader: hot heart, cool head. Bad leader: cold heart, hot head. J.D. Greear
  • Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishments. Coach K
  • A holy ambition is something you really, really want to do that God also wants you to do. John Piper
  • If you stop and do nothing until you can do everything, you will remain useless. Charles Spurgeon
  • In nothing has the church so lost her hold on reality as in her failure to understand the respect the secular vocation. Dorothy Sayers

Kingdom CallingKingdom Calling Book Club – Won’t you read along with us?

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. 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 4: How the Gospel of the Kingdom Nurtures the Tsaddiqim

  • In 2008, InterVarsity leader James Choung did the Christian world an invaluable service when he published a new, simple diagram for explaining this gospel of the kingdom. Choung’s Four Circles illustration tells the Christian story from this creation/Fall/redemption/consummation paradigm. Unlike the Bridge illustration, Choung’s presentation centers the gospel story right away on God and God’s mission in the world, rather than on humans and their sinfulness.
  • Congregants’ understanding of the gospel affects their views of three arenas crucial to living as the tsaddiqim: sanctification, evangelism and mission. This is why it is crucial that missional leaders preach the “big” gospel of the kingdom.
  • Sanctification. The big gospel helps us understand that sanctification is a matter of conforming not only to the character of Christ, but also to his passions and identity.
  • Becoming like Jesus also means seeing ourselves as he did, as “sent ones,” and being passionate about the things he is passionate about.
  • Jesus is passionate for justice and shalom.
  • Jesus is also passionate about reconciliation among diverse people.
  • And, like his Father, Jesus is passionate about the poor, the vulnerable, the sick and the stranger. To become like him is to adopt all these passions as our own.
  • Moreover, genuine sanctification means that we intentionally identify with the identity of Jesus.
  • Evangelism. How we understand the gospel also shapes our approach to evangelism. Our presentation will include the vital good news of personal justification by faith in Christ’s atoning blood. But we will also talk about the power of Jesus in redeeming all our fundamental relationships (with God, self, others and the earth).
  • Our gospel presentation will rejoice in Jesus’ victory over both the penalty of sin and the corruption of sin.
  • The gospel of the kingdom should also reshape the language we use in evangelism.
  • Evangelists of the gospel of the kingdom should encourage seekers to respond to Jesus’ invitation to come over and join his heart. Intimate communion with Jesus occurs when we go to him.
  • The kingdom gospel also leads us to invest more thought and energy in the missional work of enacting and demonstrating the heart of God in the world.
  • Our understanding of the gospel also influences our view of mission.
  • First, the gospel of the kingdom illuminates our Lord’s top three missional priorities. As articulated in his inaugural address in Luke 4, they are evangelism, compassion and justice.
  • Second, the gospel of the kingdom draws us to holistic ministry, to addressing people’s spiritual and material needs.
  • Third, the gospel of the kingdom shapes mission by encouraging us to think more “cosmically” about evil than does the too-narrow gospel.
  • It proclaims not only the redemption of individual sinners but also the destruction of the devil’s work and the restoring of all things.’
  • Finally, the gospel of the kingdom shapes the direction of our mission.
  • We come to see that while he loved everyone, his steps tended to lead him toward the poor. In this Jesus is simply following in his Father’s footsteps.
  • The big gospel presented through tools like James Choung’s Four Circles puts the mission of God, the missio Dei, front and center. We see that God is on the move, doing his work of restoring all things.
  • The gospel of the kingdom tells us not only what we’re saved from, but also what we’re saved for. We have a purpose, we have a sacred calling, we have a God-given vocation: to partner with God in his work of restoring all things.

Author: Bill Pence

I’m Bill Pence – married to my best friend Tammy, a graduate of Covenant Seminary, St. Louis Cardinals fan, formerly a manager at a Fortune 50 organization, and in leadership at my local church. I am a life-long learner and have a passion to help people develop, and to use their strengths to their fullest potential. I am an INTJ on Myers-Briggs, 3 on the Enneagram, my top five Strengthsfinder themes are: Belief, Responsibility, Learner, Harmony, and Achiever, and my two StandOut strength roles are Creator and Equalizer. My favorite book is the Bible, with Romans my favorite book of the Bible, and Colossians 3:23 and 2 Corinthians 5:21 being my favorite verses. Some of my other favorite books are The Holiness of God and Chosen by God by R.C. Sproul, and Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper. I enjoy music in a variety of genres, including modern hymns, Christian hip-hop and classic rock. My book Called to Lead: Living and Leading for Jesus in the Workplace and Tammy’s book Study, Savor and Share Scripture: Becoming What We Behold are available in paperback and Kindle editions on Amazon.

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