Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

FAITH AND WORK: Connecting Sunday to Monday

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Faith and Work News ~ Links to Interesting Articlescrazy-busy-all-the-time-is-crazy-png

  • The Crazy Badge of Honor. Dan Rockwell writes “We falsely believe that busyness reflects significance.”
  • Lead Like Jesus Podcast. I’m excited about this new leadership podcast.
  • Introducing First Graders to Words. Carey Anne Bustard interviews Sharon Strawbridge, who has been the first-grade teacher at Veritas Academy in Leola, Pennsylvania.
  • We Can Coexist and Not Compete. Dave Kraft writes “After years of watching organizations and teams, I have come to the strong conviction that any, and all, teams need to have a combination of dreamers and implementers–some with their heads in the clouds (in a good way) and some with their feet on the ground.”
  • Leadership Differences by Generation. In this episode of The 5 Leadership Questions podcast Todd Adkins, Brad Lomenick, and Barnabas Piper discuss the differences in leadership styles between generations.
  • 9 Things Managers Do That Make Good Employees Quit. Travis Bradberry writes “Managers tend to blame their turnover problems on everything under the sun, while ignoring the crux of the matter: people don’t leave jobs; they leave managers.”
  • Andy Stanley Leadership Podcast. In this edition of this excellent podcast, Andy talks with Frank Blake on creating and communicating vision for your organization.
  • Lessons Introverts Need to Learn to Become Leaders. John Rampton writes “Introverts make excellent leaders, not necessarily by being social, but by applying their keen thoughts, sense of reflection, and attention to detail in all their projects; as well as by forming deeper and more meaningful relationships with their cohorts (everybody knows: small talk is an introvert’s anathema).”
  • The Business of Faith. Read this interview with Al Erisman, author of The Accidental Executive.
  • 11 Things Every Leader Must Learn. Jarrid Wilson writes “Over my last eight years of ministry, I have had the opportunity to be in various roles, and under the leadership of some incredible people. Although I don’t know everything, I believe these 11 points are vital for anyone looking to develop great leadership.”
  • The Value of Goals. Art Rainer writes “So whether you are leading a team or are trying to right your current financial situation, let me encourage you to consider identifying your goals by giving you the value they provide.”
  • When Does Your Religion Legally Excuse You from Doing Your Job? Eugene Volokh writes “Can your religion legally excuse you from doing part of your job? This is one of the questions in the Kentucky County Clerk marriage certificate case.”

Faith and Work Quotes

  • Want to be a world changing leader? Great. Lead yourself first. Change you and you will change others. Internal change creates external impact. Brad Lomenick
  • Being a leader is one thing; developing others is another. Dan Rockwell
  • If you aren’t leading without a title, a title won’t help. Dan Rockwell
  • We don’t need a title to lead. We just need to care. People would rather follow a leader with a heart than a leader with a title. Craig Groeschel
  • Be humble. Be yourself. People would rather follow a leader who is always real than one who is always right. Craig Groeschel
  • Leaders want to help. Servant leaders love to serve. We also want to help others win. Mark Miller
  • If everything is a priority, nothing is. Mark Miller
  • Surround yourself with people that tell you what you NEED to hear, not what you WANT to hear. Coach K
  • Never look down on anyone unless you’re helping them up. Coach K
  • Followers want to be taken care of. Leaders want to take care of others. Be the leader you wish you had. Simon Sinek
  • Become the kind of leader that people would follow voluntarily, even if you had no title or position. Brian Tracy
  • If we give God service it must be because He gives us grace. We work for Him because He works in us. Charles Spurgeon
  • Failures will happen. But your success will be determined by how you respond to those failures. Dr. Alan Zimmerman
  • First become a winner in life. Then it’s easier to become a winner on the field. Tom Landry
  • Clock builders rather than time tellers, Level 5 leaders are comfortable with the idea that their companies will tick on without them. Jim Collins

Patrick Lencioni Quote

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 6: Inspiration.

  • It is from this high view of members’ daily work that pastors are positioned to offer inspiration to their flock. Carrying out this task of inspiration involves teaching a biblical theology of work and providing practical advice to members regarding the “vocational sweet spot.”
  • To inspire their flock about their daily work, congregational leaders need to start with the vital truth that work preceded the Fall. This truth is foundational for faithful vocational stewardship. Work is not a result of humankind’s fall into sin. Work is central in Genesis 1 and 2. There it is-right in the midst of paradise, right in the picture of God’s intentions for how things ought to be. Work is a gift from God. Work is something we were built for, something our loving Creator intends for our good.
  • Human beings are made in the image of God, and God is a worker. Human labor has intrinsic value because in it we “image,” or reflect, our Creator.
  • Pastors can explain the various ways in which God is a worker, and then encourage their congregants to identify where their own labors fit. God’s labors include the following: • Redemptive work (God’s saving and reconciling actions). Humans participate in this kind of work, for example, as evangelists, pastors, counselors and peacemakers. So do writers, artists, producers, songwriters, poets and actors who incorporate redemptive elements in their stories, novels, songs, films, performances and other works.
  • Creative work (God’s fashioning of the physical and human world). God gives humans creativity. People in the arts (sculptors, actors, painters, musicians, poets and so on) display this, as do a wide range of craftspeople such as potters, weavers and seamstresses, as well as interior designers, metalworkers, carpenters, builders, fashion designers, architects, novelists and urban planners (and more).
  • Providential work (God’s provision for and sustaining of humans and the creation).
  • Thus, innumerable individuals-bureaucrats, public utility workers, public policymakers, shopkeepers, career counselors, shipbuilders, farmers, firemen, repairmen, printers, transport workers, IT specialists, entrepreneurs, bankers and brokers, meteorologists, research technicians, civil servants, business school professors, mechanics, engineers, building inspectors, machinists, statisticians, plumbers, welders, janitors-and all who help keep the economic and political order working smoothly-reflect this aspect of God’s labor.
  • Justice work (God’s maintenance of justice). Judges, lawyers, paralegals, government regulators, legal secretaries, city managers, prison wardens and guards, policy researchers and advocates, law professors, diplomats, supervisors, administrators and law enforcement personnel participate in God’s work of maintaining justice.
  • Compassionate work (God’s involvement in comforting, healing, guiding and shepherding). Doctors, nurses, paramedics, psychologists, therapists, social workers, pharmacists, community workers, nonprofit directors, emergency medical technicians, counselors and welfare agents all reflect this aspect of God’s labor.
  • Revelatory work (God’s work to enlighten with truth). Preachers, scientists, educators, journalists, scholars and writers are all involved in this sort of work.
  • In all these various ways, God the Father continues his creative, sustaining and redeeming work through our human labor. This gives our work great dignity and purpose.
  • Our work lasts. We saw earlier that a further reason why our work truly matters is because it lasts. Work-pleasurable, fruitful, meaningful work-will be an eternal reality.
  • As church leaders teach the goodness of work, they also need to unmask and reject our secular culture’s false understandings of work.
  • Because we are fallen, we sometimes act as though success at work equates to a successful life. It doesn’t. Sometimes we make an idol of our careers. We need to repent. Sometimes we make decisions about jobs as though the ultimate purpose of work were self-fulfillment. It’s not. Sometimes we judge people’s worth based on their career position or status. We should seek God’s forgiveness. Sometimes we allow work-which is just one dimension of our lives-to crowd out family or worship or relationships or play or Sabbath. We must resist.
  • False ideas about work emerge not just from the secular culture but also from poor theology.
  • Christianity insists that our lives-including our work-are all about God and his work, his mission.
  • As author Frederick Buechner says in his pithy definition of vocation, “the place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.”
  • Church leaders should inspire their congregants to choose jobs that, to the greatest extent possible, offer them the best opportunities for directing their creative talents toward the end of advancing shalom for the common good.
  • The sweet spot is that place where our gifts and passions intersect with God’s priorities and the world’s needs. To the greatest extent possible, Christians should seek to work there.
  • I’m encouraging church leaders to invite people to find and live in their vocational sweet spot because of the joy it brings to the worker, the hope it brings to those served and the glory it brings to God.
  • Pastors must be careful not to make parishioners feel guilty when, for any number of legitimate reasons, they are not able to be in that sweet spot.
  • To inspire people with a robust understanding of work, church leaders may need to exhort congregants to examine whether they’re in the right place vocationally. Some believers may need to reassess why they are in their jobs. What are the reasons-and are they good reasons, kingdom reasons, God-honoring reasons? How much of a role do comfort, convenience, pride, fear or materialism play in explaining why we’re staying in our current jobs?
  • A final aspect of inspiring the congregation involves searching for people in the church who are modeling vocational stewardship and telling their stories.
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Author: Bill Pence

I’m Bill Pence. I’m married to my best friend. I’m a St. Louis Cardinals fan, a manager at a Fortune 100 company, a graduate of Covenant Theological Seminary, and in leadership at my local church. I am a life-long learner and have a passion to help people determine their callings, develop to their fullest potential and to utilize their strengths more fully. My favorite book is the Bible, and some other favorite books are Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper, The Holiness of God by R.C. Sproul and Crazy Love by Francis Chan.

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