- 5 Gears – A New Productivity Book to Check Out. Brad Lomenick writes that this new book by Jeremie Kubicek and Steve Cockram, founders of GiANT Worldwide will “Help you develop a rhythm and routine for your life that allows you to be productive at the right time of the day, as well as shift gears to be truly present with your family and fully recharge.”
- The New Necessity for Leadership Success. Dan Rockwell shares 25 qualities and behaviors that will make success more likely for leaders
- Foundation. In this “Minute with Maxwell”, John Maxwell discusses building a strong foundation.
- The Four Phases of Your Life’s Work (Which Describes You?) Dan Cumberland writes “There are four major phases that people find themselves in when it comes to doing their life’s work. These phases describe a person’s journey toward a deeper expression of who she is in what she does.
- Five Dangers of Only Looking at the Past. Eric Geiger writes “There are many leaders who are stuck in the past. While there are dangers in leading with only a view of the present or with only a view of the future, leading with your mind only rooted in the past is destructive. Here are five dangers with only looking at the past as you lead.”
- 5 Habits of Innovative Leaders. Samuel Deuth shares five habits and key questions that will help us develop as innovative leaders.
- Four Ways Leaders Should Rebuke and Challenge. Eric Geiger writes “In a leadership role, leaders are required to confront and challenge team members and peers. While the issues are often performance and communication issues, and not sin issues, we can still glean insight from biblical exhortations on confrontation. Leaders should rebuke and challenge others in the following four ways.”
- 7 Signs Your Culture is Sick. Dan Rockwell writes “I don’t want to be a pessimist, but I think there’s more sickness in organizational cultures than health. Healthy organizational culture results from focused attention. Sick cultures indicate distraction and neglect.”
- Treating Our Tasks as from God. Robert Fraser writes “Once we change bosses [from men to Christ], we are to obey our earthly bosses “just as we would obey Christ” (Eph 6:5). Even though our tasks are dictated by others, we are to treat them as if they come directly from the throne of God. Then we become “like slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from our heart” (Eph. 6:6). By viewing our tasks this way, several things happen.”
- How to Re(Gain) Your Leader’s Trust. Eric Geiger writes “Credibility with your leader is essential. If your leader does not trust you, your influence and impact will be greatly hampered. So how do you regain your leader’s trust in the midst of difficult challenges and disappointment? Here are six steps to regain your leader’s trust.”
- What Does Hope Have to Do with Leadership? Dr. Alan Zimmerman writes “Human beings cannot live without some form of human recognition or some sense of hope that things will get better. The same is true in the business world.”
“Vocation is integral, not incidental, to the mission of God in the world.” Steven Garber
Faith and Work Book Clubs – 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 7 ~ Discovery.
- Beyond casting an inspirational vision to congregants to steward their vocation for God’s glory and the good of their neighbors, church leaders need to provide a system that helps their people to examine their gifts, passions and “holy discontents,” and the dimensions of their vocational power.
- Pleasant Valley Baptist Church in the Kansas City metro area is a national leader in walking members through this process of discovery and equipping for service.
- Any church serious about vocational stewardship needs to designate a specific individual or team, paid or unpaid, that devotes time and energy to the work of equipping the laity.
- Pleasant Valley’s equipping system is composed of staff training, a thoughtful adult education curriculum, one-on-one coaching and a database tool called Church Community Builder (CCB).
- Congregational leaders need to establish deliberate pathways for helping members to discover and apply their talents.
- At Pleasant Valley, the first steps on that pathway unfold through its four-week “Discover Your Design” course. This course relies heavily on Saddleback Church’s SHAPE assessment as well as assessment and spiritual formation tools that Pleasant Valley has crafted. Congregants learn through the class to identify their spiritual gifts, passions, skills, abilities and personality traits, and the key life experiences that have shaped them.
- This high view of laity is emphasized in Vernon’s preaching from the pulpit. That preaching is then reinforced by the strong emphasis leaders put on having all congregants take the “Discover Your Design” course.
- The task of discovery includes, but must go beyond, the traditional emphasis on spiritual gifts assessments. The vast majority of these assessments don’t help congregants to see how they can apply their spiritual gifts in the context of their daily work or in volunteer service outside the four walls of the church.
- The seven dimensions of vocational power my fellow church members and I have identified are knowledge/expertise, platform, networks, influence, position, skills and reputation/fame.
- Knowledge/expertise. Workers accumulate specific knowledge for the industries or fields they are in. This results from educational and vocational preparation as well as on-the-job experience.
- Platform. Some professions provide workers a voice, an opportunity to get a message out or to shine the spotlight on an issue, cause, person, place or organization.
- Networks. To take stock of vocational networks, congregants can begin by listing current and former coworkers. Then they can identify friends and colleagues from their time of vocational preparation (college, graduate school, training programs); colleagues they have met at professional conferences; and customers, vendors, partners, mentors and public officials they have interacted with on the job. Most people are surprised to see just how wide their network is.
- Influence. In 2003, a book called The Influentials by Ed Keller and Jon Berry made the case that the kind of power known as influence-the capacity to cause an effect in indirect or intangible ways-is not synonymous with position. That is, people can have substantial influence without holding high positions. All Christians, regardless of their position within an organization, should consider what degree of influence they possess in their work setting-and how that influence can be used creatively for good.
- Position is a dimension of vocational power that involves the degree of authority one has within an organization based on seniority or title or reputation. It also denotes the standing or credibility a person has that comes from the positional power of her or his organizational affiliation.
- Sometimes people are so used to simply performing their jobs that they don’t often stop to take stock of the many different skills they are using in the process. Individuals in various vocations possess an almost endless array of skills.
- Some professionals achieve a high level of name recognition within-and sometimes beyond-their vocational field. This can afford them entry to powerbrokers, capacities for mobilizing a large following or strategic opportunities to direct wide-scale attention to a particular issue or cause.
- Beyond identifying spiritual gifts and dimensions of vocational power, the task of discovery involves encouraging congregants to discern their holy discontent.
- A holy discontent is that passion that “wrecks” a person-that issue that “keeps you up at night; something in the world you want to fix.”