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 Articles:

TEAMWORK AND LEADERS:

  • 7 Ways to Get Your Team to Take More Initiative. Michael Hyatt writes “Self-starters who take action and get things done are essential to any effective organization. But what are you supposed to do if your teammates don’t show initiative?”teamwork
  • The Limits of a One-Man Show. John Maxwell writes “By developing people who become leaders, who then eventually develop other leaders, you’ll create and sustain dynamic growth, influence, and momentum in your organization. And you and your people will be better for it.”
  • Moving Beyond the One-Man Show: Investing in the Right People. John Maxwell shares five key areas you should focus on when you’re recruiting people to your side.
  • Three Ways a Disorganized Leader Holds Back a Team. Eric Geiger writes “Leaders must reach a threshold of organizational skill or their disorganization becomes a debilitating weakness and holds back the team they are leading.”
  • 10 Questions to Ask Before You Lead a Meeting. Stephen Kryger writes “I have attended many meetings that lacked purpose, ran overtime and even after considerable time together, it was unclear what we had actually achieved or agreed on.”
  • How Your Team Can Crush Their Goals. In this short video, Dave Ramsey explains why forcing quotas or goals on your team creates a lot of bad feelings and little success.”
  • The Go-With Leader. Dan Rockwell writes “The goal of go-with leadership is development. The problems of do-for leadership are solved by passion to develop people. Arms-length leadership is cured by walking beside.”

REMINDERS & WARNINGS:

ENCOURAGEMENT AND EXHORTATION: Braveheart Courage

  • The One Indispensable Quality Every Leader Needs to Have. Dave Kraft writes that the one indispensable quality is being teachable.
  • Finding the Right Bucket to Solve Unsolvable Leadership Challenges. Scott Cochrane writes “The “easy fix” bucket doesn’t solve unsolvable problems. You need utterly new approaches.”
  • 7 Leadership Default Zones. Ron Edmondson writes “Having a default zone when things on both sides appear equal or you are uncertain about a decision may help you make better decisions.”
  • Courageous Leadership. Dave Kraft writes “I am simply voting for honesty, truthfulness, and the courage of one’s convictions. Isn’t that part of being a courageous leader as we shepherd, develop, equip and empower others to achieve a God-given and God-pleasing vision?”
  • Challenging the Process. In this edition of the Andy Stanley Leadership podcast, Andy discusses the fundamental mandate for every leader to continually challenge the status quo.

REAL-LIFE EXAMPLES: 

  • 12 Things You Need to Know About Finding a Great Leader. Brian Dodd writes “Whether you lead a church, business, non-profit or sports organization, the following are 12 Things You Need To Know About Finding a Great Leader.  All quotes are from New York Giants General Manager Ernie Accorsi.”
  • Education and Vocation: A Comeback Story. Dr. Gregory Alan Thornbury writes “Everyone loves a comeback story. And for people of faith who sometimes feel in exile in contemporary society, nothing fires the imagination as much as someone reconnecting to their vocation through their trust in God. In this connection, I am reminded of a story in the life of the great Duke Ellington.
  • 12 Reasons Steph Curry is Such a Great Leader. Brian Dodd writes “Whether you lead a church, business, non-profit or athletic organization, these lessons will make you a better leader.”
  • 16 Quotes on Faith and Leadership by Steph Curry. This article from Brian Dodd is about a year old but still helpful.

God at WorkFAITH AND WORK BOOK REVIEW:

God at Work by Gene Edward Veith. Crossway, 176 pages. 2011
****

The author states that this book is an exposition of the doctrine of vocation and an attempt to apply that doctrine in a practical way to our life in the twenty-first century. He states that he was helped significantly by Gustaf Wingren’s book Luther on Vocation.

In this book he first looks at the nature of vocation: the purpose of vocation, how to find our vocation, how God calls us to different tasks and how He is present in what we do in our lives.  Then he looks at specific vocations (as a worker, in the family, as a citizen, in the church), and specific problems common to them all.

The author states that according to the Protestant Reformers, each Christian has multiple vocations. In addition, we may hold multiple vocations with each type of vocation. In addition, our callings can change.  He writes that Luther’s approach to vocation is that instead of seeing vocation as a matter of what we do in our vocations, he emphasizes what God does in and through our vocations.

He tells us that in the medieval church having a vocation or a “calling” referred exclusively to full-time church work. The Reformers however, insisted that priests, nuns and monastics did not have a special claim to God’s favor, but that laypeople could also live the Christian life to its fullest.

He tells us that in our vocations we are not just serving God, but also other people. The purpose of vocation is to love and serve our neighbor. He offers helpful questions such as:

  • How does my calling serve my neighbor?
  • Who are my neighbors in my particular vocation?
  • How can I serve them with the love of God?

He writes that finding our vocations has to do in part with finding our God-given talents (what we do), and our God-given personality (what fits the person we are).

I found much of value in helping me to understand the doctrine of vocation in this relatively short book.

Top 10 Faith and Work Quotes of the Week

  • Leaders will seldom make everyone happy. In fact, if this is your goal, you might consider whether or not you’re a leader. Ron Edmondson
  • All men were created to busy themselves with labor for the common good. John Calvin
  • It is not where you work or what you do that pleases the Lord as much as doing your work by the power of the Spirit. John Piper
  • The first Adam was cursed with labor and suffering; the redemption of labor and suffering is the triumph of the second Adam—the Carpenter nailed to the cross. Dorothy Sayers 
  • If it falls to your lot to be a street sweeper, sweep the streets like Michelangelo painted pictures, like Shakespeare wrote poetry, like Beethoven composed music; sweep streets so well that all the host of Heaven and earth will have to pause and say, “Here lived a great street sweeper, who swept his job well.” Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
  • All vocations are intended by God to manifest His love in the world. Thomas Merton
  • The congregation has to be a place where its members are trained, supported, and nourished in the exercise of their parts of the priestly ministry in the world. The preaching and teaching of the local church has to be such that it enables members to think out the problems that face them in their secular work in light of their Christian faith. Leslie Newbigin
  • To believe that a wise and good God is in charge of things implies that there is a fit between things that need doing and the person I am meant to be. Frederick Buechner
  • God doesn’t need our good works, but our neighbor does. Martin Luther

Truett Cathy Quote

Faith and Work Book Club – Won’t you read along with us?

work mattersWork Matters: Connecting Sunday Worship to Monday Work by Tom Nelson

If you find yourself anywhere on the spectrum from workaholic to weekend warrior, it’s time to bridge the gap between Sunday worship and Monday work.  Striking a balance between theological depth and practical counsel, Tom Nelson outlines God’s purposes for work in a way that helps us to make the most of our vocation and to join God in his work in the world. Discover a new perspective on work that will transform your workday and make the majority of your waking hours matter, not only now, but for eternity.

Dr. Nelson is the senior pastor of Christ Community Church in Kansas City and also the President of Made to Flourish, a pastors’ network for the common good. This is one of the better books that I have read on integrating faith and work.  This week we look at highlights from

Chapter 4: Work Now and Later

  • The Bible places work within the literary framework of an unfolding progression in God’s redemption of the physical world.
  • As we go to work every day, we must realize that while our work will never be all it was intended to be in this fallen world, a new and better world is coming.
  • Jesus tells his disciples a story often referred to as the parable of the talents. Sometimes we overlook that Jesus sets this parable about the future in the context of work and the workplace.
  • Each one of us will one day give a full accounting to God for our life. This is a game-changing truth that ought to shape how we live and work. Since such a large proportion of our time is devoted to our work, much of our accounting before God will be answering for the stewardship of the work we have been called to do.
  • When we begin to grasp the transforming truth that the future destiny of our work and our world is not complete annihilation but radical healing, it changes how we view our daily work. If we believe that the earth—everything about it and everything we do on it—is simply going to one day be abolished and disappear, then the logical conclusion is that our work is virtually meaningless.
  • But if our daily work, done for the glory of God and the common good of others, in some way carries over to the new heavens and new earth, then our present work itself is overflowing with immeasurable value and eternal significance.
  • A robust theology of work both now and in the future brings fresh perspective to our lives. Our vocational callings become rich with meaning. Our attitude toward work is transformed. A new creativity and diligence emerges. A sense of anticipation of a glorious future in the new heavens and new earth fills our souls.
  • In the new heaven and new earth we will sing God’s praises with our lips in our resurrected bodies. And as glorious as that will be, we will have the privilege to also sing God’s praises with our work. For we have been created with work in mind. Your work is anything but a waste. Your work matters now and it matters for the future.
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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.

3 thoughts on “FAITH AND WORK: Connecting Sunday to Monday

  1. 7 ways to feel overworked and under appreciated – 6 counts of guilty! Maybe 7! Actually a relief to see it in print. Thanks, Bill.

  2. In the “Contentment” clip, One Minute from Maxwell, he states, “No matter where you are there you are.” Frank Zappa???

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