Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

FAITH AND WORK: Connecting Sunday to Monday

Leave a comment

Faith and Work News ~ Links to Interesting Articles

WISE WORDS FROM JOHN MAXWELL AND DR. ALAN ZIMMERMAN:

john-maxwell-on-mentors

  • The Ten Commandments of Confrontation. John Maxwell writes “So is there any good way to confront or correct a team member? I believe there is. That doesn’t mean it’s always easy, or always goes the way we want it to. But there are some guidelines we can follow to create the best conditions for a positive outcome.”
  • In this “Minute with Maxwell”, John Maxwell states that branding identifies us and it is how we are known by others. Are we being branded in a positive way or a negative way?
  • Bounce Back from Your Setback. John Maxwell writes “Of all the traits I’ve learned as a leader, perhaps none has been as useful to me as resilience. The ability to bounce back from a setback often makes the difference between losing and winning.”
  • Facing the Challenge of Leading Up. John Maxwell begins what could be considered a refresher course on his book The 360° Leader. Here he looks at the challenge of leading up – of influencing the people above you in your organization.
  • The Power of Sacrifice. John Maxwell writes “Whether you’re talking about personal growth, personal health, business or some other aspect of life, nothing of value is easy. The precious things in life require something in exchange.”
  • In this “Minute with Maxwell”, John Maxwell states that whatever we do, we should be able to sign our name to it with pride.
  • Four Questions to Ask Before Moving On. John Maxwell writes “No matter where you are now, if you’re committed to growth, you will eventually feel like you have more to give than your current situation allows. And the good news is, there are always places for people who are pushing the limits of their potential.”
  • In this “Minute from Maxwell”, John Maxwell states that it is wonderful when the leader believes in the people.
  • Developing a Powerful Positive Perspective. John Maxwell writes “One of the greatest assets any leader can have is a powerful positive perspective – the ability to see the good in any circumstance.”
  • Do People Skills Really Matter? Alan Zimmerman writes “Some people hold a “leadership” title, but that is no guarantee that he or she knows how to bring out the best in others.”
  • The Payoff Principle – 4 Approaches to Life and Work. Dr. Alan Zimmerman shares a “15-question quiz will open your eyes to the 4 approaches to life and work, as well as the 3 secrets for getting what you really want out of life and work.”
  • 6 Attitudes for Dealing with Difficult People. Alan Zimmerman writes “If you work in a typical organization, you’ve probably got more difficult people floating around than you would like. If your family is even somewhat normal, you’ve got a few difficult family members as well.”
  • Self-Control. In this “Minute with Maxwell”, John Maxwell states we can be and should be responsible for ourselves.
  • The Greatest Secret in Emotional Intelligence. Dr. Alan Zimmerman offers ways to implement the emotionally intelligent practice of making people feel important in your life.
  • What You Say Before You Say a Word. John Maxwell writes “Attitude is a choice. Choosing a positive attitude is not always easy. And sometimes we’re tempted to just let a negative attitude flow. But when we do, it will show on the outside. And it will have an effect on our interaction with others.”
  • Roadblocks. In this “Minute with Maxwell”, John Maxwell tells us to take a roadblock and make it a moment for learning, growth and advancement.
  • Hard Work and Success. Dr. Alan Zimmerman writes that working hard involves three things.
  • In this “Minute with Maxwell”, John Maxwell encourages us to find one person or activity that helps us to relieve stress.
  • Be Quick to Encourage Growth in the People You Care About. John Maxwell writes “Life is about more than work. And influence is felt in more places than the office. Opportunities exist all around to encourage growth in the people we care about outside of work. That means your family, your neighbors, and people in your community can grow as a result of your influence.”

INTEGRITY, CHARACTER AND KINDNESS MATTER!

  • Be a Finisher. Brad Lomenick writes “I love leaders who execute. Leaders who get it done. Leaders who can take a project across the finish line. Leaders who know how to finish. And are motivated towards completion.”

  • In this “Minute with Maxwell”, John Maxwell states that character is the one thing that if you don’t have will disqualify you from being the leader you want to be. It’s the foundation of all success.
  • In this Minute with Maxwell, John Maxwell states that a leader has to find common ground, they must be approachable.
  • Trusted Leadership. I enjoy these short e-devotionals from Lead Like Jesus. This one asks “Do your words build or destroy trust?”
  • No More Procrastination. Robert and Lori Ferguson write “If a leader is brutally honest, she or he will identify one or more of these symptoms of procrastination and understand why there’s no forward movement. Then it’s time to take action.”
  • Why has laziness become a respectable sin among Christians?”  David Prince writes “The testimony of the Bible from beginning to end says that laziness is wicked. But we don’t often look at it that way. Why is that? Why don’t we think laziness is a big deal?
  • 10 Ways to Quickly Derail a Meeting. Selma Wilson writes “A derailed meeting is a costly meeting in time, productivity, energy level, and has long-term impact on the culture.”

LEADERSHIPLeadership

your-work-matters

  • Our Work and God’s Wisdom. In part three of his series, Richard Doster writes “Businesspeople, scientists, and artists — in fact, those in every field — recognize that certain standards apply to their work.”
  • Three Implications of the Biblical View of Work for Christians Today. Hugh Whelchel writes “When Christians do their jobs with excellence and with accountability, in a distinctively Christian manner, they cannot help but have a profound effect on the world around them.”
  • How to Find Your True Calling —An Interview with Exponential’s Todd Wilson. In this podcast, Carey Nieuwhof interviews Todd Wilson, whose latest venture is to help leaders find their true calling. In this this episode, he tells you what to look for to find your calling.
  • The Christian Call to Work Yourself Out of a Job. Kevin Kinghorn writes “The Christian call to work seems to include the idea that you should work yourself out of your current job, or ministry work. Maybe that sound odd. But even secular business leaders have recognized the importance of this truth.”
  • Prayer as Preparation for Our Work. David McKenna writes “Modern life militates against prayer as preparation for our daily work.”
  • Grace-Paced Living in a Burnout Culture. David Murray writes “Although no two burnouts are the same, as I’ve counseled increasing numbers of Christians through burnout, I’ve noticed that most of them have one thing in common: there’s a deficit of grace.”

Quotes about Faith and Work

  • The pressure is off for all of us to make a name for ourselves. Jesus has made a name for us already. Tim Keller
  • Without trust, at best you get compliance. Jesse Stoner
  • I love words. Reading them, writing them, rhyming them, rapping them, tweaking them, etc. So grateful God lets me do so many things I love. Trip Lee
  • Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it. Charles Swindoll
  • You want to do large things famous and fast. But most things that truly matter need small acts of overlooked love over a long period of time. Zack Eswine
  • Do what you love, and you’ll never work another day in your life. Dave Ramsey
  • The standards you establish for others must reflect the standards you set for yourself. No one will follow a hypocrite. Coach K
  • Grace creates people who are committed to bless the world through their work. Tim Keller
  • Introverts can make great leaders – we have to be more intentional at times – but, fellow introverts don’t disqualify yourself. Lead! Ron Edmondson

alistair-quote2

FAITH AND WORK BOOK REVIEWS:

faith-and-work-bibleNIV Faith and Work Bible, Edited by David H. Kim. Zondervan. 1,632 pages. 2016
****

I couldn’t be happier to see this new Faith and Work Bible, as a passion of mine is to help people integrate their faith and work.  Tim Keller, Senior Pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church (PCA) in New York City, writes the Foreword. It was Keller’s excellent 2012 book Every Good Endeavor: Connecting Your Work to God’s Work that started me on my own faith and work journey. This journey has included holding faith and work events at my church, reading a number of books about faith and work, and leading a faith and work book club in my workplace. I have already shared information about this wonderful new resource with my fellow book club members. David H. Kim is the Pastor of Faith and Work at Redeemer. He is also Executive Director of the Center for Faith & Work. It was in Every Good Endeavor that I first heard of Redeemer’s Center for Faith & Work.

This new Bible has the following features:

  • 66 book introductions highlight the application of each book’s teachings to faith and work.
  • 75 Deeper at Work stories deliver strength and encouragement from the real-life experiences of people facing the same daily challenges and opportunities we all face. I have enjoyed reading some of these stories, edited by Bethany Jenkins, on the Gospel Coalition’s excellent Faith and Work
  • 45 Core Doctrine articles feature teachings from Christian leaders throughout the ages to help you learn the Biblical basis for integrating your faith and work.
  • A 31-day journey through the Biblical narrative helps you grasp Scripture’s overarching storyline.
  • 4 essays by David H. Kim, Richard Mouw, Nancy Ortberg, and Jon Tyson connect the gospel to your daily work life.
  • Full text of the New International Version (NIV) of the Bible.

the-better-pastorThe Better Pastor by Patrick Lencioni. 101 pages. 2016
****

Patrick Lencioni, one of my favorite authors, has spent twenty-five years helping leaders and organizations of every kind to eliminate roadblocks, politics and dysfunction that prevent them doing what they might otherwise achieve. Lencioni has never been shy about his Catholic faith. This, his first book for the clergy, is written in love, gratitude and admiration for pastors. As with most of his books, he uses a leadership fable to illustrate his points, wrapping up the lessons highlighted in the story at the end of the book.

Fr. Daniel Connor is the pastor of Saint Monica Parish.  One of his newer parishioners, Ken Hartman, who works for a management consulting firm, is waiting at the church to speak to him on a Thursday evening. Ken shares three things with Fr. Daniel: 1. there could be better management at the church, 2. he could hold people more accountable, 3. he could pray more.

Fr. Daniel doesn’t see himself as a leader, but a priest. He tells Ken that leadership wasn’t taught at seminary. But Ken tells him leadership is indeed a big part of his job.  Fr. Daniel is determined to make St. Monica’s an outstanding and amazing parish. We see him begin to meet regularly with fellow pastors, which is described as the best decision they had ever made outside of becoming priests. He also meets for breakfast weekly with Ken.

We see Fr. Connor over the next two years begin to grow as a leader, starting with the establishment of a real team to run the parish and the development of a compelling and actionable plan for St. Monica’s. There would be rough times on his way to finding joy in his calling. Those familiar with Lencioni will see some of his best-known principles come out in the story.

Lencioni offers ideas and suggestions for going deeper in transforming your own parish, including visiting the website of Amazing Parish, an organization he co-founded which is committed to helping pastors and their teams improve organizationally and spiritually. Having attended seminary myself, I can confirm that leadership is not emphasized. This book is a gift to pastors.

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

faith-and-work-bibleNIV Faith and Work Bible, Edited by David H. Kim

I couldn’t be happier to see this new Faith and Work Bible, as a passion of mine is to help people integrate their faith and work.  Tim Keller, Senior Pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church (PCA) in New York City, writes the Foreword. It was Keller’s excellent 2012 book Every Good Endeavor: Connecting Your Work to God’s Work that started me on my own faith and work journey. This journey has included holding faith and work events at my church, reading a number of books about faith and work, and leading a faith and work book club in my workplace. David H. Kim is the Pastor of Faith and Work at Redeemer and the Executive Director of the Center for Faith & Work. It was in Every Good Endeavor that I first heard of Redeemer’s Center for Faith & Work.

Over the coming weeks we’ll be looking at the special features included in this new resource. This week we look at Tim Keller’s Foreword:

  • Why do we need to understand how to integrate the Christian faith with our daily work? Why is there a need for a Bible like this?
  • Christians do not cease to be the church when the public gatherings are over. They are called to be the church and to represent their Lord throughout the week in every area of life, including the workplace.
  • When we think out the implications the gospel bears on our work—how it changes our motivations for work, relationships at work, and the way we imagine the work itself—we are better enabled to live distinctively Christian lives in the world.
  • To be on mission requires that lay Christians be discipled by their churches to do three things: (1) be a verbal witness to their friends and colleagues; (2) serve the needs of their neighbors, and especially the poor, whether they believe as we do or not; (3) integrate their faith with their work and engage culture through their vocations.
  • Most Christians have not learned to read the Scriptures while always asking
  • “How does this text inform my public life and vocation?” Over the years, some Christians have complained that the Bible doesn’t really give much help for how to be a believer on the job. Within these pages, your eyes will be opened to how God’s Word does give “everything we need for a godly life” (II Peter 1:3).

The Advantage by Patrick LencioniThe Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else in Business by Patrick Lencioni. Jossey-Bass. 240 pages. 2012

Patrick Lencioni is one of my favorite business authors. His books The Advantage and The Five Dysfunctions of a Team are among my favorites. I recently started reading and discussing The Advantage with two colleagues at work. I’m sharing key learnings from the book and this week we look at the Playbook:

  • Once the leadership team has answered each of the six critical questions, it is absolutely critical for them to capture those answers in a concise, actionable way so that they can use them for communication, decision making, and planning going forward.
  • The best alternative to these extremes and the most effective tool for keeping key decisions alive is the creation of something we refer to as a playbook: a simple document summarizing the answers to the six critical questions.
  • There are two things that the leaders of any organization should do to make their playbook work.
  • First, they must keep it short. Anything more than a few pages is unnecessary and discourages people from reviewing the playbook. In most cases, the answers to the six questions can be captured on a single page—two at the most.
  • Second, leadership team members should keep their playbook with them at all times. And not buried in a briefcase.
  • The key is to keep the answers to the six critical questions alive and accessible. By doing this, a leadership team will drastically improve the odds of running the organization in an aligned, consistent, and intentional way.
  • Members of a leadership team can be confident that they’ve mastered this discipline when they can affirm the following statements: Members of the leadership team know, agree on, and are passionate about the reason that the organization exists. The leadership team has clarified and embraced a small, specific set of behavioral values. Leaders are clear and aligned around a strategy that helps them define success and differentiate from competitors. The leadership team has a clear, current goal around which they rally. They feel a collective sense of ownership for that goal. Members of the leadership team understand one another’s roles and responsibilities. They are comfortable asking questions about one another’s work. The elements of the organization’s clarity are concisely summarized and regularly referenced and reviewed by the leadership team.
Advertisements

Author: Bill Pence

I’m Bill Pence ~ married to my best friend for more than 37 years, a St. Louis Cardinals fan, a manager at a Fortune 50 company, a graduate of Covenant Theological Seminary, and in leadership at my local church. I enjoy speaking about calling, vocation and work. I am a life-long learner and have a passion to help people develop to their fullest potential and to utilize their strengths more fully. I am an INTJ on Myers-Briggs, 3 on the Enneagram, my top five Strengthsfinders themes are: Belief, Responsibility, Learner, Harmony and Achiever, and my two StandOut strengths roles are Creator and Equalizer. My favorite book is the Bible, with Romans my favorite book and Colossians 3:23 my favorite verse. Some of my other favorite books are Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper, The Holiness of God by R.C. Sproul, The Prodigal Son (originally titled A Tale of Two Sons) by John MacArthur and Crazy Love by Francis Chan. I enjoy Christian hip-hop/rap music, with Lecrae, Trip Lee and Andy Mineo being some of favorite artists.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s