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 ArticlesRethinking Work

  • Serving Image-Bearers On and Off the Farm. Abigail Murrish interviews Nathan Jaeger, currently director of beef, equine, hay and forage, meat, goat, and sheep divisions for the Alabama Farmers Federation, about how he integrates his faith and work.
  • Immanuel Labor: God’s Presence with Us in Our Professions. Russell Gehrlein writes “Having a good understanding of what it means to be a co-worker with God as He works through us to meet the needs of our customers, fellow employees, subordinates, and supervisors, makes all the difference in how we approach our jobs every day, no matter what job we currently have.”
  • Five Concepts for Taking a Long-Term View of Calling. Hugh Whelchel writes “What is our role as we seek to be faithful to God in all that we do? How can we not only contribute, but truly play a leadership role in bringing about flourishing in our communities, our cities, our nation, and our world?”
  • The Perilous Sunday to Monday Gap. Watch this message that Tom Nelson delivered at a recent pastor’s lunch on the importance of connecting Sunday faith and Monday work.
  • The Glory of Obscure Work. Matt Rusten writes “The Bible is not shy about motivating us to do our daily work unto the Lord with the promise of future rewards.”
  • 3 Benefits of Trust [When Leading]. Eric Geiger writes “Trust is a prerequisite for leadership.”
  • Visioneering, Part 2. In this month’s Andy Stanley Leadership podcast, Stanley concludes a conversation around the building blocks of a compelling vision. Download our Application Guide for this podcast below for key takeaways, questions for reflection and/or discussion, and resources mentioned in the podcast.
  • Time Management. In this “Minute with Maxwell”, John Maxwell states that you can’t manage time, but you can make the best use of time. You can’t manage time, but you can manage yourself and your priorities.
  • 4 Ways to Recapture the Lost Art of Making People Feel They Matter. Dan Rockwell writes “On a scale of 1-10, how do you rank yourself on making others feel they matter? ‘10’ means people always feel they matter – heard and understood – when you listen to them, ‘1’ means almost never. This isn’t about your intention to make people feel they matter. It’s about actual behaviors.”
  • Redefining Work-Life Balance. Skip Prichard writes “Achieving balance will make you more productive in and out of the workplace.  It will enrich your relationships and allow you to achieve greater satisfaction in life.”
  • 7 Scheduling Tips Guaranteed to Increase Productivity and Enhance Fulfillment. Dan Rockwell writes “Productivity is about being effective with your time, energy, resources, and talent.”
  • Ex-Convicts Need Second Chances Too. Abby Perry writes “As we remember the One who drew near to us, walked alongside us, and won redemption for us—even when our sin had left a crimson stain—may we be agents of reconciliation in our organizations and companies, bridging the gap between inherently dignified workers and inherently dignified work.”

  • 10 Easy Ways to Blow Your Influence as a Leader…Without Even Trying. Carey Nieuwhof writes “You realize by now that influence is a precarious thing. What can take years to build can be lost or squandered overnight. It happens every day to leaders, and often they’re the last to see it.”
  • The Key to Effective Leadership: How to Become Someone Worth Following. Andy Andrews writes “To become a great leader, don’t focus on becoming “a great leader.” Instead, focus on becoming someone worth following.
  • Unless God Works, We Work in Vain. Stephen WitmerStephen WitmerStephen Witmer looks at three possibilities that he has tried at various points in his life on how our work in this world relates to God’s work.
  • God’s Work Our Work. Amy Sherman writes “God is at work in this world in at least three broad ways: through His ongoing providence; through His restraint of evil; and through His beautiful labors of restoration. As we look at these, see if you can identify where your work and His overlap.”
  • Dad Life: Walking the Tightrope of Work-Life Balance. Paul Stippich writes “Life is like walking a tightrope. It’s only balanced when you look at it from the long view. We need to take it day by day and make sure that we don’t just focus on work, but that we also pour into our family as well.”

Quotes about Faith and Work

  • Act in a way that is consistent with the lasting legacy you would like to leave. Ken Blanchard
  • Until you have learned to serve ….you have not learned to lead. Leading with others best interest in mind is real leadership. Dave Ramsey
  • Servant leadership is the path to superior, sustained results. Mark Miller
  • Don’t let success go to your head. Don’t let failure go to your heart. Tim Keller
  • Don’t worry about being a leader. Worry about being a person worthy of being Dan Rockwell
  • If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as a Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, ‘here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.’ Martin Luther King Jr.
  • You need to valorize simple work. You are caring for God’s creation. Tim Keller
  • People would rather follow a leader who is always real versus a leader who is always right. Brad Lomenick
  • Humility is the single greatest and most indispensable attribute of being a team player. Patrick Lencioni

ken-blanchard-quote

FAITH AND WORK BOOK REVIEWS:

business-for-the-glory-of-god-by-wayne-grudemBusiness for the Glory of God; The Bible’s Teaching on the Moral Goodness of Business by Wayne Grudem. Crossway. 96 pages. 2003 
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This short but helpful book from respected theologian Wayne Grudem is an expanded version of a paper entitled, “How Business in Itself Can Glorify God”, which he delivered at a conference at the Regent University Graduate School of Business in 2002. He argues that “many aspects of business activity – ownership, productivity, employment, commercial transactions (buying and selling), profit, money, inequality of possessions, competition, borrowing and lending, attitudes of heart, and effect on world poverty – are morally good in themselves, and that in themselves they bring glory to God—though they also have great potential for misuse and wrongdoing.”

Grudem tells us that God created us so that we would imitate him and so that he could look at us and see something of his wonderful attributes reflected in us.  He states that to be in God’s image means to be like God and to represent God on the earth.

For each of the aspects of business activity, Grudem challenges the reader to ask how they provide unique opportunities for glorifying God. He writes that we will find that in every aspect of business there are multiple layers of opportunities to give glory to God, as well as multiple temptations to sin. As he looks at each aspect he expands on both the opportunities and temptations.

I found this to be a helpful and quick read that I recommend to you.

legends-club-feinsteinThe Legends Club: Dean Smith, Mike Krzyzewski, Jim Valvano, and an Epic College Basketball Rivalry by John Feinstein. Doubleday. 416 pages. 2016
****

I’ve read and enjoyed many of John Feinstein’s thirty-six books, and this one looks at the intense rivalry and relationships of three Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) basketball coaches. The book gives insight to the sometimes strained relationships between three coaches who won a total of eight national championships – North Carolina basketball coach Dean Smith (2 titles), Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski (5 titles) and North Carolina State’s Jim Valvano (1 title), and how those relationships evolved over time.  Feinstein has been personally acquainted with all three, and also visited with friends, family and players for this entertaining book. One of his strengths is as a story teller, and there are many of them in this entertaining book.

Feinstein began as a reporter for the Duke student newspaper, the position he had when he first interviewed North Carolina’s Dean Smith in 1976.  At that time North Carolina was dominant in the ACC. Valvano and Krzyzewski were hired at North Carolina State and Duke respectively in 1980.

Smith would win his first title in 1982 when Michael Jordan hit what would be the game-winning shot with seventeen seconds remaining. Valvano would win his only title in 1983 when Lorenzo Charles dunked a shot that had come up short as time expired.  Krzyzewski won the first of his five championships (second only to John Wooden) in 1991.

Feinstein goes into much detail about Krzyzewski’s rivalry with Smith, but then gives a touching account of how their relationship changed near the end of Smith’s life (he died in 2015 after years of dementia).

A special part of the book was the detailing of Krzyzewski’s relationship with Valvano as he spent time at Duke University Medical Center before dying at age 47 in 1993.  A chilling quote about Smith that Feinstein recounts from Valvano’s early days at North Carolina State was “I can’t outcoach him, but maybe I can outlive him”.  Sadly, that would not be the case.

I enjoyed hearing stories about amazing ACC players such as Jordan, Ralph Sampson, Tim Duncan, Grant Hill, Christian Laettner, etc.

This book will be enjoyed by ACC basketball fans, college basketball fans in general and also those who enjoy leadership books.

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 Faith and Work by David Kim:

  • We all integrate faith into our work, but most of the time we’re completely unaware of what faith underlies our work.
  • Faith is an indispensable part of work, whether that work is paid or unpaid.
  • Being a faithful Christian at work involves looking for opportunities to tell non-Christians about the saving work of Jesus, and also being a “good example” of a morally upright person in our daily tasks and decisions.
  • The gospel is intended to penetrate our motivations, relationships and the very world we engage with day-in and day-out.
  • Starting with our motivations, the gospel challenges the reasons why we work.
  • Many of us now look to work as the source of our identity instead of the expression of it.
  • In the gospel, work again becomes an expression of our identity as God’s children. Instead of us trying to earn a sense of worth, security, and meaning from our work, our work becomes the opportunity for us to demonstrate in big and small ways the beauty and wonder of what it means to be created in God’s image.
  • The gospel transforms all of our motivations so that we may work to bring God glory, and so that when others see the work of our hands.
  • Second, the gospel transforms our relationships in such a way that we can begin to honor everyone we encounter, knowing that they too are created in God’s image.
  • Renewing our relationships at work begins with a transformation of how we view and love those with whom we work.
  • Christ’s love compels us to push the boundaries of what it means to love the people with whom we work, even while respecting the appropriate boundaries of a workplace relationship. Christ’s love challenges us to consider what it means to care for others, seeking their good as well as our own.
  • How unfortunate that we so often have to remind ourselves that the individuals with whom we work are not a means to an end. They are not merely fellow employees paid to do work or resources that we can exploit in order to climb the corporate ladder. Rather, they are fellow image-bearers.
  • Society as we know it today has been shaped and significantly influenced by faithful Christians living out their faith in their daily work.
  • Work is an expression of our identity as people created in God’s image.
  • Christians should be the people who care most deeply about the work they do, because they care deeply about God’s glory being made known in all the world.
  • The articles and notes in this Bible are directed toward a faith and work revival that takes seriously how the gospel actively transforms and renews all three of these areas—our motivations for work, our relationships in work, and how our work renews and impacts this world.

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 Discipline 3: Overcommunicate Clarity ~ What’s it Worth to You?

  • Once a leadership team has become cohesive and worked to establish clarity and alignment around the answers to the six critical questions, then, and only then, can they effectively move on to the next step: communicating those answers. Or better yet, overcommunicating those answers—over and over and over and over and over and over and over again.
  • People are skeptical about what they’re being told unless they hear it consistently over time.
  • The only way for people to embrace a message is to hear it over a period of time, in a variety of different situations, and preferably from different people. That’s why great leaders see themselves as Chief Reminding Officers as much as anything else. Their top two priorities are to set the direction of the organization and then to ensure that people are reminded of it on a regular basis.
  • Employees are not analyzing what leaders are saying based solely on whether it is intellectually novel or compelling, but more than anything else on whether they believe the leaders are serious, authentic, and committed to what they are saying. Again, that means repetition is a must.
  • The most effective means of communicating a message, even in a large and far-flung organization, has nothing to do with technology and has been around since the beginning of time. What I’m referring to is word of mouth.
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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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