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

  • ImagoDeiThe Image of God at Work. In this one-minute video, Albert Mohler, president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, cites the Hoover Dam as an example of the enormous ability and industry that God imbued in humanity at creation. Pastors, he says, need to help their people connect the storyline of scripture with their work and economic lives.

integrating faith and work

  • What Are We Actually Talking About When We Say “Faith and Work”? Matt Rusten writes “While it may be impossible to bring everyone on the same page with a neat and tidy description of what “faith and work” is, there are categories that can help us communicate. David Miller has given one such taxonomy. He defines four different areas in which people integrate faith and work, and encourages us towards a more robust paradigm–that we might seek to understand and integrate them all.”
  • When Will the Church Overcome the Sacred-Secular Divide? Hugh Whelchel writes “Our response as Christians to our Heavenly Father should be unlimited, all encompassing, and comprehensive. It should not be limited to church on Sundays and some personal devotions during the week. It should appear in every dimension of our lives.”
  • Vocation is Integral. Many people today see their job as nothing more than a paycheck. But is one’s calling more than that? Steven Garber says yes. He says there is an intimate connection between one’s faith, vocation, and culture. “Vocation is integral,” he says, “not incidental to the missio Dei.” Steven explains how most of what God is doing in the world happens in and through the vocations of his people.
  • mark-miller-quoteLet’s Celebrate Those Who Rest. Courtney Reissig writes “Learning to praise the person who rests as much as the one who works will take some practice on our part, especially those of us who like productivity. But it’s necessary for our spiritual and physical health. We want to be faithful in our work, but let us also be faithful in our rest, living as his image-bearers, depending on him to work on our behalf, and resting in him who always finishes the work he starts.”
  • Quality.  In this “Minute with Maxwell”, John Maxwell states that what sets people and companies apart is the quality and excellence of the products or service that that they provide.
  • Glimpses of Great Joy: Our Good Shepherd-King. Our friend Kevin Halloran writes “One of the scary facts about life is that a bad leader can greatly damage to a nation and its people. People don’t want their lives in the hands of people who don’t know their needs and seem only out to help themselves!”
  • 6 Ways to Stop Being a People Pleaser. Dr. Alan Zimmerman shares six strategies to say “no” more effectively and put a stop to inappropriate people pleasing and start living a saner, more respectful life.
  • How Should a Christian Define Success? Scott Rodin writes “If we believe we were created to know God and enjoy him forever, then our daily passion is being conformed to His image and transformed by the renewing of our minds. This is success in terms of becoming a faithful steward.”
  • Do More Better, the Course. This course from Ligonier Connect, based on Tim Challies’ book, Do More Better, provides a short, practical guide to productivity. Whether you are a student or a professional, a work-from-home dad or a stay-at-home mom, it will help you learn to structure your life to do the most good unto the glory of God.
  • 8 Ways to Use Emotional Intelligence and Make Lasting Connections. Alan Zimmerman writesUnfortunately, the emotional intelligence researchers tell us that relationship skills are critical, but they don’t tell us how to do it. I suggest you start with the following connective communication skills.”
  • Seeing God’s Presence in Government Work. Russell Gehrlein writesNo matter what job we have, we are truly co-workers with God. We bring order out of chaos. We participate in fulfilling the creation mandate to fill, subdue, and rule the earth.”
  • 15 New Books I Recommend. Brad Lomenick recommends these books, three of which I’ve read (Designed to Lead, The Ideal Team Player and Living Forward).

LEADERSHIP:dan-rockwell-servant-leadership-quote

  • Servant Leadership Sets People Up for Success All Year Long. Ken Blanchard believes that organizations run best when leaders at all levels see themselves as servant leaders.
  • Andy Stanley Leadership Podcast. In this month’s podcast, Stanley reveals the two words that should be an essential part of every leader’s vocabulary. Download the Application Guide for this podcast below for key takeaways, questions for reflection and/or discussion, and resources mentioned in the podcast.
  • 3 Ways Personality Tests Can Enhance Your Leadership. Eric Geiger writes “While I would not classify myself as a huge proponent of personality tests, I have used them in settings in which I lead because I find them very helpful. They are not the end-all of leadership and we must remember that people are much more than their personality profile’s color, animal, or mix of letters. But they can enhance your leadership in at least three ways.” He then offers 3 Risks of Personality Tests.
  • Leadership Training Begins in the Home. Chap Bettis writes “If you have a family, you can readily inculcate the following four lessons in your life to grow as a leader. If you are single, many of these principles will apply to your interaction with your roommates and others closest to you.”
  • 5 Powerful Ways Becoming A Morning Person Unlocks Your Leadership. Carey Nieuwhof writes “Many high impact leaders I know get more done before 10 a.m. than most people get done in a day.”
  • 5 Reasons Effective Leaders Never Say “I’m So Busy”. Scott Cochrane writes “You’ll never hear an effective leader get caught in the “I’m so busy trap” because they know it can actually communicate something quite different than they intended.”

Quotes about Faith and Work

  • Our leaders don’t have to be perfect, we just need to be able to trust them. Steve Graves
  • The measure of who we are is how we react to something that doesn’t go our way. Coach K
  • The most important meeting we as leaders attend is that daily personal meeting with the Lord. Warren Wiersbe
  • To be a leader is to open doors for others. Dan Rockwell
  • The secret to success is good leadership, and good leadership is all about making the lives of your team members or workers better. Tony Dungy
  • Everyone will be forgotten, nothing we do will make any difference, and all good endeavours, even the best, will come to naught. Unless there is God. If the God of the Bible exists, and there is a True Reality beneath and behind this one, and this life is not the only life, then every good endeavour, even the simplest ones, pursued in response to God’s calling, can matter forever. Tim Keller
  • Do we enjoy our work, love our work, virtually worship our work so that our devotion to Jesus is off-center? Do we put our emphasis on service, usefulness, or being productive in working for God—at his expense? Do we strive to prove our own significance? To make a difference in the world? To carve our names in marble on the monuments of time? The call of God blocks the path of all such deeply human tendencies. We are not primarily called to do something or go somewhere; we are called to Someone. We are not called to special work but to God. The key to answering the call is to be devoted to no one and to nothing above God himself. Os Guinness
  • The maid who sweeps here kitchen is doing the will of God just as much as the monk who prays – not because she may sing a Christian hymn as she sweeps but because God loves clean floors. The Christian shoemaker does his Christian duty not by putting little crosses on the shoes, but by making good shoes, because God is interested in good craftsmanship. Martin Luther
  • 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.

ken-blanchard-quote

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 Key Features:

  • This Bible features a thirty-one-day journey through the Biblical narrative so that those who have never read the Bible in its entirety can begin to grasp the incredible story line that ties together these seemingly disconnected sixty-six books.
  • An introduction to and overview of the thirty-one Biblical narrative readings can be found in the Storyline Introduction, and a complete index of the readings is located in the Storyline Indexes.
  • The end goal of this Bible is to help users deepen their understanding and experience of the gospel, and to make them excited to engage their work in a new way.
  • This Bible features historic doctrines that help connect the Bible to our current work context. These doctrines are further divided into subtopics that are applied to the areas of motivation, relationships and world. By focusing on these doctrines, you will learn significant theological truths that provide a framework for deeper understanding rather than simply finding “the right Christian answer.” Studying these core doctrines will equip you to meaningfully apply, in a nuanced way, the gospel to various workplace situations and contexts.
  • This major feature is designed to guide your study. Each of these forty-five features has the following aspects: Deeper in Truth. One of the goals of this Bible is to expose its readers to historic and influential writings that have shaped key doctrines of the evangelical faith. To that end, the editors of this Bible have curated a list of excerpts from the works of various writers to elaborate on each doctrine.
  • This brief section helps connect the doctrinal excerpts to your life today by highlighting key ideas and presenting questions that will illuminate its relevance in your workplace.
  • Deeper at Work. The Bible provides wisdom for all ages and all work. Throughout this study Bible you will encounter applications that present real stories of people from various vocations and demographics who have wrestled with the implications of a given doctrine in their work. These stories are not meant to give you the “right” answer or model what the “ideal” Christian looks like; rather, they highlight real people wrestling with what it means to live faithfully, day by day, in their work.
  • We’ve also included more of the Deeper at Work articles outside of the Core Doctrine features throughout this Bible so that you can see how real-life individuals apply the truths of the Bible to their lives. These “Deeper at Work” articles will inspire you to see the full range of how the gospel can be applied, and how it is at work in your work.
  • Essays In the front of this Bible is included a thoughtful essay by Dr. David Kim, the General Editor of the study materials in this Bible. You’ll also find three more insightful essays that apply the concepts within the study notes to your daily life in the end matter.
  • Introductions for each book of the Bible speak to the many ways that each book is applicable to the daily work that you engage in. Reading these will give you the perspective that is needed as you approach each book of the Bible with a view toward the sometimes-daunting task of living for God in the midst of your workplace.

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 Top-Down Communication:

  • This is the most common direction that critical information travels in an organization, the reason most organizations fail to communicate to employees is not that they don’t know how to build an intranet site or write a blog or design a PowerPoint presentation, but that they don’t achieve clarity around key messages and stick with them.
  • It’s worth repeating that the success of top-down communication starts with Discipline 1 (build a cohesive leadership team) and Discipline 2 (create clarity). Without these, no amount of communication is going to be effective.
  • Providing employees with a means of communicating upward to their leaders is important in any organization.
  • It’s also critical for leaders to realize that no upward communication program will ever take the place of a manager who understands and represents the views of his or her employees. It shouldn’t be used to overcome the shortcomings of leaders who are out of touch with their people.
  • Without cohesiveness and clarity at the top, no amount of communication will suffice, and that with true clarity and cohesiveness, even a little formal communication will go a long, long way.
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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.

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