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

JOY!

  • How to Experience Joy in Your Work. Bill Peel writes “But joy also comes from employing the gifts God gave us. When we use our God-given abilities, we engage God’s creative power that He embedded in our soul. There is no deeper satisfaction than doing what God desires. His energy flows through the gifts He gave us and our soul knows this intuitively and responds in joy when our gifts are engaged.”
  • Joy is the Leading Indicator. Patrick Lencioni writes “I’ve come to the conclusion that the first sign of trouble on the horizon is a decrease in joy. Yes, joy. When people who work in an organization lose their sense of enjoyment and enthusiasm, it’s time to start making some changes.”
  • How to Find Joy in Your Work. Jon Bloom writes “The more we think about the whole first chapter of Genesis, the more glorious things we see regarding how God views hiswork, and the wonderful, liberating implications it has on how we are to view our

IN THE CHURCH:

  • Working for God’s Glory. This episode of The White Horse Inn features an address given by Michael Horton at the 2017 Ligonier National Conference. It addresses How are we to think about the church’s relationship to the secular world? Are believers called to be so heavenly minded that they completely avoid worldly activity? Or are we called to be salt and light as we love and serve our neighbors around us?” On this special edition of White Horse Inn,Michael Horton discusses these issues and more as he unpacks the distinction between The Great Commandment and The Great Commission.”

QUALITIES OF A LEADER – Good and Bad:

  • 5 Marks of a Servant Leader. Jon Bloom writes “What traits do we look for a in a leader that suggests his fundamental orientation is Christlike servanthood. This list is by no means exhaustive, but here are five fundamental indicators.”
  • Want to be an Effective Leader? Develop These Qualities. Aleka Thrash writes “Effective leadership skills must be built. Leadership that does not flow out of someone’s character is typically ineffective and often downright disastrous.”
  • 5 Ways Grace Must Impact Leadership. Eric Geiger writes “If you are a Christian and a leader, the grace you have received should impact the totality of your leadership.”
  • Fatal Flaws of a Leader. Dave Kraft writes “Are there certain kinds of flaws that Christian leaders may develop which could spell the end of their leadership effectiveness, their leadership altogether or, worse yet, the downward spiral of their walk with Jesus? I believe there are.”
  • 7 Ways Great Leaders Handle Their Mistakes. Carey Nieuwhof writes “Surprinsgly, what makes leaders great is not that they stop making mistakes. What makes them great is how they handle their mistakes.”

BOOKS:

REAL-LIFE EXAMPLES:

  • Made to Create | Nate Saint, Inventor of the Pack ‘n Play.Bill Peel writes “Nate grew up in a deeply religious family. His uncle and namesake was one of the missionary martyrs killed by the Auca Indians in South America with Jim Elliot in 1956. Needless to say, the idea of serving God as a missionary tugged at Nate’s heart. But through the example of his father and R.G. LeTourneau, Nate came to realize that he could serve God in business.”
  • Biblical Principles Drive Camcraft and Make It a Great Place to Work. Bill Peel writes “The Bertsche family is serious about glorifying God and creating great places to work for their employees.” Watch this video to hear how they take great pride in their team, their technology, their craftsmanship—and how biblical principles guide all of their work at Camcraft.

  • When You Are Passed Over. Glenn Brooke writes “You want to lead, to serve in a specific area, to use your skills and abilities, to be recognized. Being passed over doesn’t feel good. We hear the sincere and polite words and feel insulted. It’s easy to become discouraged, resentful, angry. So, what’s the godly approach to this situation?”
  • Creativity Is Your Call. Restoration Is Your Purpose. Dr. Art Lindsley writes “This is my prayer: that you would be “all in” on this incredible opportunity to participate in God’s great plan of restoration through the everyday work of your hands.”
  • Uniquely Better, Part 2. In this episode of the Andy Stanley Leadership Podcast, Stanley concludes a two-part conversation on the importance of uniquely better.
  • The Fine Print in Christian Leadership. Ron Edmondson writes “As Christian leaders, we must always be attentive to the still small voice and give God room to interrupt our plans. Always. We must not be afraid of the fine print of the Christian life. Some of God’s best is found there.”
  • New Job, New Calling? Or Same Calling, Different Job? Hugh Whelchel writes “So, as you seek to live “totally” for God, don’t get too wrapped up in figuring out if you’re in the “right” job or career, but focus on living out your identity in Christ through your unique calling that will transcend job and careers over your lifetime.”
  • Forgiveness and Trust in the Wake of Workplace Offenses. Art Lindsley writes “Gaining a reputation for honesty, both as an individual and as an institution, is not only a witness to the gospel, but it’s the best way to do business. You can only give trust in proportion to the evidence that someone, or a company, is trustworthy.”
  • How to Be Prophetic and Wise in the Workplace. Watch this two-minute video as Darryl Williamson talks about how to go about being a devoted employee while also remaining a faithful witness to Christ in the workplace.
  • A Beautiful Workplace Starts by Investing in People. Jen Petro writes “So here’s your challenge this week: invest in a colleague. Invite them to coffee. Ask meaningful questions and really listen. Encourage someone who struggles. See where you can cultivate a little beauty around the office.”
  • Impacting Your Workplace Starts with Your Character. Art Lindsley writes “If we want to cultivate character in ourselves that is a blessing to our workplaces, families, and communities, we have to start with our thoughts and resolve to act in a different manner. May the Lord help us face defects in our character and resolve to deal with them—starting in our thoughts and acts.”
  • 12 Bible Verses Every Leader Needs to Memorize. Ron Edmondson writes “Perhaps you should choose one or two of these – or if you’re brave enough, all of them – write them down somewhere you’ll see them often, and commit them to memory.”

Top 10 Faith and Work Quotes of the Week

  • The number one management principle in the world is this: People do what people see. If they want to succeed, leaders must model the life they desire in their followers. John Maxwell
  • Work is as much a basic human need as food, beauty, rest, friendship, and prayer; it is not simply medicine but food for our soul. Tim Keller
  • The authority by which the Christian leader leads is not power but love, not force but example, not coercion but reasoned persuasion. Leaders have power, but power is safe only in the hands of those who humble themselves to serve. John Stott
  • Even when you are unfairly criticized, look for a nugget or two of truth in the criticism. You may find something fresh to repent of … and every opportunity to repent is also an opportunity to draw near to Jesus anew. Scott Sauls
  • The world values power, comfort, success, and recognition. Jesus frees us to value grief, sacrifice, weakness, and exclusion. Tim Keller
  • Our good works do not go up to God for our reimbursement, but out to others for their refreshment. God is thus glorified. Michael Horton
  • God condemns works done to earn salvation or impress others. But He enthusiastically commends works done for the right reasons. Randy Alcorn
  • Many times – Change your attitude – change your outcome. Ron Edmondson
  • Regarding success and failure, the gospel helps Christians find their deepest identity not in our accomplishments but who we are in Christ. Tim Keller

FAITH AND WORK BOOK REVIEW:

Your Best Year Ever: A 5-Step Plan for Achieving Your Most Important Goals by Michael Hyatt. Baker Books. 272 pages. 2018
****

This helpful book is based on practical experiences and research on goal attainment and human achievement. The program that is detailed in the book is designed to help you find clarity, develop courage, and leverage the commitment you need to accomplish your most important personal and professional goals. The book includes a link to the author’s LifeScore Assessment to help you quickly spot areas of improvement and measure your personal growth over time.

The book takes you through 5 Steps:

  1. Overcome any doubts you might have about experiencing your best year ever.
  2. Get closure on the past.
  3. A 7-part framework for setting goals.
  4. Find Your “Why”.
  5. Take action with three tactics.

The author states that our beliefs play a significant part in how we approach life. The greater the number of setbacks we’ve experienced in life, the less likely we are to believe we can prevail. Both positively and negatively, your beliefs have tremendous impact on your experience of life. Recognizing that fact is the first stage in experiencing your best year ever.
A limiting belief is a misunderstanding of the present that shortchanges the future. However, you don’t have to be confined by limited beliefs. Instead, you can exchange them for liberating truths, and he provides a six-step process to help you do that. The author tells us that whatever our circumstances, we have the power to pursue a better future.
After limiting beliefs, the next most common barrier we encounter is the past. If we are going to experience our best year ever, we need to harness the power of what he refers to as backward thinking. Unless we learn from our experiences, we can’t grow.
The author addresses the important subject of our regrets. He states that when it comes to experiencing your best year ever, we can leverage our regrets to reveal opportunities we would otherwise miss. Regret is a powerful indicator of future opportunity.
He addresses resiliency, gratitude and writing down our goals. He states that he’s never met anyone who wins at very much for very long without resiliency. Gratitude is fundamental for achieving our goals. He writes that you will never have more of what you want until you become thankful for what you have. He states that committing your goals to writing is foundational.
The author shares some very helpful information about goals. Many are familiar with SMART goals. The author introduces us to the SMARTER model:
S – Specific
M – Measurable
A – Actionable
R – Risky
T – Time-Keyed
E – Exciting
R – Relevant

Goals are fundamentally about what you’re going to do. They are not just about what you accomplish. It’s about what you become.
The author suggests that you should limit yourself to seven to ten goals that align with your life, values and ambitions. You should use a mixture of what he refers to as achievement (focused on one-time accomplishments) and habit (regular, ongoing activity) goals. You should set a few per quarter so that you can space your effort out evenly throughout the year. Your LifeScore will help you in crafting a set of goals that are aligned with your personal growth path. You should include goals from several different LifeScore domains.
The author introduces us to three zones for goals – Comfort, Discomfort and Delusional. For a goal to stretch us it has to stand outside your Comfort Zone. Your best year ever lives somewhere beyond your Comfort Zone. You should set goals in the Discomfort Zone. Goals in this zone will challenge, and result in your best performance, while goals in the Delusional Zone will leave you frustrated and discouraged. While we should set goals in the Discomfort Zone, the way to tackle a goal is to start with a task in the Comfort Zone. You should tackle your easiest task first.
In introducing the concept of our “why”, he writes that people lose their way when they lose their why. Next to finding your why, mastering your motivation is key for developing the necessary persistence to make it through what he refers to as the messy middle.
If you expect to experience your best year ever, you must take action. Activation Triggers are simple statements or actions that streamline the process of reaching our goals.
You should regularly review your goals and motivations. He suggests daily, weekly and quarterly reviews.
He discusses the importance of intentional relationships in achieving our goals, using an illustration on how J.R.R. Tolkien was encouraged by C.S. Lewis to write his book The Lord of the Rings.
He writes about the importance of celebrating your wins. Celebrating validates your work and is a key component of living a full, meaningful life.
He tells us that the future is in our hands, but only if we act today.
The book began as an online course. It includes many interesting stories, such as the author’s goal of running a marathon. As I read the book, I thought of goals I wanted to achieve in 2018, such as finishing a book I’ve started on integrating faith and work. The book also includes a lot of good information from research studies.
This practical book is best read with a pen and notebook handy. A detailed “Action Plan” is included for each step. Helpful goal-setting templates are provided. Use this book to help make 2018 your best year ever.

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

Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans  Knopf. 274 pages. 2016

I first heard about this book from the Center for Faith and Work at Redeemer Presbyterian Church. This week we complete our overview of the book, looking at the Conclusion:

  • Balance happens over time. Life design happens over time.
  • Balance is a myth, and it causes a lot of grief and heartache for most of us.
  • Life design is really about being able to answer the question “How’s it going?”
  • You never finish designing your life—life is a joyous and never-ending design project of building your way forward.
  • Design isn’t just a technique to address problems and projects—it’s a way of living.
  • This is what good design always does: it releases the best of what was already there waiting to be found and revealed.
  • If you try to keep the mind-sets as an active orientation to how you’re living and use them as part of your life design implementation as well as part of your innovation process, you’ll very quickly get the hang of it.
  • Your compass is about those great big organizing ideas of your Workview and Lifeview. These, along with your values, provide the foundation for your answer to “How’s it going?” They inform you if you are on a good track for you, or are out of sync with yourself. They determine if you’re living a coherent life in which you’ve got who you are, what you believe, and what you’re doing in adequate alignment.
  • Perhaps the most important recommendation we can give you to sustain a well-designed life is to invest in and commit to some personal practices of the variety we described in chapter 9. In our own lives, both of us would say that our personal growth in this area—the refinement and disciplined participation in practices—has been the single most life-giving thing we’ve done.
  • We have shared with you some of our daily practices, and encourage you to go to our website (www.​design​ingyour.​life) for a complete list of daily practices you might like to try.
  • Life design is ultimately a way of life that will transform how you look at your life and how you live your life. The end result of a well-designed life is a life well lived.

Next time, we’ll begin reading The Economics of Neighborly Love: Investing in Your Community’s Compassion and Capacity, the new book by Tom Nelson, author of the excellent book Work Matters: Connecting Sunday Worship to Monday Work. Why not consider reading along with us?

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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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