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


  • The Power of Deep Rest. Tim Keller writes “To understand this deep rest we need to look at the biblical meaning of the Sabbath—to understand what it is a sign of, and what it points to.”
  • Burnout Is Not a Calling. Scotty Smith prays “Being poured out is a gospel thing; being burned out is a foolish thing.”
  • 7 Secrets to Being a High Achiever. Ron Edmondson writes “I get asked frequently how I am able to get so much done and still take care of myself and my family.”


  • 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.”
  • Why Curiosity Matters So Much in the Workplace. Barnabas Piper writes “When you think of curiosity –if you think of curiosity – you might picture exploring the mountaintops or reading books or exploring new places. But how does curiosity fit and, more importantly, why does it matter in the workplace? In productivity? In business and commerce and trade? Since most of us spend the bulk of our waking hours in these contexts it is worth considering.”
  • Turning the Tide on the Rudeness in the Workplace. John Kyle writes “Paul’s description of love in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 is a guide to how we are to love at work—love is patient, kind, not envious, not boastful, not arrogant, not rude, etc.”
  • The Biggest Hindrance in a Leader’s Growth. Eric Geiger writes that a lack of self-awareness is the biggest hindrance to a leader’s development.
  • How Do You Show Patience at Work and Still Be Productive? John Kyle writes “Even with the harsh realities of the workplace, we are called to love with a genuine love. Ultimately, Jesus showed us how to love. We can’t love perfectly as he did, but we can follow him and learn his moves.”
  • The Humble Leader. Eric Geiger writes “Leadership is often very humbling, and leadership is most dangerous when it ceases to be.”

  • The Internet’s Best Place to Start Learning about Faith & Work. Jeff Haanen writes “For the past four years, Denver Institute has amassed tons of articles, videos, blog posts, curricula and other resources on work, calling, culture and various industries.”
  • Five Leadership Questions Podcast with Steve Green. In this episode of the 5 Leadership Questions podcast, Todd Adkins and Eric Geiger are joined by Steve Green, President of Hobby Lobby and author of the new book This Dangerous Book. During their conversation, they discuss how to lead your family well, what it looks like to be a servant leader, and why the Bible still matters today.
  • Episode 35: On Leadership (with H.B. Charles, Burk Parsons, and Jeramie Rinne). On this episode of the 9 Marks podcast Jonathan Leeman interviews four seasoned pastors—Mark Dever, Burk Parsons, H. B. Charles, and Jeramie Rinne—about leadership.
  • Theology of Work Part 1. Amisho Lewis shares that work was established before the fall. Therefore, we must view it as worship.
  • New Andy Stanley Leadership Book. I’m looking forward to Andy Stanley’s forthcoming leadership book Further Faster Leadership: 40 Practices to Accelerate Leaders and Build Better Teams, to be published May 1.
  • Recommended Faith & Work Reading Plans for 2018. Kristin Brown writes “Because we know many of our readers are busy people who probably need more margin in their lives, IFWE has created a number of shorter reading options to help connect you to this greater purpose of work, and we pray, create more margin and less burnout.”


  • Workplace Trial: How One Executive Led During Dual Tragedies. Sarah Eekhoff Zylstra writes “Vibhu Sharma reached the top of the corporate ladder in the worst way possible. He was second-in-command of finances at the enormous Zurich Insurance Group when he got the call that his boss, the $40 billion market cap company’s group chief financial officer, had committed suicide. Sharma stepped in on an interim basis for nine months, then moved to London to run the company’s UK business, working with CEO Martin Senn until Senn left the company about two and a half years later. Six months later, Senn killed himself.”
  • Legacy in Business. As the president of Hobby Lobby, Steve Green has found great success in business. He understands that prosperity is meant to help others, and be used for good. Hear his story of philanthropy, and his commitment to his lasting legacy of making the Bible more accessible and understood for generations to come. Learn what it means to lead a business today as a person of faith with the desire to leave a lasting difference.
  • Celebrating the Work God Places Before Us. Amy Sherman writes “It’s a well-known fact that we often remember better what we sing than what we say (or hear). In the context of the local church, this means we need worship songs with both good harmonies and solid theology. A new collaboration of artists, produced by Isaac Wardell, combines a robust theology of work with beautiful melodies meant for singing and remembering.”
  • 7 Biblical Characters and their Leadership Tensions. Ron Edmondson writes “While I agree with their assessment of our relationship to Christ, I see leadership throughout the Bible. God’s greatest servants were significant leaders with significant examples of leadership challenges I face every day.”

  • Maybe You Need to Wave the White Flag. Jared C. Wilson writes “One of our perennial problems is that we mistake the behavioral tidiness and normalcy of our everyday routines for spiritual tidiness and normalcy. But this is a trap all too common in modern life. We have compartmentalized our spirituality.”
  • Living Out the Gospel in Both Word and Deed. Hugh Whelchel writes “Christ’s ambassadors—you and me—must be fully engaged in the culture around us, doing good work but always pointing back to the one we serve.”
  • Evaluate Your Work This Year with a Biblical Perspective. Art Lindsley writes “If the son of God was a small-business man, then we know that God values the mundane as well as the sublime, work and productivity as well as miracle-working, and providing for your family as well as preaching to the multitudes.”
  • Making Prayer Work at Work. Bill Peel writes “God is always present with us at work, so prayer can be a running conversation—verbal or non-verbal—with Him.”
  • Can I Suffer for Christ with a Good Job? Watch this five-minute video as KB answers this question from the 2017 Chicago Legacy
  • The New Normal: 9 Realities And Trends In Bivocational Ministry. Karl Vaters writes “Bivocational ministers (pastors who work outside the church to provide most or all of their household income) may be the most under-appreciated and overlooked leaders in the church.”

Quotes about Faith and Work

  • Whatever you do for Christ, throw your whole soul into it. Charles Spurgeon
  • If God is sovereign, you can be called to a vocation, but not called to be successful in that vocation. Tim Keller
  • Success is waking up every day with the feeling that the work that you are doing will outlast you. And so, it’s built not on what you achieve, but what you help those around you achieve. Simon Sinek
  • You cannot have a proper work theology unless you have a proper rest theology. Tim Keller
  • When people who lack spiritual fitness are elected to leadership, He quietly withdraws and leaves them to implement their own policies according to their own standards, but without His aid. The inevitable result is an unspiritual administration. Oswald Sanders
  • I’ve come to realize this past year that a truly successful leader has an open hand, calloused knees, a joyful smile, a wrinkled brow and a great team around them. Brian Dodd
  • If you keep looking for excuses you will keep finding them. Ron Edmondson
  • Mission includes our vocations and not just church ministry. Tim Keller
  • Being public about your faith simply means not hiding the wellspring of your life, not hiding who you truly are. Tim Keller


Find Your Why: A Practical Guide for Discovering Purpose for You and Your Team by Simon Sinek, David Mead and Peter Docker. Portfolio. 256 pages. 2017

This practical handbook is a way to take the information from Simon Sinek’s best-selling book Start with Why, and personalize it so that individuals and teams can discover their “why”. David Mead and Peter Docker bring scale to Sinek’s vision. Their work is the “how” to Sinek’s “why”.  When you discover your “why” you will better be able to determine what makes you fulfilled so that you can inspire others.
Chapter 1 is a condensed review of the book Start with Why. Read my review of the book here. If you haven’t read the book, I would recommend that you watch Simon Sinek’s TED Talk “How Great Leaders Inspire Action” which has had in excess of 35 million views.
Your “why” is your calling or purpose, or belief that drives you. Finding your “why” is about origin stories. The authors ask us to trust the process, for both individuals and teams, and then walk us through 7 steps for individuals, including finding a partner. The book provides a lot of tips for partners, such as the logistics for the meeting. More tips for partners can be found in Appendix 2.
Once a partner is identified there is preparation for the meeting (story gathering). You are to focus on the contributions you have made and the impacts those contributions have made on others. From this, you identify themes. Some of those themes will become your “hows”. From these themes you will draft your “why statement”.
Separate chapters address discovering the “why” for groups, or tribes, as the authors describe them.  Some teams have their own, or “nested why”, which complements the organization’s overall “why”.
Whereas the individual works with a partner in a meeting to discover their “why”, teams work with a facilitator in a workshop to discover their “why”. We are told to remember that we are discovering, not creating a “why” in the workshop. There are detailed tips for facilitators included, from preparing for the workshop to running the workshop. Curiosity is a key attribute for a workshop facilitator. The goal of the workshop is to draft a “why statement” that is 75-80% completed. This will be accomplished through three conversations to go over contributions (conversations one and two) and impacts (conversation three).
Chapter 6 addresses your “hows”, which are your strengths. Again, these are current strengths, not aspirational. They must be simple and actionable. Your “hows” will bring your “why” to life.
Chapter 7 tells you how to share your “why”. The authors suggestion that you start by sharing your “why” with strangers when they ask you what you do for a living.
Appendix 1 includes commonly asked questions from Find Your Why workshops.
This very practical book would be best for those who have read Start With Why and/or watched Sinek’s related TED Talk who want to go deeper on the concepts covered.

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

The Economics of Neighborly Love: Investing in Your Community’s Compassion and Capacity, is 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? Download The Economics of Neighborly Love Study Guide from Made to Flourish. …

We open our study by looking at the Introduction:

  • I couldn’t articulate it at the time, but I began to grasp on a personal level that economic flourishing and human flourishing were intricately connected.
  • Growing up I was puzzled as to why so many in our church didn’t seem to care about our family’s economic stresses and vulnerabilities. Was it a lack of compassion? A lack of capacity? Or was it something different altogether?
  • Each day I woke up in an economic world, yet the Christian faith I was taught seemed to have little to say about it.
  • In my professional education for pastoral ministry, I do not recall any serious discussion about economics or its connection to faith or to the local church.
  • Operating out of an impoverished biblical theology and pastoral paradigm, I had been spending the majority of my time equipping the congregation I served for the minority of their lives. I had to call it what it was: malpractice. This pastoral malpractice was impoverishing our congregation in its spiritual formation and gospel mission.
  • Pastors and Christian leaders in all vocations are called to care for the vulnerable and to seek the flourishing of every image bearer of God.
  • From my pastoral perspective, far too little has been written or taught to the rising generation of leaders about how theology and economics seamlessly intersect. The glaring irony is that Holy Scripture speaks a good deal about economic flourishing.
  • What does the Bible say about economics? What does a life of fruitfulness look like? What role do Christian leaders have in nurturing the economic well-being of their congregations and organizations? What about the well-being of the cities where they minister and serve?

Next time we’ll look at Chapter 1: Neighborly Love.

Author: Bill Pence

I’m Bill Pence – married to my best friend Tammy, a graduate of Covenant Seminary, St. Louis Cardinals fan, formerly a manager at a Fortune 50 organization, and in leadership at my local church. I am a life-long learner and have a passion to help people develop, and to use their strengths to their fullest potential. I am an INTJ on Myers-Briggs, 3 on the Enneagram, my top five Strengthsfinder themes are: Belief, Responsibility, Learner, Harmony, and Achiever, and my two StandOut strength roles are Creator and Equalizer. My favorite book is the Bible, with Romans my favorite book of the Bible, and Colossians 3:23 and 2 Corinthians 5:21 being my favorite verses. Some of my other favorite books are The Holiness of God and Chosen by God by R.C. Sproul, and Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper. I enjoy music in a variety of genres, including modern hymns, Christian hip-hop and classic rock. My book Called to Lead: Living and Leading for Jesus in the Workplace and Tammy’s book Study, Savor and Share Scripture: Becoming What We Behold are available in paperback and Kindle editions on Amazon.

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