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

  • Flourishing Leaders. Watch this thirty-five-minute message from Tom Nelson, president of Made to Flourish, from the Common Good Series.
  • 7 Ways I Deal with Fatigue as a Leader. Ron Edmundson writes “Leading today (actually life today) requires a lot of energy. I meet so many people who don’t have the energy they need to get through the day. I realize there are seasons in life where this is unavoidable, but we should strive to keep ourselves healthy enough to be productive and enjoy life.”
  • Sharing God’s Love in Our Work. Watch this five-minute video, in which Lindsay, a young teacher discovers how her past experiences have prepared her for a unique ministry in New York public schools.
  • There’s Dignity at Work for the Gleaner and the Businessperson, Too. Kristin Brown writes “What’s ironic is that many workingChristians lack a sense of dignity in their work because they think it’s meaningless—outside of perhaps earning money to support their family and church. The principles that shape our outreach to those in need should also shape how we view our own work.”
  • The Biggest Reason the Church Must Say Something About the Economy. Greg Forster writes “The church must talk about work. But talking about work is not enough—the church must also teach and affirm that we are social beings. So, the church must speak about faith, work, and economics because the economy is a social enterprise.”
  • Culture of Collaboration. On this month’s Andy Stanley Leadership Podcast, he concludes a two-part conversation on creating a culture of collaboration.
  • Work is Worship. Darren Bosch writes “Work is God’s gift to us. It’s not a result of the fall into sin. In creating Adam and Eve the job of cultivating and caring for the garden, He not only made them the first landscapers, He designed their DNA so that whatever they put their head, heart and hands to is a form of worship. The same is true for us. Made in His image, vocation is an extension of God’s work of maintaining and providing for His creation, bringing Him glory and enjoying Him.”
  • The 10 Commandments of Christian Leadership. What are things we must do to develop ourselves as leaders? If we want to be effective leaders that glorify God in our leadership, we must look to Jesus. How else can we improve? Check out this five-minute video from Eric Geiger.
  • 5 Things I Have to Do, But Don’t Like Doing as a Leader. Ron Edmondson writes “A friend asked me once to name the things I do as a leader because I have to do, but don’t necessarily like to do. He even had a term for it. He called it the “underbelly of leadership”.
  • 20 Quotes from Mark Dever on Church Leadership.Matt Smethurst shares these quotes from Mark Dever’s book Understanding Church Leadership.
  • The Loneliness of Leadership. Ron Edmondson writes “The responsibility of being a leader should never be abused. Leadership is never an excuse for dictatorship or control. We must always consider the interests of others ahead of our own. (That’s a Biblical command.) But, make no mistake about it, loneliness sometimes comes with the territory of being a leader. In those days, we stand firm in our faith and our calling. And, we wait for better days.”
  • Great Leadership is Always About Serving Other People. Brandon A. Cox writes “The greatest example of leadership will always be Jesus, as modeled in the four gospels and expounded in the epistles. But what made Jesus’ style of leadership so great?”

Quotes about Faith and Work

  • Jesus came not to accrue power. He came to give power up. Tim Keller
  • Does the quality of your work become the measure of your worth? Tim Keller
  • When you know your reason for existence, it should affect the decisions you make. Patrick Lencioni
  • Whenever success comes, and sometimes it comes in surprising and unexpected ways, it is something God has given. Derek Thomas
  • There is no ideal place for us to serve God except the place He sets us down. Charles Spurgeon
  • A primary way God designed us to love our neighbors is for us to do our work well, and from our work to have the capacity to be generous to neighbors as well. Tom Nelson
  • Doing our work well matters to God and to our neighbor. The best workers make for the best neighbors. Tom Nelson
  • Nowhere does this tendency toward artificial harmony show itself more than in mission-driven nonprofit organizations, most notably churches. People who work in those organizations tend to have a misguided idea that they cannot be frustrated or disagreeable with one another. What they are doing is confusing being nice with being kind. Two people who trust and care about one another and are engaged in something important (that sure sounds like a mission-driven non-profit to me) should feel compelled to disagree with one another, sometimes passionately, when they see things differently. After all, the consequences of making bad decisions are great. When leadership team members fail to disagree around issues, not only are they increasing the likelihood of losing respect for one another and encountering destructive conflict later when people start griping in the hallways, they’re also making bad decisions and letting down the people they’re supposed to be serving. And they do all this in the name of being “nice”. Patrick Lencioni
  • Our greatest fear should not be of failure but of succeeding at things in life that don’t really matter. Francis Chan


Talent Magnet: How to Attract and Keep the Best People by Mark Miller. Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc. 155 pages. 2018

In his latest book, given the growing need organizations have for talented people to sustain a competitive advantage, Mark Miller looks at what is really required to attract “Top Talent”. He tells us that what attracts and keeps Top Talent is different from what attracts and keeps typical talent.
I have read and benefitted from many of the author’s books. As is his custom, he teaches through an entertaining fable, much like those of Patrick Lencioni and Ken Blanchard. We meet Blake, the CEO of a successful high-performance organization. However, he has just been told by Human Resources that they will not be able to staff the company’s near-term plans, instead suggesting that Blake reduce the organization’s growth goals. You too may be dealing with this “war for talent”. This is not just a problem for Blake’s organization, as he realizes when he engages in a peer mentoring group of eight CEOs from a diverse set of businesses. Many, if not all, organizations are dealing with how to attract and keep talented people.
At the same time, for personal reasons, Blake’s son Clint desires to raise funds to buy a well in an emerging country. Clint and his friends decide to get summer jobs to raise the $8,000 to dig the well.
Blake wants his organization to become a Talent Magnet, a place so attractive, that Top Talent will be standing in line to work there. Blake and his team visit several organizations that have solid reputations for outstanding people to see if they can identify the primary motivations for Top Talent. Is Top Talent attracted by different factors than typical talent?
As this is occurring, Clint and his friends check out businesses that they are considering to work at that summer. As they do, they realize that they want something more in those organizations, and they slowly begin building a list of criteria.
Blake and his team then begin working to clarify the components of a Talent Magnet and the key leadership behaviors/best practices needed. Is it possible that he can learn how he can create a Talent Magnet from his son Clint?
Mark Miller has done it again in this entertaining fable built on new research. Highly recommended.

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, 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.

This week we look at Chapter 2: Made to Flourish

  • It is in the relationships we make and the work we do that meaning greets us. No matter our age, education, ethnicity, or gender, we long to contribute, to accomplish things, to make a difference, to live a flourishing life.
  • Jesus, the sinless Son of God, came to our sin-ravaged planet so that we might flourish in all dimensions of our human existence.
  • The measure of our neighborly love is not only seen in our ever-increasing Christlike character, but also in our outpouring of Christlike compassion and productive capacity for the good of our neighbors.
  • When we look back at God’s original design for human flourishing, we discover we were created for a vibrant life of responsible creativity, innovation, and productivity.
  • Human flourishing is first and foremost a flourishing of relationships—our relationship with God and with others. But human flourishing is also a product of fruitful work that reflects our God who works.
  • No matter our age, God created us to be creative, to serve others, and to work.
  • To minimize our unique creativity is to diminish the God who designed us in his image. Each one of us has the capacity to be creative and to reflect God with our creative output.
  • We were created to be creative, and we are also called to fruitfulness.
  • If we take the time to understand the cultural mandate, we see being fruitful means more than simply having children; it also speaks to productive human work.
  • Whether our work is paid or not paid, our work is to glorify God, honor others, and add value to their lives.
  • Looking through the lens of Holy Scripture, human work must be seen first and foremost as value contribution, not economic compensation.
  • Fruitfulness means adding value and bestowing honor to others in and through our work.
  • We may retire from our paycheck, but we never retire from work. We never retire from the privilege and responsibility of neighborly love.
  • We are not to worship our work, but our work is a vital aspect of our worship

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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