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

  • How Should We Respond When a Leader Implodes? Eric Geiger writes “Regardless of whether or not the reality of leaders falling is more common or the same as it has always been, it’s happening too much. The moral failures are far too frequent. So how should we, those of us who are believers, respond when a leader disqualifies himself or herself from their role?”
  • The Sanctity of Labor. Are you working “for the weekend”? Or counting the years to retirement? From his series Christian Ethics, R.C. Sproul explains that work is sacred and we are called to labor diligently to the glory of God.
  • Work’s Toll and Significance. Bill Peel tells us that work can have a high toll on us but also a lasting significance. Learn how to work smarter for the Kingdom of God.
  • John Coltrane’s Faith and Work Story Behind A Love Supreme. Caroline Cross writes “Like Coltrane, we too are working toward the consummation of a calling.”
  • Strengths or Weaknesses: Which Need More Attention? Hugh Whelchel writes “God intends for us to use our gifts and talents to glorify him, serve the common good, and further his kingdom in all we do in our churches, our families, our communities, and at our jobs.”
  • How to Establish a Workplace Cultures That Actually Sticks. Art Lindsley writes “In today’s culture, we are desperately seeking a renewal of character but are not willing to give it a sufficient foundation.”
  • Practicing Curiosity: How to Connect Better with Congregants. Amy Sherman writes “To shepherd well, a pastor must know his sheep. To know implies curiosity about the people God has entrusted to your care. Curious pastors will study their congregations, they will seek to understand their lives and contexts, and they will give particular attention to the vocations of their people. Curious pastors will want to know what their sheep do Monday through Saturday and how they do it.”
  • Discerning the Season of Your Life. Ron Edmondson writes “Review your life by how the seasons molded you. God never wastes a season. Ask God to place in your heart what He wants you to learn during this specific season of your life. Invite God to speak into your seasons.”

  • The Importance of Being a “Finisher”. Eric Geiger writes “How can we practically grow in our ability to finish what we start? How can we avoid being “90 percenters,” people who are great at starting things but struggle to complete them?”
  • Why Hidden Work Matters to God. Courtney Reissig writes “As you serve the people in your churches, you will honor the work of the home as a vital contribution to the world God has made. God created us to work. And in the Lord, no ordinary work is ever completed in vain (1 Cor 15:58).”
  • Three Ways the Resurrection Makes Everyday Work Meaningful. Hugh Whelchel writes “Does our earthly work matter to God? Yes, it does, replies Darrell Cosden in his book The Heavenly Good of Earthly Work. Central to his argument is the bodily resurrection of Jesus, which the church celebrates this Easter.”
  • Courageous Leadership. On this month’s episode of the Andy Stanley Leadership podcast, Stanley continues the conversation about the role of courage in leadership.
  • What Difference Does God’s Presence Make in Your Work? Russell Gehrlein writes “It’s easy to get isolated in your work, especially in today’s cubicle world. But the fact is, with God, we are never alone, not even at work.”
  • Do You Know the Purpose for Your Gifts and Talents? Hugh Whelchel writes “Unfortunately, many Christians go to work with the idea that their talents exist simply for them to make a lot of money so they can retire. God gave you talents to benefit others, not yourself. And God gave other people talents that benefit you.”
  • If you have been enjoying any success, have you been secretly taking credit for it? Are you seeing it as the gift of God that it is? Tim Keller
  • Every person, religious or not, is worshipping something to get their worth. Tim Keller
  • Failure has been a great mentor. Taught me to turn my mistakes into lessons. Lecrae
  • Character is foundational to Christian Leadership. John Maxwell
  • Servant leadership is all about making the goals clear and then rolling your sleeves up and doing whatever it takes to help people win. In that situation, they don’t work for you, you work for them. Ken Blanchard
  • Rest time is not waste time. It is economy to gather fresh strength…It is wisdom to take occasional furlough. In the long run, we shall do more by sometimes doing less. Charles Spurgeon
  • Leadership is not about being in charge. Leadership is about taking care of those in your charge. Simon Sinek
  • Your greatest success in life may be your ability to endure through the hard times – even through failure – get up and move forward again. Ron Edmondson.
  • The responsibility of a company is to serve the customer. The responsibility of leadership is to serve their people so that their people may better serve the customer. If leaders fail to serve their people first, customer and company will suffer. Simon Sinek

FAITH AND WORK BOOK REVIEWS:

From Weakness to Strength: 8 Vulnerabilities That Can Bring Out the Best in Your Leadership by Scott Sauls. David C. Cook. 208 pages. 2017
****

This is Pastor Scott Sauls’ third book. He is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors. His openness, honesty and vulnerability remind me of Scotty Smith’s writing. Smith writes in an opening reflection to this book that “until leaders have suffered, and have learned to steward their pain, they don’t really have much to offer.”
The author tells us that Jesus offers us a radically different understanding from the world of what it means to be a leader in regards to credentials qualifying a person to lead, what matters most, how success is measured, etc. In this book he looks through a biblical lens at what he refers to as eight common thorns leaders face: unfulfilled ambition, isolation, criticism, envy, insecurity, anticlimax, opposition, and suffering. He tells us that depending on how we respond to them, these challenges will either make us or break us as leaders. His desire is to help us live and lead from weakness to strength.
I enjoyed and benefitted from this short book, highlighting a number of passages. Below are ten I would like to share:

  • Making much of His (Jesus) name is a far superior ambition than making a name for ourselves.
  • Our character must matter more to us than our reputation.
  • Although it is sometimes hard to believe that your work, done for God’s glory, has enduring significance, it absolutely does.
  • If you are a Christian leader, boss, or influencer, a time may come when your faith is costly to you and also to those whom you lead and serve.
  • If Christian leaders and influencers and organizations do fall on hard times, if we lose favor and become a persecuted minority, it might actually mark the beginning of our truest impact.
  • Even in a world that’s increasingly hostile toward faith, the more heavenly minded we are, the more earthly good we will be.
  • Rather than heralding to the world what they are against, Christians should instead be heralding to the world what they are for.
  • It is especially important for Christian leaders to consider how they can lead in such a way that nonbelievers feel compelled to consider Jesus.
  • The truest disciples of Jesus, not in spite of their Christian beliefs, but because of them, take initiative to love, listen to, and serve those who don’t share their beliefs.
  • In the end our greatest influence may come not from our vision, our preaching, our leading, or our achievements—but through our weakness.

This would be an excellent book to read and discuss with others leaders, whether they are in a church, business or non-profit setting.

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 6: Economic Wisdom

  • Neighborly love calls for the integration of both wise theological insight and sound economic thinking. A closer examination of Proverbs will get us moving in that helpful direction.
  • In Proverbs, we hear that God delights in honest economic activity. We also hear a denunciation of dishonesty in an economic system that is rigged.
  • Improper use of wealth and outright abuse of economic power is abhorred.
  • Honesty of transactions is essential to flourishing economic life.
  • In Proverbs we are instructed that diligent labor within an economic system is a telling indicator of true wisdom. On the other hand, slothfulness or laziness is an identifiable mark of a person who lacks wisdom and love.
  • Another facet of economic diligence advocated in Proverbs is wisdom’s long-term view and the prudence of delayed gratification.
  • A virtuous person who brings value to the economic system of exchange through their diligent labor will have capacity for economic generosity.
  • Those who are not economically generous to the poor not only miss God’s blessing, they show contempt for God and their neighbor.
  • Material wealth in whatever form it takes can be a wonderful servant but a cruel master.
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Author: Bill Pence

I’m Bill Pence ~ married to my best friend for more than 38 years and a St. Louis Cardinals fan. Before retiring I served as a manager at a Fortune 50 company; I'm 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 2 Corinthians 5:21 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.

One thought on “FAITH AND WORK: Connecting Sunday to Monday

  1. Bill,

    Thank you for posting the link to my most recent article on the IFWE blog!

    Russ

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