Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

FAITH AND WORK: Connecting Sunday to Monday

Leave a comment

Faith and Work News ~ Links to Interesting Articles

  • Without Luther, There Would be no Bach: How the Reformation Influenced Faith and Work Today. Bethany Jenkins writes “The life and work of Bach can teach us what the Reformation so beautifully captured—that our jobs can both love neighbor and glorify God. Through them we can embody the great commandments (Matt. 22:36–40). May we, therefore, offer our work to God by faith.”
  • Why Your Job Matters, No Matter What It Is. Jason Dollar writes “Once you view your vocation as God’s calling on your life for loving labor in His garden, then you’ll begin to appreciate your job so much more. Rather than drudgery and a longing to always be doing something different, you will use your vocation as a form of You will understand the great blessing you are to the lives of others, and how others bless you through their work. And you will feel great honor and dignity as an image-bearer of God regardless of your vocation.”

Click on ‘Continue reading’ for:

  • More interesting article links on leadership, calling, and how your work matters
  • The Top 10 Faith and Work Quotes of the Week
  • My Review of ‘The Accidental Executive: Lessons on Business, Faith, and Calling from the Life of Joseph’ by Albert M. Erisman
  • Snippets from the book ‘The Economics of Neighborly Love: Investing in Your Community’s Compassion and Capacity’ by Tom Nelson

  • The Doctrine You’ve Never Applied to Your Work. Brianna Lambert writes “Your ordinary work, after all, is a chance to worship the God who made you and gave you everything you need—not because he had to out of lack, but because he wanted to out of love”.
  • Two Things Are Essential in Finishing Well. Dave Kraft writes about the value of intentionality and intensity in finishing well.
  • Finding a Job That Fits. How do you find a job that fits? From his series Knowing God’s Will, R.C. Sproul explains that when God calls us to do something, He also gives us the gifts and motivation necessary to accomplish it.
  • Caring for Our Own “Garden of Eden”. My friend Russell Gehrlein writes “While I was on active duty for twenty years, it seemed that God always had a variety of purposes for me in every duty station to which I was assigned. However, three main purposes come to mind: 1) to take care of the things he entrusted to me; 2) to meet the needs of the people where he placed me; and 3) to expand his kingdom by multiplying God’s images through evangelism and discipleship.”
  • Letting Go of a “My Way or the Highway” Attitude at Work. John Kyle writes “We all have seasons in which decisions and circumstances don’t go our way. And we have all, at one time or another, had trouble accepting that.”
  • When You Hate Going to Work. Gaye Clark writes “Work is not a call to meaning and significance so much as a call to die to self on behalf of others. Christ did this for us. Are we not to follow in his steps?”
  • How to Run a Good Meeting–And Why it Matters More than You Think. Michael J. Kruger writes “We are always going to have meetings.  They are critical to what we do in ministry.  But, we can make them better.  And making them better (contrary to popular perceptions) can be a spiritual move to advance the cause of the Kingdom.”
  • God Has a Plan for Your Life. But You Can’t Find It Alone. Ryan Pemberton writes “One reason we need Christian community to discern God’s call on and for our lives is that we are mysteries to ourselves. Seeing ourselves rightly happens in community.”
  • Barna: How Is Christian Faith Lived Out on the Job? Brandon Showalter shares results of a “Christians at Work” survey performed by Barna, conducted in partnership with Abilene Christian University. He writes “Roughly half of all respondents said their church provides them a with a vision for living out their faith at work”.
  • From Home to the Office: How Work Has Changed for Women. Courtney Reissig writes “Given the choice, many women would choose both family and career, not because they think they can “have it all,” but because they are created in God’s image. Part of reflecting God means working for the good of the world — and the world includes children, homes, workplaces, churches, neighborhoods, and any place you find yourself.”

  • The Top 5 Characteristics of Servant Leaders. David Witt shares findings from the research of Adam Focht and Michael Ponton of a Delphi study they conducted with scholars in the field of servant leadership.
  • Five Marks of a Servant Leader. Jon Bloom writes “All professing Christians agree that a Christian leader should be a servant leader.”
  • Followers as Servant Leaders. Ken Blanchard writes “In today’s business climate, servant leaders know they can’t get much done without effective followers. It’s about leading side by side, not top-down. Remember: leadership—and followership—isn’t something you do to people—it’s something you do with people.”
  • Creating High-Performance Teams. On the November Andy Stanley Leadership Podcast, Stanley concludes his conversation on creating high-performance teams.

CALLING:

  • A Strong Sense of Calling. Is It the Missing Ingredient in Today’s Leadership? Dave Kraft writes “I believe that those who are serving in major leadership roles should have a strong sense of calling on their life (however that call is ascertained and experienced.) There is too much at stake to simply fill a slot or assume a responsibility based on feeling, desire, or ambition.”
  • Stop Overspiritualizing “Calling”. Bethany Jenkins writes “Let’s not, then, overanalyze or overspiritualize “calling” in our lives. Our primary calling is to know Jesus Christ. That’s his resounding voice in his Word. Yes, in addition to his Word, he has given us gifts and talents—as well as prayer and community—and called us to different stations. But there’s no perfect job and, even if we love our work, we often only experience that in retrospect after years of deep labor, working heartily as unto the Lord.”
  • Some Things to Consider When You Consider Your Calling. David Qaoud writes “Considering your calling is not always easy. It’s not black and white or formulaic. Someone else’s calling is not your calling, and the means by which that other person discovered his or her calling won’t be the same for you. We’re all different. But some sort of practical guidelines can help you discern where to move forward with a calling or where to end it.”
  • Holding Down a Job or Fulfilling a Calling. Dave Kraft writes “So many are willing to settle for a “job” rather than do the hard but rewarding work of discovering God’s calling for their life.”

Quotes about Faith and Work

  • I’d rather lead with character than competence. I can surround myself with competent people, but no one can make up for my lack of character. Ron Edmondson
  • Jesus came into this world not as a philosopher or a general but as a carpenter. All work matters to God. Tim Keller
  • Next to faith this is the highest art, to be content with the calling in which God has placed you. Martin Luther
  • You should never aim at fame, but you may rightly be willing to risk it. Mark Dever
  • There’s no ideal place to serve God except the place where He has set you down. Eric Alexander
  • The most significant women in Scripture were influential not because of their careers, but because of their character. John MacArthur
  • God often uses what we’re good at to guide us into what we do next. Bob Goff
  • Jesus came into this world not as a philosopher or a general but as a carpenter. All work matters to God. Tim Keller
  • If God is satisfied with the work, the work may be satisfied with itself. C.S. Lewis

FAITH AND WORK BOOK REVIEW:

The Accidental Executive: Lessons on Business, Faith, and Calling from the Life of Joseph by Albert M. Erisman. Hendrickson Publications. 202 pages. 2015
***

The story of Joseph in the Bible has long been one of my favorites. In this book the author looks at the life of Joseph, son of Jacob, son of Isaac, son of Abraham, whose story is told in the Bible in Genesis 37–50. As he tells Joseph’s story, the author covers a number of topics related to leadership, integrating faith and work, and calling. As the author follows the story of Joseph, he adds in helpful insights from more than a hundred leaders, primarily from business, that he has interviewed over the past fifteen years.
The book covers a wide variety of topics regarding leadership in Joseph’s life. Among them are sexual temptation, professionalism, office politics, bringing bad news to authority, talking about God in the workplace, executing strategy, dealing with success, honesty and integrity, fairness and justice, temptations of power and money.
I enjoyed this book and highlighted a number of passages as I read it. Here are 12 of the best quotes from the book:

  • For many of us, the link between our faith and our work is weak at best. Often this is something we have simply not thought much about.
  • Recovery from failure, even when we contribute to that failure, is an important attribute for all of us.
  • Joseph offers us a model for staying centered in God and being prepared for dealing with sexual temptation.
  • We need to be prepared to make the right choices and know that they have consequences.
  • I have encountered too many followers of God who assume God is in control and therefore there is nothing for them to do. Joseph found the balance of trust and initiative and seemed to handle it well.
  • All of us at some time are faced with the question of what to say to someone in authority. The situation is made more difficult when we know that what we have to say is not what they want to hear. It may be tempting to say nothing, out of a desire to protect ourselves. But if we believe that we are called to this position, and are here for a reason, it is important to speak the truth clearly, respectfully, and wisely.
  • A good leader receives bad news and acts on it appropriately. A poor leader doesn’t want to hear bad news. But bad news is always an opportunity to learn and grow.
  • We should acknowledge God in our work, but again we need to be careful in the way we do it.
  • When people leave a part of themselves at the door, it causes two problems. It would seem to dampen their engagement as a whole person, hence dampening creativity. And if a person’s sense of right and wrong is rooted in their religious beliefs, separating their faith and their work can undermine a person’s willingness to take ethical decisions at work seriously.
  • Here is a final important observation to make about Joseph raising the question of God in his workplace. He did excellent work. He was not going around talking about God at the expense of doing his work.
  • Calling is about our whole lives, not just our work, though it certainly includes our work.
  • Whatever our vocation, we need to respond to God with the talents and abilities he has given us, working together to act as his hands and feet in the world.

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

The Economics of Neighborly Love by Tom Nelson

You can read along with us and download the study guide.

This week we complete our overview of the book by looking at Chapter 13: The Hope of the World

  • In a time when the local church is often marginalized, opportunities for neighborly love, gospel impact, and positive cultural influence are brimming with possibilities—if we are willing to engage the world of work.
  • Despite the local church’s frailties, shortcomings, and failures, the local church as God designed it is the hope of the world.
  • As God’s new creation community, the local church must not merely embody compassion for the world but also play a vital role in building capacity for the world.
  • An increasing number of churches are thinking creatively and strategically about how better to embrace a neighborly love of compassion and capacity.
  • When it comes to faith, work, and economic integration, how are you and your church doing? Are you thoughtfully addressing the Sunday-to-Monday gap?

Next time, we’ll begin reading the 20th anniversary expanded and revised edition of Os Guinness’s classic book The Call: Finding and Fulfilling God’s Purpose For Your Life.

Advertisements

Author: Bill Pence

I’m Bill Pence ~ married to my best friend for more than 39 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.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s