Faith and Work News ~ Links to Interesting Articles
- Should Religious Belief Inform Public Policy? Russell Moore writes “My calling as citizen is different from my calling as church member (I don’t care if my pastor understands how to deal with regime change in Syria). But, as a Christian, though I don’t confuse any of these spheres, I am accountable for whether I acted justly or wickedly in any of them. And so are you.”
- What If Work Isn’t My Passion? Missy Wallace writes “Of all the books I’ve read about career discernment, I find a section of Os Guinness’s The Call, to be incredibly clarifying and encouraging.
- Where Does God Want Me to Work? David Mathis writes “How should you go about discerning God’s direction after graduation? Or how do you find God’s will for your work-life?”
- Biblical Womanhood Deconstructed. Anna Arnold writes “Proverbs 31 shows us all that we cando and be as women—all the work God has for us to do.”
- Motherhood as a Vocation. Kate Harris writes “As I think about what it means to faithfully pursue my work as a mom, I hope myself and others can commit to this larger vision of our role as “culture shapers” who can hold our own beside PhDs and playwrights, lest we be tempted to think our daily occupation as nose-wipers and shuttle drivers is anything less than a grand enterprise.”
- The Common Calling of All Women. Abigail Dodds writes “The pertinent question for women entering the workforce or motherhood or setting up their home or any sphere of work is this: Am I faithfully obeying God as his child by meeting the genuine needs of others, or am I pursuing self-actualization, self-fulfillment, or selfish ambition apart from him?”
- Defining Vocation. In this talk, Kate Harris helps us understand calling and identity through the old and rich concept of “vocation.”
- Six Practices of the Church: Vocation. In this talk, Greg Thompson tells us that we are all involved in some sort of vocation. No matter where or what it is, we know that God calls us to be faithful in those places. We have the opportunity to practice vocation in a way that makes the world a better place.
Click on ‘Continue reading’ for:
- More links to interesting article
- The Top 10 Faith and Work Quotes of the Week
- My Review of Dare to Serve: How to Drive Superior Results by Serving Others by Cheryl Bachelder
- Snippets from Os Guinness’ book The Call: Finding and Fulfilling God’s Purpose For Your Life.
- Work Matters, Part 2. In this episode of the Unlimited Grace podcast, Bryan Chapell tells us that Sunday is for Monday.
- Self-Control, the Leader’s Make-or-Break Virtue. Drew Dyck writes “In the Bible, leadership and self-control are inseparable.”
- How to Increase Team Productivity with the MBTI Personality Test. As a leader, I always found the use of personality tests such as the MBTI, StrengthsFinder, etc. to be helpful in better understanding my team members and myself. Mark Griffin writes “Understanding ourselves is biblical. In order to do what is right for the Lord and our fellow coworkers, we must first understand ourselves. Using the MBTI is a great starting point.”
- The First and Last Lessons My Father Taught Me About Christian Stewardship. Timothy Ewest writes “Christian stewardship means we are given responsibilities to tend and grow what we have been given by God: talents, gifts, community, the church, and the earth—because all of these belong to him. We are working in God’s workshop, using his tools.”
- How to Fight Laziness. In this episode of the “Ask Pastor John” podcast, John Piper addresses a question about the sin of laziness.
- Four Ways to Show Christ’s Love in the Workplace. John Kyle writes “As one is pulled from the smoking wreckage by Love Personified, it doesn’t make sense that our work lives would be marked by a lack of love. Envy, deceit, and selfishness have no place in the Christian’s life at work.”
- Love as Motivation for Time Management. Dustin Coleman writes “Have you ever considered that our poor time management also robs others? That how we manage our time has an impact on how well we are able to love and serve those around us?”
- How to Pray When You Hate Your Job. Tom Nelson writes “With humble and expectant hearts we cry out to our Creator and Redeemer, Lord Jesus, teach us to pray. Teach us to pray for our work; to pray while do we our work and to pray for those with whom we work.”
- Missy Wallace On Bridging the Secular and Sacred Divide in the Workplace. On this episode of the Gospel Business Strategies podcast, listen to Missy Wallace, Founder of the Nashville Institute for Faith and Work (NIFW), explain how her view of sacred and secular work has been shaped over the years. As a leader in this field, Missy examines the importance of integrating faith into our work. She discusses how external factors – such as the outdoors – can influence our lifestyle and our work performance.
- How to Handle Temptation at Work. David L. Winters writes “Inappropriate relationship temptation is not the only illicit allure on the job. People struggle with various sins, including gossip, compromising beliefs, theft, lying, overeating, and many other avoidable behaviors.”
- Russell Gehrlein’s Blog. I’ve been enjoying reading the work of Russell Gehrlein, author of Immanuel Labor: God’s Presence in Our Profession. You might also enjoy subscribing to his blog, which you can check out here.
- The Power and the Dangers in Luther’s Concept of Work. Dan Doriani, who I enjoyed two classes with at Covenant Seminary, writes “Luther encourages us to go to work thinking, “Today, I serve the Lord.” But the Reformation lies in the future as well as the past. Calvin and others urge us to serve in our places—and to transform those places, if we can.”
- Made to Flourish. In this video, Matt Rusten, Executive Director of Made to Flourish discusses the need to equip pastors with a more integral connection between Sunday faith and Monday work, in order to empower them to lead churches that produce human flourishing for the common good.
- I believe that God made me for a purpose … but he also made me fast, and when I run, I feel His pleasure. Eric Liddell
- There is no ideal place to serve God except the place where He has set you down. Eric Alexander
- Regarding success and failure, the gospel helps Christians find their deepest identity not in our accomplishments but who we are in Christ. Tim Keller
- One often sees a call only in retrospect. This too is God’s design. God often reinforces our faith after we trust Him, not before. Ravi Zacharias
- Work of all kinds, whether with hands or mind, evidences our dignity as human beings—because it reflects the image of God the Creator in us. Tim Keller
- Leaders with great attitudes and whatever-it-takes mind-sets usually exude energy and enthusiasm, and those things fuel them to strive for excellence. That’s why I believe the best career advice any any person can receive is “Find your passion and follow it.” John Maxwell
- A broken person is a much more attractive leader to God, than one who doesn’t know they are broken. Tim Keller
- When work is your identity, success goes to your head, and failure goes to your heart. Tim Keller
- Leaders of character don’t build themselves up by tearing others down. Ron Edmondson
FAITH AND WORK BOOK REVIEW:
Dare to Serve: How to Drive Superior Results by Serving Others by Cheryl Bachelder. Berrett-Koehler Publishers. 220 pages. 2018
This book, by the former CEO of Popeyes, is about servant leadership, which Cheryl Bachelder refers to as Dare-to-Serve leadership. It’s one of the best books on leadership that I read in 2018.
The author tells us that if you move yourself out of the spotlight and dare to serve others, you will deliver superior performance results. She describes the “Dare to Serve Leader” as one who possesses a rare combination of traits, courageous enough to take the people to a daring destination yet humble enough to selflessly serve others on the journey. She tells us that the dynamic tension between daring and serving creates the conditions for superior performance.
In the first half of the book she tells the story of the turnaround of Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, Inc., a publicly traded global restaurant chain she led. Popeyes restaurants experienced eight years of growth. Average restaurant sales climbed by 45 percent. Market share grew from 14 to 24 percent. The profitability of Popeyes restaurants doubled in terms of real dollars, with restaurant profit margins up from 18 to 23 percent. The Popeyes story provides a real-world example of how one leadership team dared to serve the people well—and produced industry-leading results.
The second half of the book is about how you can become a Dare-to-Serve leader. It offers thoughts and reflections to guide you in becoming the most effective leader you can be. Throughout the book she includes Dare-to-Serve Reflections to help you think about the leadership role you are in today and the best way to influence and steward the people entrusted to your care.
She tells us that the most difficult thing she has to say to leaders is that you will have to take yourself out of the spotlight. Instead, you will find a way to get that spotlight to shine on others.
Here is a summary of the framework she used to lead a successful transformation at Popeyes.
- Listen first
- Articulate a purpose: “Why”
- Choose road map strategies: “What”
- Determine principles: “How”
- Select and develop leaders: “Who”
- Communicate consistently and frequently
- Track results monthly, quarterly, annually
The author shares benefits to you of becoming a Dare-to-Serve leader as well as certain mind-sets that will trip you up on a regular basis if you and your team commit to becoming Dare-to-Serve leaders. The book includes helpful Dare-to-Serve Reflection Questions.
I highlighted a number of passages as I read this excellent book, which I recommend all leaders read. Below are 20 of the best quotes that I want to share with you:
- When you choose to humbly serve others and courageously lead them to daring destinations, the team will give you their very best performance. And the spotlight will be found shining on the remarkable results of the organization as a whole.
- Here’s a tough question. Do you love the people you’ve decided to serve? It helps.
- If you choose to be a Dare-to-Serve leader, you’ll have one very big obstacle to overcome. Yourself. It is easy to say that you want to serve others well, but it is much harder to do so in daily life.
- The Dare-to-Serve leader must have the courage to focus on and solve the hard things facing the organization.
- What can a leader do to drive engagement? Help people find purpose and meaning at work. Inspire them to contribute their very best work. Care about them, so that they want to care about the enterprise.
- Servant leadership simply means service above self.
- Superior results are the measure of how well we serve. Serving and performing go hand in hand.
- Dare-to-Serve leaders help their followers discover their personal purpose. This builds intentionality and engagement and leads to positive outcomes, including superior results.
- The Dare-to-Serve leader understands the critical importance of personal accountability in reaching superior performance.
- Humble leaders inspire, but self-centered leaders squash the spirit of the people. Dare-to-Serve leaders aspire to be more humble.
- The leader must have both—the courage to take the people to a daring destination and the humility to selflessly serve others on the journey. This dynamic tension between daring and serving creates the conditions for superior performance.
- The Dare-to-Serve leader has a unique combination of traits—enough courage to take the team to a daring destination and enough humility to serve the people well on the journey. Together, these traits foster the environment for superior performance.
- Dare-to-Serve leadership is transformative for the leader and the followers. In taking a risk, the leader and the people stretch and grow, and when they are successful, they experience new confidence and new commitment to the team.
- Dare-to-Serve leaders see each individual as a unique and valuable human being, worthy of dignity. And they treat them accordingly.
- The point of purpose is to determine how you will serve others. If you don’t plan to serve, you don’t need a purpose. If you do choose to serve, a personal purpose will determine the focus of your leadership.
- To serve others at work, we need to put more thought into the values that govern our day.
- To know why you work, you must discover your unique strengths and then spend the rest of your working days offering those strengths to your employer. That is what you are designed to do.
- A leader without a personal purpose is leading the people on a pointless, meaningless journey. And that’s exactly the environment your leadership creates. A meaningless journey.
- My observation is that Dare-to-Serve leaders consciously decide to act on these three core beliefs: human dignity, personal responsibility, and humility. They become so convinced about these beliefs that when they are violated, the leader becomes distressed and quickly adjusts his or her behavior.
- Your leadership actions will change lives for the better, leave them unchanged, or, regrettably, leave them worse off.
Faith and Work Book Club – Won’t you read along with us?
This week we continue reading through the revised and expanded 20th anniversary edition of Os Guinness’s classic book The Call: Finding and Fulfilling God’s Purpose For Your Life. I first read this book in Dr. Philip Douglass’s class at Covenant Seminary. It is the best book on calling that I’ve read.
This week we look at a few quotes from Chapter 1: The Ultimate Why
- At some point every one of us confronts the question: How do I find and fulfill the central purpose of my life?
- Our passion is to know that we are fulfilling the purpose for which we are here on earth.
- Deep in our hearts, we all want to find and fulfill a purpose bigger than ourselves.
- Answering the call of our Creator is “the ultimate why” for living, the highest source of purpose in human existence. Apart from such a calling, all hope of discovering purpose (as in the current talk of shifting “from success to significance”) will end in disappointment.
- Nothing short of God’s call can ground and fulfill the truest human desire for purpose.
- Calling is the truth that God calls us to himself so decisively that everything we are, everything we do, and everything we have is invested with a special devotion and dynamism lived out as a response to his summons and service.
- Answering the call is the way to find and fulfill the central purpose of your life—God’s purpose for your life.