Faith and Work News ~ Links to Interesting Articles
- God, Why Did You Give Me This (One, Lousy) Talent? Hugh Whelchel writes “While God calls each of us to work and gives each of us what we need to do that work, what and how much he gives is not the same for all.”
- A Biblical Perspective on Business. My friend Russell Gehrlein, author of Immanuel Labor: God’s Presence in Our Profession, writes “One of the things I came to learn in my research on this topic was that business is neither inherently good nor evil. It has the potential to be both.”
- Restlessness at Work: Is It a Good Thing? Michelle Van Loon writes “Healthy restlessness in our work sparks in us an ongoing, holy curiosity about our lives and service to God. It births questions in prayer like, “How am I to honor you in my work today?”, “What am I to do about this relational conflict I’m experiencing?”, and “Father, what do I need to learn next about you, myself, and my workplace neighbors?”
Click on ‘Continue reading’ for:
- More links to interesting articles
- The Top 10 Faith and Work Quotes of the Week
- My Review of Win the Heart: How to Create a Culture of Full Engagement by Mark Miller
- Snippets from Os Guinness’ book The Call: Finding and Fulfilling God’s Purpose For Your Life.
- When God is Silent: Workplace Confessions. Matthew Kaemingk writes “Presence and identity affect our relationship with God more than we realize. We often fail to see how God’s steadfast presence changes our day-to-day working lives. And rather than success, fame, or fortune, what does it look like to find our deepest working identity in God and God alone?”
- How to Discern God’s Will in Your Workplace. Sarah Eekhoff Zylstra writes “Christians in business—especially those whose choices affect employees and company direction—often wrestle with how to follow God in their decisions.”
- Workism is Making Americans Miserable. Derek Thompson writes “The economists of the early 20th century did not foresee that work might evolve from a means of material production to a means of identity production. They failed to anticipate that, for the poor and middle class, work would remain a necessity; but for the college-educated elite, it would morph into a kind of religion, promising identity, transcendence, and community. Call it workism.”
- Why People No Longer Consider Work a Calling. Art Lindsley writes “The Bible teaches that you are called out of your own selfishness to love and serve God and others in specific ways. However, even many believers fail to know this is true.”
- Transforming Troublesome Coworker Behaviors. David L. Winters writes “We can’t save the entire world, but God placed us alongside our coworkers to be a light. By helping individuals find more productive behaviors, we have great power to transform our workplace.”
- Love Your Competitor as Yourself. Greg Forster writes “Scripture demands that we love our neighbors, including those who are inconvenient to us. But most people’s daily work takes place in an aggressive marketplace. Companies are under enormous pressure to beat their competitors. Can Christians love their neighbors while striving to outdo them?”
- What is Workplace Faith? Randy Kilgore writes “Three myths continue to persist among Christians who go to work in places other than churches every weekday morning.”
- Calling Versus Business Decision. Rick West writes “He then chuckled and said that I was not processing God’s Calling for my life, but that I was making a business decision.”
- What Does a Leader Do? Matt Perman writes “A great leader does not control people, he rallies them. He rallies them to realize and bring about a vision of a better future.”
- There are five nonnegotiable characteristics that every effective leader must have: a sense of calling, an ability to communicate, creativity in problem solving, generosity, and consistency. John Maxwell
- By its very nature, Christian leadership involves extolling the glory and beauty of God above all else. Tim Keller
- A different reason to rest is to be so satisfied with your work, so utterly satisfied, that you can leave it alone. Tim Keller
- The gospel frees us from a condescending attitude toward less sophisticated labor and from envy over more exalted work. Tim Keller
- To add value to others, one must first value others. John Maxwell
- Biblical leadership is quick to repent of wrongs, slow to accuse others & hungry for reconciliation. Wisdom from above sows seeds of peace. Michael Horton
- Believing that God is your creator means you don’t belong to you. You were created for his purpose and his glory. What would it look like to live that way today? Paul Tripp
- Humble leaders serve others; arrogant leaders serve themselves. Dan Rockwell
- All work done well and for God’s glory is Christian work. Dorothy Sayers
FAITH AND WORK BOOK REVIEW:
Win the Heart: How to Create a Culture of Full Engagement by Mark Miller. Barrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc. 146 pages. 2019
In the fourth book of his High Performance series, written as a leadership fable, Mark Miller tells us that CEO Blake Brown notices that something isn’t right. His organization’s performance has plateaued, the competition is gaining ground, and yet he feels that nobody seems to notice. Instead, the employees just seem to be going through the motions. They are not fully engaged. And if people see their work as just a job, why would they bring their full, best self to work? In discussing this problem, Blake and his team settle on a definition of engagement being “level of care”.
Blake and his team decide to send an employee engagement survey to their employees. The lack of response to the initial request speaks volumes about their lack of engagement. After a meeting with employees encouraging them to complete the survey, the results that came back were staggering. According to the vendor who administered the assessment, the engagement was awful, tragically low.
Blake seeks out his first mentor Debbie Brewster for advice. In the course of that meeting, he finds out that his father had spent years studying the topic of engagement and his plan was to write a book about what he was learning, but he died before he could do so.
Blake then visits with his Mom who gives him the box of materials that his father was accumulating for the book. What Blake and his wife Megan find in the box makes no sense to them at first, and they decide to organize the pieces on their basement wall like a police detective might. They soon get enough clarity from the clues to make five trips – to Selma, Alabama where they get the first piece of the puzzle – Connection. They then travel to Italy, where they get the second piece – Environment. Their next stop is Greece, where they get their third piece – Affirmation. They then stop in Green Bay, Wisconsin, where they get their fourth piece – Responsibility. Blake brings their findings back to his team who then try to find some real-life examples of these four characteristics, while Blake and Megan make a final brief trip to Texas.
Giving what Blake, Megan and his team now know, can they turn the ship around and increase employee engagement? Right now, employee skepticism is high and trust is low.
This would be an excellent book for leaders to read and discuss with their teams. Mark Miller gives us an interesting story and a challenge for all of us to increase engagement with our teams, whether they be in business, non-profit, sports, church, etc.
Faith and Work Book Club – Won’t you read along with us?
This week we continue reading through the 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 Chapter 2: Seekers Sought. Here are two good quotes from that chapter:
- We cannot find God without God. We cannot reach God without God. We cannot satisfy God without God—which is another way of saying that our seeking will always fall short unless God’s grace initiates the search and unless God’s call draws us to him and completes the search.
- What brings us home is not our discovery of the way home but the call of the Father who has been waiting there for us all along, whose presence there makes home home.
Next time we’ll look at Chapter 3: Differences Make a Difference.