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

  • The Decline of Teamwork in Sports. Patrick Lencioni writes “Society might need to seek new models for teamwork outside of the world of sports, perhaps in the work of first responders, hospital emergency rooms, and healthy churches.”
  • Self-Denial ≠ Self-Destruction: When Do I Leave My Job? Charlie Self responds to a question about how to determine whether to stay put in a work environment, or pursue something else. He writes “There is no formula for guidance in difficulty at work, but there are biblical promises of wisdom as we seek God with all our hearts and cry out for grace (Prov. 2James 1:5). God delights in giving wisdom, and its fruits are peace and justice for ourselves and others. Before we leave a trying situation, have we done all we can to bring change that benefits the whole and not just our position?”
  • Dear Graduate, Discover Your Calling. Art Lindsley writes “Many people do not see themselves as significant, and do not have a vision for how God wants them to make a difference in the world using their unique gifts.”
  • Your Neighbor Needs Your Work. Andrew Jones writes “The purpose of our work, besides worship to God, is to love and serve our neighbor. God may want your work and designed you for it. But your neighbor needs your work.”

Click on ‘Continue reading’ for:
 More links to interesting articles
 The Top 10 Faith and Work Quotes of the Week
 My Review of Luke Bobo’s book Living Salty and Light-filled Lives in the Workplace
 Snippets from Os Guinness’ book The Call: Finding and Fulfilling God’s Purpose For Your Life

  • Created to Work and Rest for the Glory of God. In this sermon from Exodus 31, David Platt urges us to consider our work and our rest in light of God’s own character and actions. The God who finished His work of creation and then rested has made it possible for His people to work unto Him and to find rest in the gospel of Jesus Christ.
  • 3D Leadership. Harry Reeder writes “Christ-centered, gospel-saturated and Spirit-filled churches need to embrace the opportunity to once again become “Christian leadership factories,” whereby the church defines Christian leadership, develops Christian leaders, and deploys them into the world.”
  • Drilling Holes in Metal. Russell Gehrlein writes “God does in fact need people to drill holes in metal.” How does he know? Check out his article.
  • How to Work With People Who Are Smarter Than You. Joe Carter writes “You might be surprised to find there are benefits and advantages from never being the smartest person in the room. Here are some of the lessons I learned that might be helpful for you.”
  • It’s Time to Rethink Retirement. Jeff Haanen writes “A new generation of older Americans are seeing retirement as a chance to take a season of sabbatical rest in order to listen to God’s voice, rethink work, and commit to serving their families, neighbors, co-workers and communities as elders.”
  • Jeff Haanen on Rethinking Retirement. On this episode of the Faith & Work podcast, Dustin Moody talks with Jeff Haanen, author of the new book An Uncommon Guide to Retirement, and founder/executive director of Denver Institute for Faith & Work, about the ways people can plan for their calling in retirement, as well as their finances.
  • Work: It’s Purpose, Dignity, and Transformation. Tim Challies reviews Dan Doriani’s excellent new book Work: It’s Purpose, Dignity, and Transformation. He writes “Having read this book and benefited from it, I’m inclined to agree with D.A. Carson and to consider it the leading work on the subject. I gladly commend to every Christian.”
  • The Year I Didn’t Get Paid. Courtney Reissig writes “My year with no paycheck was hard on my identity but good for my soul. It brought to mind the things I hold true about work — it’s about contribution and it is rooted in being an image bearer of God. It gave me a renewed encouragement to see that “in the Lord, my labors are never in vain” (1 Cor 15:58). Hearing “well done” from the Lord is far greater than any money a paycheck can bring.”
  • How to Transition Well at Work. Gage Arnold writes “To transition well we must remind ourselves of the biblical storyline to best find our place in it and put our tensions in context. In fact, the Bible makes it abundantly clear transitions will be present.”

Quotes about Faith and Work

  • You will not have a meaningful life without work, but you will lose yourself if you say work is the meaning of your life. Tim Keller
  • Our work shapes and defines us. Dan Doriani
  • The antidote to compromise is simply this: work twice as hard on your character as you do on your competency. Carey Nieuwhof
  • Moral authority is the recognition of a person’s leadership influence based on who they are more than the position they hold. It is attained by authentic living that has built trust and it is sustained by successful leadership endeavors. It is earned by a lifetime of consistency. John Maxwell
  • Leaders who want to create a culture of humility, hunger, and people smarts in their organization should be constantly on the lookout for any displays of those virtues. And when they see those displays, they should hold them up as examples for everyone to see. Patrick Lencioni
  • Work is an expression of love because it’s the principal way we serve the needs of our neighbors. Jeff Haanen
  • Dare-to-Serve leaders create work environments that bring out the best in their people. Cheryl Bachelder
  • For Christians, work is fundamentally about contribution to others, not compensation; it’s an expression of our identity, but not the source of our identity; it’s about serving others, not personal success. Jeff Haanen
  • Work and achievement, without the peace of God in our lives through the Spirit, will never be enough. We need the God whose labor led to real rest (Genesis 2: 2) and the Savior who could even sleep through a storm (Mark 4: 38). Tim Keller

FAITH AND WORK BOOK REVIEW:

Living Salty and Light-filled Lives in the Workplace by Luke Bobo. Resource Publications. 108 pages. Second Edition, 2017
***

The author is the director of curriculum and resources with the respected Made to Flourish pastor’s organization. He writes that work is the most logical and likely place where Christians should be making the greatest impact. He tells us that God has called or appointed every Christian to three vocations or assignments: a “walking” vocation, a relational vocation, and a specific work vocation. He writes that every Christian has specific and divinely ordained work – in business, the home, non-profit, church, etc. And, whatever our specific calling, God has uniquely and divinely equipped each of us to perform this work assignment to His glory.
He tells us that all vocations that seek the common good of all have inherent dignity and worth. Every Christian has divinely appointed work assignments. He writes that when you do what you were divinely designed to do, the result must be contentment and exhilaration because you are working as designed.
He looks at those in leadership, employee and self-employed vocations. Having been in leadership positions throughout my career, I was particularly interested in his section on those in management positions. He encourages us to pray earnestly for men and women at all levels of management, indicating that it is not easy managing broken people. He states that Jesus instructs leaders to lead by serving others, just as He did.
He writes about the temptation of the love of money, reasons we choose not to be salt and light in the workplace, secularism and postmodernism.  When we live salty and light-filled lives in the workplace, others will witness or see our good works and give God our Father praise.
He looks at our work through the grand narrative of scripture: creation, fall, redemption and consummation. He tells us that in the new heavens and the new earth, we will experience work in a new way. Our work will be free of frustration, corruption, and heartache.  Our work is not in vain, it matters. He encourages us with advice given him by one of his former professors to “Live life now from the end of the story”. Our knowledge of the end times should inform our daily work. He encourages us to do our work so well that it might qualify—through the resurrecting power of God—to make it into the new creation.
The author includes helpful questions for reflection at the end of each chapter. Thus, this book is not only beneficial to read individually, but to read and discuss with a group.

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

The Call: Finding and Fulfilling God’s Purpose For Your Life by Os Guinness is the best book on calling for the Christian that I have read. The first time I read it was in Dr. Douglass’s wonderful “Spiritual and Ministry Formation” class at Covenant Seminary in 2013. In 2018, on the 20th anniversary of the book, Guinness published a revised and updated edition.

This week we’ll look at a few quotes from Chapter 5: God’s Grand Global Project

  • Abraham’s entire life was his response to the call of God, and as such, he is the prototype of God’s new humanity and God’s new way for humanity.
  • Time after time, Abraham heard the call of God, and he responded, immediately, obediently, and unerringly.
  • What marks him (Abraham) out as special, and lifts him above them all, was his faith—his quiet, unwavering trust in God, which led to his constant and immediate response to God’s call as the center and compass of his life.
  • From Abraham on, the life of faith in answer to the call of God is a matter of being guided only by a Voice.
  • Listening to God’s Word, rather than obeying visually triggered desires, lies at the heart of our faithfulness in following God’s call.
  • All who follow the life of faith in answer to God’s call must prize and protect the primacy of words, all words, but God’s Word above all.
  • Those who follow God’s call listen for his voice and to his voice.
  • God is love, and because of who God is, the call of God is a call to love and to live a life of love.
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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.

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