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

  • Where is God When I’ve Been Fired. Russell Gehrlein writes “There are no easy answers when a person loses their job. However, knowing and trusting that God will provide for his children and that he will work all things out for good can give us hope, peace, and rest as we navigate the rough waters ahead.”
  • When Has My Career Become My Idol? On this episode of the Ask Pastor John podcast, John Piper responds to the question “At what point does vocational diligence become corrupting idolatry?”
  • Your Daily Commute is One Way God Transforms You. Denise Daniels and Shannon Vandewarker write “When you commute to work, you likely take a similar route each day. To implement a liturgy of commute, you can use the landmarks and cross streets of your route as a trigger for engaging with God.”
  • Bearing Fruit in Every Good Work. Clay Randall writes “Tom Nelson suggests that there are three types of fruit: the fruit of intimacy, the fruit of character, and the fruit of contribution. I believe these categories are helpful and logically flow from one to the next.”
  • How to Become a Servant Leader in Your Organization. Dee Ann Turner shares four ways in which to become a servant leader.
  • How to Read Your Job Well. Steve Lindsey writes “Have you ever considered reading your work? This type of reading requires discovering wisdom about what practices and principles best apply to your unique job.”

Click on ‘Continue reading’ for:

  • More links to interesting articles
  • The Top 10 Faith and Work Quotes of the Week
  • My Review of Called to Lead: 26 Leadership Lessons from the Life of the Apostle Paul by John MacArthur
  • Snippets from Os Guinness’ book “The Call: Finding and Fulfilling God’s Purpose For Your Life”

  • Advice for Christians Who Work on Sundays. In this episode of the Ask Pastor John podcast, John Piper responds to the question “What wisdom could you give to us with jobs that require weekend work?”
  • Four Noise-Canceling Habits for Leaders. On this episode of the Andy Stanley Leadership Podcast, Clay Scroggins, author of How to Lead in a World of Distraction, joins Stanley to discuss why it’s so important for leaders to turn down the noise low enough and long enough to be ruthlessly curious of their emotions.
  • How Can I Possibly Rest From My Labor? Russell Gehrlein shares this excerpt from his excellent book Immanuel Labor – God’s Presence in Our Profession. He writes “The Sabbath is critical to our understanding of a theology of work because God put a lot of emphasis on it for His people.”
  • Twelve Principles of Leadership Inspired by Jesus. Ron Edmondson writes “The principles which I admire most are found in the leadership style of Jesus. Jesus’ leadership is still impacting culture today”.
  • Stacking Salt for the Light of the World. Dan Darling writes “Understanding the connection between our work and love of neighbor also breathes new life into our Monday routines, especially on those days when it seems your work is unappreciated by your superiors or when the marketplace isn’t rewarding your rigor with a bump in salary. We should care about our work because our work is a gift to those around us.
  • Three Ways to be a Church for Monday. Svetlana Papazov writes “When churches for Monday open their doors every day of the week and not just on Sunday, they impact their community. This has worked well for us, and I hope that our ways spark your imagination and that you will discover additional ways to address the 8-to-5 Monday-to-Friday window.”

Quotes about Faith and Work

  • In many cases a clear sense of calling comes only through a time of searching, including trial and error. Os Guinness
  • The Christian doctrine of vocation approaches these issues in a completely different way. Instead of “what job shall I choose?” the question becomes “what is God calling me to do?” Our vocation is not something we choose for ourselves. It is something to which we are called. Gene Veith
  • We were built for work and the dignity it gives us as human beings, regardless of its status or pay. Tim Keller
  • My calling, as I understand it, is to use whatever gifts I’ve been given to tell the truth as beautifully as I can. Andrew Peterson
  • If required to choose between the two, I would much rather follow a humble leader than a supremely gifted one. Scott Sauls
  • My goal at the end of each day is to feel satisfied because I gave my very best, but my goal at the beginning of each day is to be dissatisfied enough to try to improve on yesterday. John Maxwell
  • The best thing you can do is to keep your nose to the grindstone, to remember that it takes a lot of work to hone your gift into something useful, and that you have to learn to enjoy the work—especially the parts you don’t enjoy. Maybe that’s the answer to a successful career. Andrew Peterson
  • Our vocations are one avenue for doing God’s work in the world. Tim Keller
  • Since we were made to glorify God, worship happens when someone is doing exactly what he or she was made to do. Andrew Peterson

FAITH AND WORK BOOK REVIEW:

Called to Lead: 26 Leadership Lessons from the Life of the Apostle Paul by John MacArthur. Thomas Nelson. 240 pages. 2010
****

In this book, which was previously titled The Book on Leadership, pastor John MacArthur tells us that according to Jesus, the truest kind of leadership demands service, sacrifice, and selflessness. Leaders who look to Christ as their leader and their supreme model of leadership will have servants’ hearts. He tells us that all Christians in every kind of leadership (church, business, sports, etc.), are called to be spiritual leaders.
He tells us that the world is crying out for leaders—great heroic, noble, trustworthy leaders, and that if godly men and women will step out and lead, people are prepared to follow the right kind of example. He writes that we won’t find a better leadership model than the apostle Paul. Paul was a true leader of people, and his leadership rose to the occasion in every conceivable situation.
This book is based largely on biographical material from the life of the apostle Paul from Acts 27 and 2 Corinthians in the New Testament. These passages show Paul at his best as a leader. The author begins with several chapters in Acts 27 examining how Paul’s leadership was manifest in the most unlikely of situations—in a shipwreck, where he was the lowest-ranking person onboard ship. The second part of the book examines principles of leadership from several key passages in 2 Corinthians. The third part of the book looks at two key passages, one from 1 Corinthians 9:24–27 and one from Acts 6:1–7. The author’s goal is to distill the biblical principles of leadership in a way that that is beneficial for all leaders.
The final three chapters look at what qualifies a leader to lead. The 26 characteristics of a true leader that are discussed in the book are summarized in the Appendix. A helpful Study Guide is included. This would be a good book to read and discuss with other leaders.
Below are 20 of my favorite quotes:

  • Leadership is not about style or technique as much as it is about character.
  • Great adversity can be turned to great advantage by the power of an influential leader.
  • When people are convinced you will do everything in your power for their good and nothing for their harm, they’ll trust you.
  • A real leader will work hard to make everyone around him successful. His passion is to help make the people under his leadership flourish. That is why a true leader must have the heart of a servant.
  • If you can show people you truly have their best interests at heart, they’ll follow you.
  • A real leader’s aim is to make everyone around him better. He makes them stronger, more effective, and more motivated.
  • Optimistic enthusiasm inspires followers. People will naturally follow a leader who arouses their hopes, and they will just as surely back away from someone who is perpetually pessimistic.
  • True leadership is tested and proved in crises. The real leader is the one who can handle the stress.
  • Leadership is influence. It is a matter of ability, not position.
  • Real leaders have a clear understanding of what is absolute and what is negotiable, and they hold the line on the principles that truly matter.
  • Loyalty is essential to leadership. The wise leader cultivates loyalty by being loyal—loyal to the Lord, loyal to the truth, and loyal to the people he leads.
  • Those who are unsure of their own vocation cannot possibly be effective leaders.
  • No competent leader is going to be anxious to impress people with his credentials.
  • The great and encouraging reality of our calling as spiritual leaders is this: Knowing our weakness isn’t a disadvantage; it is essential to what we do as leaders.
  • No one who lacks the courage of basic convictions can possibly be an effective leader.
  • The more effective you are as a leader, the more the enemy will bring the battle to you. That is the nature of leadership.
  • The real, influential leaders are the ones who devote themselves to personal discipline and make the most of their gifts.
  • No leader ever ought to feel immune from personal failure.
  • Your own priorities, not someone else’s emergencies, should determine what you do and what you delegate to others.
  • People will not rise above the spiritual level of their leadership.

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

This week we look at Chapter 10 “A Time to Stand” in Os Guinness’s book The Call: Finding and Fulfilling God’s Purpose for Your Life. Here are a few takeaways from the chapter:

  • Calling is indispensable to the integrity and effectiveness of the church in this momentous hour.
  • Calling is more than purely cultural, but it is also more than purely personal.
  • Discover the meaning of calling and you discover the heart of the gospel itself.
  • Many followers of Jesus today have not begun to wrestle with the full dimensions of the truth of calling because they have not been stretched by the real challenges of today’s world and by the momentousness of the present hour.
  • The truth of calling is more than personal. It is one of the strongest grounds for an unshakable confidence that the good news of Jesus will prevail.

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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