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

  • Thank God It’s Monday. On this episode of the Gospel Coalition podcast, Collin Hansen interviews Tom Nelson, president of Made to Flourish, and author of Work Matters and The Economics of Neighborly Love.
  • Finding God’s Purpose in a Job You Hate. David Goetsch writes “Your job, no matter what kind of work you do, is a gift from God, even if you hate your job.”
  • Christian Women on the Job: Excelling at Work without Compromising Your Faith. You may be interested in the new book by David Goetsch and Karen Moore Christian Women on the Job: Excelling at Work without Compromising Your Faith. I have previously benefitted from David’s book Christians on the Job: Winning at Work Without Compromising Your Faith.

Click on ‘Continue reading’ for:

    • More links to interesting articles
    • The Top 10 Faith and Work Quotes of the Week
    • My Review of Eat Mor Chikin: Inspire More People by S. Truett Cathy
    • Snippets from Os Guinness’ book “The Call: Finding and Fulfilling God’s Purpose For Your Life”

  • Navigating the Needle’s Eye: The 40-Year Story of Marketplace Ministry. Buddy Childress writes “Today’s mission field is the workplace, an arena where most of us spend 60 percent of our waking hours. Business people impact culture. Redeemed business people can and should change culture.”
  • Fine-Tuning Our Theology of Work. Richard Dorster interviews Dan Doriani about his new book Work: Its Purpose, Dignity, and Transformation, my top book of 2019.
  • Tear Down This Wall. Bill Peel writes “In order for “belief to become reality” we must not only work to eradicate the wall between sacred and secular, we must erect bridges that bring secular and sacred together, foster whole-life faith, and help Christ-followers close the gap between Sunday worship and Monday work.”
  • Can I Return to a Field I Left? Russell Gehrlein, author of Immanuel Labor – God’s Presence in our Profession: A Biblical, Theological, and Practical Approach to the Doctrine of Work, writes “Navigating our careers is always a spiritual journey. God has promised to be present with us at every step of the way, whatever our circumstances.”
  • Love Does Not Delight in Workplace Sins. John Kyle writes “As we struggle with subtle sins at work, and as we silently gloat over the failings of our colleagues, we are reminded of this truth: We need a redeemer.
  • Steve Garber on Calling and Vocation. On this episode of the Faith and Work podcast, Steve Garber, professor of marketplace theology at Regent College in Vancouver, talks about the vision for vocation.
  • How Not to Find a Mentor. Chris Nye writes “I’ve spent more than a decade in pastoral ministry, and now 20-somethings often ask me for advice on how to find mentors. Here are five bits of advice I offer in terms of what not to do.”
  • Navigating Callings Within Marriage. In this three-minute video, Erik and Donna Thoennes share insights on how Christian spouses can encourage each other to fulfill their vocational and ministry callings.
  • Four Traits Outstanding Leaders Have in Common. Dave Kraft writes “What does excellent leadership really look like? How would you personally define excellent leadership? What qualities are high on your list?” What might you add to his list?
  • From Home to the Public Square: How to be Salt for the World. Gage Arnold writes “Whatever the work assignment you are called to in this season, you represent saltiness in the way you work.

Quotes about Faith and Work

  • In the skills we express, in the products we make, in the way we work, in the impact of our labors on society and on the relationships affected by our work, we are instruments of God’s redeeming work in a broken world. Bryan Chapell
  • Though the world has its ways, its status games and career ladders, with good jobs and bad jobs, great wealth and the minimum wage, to the Lord all vocations are equal in status. Gene Veith
  • Mission includes our secular vocations, not just church ministry. Tim Keller
  • Work gives us dignity, because work itself is dignified. When we begin to understand God’s perspective on work, and realize that is actually a form of worship. Bryan Chapell
  • So, the life of faith is all about rest and work. We rest in God’s presence and constant care (vertical), and we toil with our hands, busy at the work we have been commanded to do (horizontal). We rest in our work and work in our rest. Paul Tripp
  • Your calling, when you find and embrace it, will result in the merging of your skills, talents, character traits, and experiences. John Maxwell
  • No Christian ought to be slothful in his ordinary work. Charles Spurgeon
  • Our daily work can be a calling only if it is reconceived as God’s assignment to serve others. Tim Keller
  • Your job, no matter what kind of work you do, is a gift from God, even if you hate your job. David Goetsch
  • Retirement from a lifelong vocation can be difficult, especially for those with Protestant work ethics. Properly, though, the laying down of a vocation after many years of work is a kind of Sabbath, a kind of reward for service rendered. Gene Veith

FAITH AND WORK BOOK REVIEW

Eat Mor Chikin: Inspire More People by S. Truett Cathy. Looking Glass Books. 200 pages. 2002
****

There may be no organization I respect more than Chick fil-A. Truett Cathy, the founder of Chick fil-A, who died in 2014, writes that the lesson of his life is to take advantage of unexpected opportunities and that the history of Chick fil-A is a series of unexpected opportunities. When they responded to them, they often found themselves richly blessed. To take advantage of unexpected opportunities, you must leave yourself available. These opportunities almost always carry with them the chance to be a faithful steward and to influence others positively.
He tells his life story beginning with being born in Eatonton, Georgia in 1921. His nearly destitute parents left the rural life for better opportunities in Atlanta when Truett was three. His father sold insurance policies and collected premiums, but never made enough from that work to support his family. The Depression and his inability to support his family financially would affect him deeply. He was very hard on his family and seemed to take joy in lashing out at his wife with his tongue. Truett did not have a good relationship with his father, with neither of them ever telling the other that they loved them. As a result, his mother, a hard worker, took in boarders. Years later, Truett would use her concepts of marinating and cooking chicken when he developed the Chick-fil-A chicken sandwich.
Truett began selling Coca-Colas door to door when he was eight years old. He would later have a paper route, which he maintained until he went into the Army. It was with his paper route that he first realized the importance of taking care of the customer, something that helped him when he got into the restaurant business.
After World War II, Truett and his brother Ben opened a restaurant called the Dwarf Grill (later renamed the Dwarf House) in 1946. From the beginning, the brothers chose to close on Sundays so that they could attend church, where Truett would also teach thirteen-year-old boys in Sunday School, something he would do for many years. He writes that the key to their success was their commitment, indicating that when we’re fully committed, strange and unusual things happen. Sadly, Ben and his other brother Horace, would die in a plane crash in 1949.
Truett would marry Jeannette, who had a positive impact on his and their three children’s spiritual lives.
A second Dwarf House would burn down. After that, Truett would come up with a secret recipe for his famous chicken sandwich, which was initially sold through other restaurants.  Later, concerned about the consistent quality of the sandwiches, Truett would open his first Chick-fil-A restaurant, in a shopping mall in 1967. Their first standalone restaurant opened in 1986 and opened licensed restaurants on college campuses, business, hospitals, etc. in 1992. Chick-fil-A is now one of the largest privately-owned restaurant chains in the country.
He discusses the “loyalty effect” that has been created through a unique relationship with the Chick-fil-A operators. Chick-fil-A’s Corporate Purpose is:

To glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us.

To have a positive influence on all who come in contact with Chick-fil-A.  

It was interesting to read about the successful 1995 billboard advertising campaign that introduced the Eat Mor Chikin Cows, that are now so associated with the organization.
Below are some of the philosophies or principles that make Chick-fil-A such a successful and respected organization:

  • One of the most important principles Chick-fil-A lives by is that the family of the operators must come first.
  • Loyalty begins with trust. Truett’s policy has always been to select trustworthy people, and then trust them.
  • Success in any relationship or endeavor begins with trust. It’s amazing how much you can accomplish when you trust the people around you and they trust you.
  • The most important job an operator has is selecting their people.
  • When we hire, we always look for people who work well with others. Work habits and history are important.
  • Most people feel that this is more than just a job. They feel either a divine call or the satisfaction of a desire to make a difference in the world. They feel a sense of significance.
  • A positive attitude is important.
  • Everyone from the operator to the newest hire must be willing to do any job in the restaurant: prepare food, wash dishes, mop floors, clean restrooms.
  • Customers don’t want surprises. We give them what they expect when they come in – consistent quality.
  • It is when we stop doing our best work that our enthusiasm for the job wanes. We must motivate ourselves to do our very best and by our example lead others to do their very best.
  • To continue making a positive impact on the people around us, we must avoid complacency is all aspects of our lives.

Throughout the book, Truett shares many interesting stories. He is passionate about his work with foster children and the WinShape Centre. Sprinkled throughout the book are testimonies from several Chick-fil-A operators (store owners) about the principles of the organization that impact the day to day operation of their restaurants.

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

This week we look at Chapter 11: “Let God Be God” in Os Guinness’ book The Call: Finding and Fulfilling God’s Purpose for Your Life. Here are a few takeaways from the chapter:

  • Words are the deepest, fullest expression in which God now discloses himself to us, beginning with his calling us.
  • So, it is in listening to him, trusting him, and obeying him when he calls that we “let God be God” in all of his awe and majesty.
  • God’s primary call, his address to us, always has two dimensions: summons and invitation, law and grace, demand and offer.
  • Do you know only the soft-gospel invitation of our convenience-loving age, or have you been mastered by the no-concession summons of God’s call?
  • At its heart, the modern world is a decisive challenge to the authority of God outside our private lives.

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.

3 thoughts on “FAITH AND WORK: Connecting Sunday to Monday

  1. Bill,

    Would you mind checking the hyperlinks in today’s blog? Mine did not seem to work: “nothing found”. Most of the others yielded the same results. Only the very first one worked for me.

    Thanks.

    Russ

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