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

  • 6 Questions to Ask About Working After Retirement. Jeff Haanen shares six questions to ask – and choices to make – as you make a plan to work after retirement.
  • Called to Write – Helping Others Walk in God’s Presence. Russell Gehrlein discusses his calling as a writer.
  • 4 Ways to Set Effective Goals in 2020. Eric Geiger writes “Here are four ways to ensure you are setting the best goals. Set goals for your whole life, in community, with a plan, and ultimately with a focus on the greater goal.”
  • How to Fight Envy in the Workplace. Gage Arnold responds to the question “How can I know if I just need to settle down and be content, or if I’m in the wrong job and should be looking for something where I can be brilliant?”
  • Making Wise Career Choices in 2020. Matt Perman suggests three things to help us make wise career choices, even if we don’t know what we are passionate about.
  • IFWE’s Top Ten Blogs of 2019. Kristin Brown shares 2019’s top ten blog posts from the Institute for Faith, Work & Economics (IFWE), which includes “Trusting God in New Job Assignments” from our friend Russell Gehrlein.
  • Podcast: Help! I Hate My Job. In this episode of the Crossway Podcast, Jim Hamilton, author of Work and Our Labor in the Lord, joins Matt Tully and discusses what to do when you hate your job. He offers encouragement for those frustrated in their work, reflects on God’s original intention for work at creation, and explains the difference between a job and a vocation.

Click on ‘Continue reading’ for:

    • More links to interesting articles
    • The Top 10 Faith and Work Quotes of the Week
    • My Review of Taking God to Work: The Keys to Ultimate Success by Steve Reynolds and David L. Winters
    • Snippets from Os Guinness’ book “The Call: Finding and Fulfilling God’s Purpose For Your Life”

Top 10 Faith and Work Quotes of the Week

  • Let’s go to work for the same reason we go to church: to glorify God, to praise the risen Christ, to humble ourselves in His presence. Chris Larson
  • A company’s culture is the expression of the values of the people within the organization. It is the sum of the behavior of the people, not a reflection of what you want it to be. John Maxwell
  • Whether our work is paid or not paid, our work is to glorify God, honor others, and add value to their lives. Tom Nelson
  • All honest work is dignified if we love our neighbors and strive to serve God in it. Dan Doriani
  • It can take thirty years to build a reputation, and only five minutes to ruin it. Alistair Begg
  • Work was created to be an expression of our identity, not the source of our identity. Jeff Haanen
  • Leadership is not about being in charge. Leadership is about looking after those in our charge. Simon Sinek
  • If we don’t trust one another, then we aren’t going to engage in open, constructive, ideological conflict. And we’ll just continue to preserve a sense of artificial harmony. Patrick Lencioni
  • The imitation of Christ that is integral to following him means that, when he calls us, he enables us to do what he calls us to do. Os Guinness

FAITH AND WORK BOOK REVIEW:

Taking God to Work: The Keys to Ultimate Success by Steve Reynolds and David L. Winters. DAVIWIN. 280 pages. 2018
***

The co-authors of this book are Steve Reynolds, pastor of Capital Baptist Church in Annandale, Virginia, and David Winters, who worked more than 30 years as a federal employee and manager. Having a pastor and a marketplace leader co-write the book is not unlike what Greg Gilbert and Sebastian Traeger did with their The Gospel at Work: How the Gospel Gives New Purpose and Meaning to Our Jobs, one of my favorite books on integrating faith and work.  
This book is very practical, and covers a large number of subjects concerning our work as believers, including some areas not covered by other books in the genre (such as the way we handle our personal finances, mistakes in our work, spiritual opposition, etc.). I appreciated the way in which the book was organized, with a helpful “Summary” at the end of each chapter, followed by a short “Spotlight Feature” which focused on a believer in the workplace, “Spotlight Questions”, “Study Questions” and a prayer. Including the “Study Questions” makes this very readable and practical book a good one to read and discuss with others who are wanting to better serve God in their work.
The author’s purpose in writing is to equip the reader to make the most of your work life and help create long-term success for you based on biblical principles. I cringe a little with talk of “success”, preferring that we be faithful in our work. Dan Doriani in his excellent new book Work: It’s Purpose, Dignity and Transformation, tells us that “Scripture speaks most often of faithfulness, not fulfillment, in labor.”
The authors tell us that the primary purpose of work has been for men and women to take care of God’s world and each other. They encourage us to look beyond our earthly boss and see the Father as our employer. They state that any legitimate work that involves caring for people and doesn’t involve sin is part of God’s plan to care for the world. They encourage us to invite God’s presence into our workspace, a subject Russell Gehrlein addressed at length in his fine book
Immanuel Labor—God’s Presence in Our Profession: A Biblical, Theological, and Practical Approach to the Doctrine of Work.
Some of the sections of the book I found of most value were temptations at work (both of an external nature and those that come from our own internal fallen nature), deciding when to change jobs, living a balanced life and rest, relationship issues (working with difficult people), stress (fear and worry), mistakes in our work, and retirement.
This is not a deeply theological look at work from a Christian perspective, but a very practical book filled with helpful stories and illustrations.

Below are 10 of my favorite quotes from the book:

  1. God meant for us to be workers, whether we work at a job, by volunteering, or at home in the family.
  2. As employees within a company or organization, we have the responsibility to treat all people equally, whether or not they adhere to our belief system.
  3. Work is not a curse from God but is a gift from God.
  4. Our efforts should reflect the glory of God in everything we do.
  5. God wants us to pursue excellence in everything we do.
  6. God instructed us to rest one day each week. From the beginning, His plan included rest.
  7. The biggest work problems are people problems. In fact, most people change jobs because of relationship issues.
  8. When we say goodbye to our workplace or our career, perhaps the most important thing is to know we tried our best to please God each day.
  9. Until God calls you to your eternal home, you have not completed your earthly work.
  10. Retiring from a career should just be a transition to even more rewarding service.

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 Chapter 13: “Our Utmost for His Highest Still”.
Here are a few takeaways from the chapter:

  • Search as you will, there is no higher or more ultimate passion than a human being ablaze with a desire for God.
  • God’s calling is the key to igniting a passion for the deepest growth and highest heroism in life.
  • God’s call always challenges us directly to rise to our full stature as human beings.
  • As we respond to the call of our Creator, we rise to our feet, not only physically but also in every sense of the word, to be the people he alone knows we are capable of being.
  • God’s call resonates in us at depths no other call can reach and draws us on and out and up to heights no other call can scale or see.
  • The imitation of Christ that is integral to following him means that, when he calls us, he enables us to do what he calls us to do.

Author: Bill Pence

I’m Bill Pence ~ married to my best friend for more than 40 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.

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

  1. Pingback: Called to Write – Helping Others Walk in God’s Presence | Reflections on Theological Topics of Interest

  2. Pingback: Experiencing God’s Presence in my Military Service (Part 1) | Reflections on Theological Topics of Interest

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