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

  • Help! I’m Irritated with My Work-From-Home Husband. Amy Dimarcangelo answers a question from a wife who is feeling envy over how meaningful and interesting her now working from home husband’s work is compared to hers.
  • Vocational Stewardship for the Common Good. Amy Sherman writes “Churches need to do better at teaching their members about ‘vocational stewardship’ – seeing their jobs also as God’s provision, and deploying their talents through their work in ways that express love of neighbor.”
  • Reflections on the Pandemic’s Impact on Work. Our friend Russell Gehrlein reflects on some of the challenges that we face together in our work situations in response to this pandemic, reminds us of the kinds of valuable coworkers God provides to meet our human needs, and offers some hope grounded in a biblical perspective.
  • Resources for Work Disruption Related to COVID-19. The Global Faith & Work Initiative provides these helpful resources for those whose work has been disrupted due to the global pandemic.
  • Faith in a Time of High Anxiety. Hugh Whelchel writes “We believe that we are in control, the masters of our own destiny. Then, an event like this comes along, and as a society, we must confess we have no control over our current circumstances. At best, we can only control our reactions to the situation in which we find ourselves.”

Click on ‘Continue reading’ for:

  • More links to interesting articles
  • The Top 10 Faith and Work Quotes of the Week
  • My Review of “Failing Forward: Turning Mistakes into Stepping Stones for Success” by John Maxwell
  • Snippets from Os Guinness’ book “The Call: Finding and Fulfilling God’s Purpose For Your Life”

  • Productivity in a Pandemic. Daniel Patterson shares five guiding principles to help us better steward this time.
  • Productivity in a Pandemic. Nicholas T. Batzig writes “We ought to use this time of social distancing to diligently work, study, and manage our homes. We should also diligently attend to our devotional lives, our physical well-being, and our care for others.”
  • Rejoicing in the Good, the Bad and the Boring. Kathryn Feliciano writes “Christians are called to a life of joy. How can we reconcile this dissatisfaction in our work lives with the grand call to rejoice in the Lord?”

  • Where is the Church When You Lose Your Job? Matt Rusten writes “Given the unique challenges of those without work, how might the church help those going through a job transition?”
  • Where’s God When COVID-19 Kills My Business? Dave Harvey writes “When we bring our doubts and weaknesses to him, we’ll discover some surprising purposes for the pain of pandemics. During these times, his promises take priority, and we are reminded he is present to comfort us and to position us to comfort others with the very comfort we received. Even during a pandemic.”
  • Is Calling Some Jobs Essential a Helpful Way of Speaking? Matt Perman writes “The ‘non-essential workers’ are doing things that are important and must be done. They are, in other words, doing truly essential things. They are just not doing things that are as urgent as those in the category being called “essential.” Out of respect for all types of work, and all types of lawful careers, I would therefore suggest a better term is “urgent” workers, rather than “essential” workers.”

  • 22 Leadership Skills of Dr. Anthony Fauci. I am grateful for the work of Dr. Anthony Fauci (and Dr. Deborah Birx) during this time. Brian Dodd shares this list of attributes about Dr. Fauci, which provides a framework for the type of leader we should all wish to be.
  • The Motivation of a Leader. In this episode of the Andy Stanley Leadership Podcast, he continues his discussion with Patrick Lencioni about the motive of a leader.
  • Serving Others in a Difficult Time. Ken Blanchard writes “Servant leaders can help others work through this stressful situation by serving them in three ways: sharing information, listening to people’s concerns, and being a bearer of hope.”

Quotes about Faith and Work

  • We are to see work as a way of service to God and our neighbor, and so we should both choose and conduct our work in accordance with that purpose. Tim Keller
  • Many of us fight to find purpose and greatness outside of God, but it is only through him that we find it. Lecrae
  • In the Christian view, the way to find your calling is to look at the way you were created. Your gifts have not emerged by accident, but because the Creator gave them to you. Tim Keller
  • A job pays the bills; a calling fits our gifts and interests. Dan Doriani
  • We were created to work, and not just for the good of our own lives, but in willing and joyful submission to the One who created us. Paul Tripp
  • God is glorified when we serve Him in our proper vocations. Charles Spurgeon
  • There may be no better way to love your neighbor, whether you are writing parking tickets, software, or books, than to simply do your work. Tim Keller
  • In America, leaders crave recognition and credit. In Jesus, leaders think less of themselves, and give credit to others. Scott Sauls
  • Every local church has a vast potential for promoting the common good in and through each congregant’s vocational calling. Tom Nelson

FAITH AND WORK BOOK REVIEW:

Failing Forward: Turning Mistakes into Stepping Stones for Success by John Maxwell. Harper Collins Leadership, reprint edition. 236 pages. 2007
***

The author, a recognized expert on leadership, states that he wrote this book to change our attitude about failure. He tells us that the question is not if you will have problems, but how you are going to deal with your problems. Are you going to fail forward or backward?
Like all of Maxwell’s books, this one is easy to read and practical. He uses helpful quotes and stories to illustrate his sixteen main points, which he summarizes at the end of each chapter with “Steps to Failing Forward”.
Maxwell tells us that he knows of only one factor that separates those who consistently shine from those who don’t: The difference between average people and achieving people is their perception of and response to failure. Are you going to fail forward or backward? If you really want to achieve your dreams, you have to get out there and fail. Fail early, fail often, but always fail forward. Turn your mistakes into stepping-stones for success.
Among the subjects covered in the book that I found most helpful were our attitudes, mistakes, risk, strengths and weaknesses, being stuck in the fear cycle and on the failure highway, changing within, adding value to others, achieving our dreams or goals, and making failure your friend. This would be a good book to read and discuss with others.
Below are some of my favorite quotes from the book.

  • Failure is simply a price we pay to achieve success.
  • Mistakes don’t define failure. They are merely the price of achievement on the success journey.
  • The best bet for failing forward is developing and maximizing your strengths.
  • Every failure you experience is a fork in the road. It’s an opportunity to take the right action, learn from your mistakes, and begin again.
  • The only way to exit the failure freeway and see the new territory of achievement is to take full responsibility for yourself and your mistakes.
  • No matter how daunting the circumstances of your life may be, the greatest battle you wage against failure occurs on the inside, not the outside. If you want to achieve, you have to win the war in your thinking first. You can’t let the failure outside you get inside you.
  • No one ever achieved his dreams working outside his areas of gifting. To excel, do what you do well.
  • To add value to others, you need to start putting others ahead of yourself in your mind and heart.
  • Be more concerned with what you can give rather than what you can get because giving truly is the highest level of living.
  • To achieve your dreams, you must embrace adversity and make failure a regular part of your life. If you’re not failing, you’re probably not really moving forward.
  • Risk must be evaluated not by the fear it generates in you or the probability of your success, but by the value of the goal.
  • If you want to increase your odds of success, you have to take chances.
  • If you repeatedly use your failures as springboards to success, then failure can become your best friend.
  • By far the greatest single obstacle to success that I see in others is a poor understanding of people.
  • Work on the weakness that weakens you, and there’s no telling how far you will go.
  • More than anything else, having a sense of purpose keeps a person going in the midst of adversity.
  • If you desire to succeed, realize that there’s not much difference between success and failure. If you are willing to be doggedly persistent, you can be a success.
  • If you really want to achieve your dreams, you have to get out there and fail. Fail early, fail often, but always fail forward. Turn your mistakes into stepping-stones for success.

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.

Here are a few takeaways from Chapter 18: There But for the Grace of God Goes God: 

  • (There is) a darker side of calling we must face: The reverse side of calling is the temptation of conceit.
  • Chosenness and conceit have grown so close that many people confuse the two.
  • Conceit twists calling in two characteristic ways. First, people who are called are especially vulnerable to pride because of the very nobility of calling. Second, we who are called are vulnerable to a special form of pride because of our desire to wean ourselves from human audiences and live before the Audience of One.
  • The practical outcome of such conceit in Christian organizations today is lack of genuine accountability for leaders. All too often such leaders have no tough-minded peers to hold them to account.
  • Do you think you are worthy of God’s call? Do you act as if calling was for you alone, designed exclusively for your wishes, dreams, plans, titles, and achievements? Or do you know yourself so well that you know beyond a shadow of a doubt calling is all a gift and all of grace?

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: Reflections on the Pandemic’s Impact on Work | Reflections on Theological Topics of Interest

  2. Pingback: Reflections on the Pandemic’s Impact on Work | Reflections on Theological Topics of Interest

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