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

  • Now’s the Time for Rest. Dan Doriani writes “If we hope to endure without a burden of guilt or bad temper, we should rest. We need this God-given rhythm.”
  • Too Many Christian Workaholics. Paul Tripp writes “When you look to work for your identity, you will find it very hard to resist its challenges, demands, and promises of reward.”
  • What COVID-19 Lays Bare: Implications for Women’s Work. Joanna Meyer shares 4 Ways COVID-19 will change how we think about women’s work.
  • COVID-19 Reminds Us of the Humanizing Aspect of Work. Anthony Bradley writes “We need to be reminded why work matters for persons and their communities beyond its capacity to help people meet their personal financial obligations and businesses to remain open.”
  • 3 Essentials to Remember as You Go Back to Work. John Pletcher writes “Remember that work is our Father’s gracious gift. Remember our divine purpose, to serve others for his glory. And remember to “call it a day.” He did.”
  • Mission at Work. Enjoy this sermon series from Bryan Chapell, in which he deals with many workplace realities and challenges us to examine how the Bible applies to each, and to show that it is not only possible to live for Christ at work, but it is also every Christian’s mission.
  • The Theology of Work on Display During our Darkest Days. Russell Gehrlein writes “In the midst of this awful pandemic, it has been an extraordinary time to clearly see some of the basic tenets of the theology of work on display for all to see.”

Click on ‘Continue reading’ for:

  • More links to interesting articles
  • The Top 10 Faith and Work Quotes of the Week
  • My Review of “Great Leaders Grow: Becoming a Leader for Life” by Ken Blanchard and Mark Miller
  • Snippets from Os Guinness’ book “The Call: Finding and Fulfilling God’s Purpose For Your Life”

  • Does Our Ambition Honor God? Hugh Whelchel writes “If you are struggling with contentment at work, ask yourself what is motivating you. Are you seeking worldly or Godly ends? What are the means you are using to reach those ends?”
  • What is Your Calling? This episode of the Follower of One podcast looks at Acts 20:24. We’re all called to serve. Paul didn’t shrink from his ministry. Do we pursue our calling the way that Paul did?
  • What Does It Really Mean to Integrate Faith and Work? Jeff Haanen shares these five guiding principles from the Denver Institute for Faith & Work.
  • Thy Kingdom Come at Work? Mike Sharrow writes “What would it mean for followers of Jesus in the marketplace to embrace the invitation of the Lord’s Prayer in business?”

  • Work, all productive activity apart from rest and play, contributes to our fulfillment as God’s image-bearers. It is one of the primary ways we have been invited by God to participate in his mission to redeem, restore, and develop the world. Scott Sauls
  • Whatever you do for Christ, throw your whole soul into it. Do not give Christ a little halfhearted labor, done as a matter of course every now and then; but when you serve Him, do it with heart and soul and strength. Charles Spurgeon
  • Serving others is the only valid motivation for leadership. Patrick Lencioni
  • As a leader, you are blessed to work with a group of people for only a short time and then either they, or you, will move on. Enjoy your time with them. Bill Pence
  • Our daily work can be a calling only if it is reconceived as God’s assignment to serve others. Tim Keller
  • No one ever achieved his dreams working outside his areas of gifting. To excel, do what you do well. John Maxwell
  • Work was created to be an expression of our identity, not the source of our identity. Jeff Haanen
  • All honest work is dignified if we love our neighbors and strive to serve God in it. Dan Doriani
  • Whether our work is paid or not paid, our work is to glorify God, honor others, and add value to their lives. Tom Nelson

FAITH AND WORK BOOK REVIEW

Great Leaders Grow: Becoming a Leader for Life by Ken Blanchard and Mark Miller. Berrett-Koehler Publishers. 144 pages. 2012
****

The authors follow-up their excellent book The Secret: What Great Leaders Know and Do, with this book, also written as a leadership fable. In this book, we meet Blake, an energetic, yet reluctant emerging leader. His father Jeff, a wonderful leader, recently died suddenly. The last thing his father said to Blake was “You can be a leader”. But Blake isn’t sure that he can be a leader, or even if he wants to be a leader, following in the footsteps of his father.
Debbie Brewster, who was mentored by Blake’s father, plays the part of trusted mentor to Blake. Throughout the book, we sit in several mentoring meetings between the two. But, before Debbie begins to mentor Blake on leadership, her first priority is to help Blake find a job as he graduates from college.
Blake accepts a position on a cross-functional team at Dynastar, where he is mentored by Sam. As Blake begins his career at Dynastar, he continues to mentor with Debbie, telling her that he wants to know how he can GROW as a leader. Throughout their meetings, Debbie shares with him four big ideas, using the acronym GROW, that if applied consistently, will enable him to be a leader for life.
At Dynastar, Blake’s supervisor is Ms. Barnwell. She is known to hold very short meetings and get right to the point. There is not a good relationship between Ms. Barnwell and the team. In addition, Dynastar has been losing clients, and team members, especially Sam, are fearful of losing their jobs. It is not a good environment, to say the least.
Sam and Blake propose forming a cross-functional team to pinpoint the problems and look for clues to a solution. They propose talking to customers and senior leaders in the organization. Will the cross-functional team be able to identify the problems and recommend solutions before it’s too late for Dynastar? And will Debbie be successful as she mentors Blake on leadership?
I’ve benefited from several Ken Blanchard and Mark Miller books in the past, and this one is no exception. This quick-read would be a good one to read with members of your leadership team, especially young and emerging leaders. The book also includes some helpful resources, including assessments and a recommended reading list.
Below are some of my takeaways from the book:

  • The path to increased influence, impact, and leadership effectiveness is paved with personal growth.
  • Growth is at the heart of what creates and sustains great leaders.
  • The failure to grow sabotages the career of more leaders than anything else.
  • Our capacity to grow determines our capacity to lead.
  • Anytime you influence the thinking, beliefs, or development of another person, you’re engaging in leadership
  • If you don’t want to serve, you cannot be a great leader.
  • Great leaders don’t think less of themselves; they just think of themselves less.
  • Leadership is not about position. It’s about influence.
  • Every leader is a learner.
  • Teaching is one of the primary ways that leaders learn.
  • Leadership is about serving your people as you work together toward a shared vision.
  • If you get too busy with your job to grow, your influence and your leadership will stagnate and ultimately evaporate.
  • If you ever think you’re finished as a leader, you are finished as a leader.

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 19: “What is That to You?” Here are a few takeaways from the chapter:

  • The truth of calling touches closely on the link between giftedness and desire and the almost inescapable temptation of envy.
  • Envy strikes at the place where our giftedness and our deepest desires are intertwined with our sense of calling.
  • Envy corrupts calling by introducing the element of competition.
  • Envy attacks calling especially because calling goes back directly to God and envy is essentially profane.
  • We are always most vulnerable to envying those closest to our own gifts and callings.
  • There are many counterpoints to envy in the Scriptures, but there is no skirting the uncomfortable fact that Jesus deals with the roots of calling-envy severely and summarily.
  • When Jesus calls, he calls us one by one. Comparisons are idle, speculations about others a waste of time, and envy as silly as it is evil. We are each called individually, accountable to God alone, to please him alone, and eventually to be approved by him alone. If ever we are tempted to look around, compare notes, and use the progress of others to judge the success of our own calling, we will hear what Peter heard: “What is that to you? Follow me!”

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.

One thought on “FAITH AND WORK: Connecting Sunday to Monday

  1. Pingback: The Theology of Work on Display During our Darkest Days | Reflections on Theological Topics of Interest

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