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

Click on ‘Continue reading’ for:

  • More links to interesting articles
  • The Top 10 Faith and Work Quotes of the Week
  • My Review of The Leadership Style of Jesus: How to Make a Lasting Impact by Michael Youssef
  • Snippets from Os Guinness’ book “The Call: Finding and Fulfilling God’s Purpose For Your Life”

  • How Can I Be a Witness at Work? On this episode of the Living the Bible podcast, David Murray states that we can be a witness by being the best workers in the workplace.
  • Am I Wasting My Life in a Secular Job? On this episode of the Ask Pastor John podcast, John Piper responds to the question “If I spend my life in a career that does not have the direct mission of spreading the gospel, isn’t that wasteful? And more directly, have I truly done everything, used every ounce of strength, given every fiber of my being to the kingdom of God, if I don’t become a martyr for Christ?”
  • What Can Business Teach the Local Church? Andy Jones writes “As the church, we can learn from the professional world. We don’t need to be embarrassed or ashamed. The business world is God’s world, too.”
  • How Can I Be a Workplace Servant But Not a Doormat? Daniel Joonyong Lee writes “Being a Christlike servant leader is not at odds with the workplace. Workplaces thrive with servant leaders. Companies need them, and many look for them.”
  • How Does Christ Change How I Work? Should we labor and work to buy bread? Should we work at all? Or should we trust God to supply all our bread needs supernaturally? The answer to this question sheds much light on how we work and labor each day, as John Piper explains in this sermon excerpt.

  • Leadership Lessons from Sports. Paul Putz reviews The Uniform of Leadership: Lessons on True Success from My ESPN Life by Jason Romano, a book I’m currently reading. He writes “As a practical guide to others-focused leadership, the book excels. It’s an excellent introduction or refresher on wise leadership principles that anyone can cultivate, and an invitation into deeper conversation and reflection.”
  • Top 10 Practices of the Best Leaders I Know. Dan Reiland writes “In well over three decades, I’ve had the privilege to connect with thousands of leaders—some for a short time, and many in great depth. These many connections have allowed me to identify certain practices that the best leaders I know consistently practice. (Not perfectly, but consistently.)”
  • 7 Warnings to Pastors Who Want to Grow as Leaders. Ron Edmondson shares some warnings he’s observed first hand in leadership positions he’s held.
  • Dare to Lead. Dave Kraft shares his highlights from Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts. by Brene Brown.
  • Being a Christlike servant leader is not at odds with the workplace. Workplaces thrive with servant leaders. Companies need them, and many look for them. Daniel Joonyong
  • Leaders prove themselves publicly by their exemplary character. Dan Doriani
  • Each of us has been given a sphere of influence, but it’s your choice whether you view your platform as something that lifts you up or as something you can use to lift up others. Jason Romano
  • The primary biblical image of servant leadership is that of the shepherd. The flock is not there for the sake of the shepherd; the shepherd is there for the sake of the flock. Ken Blanchard
  • Excellence is doing something at the very highest level it can be done using all your capabilities and everything God has given you. Tony Dungy
  • The purpose of focused, masterful work isn’t for our own glory but to glorify God by reflecting his character of excellence to the world. Jordan Raynor
  • The words vocation and occupation more often than not thread their way through my conversations, and I do my best to make clear that there is a difference and why the difference is important. The one is a word about the deepest things, the longest truths about each of us: what we care about, what motivates us, why we get up in the morning. The other is a word about what we do day by day, occupying particular responsibilities and relationships along the way as we live into our vocations. They aren’t the same word, and understanding that matters. Steven Garber
  • All honest work is dignified if we love our neighbors and strive to serve God in it. Dan Doriani
  • The Bible tells us to work; it also tells us to rest. We are to pause from our work to worship God on the Sabbath Day. In vocation, we are to rest in Christ even when we are hard at work. Gene Veith

FAITH AND WORK BOOK REVIEW:

The Leadership Style of Jesus: How to Make a Lasting Impact by Michael Youssef. Harvest House Publishers. 210 pages. 2013. 
***

This helpful book about the leadership style of Jesus is divided into 5 main parts and 18 principles. The five parts are:
Part 1: The Beginnings of Leadership
Part 2: The Qualities of Leadership
Part 3: The Temptations of Leadership
Part 4: The Problems of Leadership
Part 5: The Future of Leadership
The author tells us that the ultimate role model of effective leadership is Jesus. Jesus was one man, but he multiplied himself through the lives of his followers. And they in turn multiplied themselves. And their followers multiplied themselves. He tells us that is the leadership style of Jesus.
Among the principles covered in the book are the leader as shepherd, courage, generosity, power, anger, criticism, and developing leaders. Much like a John Maxwell book, the book is well written, easy to read, includes many illustrations to bring to life his principles, and features practical action steps for the reader to apply the principles as authentic leaders. This would be a good book to read and discuss with other leaders and potential leaders, in whatever situation you find yourself in – business, church, non-profit, government, education, sports, military, the home, etc.
Here are 20 of my favorite quotes from the book:

  • If you don’t have followers, you are not a leader.
  • All authentic leaders must be confirmed in order to lead.
  • Every great leader is a product of his or her teachers, mentors, and other influences.
  • The leader who practices shepherd-leadership knows his sheep personally and cares about them individually.
  • A leader sees a future no one else can see, and then takes his followers there.
  • As leaders, we can’t be everyone’s best friend, but we can be available to our people. The people in your organization want to know if they can come to you with problems and questions.
  • If you lack the courage and boldness to stand for your principles, then you shouldn’t be in leadership.
  • An authentic leader is willing to pay the price to maintain his integrity.
  • Great leaders who follow the leadership style of Jesus are generous with their resources, their time, their wisdom, and their insight. They give as Jesus gave, expecting nothing in return.
  • The leadership style of Jesus reminds us that authentic leaders must always speak the truth, always live the truth, and always handle the truth with love.
  • Effective leaders are forgiving leaders. We cannot work with people by holding grudges against them.
  • In the kingdom of Jesus, the leader is the one who serves, and the servant is the one who leads. Jesus came to stand position power on its head.
  • The person who cannot control his or her temper cannot lead like Jesus.
  • Leadership is a lonely calling, and we as leaders are often required to make hard decisions in which the blame or fault is ours alone.
  • To be a leader is to be a target for criticism. Learning how to deal with unjust criticism is one of the most important lessons a leader must learn.
  • You may think it’s hard to recruit people with good skills. But I guarantee it is even harder to recruit people with good character. It’s even harder to recruit people who will work faithfully behind the scenes, doing all the little thankless tasks that need to be done, people with the heart of a servant and the wisdom of a leader.
  • As you mentor and train leaders, be sure to affirm them.
  • One of the key lessons we learn from the leadership life of Jesus is that the purpose of leadership is not to produce followers, but to produce more leaders.
  • One of your most important goals as a leader should be to prepare your followers to outdo you.
  • Identify leaders early, train them well, and give them responsibility before they think they’re ready.

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 23 – Locked Out and Staying There:

  • Calling directly counters the great modern pressure toward privatization because of its insistence that Jesus Christ is Lord of every sphere of life.
  • The problem with Western Christians is not that they aren’t where they should be but that they aren’t what they should be where they are.
  • Christian engagement in politics should always be marked by tension between allegiance to Christ and identification with any party, movement, platform, or agenda. If that tension is ever lacking, if Christian identification with a political movement is so close that there is not any clear remainder, then the church has fallen for a particularly deadly captivity.
  • When Christians concentrate their time and energy on their own separate spheres and their own institutions—whether all-absorbing megachurches, Christian businesses, or womb-to-tomb Christian cultural ghettoes—they lose the outward thrusting, transforming power that is at the heart of the gospel.
  • Calling resists privatization by insisting on the totality of faith. Calling resists politicization by demanding a tension with every human allegiance and association. Calling resists pillarization by requiring an attitude toward, and action in, society that is inevitably transforming because it is constantly engaged.

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.

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