Faith and Work News ~ Links to Interesting Articles
- Carry Sunday’s Belief’s Into Monday’s Workplace. Terence Chatmon writes “God intends you to use your business experience to honor and glorify Him.”
- Called to Lead. My book Called to Lead: Living and Leading for Jesus in the Workplace is available in both a paperback and Kindle edition. Read a free sample (Introduction through Chapter 2).
- 3 Ways the Local Church Can Honor Caregiving as a Vocation. Rachel Anderson writes “Remember that when the sun sets on many other jobs, the work of caregiving begins.”
- Holiday Reflections on God’s Presence at Work. Russ Gehrlein writes “In my career journey over the past four decades, there have been a few major theological ideas that have helped me to experience God’s presence and to integrate my faith at work. Several of these concepts are especially applicable during this holiday season. Perhaps they may become a source of inspiration for others as well.”
- Seasons of Longing: Advent and God at Work. Charlie Self writes “God is the first worker (Gen 1-2; Ps 33) and he models actions and attitudes worthy of our aspirations. Practically, we can live out these principles as we pray for others, model good teamwork, and encourage all around us.”
- God of Business. Peter S. Heslam writes “This pandemic proves how much we all need business.”
- Martin Luther on Faith and Work: 8 Abiding Lessons. Daryl Charles writes “Luther reminds us that our vocation is to be a part ofthe world rather than being apart from”
Click on ‘Continue reading’ for:
- More links to interesting articles
- The Top 10 Faith and Work Quotes of the Week
- My Review of About My Father’s Business: Taking Your Faith to Work by Regi Campbell
- Snippets from Os Guinness’ book “The Call: Finding and Fulfilling God’s Purpose For Your Life”
- Is There a “Right” Line of Work? Steve Garber writes “Simply said, God’s will is this: Do justice, love mercy, walk humbly with the Lord your God. When we get that right, we will begin to find our way into the right line of work.”
- What if My Work is Becoming Obsolete? Travis Lowe writes “I want you to know that in Christ, you have an identity higher than any earthly label.”
- Where is God in Your Job Search? Chip Roper writes “Where is God in your job search? He is with you. He is with you in your past, in your present, and your future. He sees the beginning and the end. He knows what’s next. He invites us to do our part in seeking opportunity, humbly receiving feedback, and diligently seeking His next assignment. He is the caller, and we are the called.”
- Integrating Sports and Faith: In Conversation with Dr. Tim Sceggel. Andrew Shaughnessy writes “Whatever the case, the influence of sports on our culture and lives is undeniable. For Dr. Tim Sceggel, Covenant College director of athletics, this begs an obvious question: “How does our faith fit into all this?”
- Leadership That Lasts. This episode from the archives of the Coram Deo Church podcast, is a 2015 conversation about leadership that endures and is future-oriented with special guest, Scotty Smith.
- The Virtues of a Leader, Part 2. Virtues are important in every area of life, but they are especially important within the context of leadership. In this episode of the Andy Stanley Leadership Podcast, the CEO of Habitat International, Jonathan Reckford, wraps up a conversation on the seven virtues of a leader.
- 7 Things 2020 Has NOT Changed About Leadership. Ron Edmondson writes “This has been a frustrating year in leadership. 2020 has been challenging for all of us. It has been especially challenging for leaders trying to navigate their organizations through it. That includes pastors and the church. Yet, as I reflect on some of the decisions I have personally had to make this year, I realize some things 2020 didn’t change about leadership.”
- If God exists, then every good endeavor, even the simplest ones, pursued in response to God’s calling can matter forever. Tim Keller
- For the Christian, (1) all of life is a vocation; (2) all of life is an opportunity to minister; and (3) all work, paid or unpaid, matters to God. Luke Bobo
- Leaders are not called to work; they are not called to fill a position, make money, or use their authority to manage people. Leaders are called to serve. Dee Ann Turner
- 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
- Work and vocation are not identical. Vocation entails service in the place where God has given gifts and a desire to make a difference in this world. Dan Doriani
- Servant leadership simply means service above self. Cheryl Bachelder
- Christians need to understand what God says about work so that we can fully integrate our faith in the place where we spend most of our time. Russ Gehrlein
- Though their vocation was not viewed with respect by their peers, Scripture always portrays shepherding as a high calling, perhaps the most repeated image of leadership in the Bible. Daniel Darling
- A servant leader recognizes the tremendous responsibility not only to lead but also to serve those they lead. Dee Ann Turner
About My Father’s Business: Taking Your Faith to Work by Regi Campbell. Multnomah. 178 pages. 2009
I’ve read many books about integrating our faith and work. This book offers a different perspective on being a “workplace minister”. The author tells us that he has found no greater calling than to make his workplace his mission field.
In this book, the author provides a strategic method for sharing Jesus Christ in your workplace, a clear vision for your calling to be about our Father’s business at work. He provides a step-by-step plan for how you can begin the work of ministry right where you are, a strategy for assessing your workplace, identifying your opportunities, neutralizing the primary obstacles, and boldly enjoying the mission God gives you.
The book is based around the author’s intentionality map (or IMAP for short), a simple tool that that he developed to help him figure out where people in his workplace are spiritually. The word “intentionality” was added to remind him that he needed to be intentional in everything that he did in these relationships, with the overarching goal of helping them move one step at a time toward an excelling relationship with Christ. He tells us that the IMAP is a starting point, a “best guess” as to where a coworker is spiritually. It simply suggests that everyone falls into one of five categories or spiritual profiles. He helpfully provides a link for readers to create their own IMAP.
The IMAP is really a first impression, a quick assessment based on conversations that you’ve had, behaviors that you’ve observed, and things you’ve heard people you work with say. Here are the categories on the IMAP:
- Apathetic A’s are people who don’t know and don’t care about Christianity. The author tells us that until we know better, we should treat everyone as if they are Apathetic A’s.
- B’s are actively searching, looking for answers, interested in spiritual things, but not calling themselves Christians.
- C’s can often be sincere in their faith, but are more comfortable keeping personal things personal. The factor that distinguishes Confessing C’s from other Christians is that their lives lack outward evidence of growth.
- Developing D’s are disciples—learners and followers of Christ. They aren’t silent or secretive about their faith.
- E’s are Excelling Christians have welded their life purpose to their work purpose. They are fully integrated. While they do their secular jobs (and do them well), they have a spiritual purpose every day. They are on a mission from God, and it’s all wrapped in with what they do for a living.
The author goes into detail on each category of person, with helpful suggestions on how to move them to the next category of the IMAP. He tells us that the beauty of the IMAP process is that you are meeting people exactly where they are, and you’re focused only on helping them move one step closer.
The author points out some of the “land mines” for us as workplace ministers. You should be aware of the specific guidelines in your specific work environment, especially if you are in a leadership position, where issues of discrimination and harassment can come into play. He tells us to be sure that you understand what is, and is not, off-limits as you go about our Father’s business.
The book is full of stories from the author’s life that helpfully illustrate his points. Also included is a “Study Guide” that you can use individually or with a small group.
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.
We complete our overview of the book with Chapter 30: Last Call. Here are a few takeaways from the final chapter:
- Calling is central to the challenge and privilege of finishing well in life.
- Calling is the spur that keeps us journeying purposefully—and thus growing and maturing—to the very end of our lives.
- As those responding to God’s call, we are followers of Christ and followers of the Way. So, we are on a journey and we are truly travelers, with all the attendant costs, risks, and dangers of the journey. Never in this life can we say we have arrived. But we know why we have lost our original home, and more importantly, we know the home to which we are going.
- We may retire from our jobs, but there is no retiring from our individual callings.
- Calling helps us to finish well because it prevents us from confusing the termination of our occupations with the termination of our vocations.
- We must be sure that our sense of calling is deeper, wider, higher, and longer than the best and highest of the tasks we undertake.
- As followers of Christ we are called to be before we are called to do and our calling both to be and do is fulfilled only in being called to him. So calling should not only precede career but outlast it too. Vocations never end, even when occupations do. We may retire from our jobs but never from our calling. We may at times be unemployed, but no one ever becomes uncalled.
- Calling helps us finish well because it encourages us to leave the entire outcome of our lives to God.
- God calls, and just as we hear him but don’t see him on this earth, so we grow to become what he calls, even though we don’t see until heaven what he is calling us to become.