Faith and Work News ~ Links to Interesting Articles
- Called to Lead. My book Called to Lead: Living and Leading for Jesus in the Workplace is now available in both a paperback and Kindle edition. Read a free sample (Introduction through Chapter 2).
- How Veterans’ Service Matters to God. In an article appropriate for Veterans’ Day – and every day – for those who have served, who are serving in military service, or those pastors and others serving those who have served, Russ Gehrlein shares an encouraging word about some of the unique ways God is present in this unique line of work.
- 11 Leadership Books Every Leader Should Read. Carey Nieuwhof shares this helpful list of books for leaders.
- What Might Exceptional Leadership Look Like? To answer this question, Dave Kraft shares four attributes that have been on his mind of late.
- On Following Mediocre Leaders. Tim Challies writes “We must follow leadership, whether it reflects excellence or mediocrity, for it is through humans leading and following other humans that God rules his world.”
Click on ‘Continue reading’ for:
~ More links to interesting articles
~ The Top 10 Faith and Work Quotes of the Week
~ My Review of The Call: Finding and Fulfilling God’s Purpose For Your Life by Os Guinness
~ Snippets from the book Work and Worship: Reconnecting Our Labor and Liturgy by Matthew Kaemingk and Cory B. Willson
- Leading with Love. In this episode of Minute with Maxwell, John Maxwell states that the minute a leader stops loving their people is when they start manipulating them.
- Why Faith & Work? (Pt. 1) – Gospel. In this first of three planned articles, Jeff Haanen suggests three theological truths that open up new horizons for the meaning of Christian faith for our work and world today.
- The Call: Finding and Fulfilling the Purpose of Your Life: Os Guinness. The three deepest human longings are for meaning, identity, and purpose, and the most dynamic source of each is the biblical notion of calling. This workshop is an explanation of the biblical view of calling, its influence in history, and what its recovery would mean today.
- How to Bind Faith and Work Together Through Worship. Chris Robertson interviews Matthew Kaemingk and Cory Willson’s about their new book Work and Worship: Reconnecting Our Labor and Liturgy, which we will be reading through here on the blog in 2021.
- Does Your Sermon Equip People for Their Vocation? On this episode of the Monday Morning Preacher podcast, Matt Woodley and Steve Garber explore how pastors can equip people, with their preaching for their everyday lives, and vocations as teachers, garbage men, doctors, and corporate executives.
Top 10 Faith and Work Quotes of the Week
- All Christians are called as Christ’s ambassadors into the places where they live, work, play, and worship, with the glorious purpose of leaving it better than they found it. This is, we might say, the universal Christian job description. Scott Sauls
- You never look at your watch when you’re doing what you love. David Novak
- Lord, I pray for the leaders of states and nations, of business and commerce, of the arts and cultural institutions. I pray that honesty, wisdom, skillfulness, justice, and virtue characterize all their duties, and that their work be a public blessing. Amen. Tim Keller
- Meetings are the setting, the arena, the moment when the most important discussions and decisions take place. Patrick Lencioni
- Our vocations are one avenue for doing God’s work in the world. Tim Keller
- Biblical leadership is quick to repent of wrongs, slow to accuse others and hungry for reconciliation. Wisdom from above sows seeds of peace. Michael Horton
- Real leaders, great leaders, become powerful by serving others and giving their power away with love. Only by serving can you become truly great! Jon Gordon
- The best leaders know that leading people requires loving them. I’ve never met a good leader who didn’t care about people. John Maxwell
- To find work that perfectly fits our callings is not a right, but a blessing. Os Guinness
The Call: Finding and Fulfilling God’s Purpose For Your Life by Os Guinness. Thomas Nelson. 384 pages. 2018
Originally published in 1997, I first read this book in a class at Covenant Seminary. This new expanded and revised 20th anniversary edition includes a “Study Guide” that is helpful for either personal or group use. The book is a series of short reflections on the many-sided wonder of God’s call. The thirty chapters are not academic or theoretical. Instead, they have been hammered out on the anvil of the author’s own experience.
Guinness encourages us to read the book slowly, always aware that we are in the presence of the One who calls us all, and always thinking things through in terms of our own life and our own calling in the world. He tells us that at some point every one of us confronts the question: How do I find and fulfill the central purpose of my life? Our passion is to know that we are fulfilling the purpose for which we are here on earth. Deep in our hearts, we all want to find and fulfill a purpose bigger than ourselves. Guinness tells us that the book is for all who long to find and fulfill the purpose of their lives. He argues that this purpose can be found only when we discover the specific purpose for which we were created and to which we are called. He tells us that answering the call of our Creator is “the ultimate why” for living, the highest source of purpose in human existence. Apart from such a calling, all hope of discovering purpose will end in disappointment, and that nothing short of God’s call can ground and fulfill the truest human desire for purpose.
Guinness tells us that there is no calling unless there is a Caller. He writes of both primary and secondary callings. Our primary calling as followers of Christ is by him, to him, and for him. Our secondary calling, considering who God is as sovereign, is that everyone, everywhere, and in everything should think, speak, live, and act entirely for him. He writes that as a matter of secondary calling, we may be called to homemaking or to the practice of law or to art history. But these and other things are always the secondary, never the primary calling. They are “callings” rather than the “calling.” He tells us that if we understand calling, we must make sure that first things remain first and the primary calling always comes before the secondary calling. But we must also make sure that the primary calling leads without fail to the secondary calling.
This is the best book on the topic of calling for the Christian that I have read, and I highly recommend it.
Here are 15 of my favorite quotes from the book:
- Count the cost, consider the risks, and set out each day on a venture to multiply your gifts and opportunities, bring glory to God, and add value to our world.
- When Jesus calls us to follow him, all that contradicts his call, all that contradicts his Lordship over all our lives, has to go.
- Calling means that everyone, everywhere, and in everything fulfills his or her (secondary) callings in response to God’s (primary) calling.
- Neither work nor career can be fully satisfying without a deeper sense of calling—but “calling” itself is empty and indistinguishable from work unless there is Someone who calls.
- If there is no Caller, there are no callings—only work.
- A sense of calling should precede a choice of job and career, and the main way to discover calling is along the line of what we are each created and gifted to be. Instead of, “You are what you do,” calling says: “Do what you are.”
- To find work that perfectly fits our callings is not a right, but a blessing.
- To follow the call of God is therefore to live before the heart of God. It is to live life coram deo (before the heart of God) and thus to shift our awareness of audiences to the point where only the last and highest—God—counts.
- For those who live life as a journey and see faith as a journey, calling has an obvious implication. It reminds us that we are all at different stages on the way and none of us alive has yet arrived.
- Having heard God’s call and responded, our task is to seek to listen to God’s call, to follow God’s call and way of life, and to act on behalf of God’s great purposes of justice and freedom in righting the wrongs of the world.
- Careers that express calling are as fulfilling as careers that contradict calling are frustrating.
- There is no sacred vs. secular, higher vs. lower, perfect vs. permitted, contemplation vs. action where calling is concerned. Calling equalizes even the distinctions between clergy and laypeople. It is a matter of “everyone, everywhere, and in everything” living life in response to God’s summons.
- Calling is central to the challenge and privilege of finishing well in life.
- We may retire from our jobs, but there is no retiring from our individual callings.
- 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.
Faith and Work Book Club – Won’t you read along with us?
Work and Worship: Reconnecting Our Labor and Liturgy by Matthew Kaemingk and Cory B. Willson
Drawing on years of research, ministry, and leadership experience, in this new book Matthew Kaemingk and Cory B. Willson explain why Sunday morning worship and Monday morning work desperately need to inform and impact one another. Together they engage in a rich biblical, theological, and historical exploration of the deep and life-giving connections between labor and liturgy. In so doing, Kaemingk and Willson offer new ways in which Christian communities can live seamless lives of work and worship.
Here are a few takeaways from the Foreword by Nicholas Wolterstorff
- The question that concerns them (the authors) is this: How does a theological idea about work actually embed itself deeply in the life of a worker? Put another way, how does an intellectual theology of work become a lived theology of work?
- After an opening section that the authors call “Foundations,” in which they develop the case for their approach, there is a section of six chapters called “Resources” in which they describe, in considerable detail, how work was integrated with worship in ancient Israel and in the early church.
- In the final section on “Practices,” the authors consider ways in which the worship of the church today can become what they call “vocationally conversant worship.”