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 Bottom of the Pool: Thinking Beyond Your Boundaries to Achieve Extraordinary Results by Andy Andrews
  • Snippets from the book Work and Worship: Reconnecting Our Labor and Liturgy by Matthew Kaemingk and Cory B. Willson

  • 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.  The Kindle edition will be on sale for .99 the first week of February.  You can also read a free sample (Introduction through Chapter 2).
  • God’s Presence With Those Who Have Served in the Military. Russ Gehrlein shares a word of encouragement about how God has been presentwith our veterans and those who are serving in our armed forces now.
  • IFWE’s Top Ten Blogs of 2020. Kristin Brown shares the top ten blog posts from IFWE (Institute for Faith, Work & Economics), including one by our friend Russ Gehrlein.
  • Vocation is Integral. “Many people today see their job as nothing more than a paycheck. But is one’s calling more than that? In this message, Steve Garber says “yes”. He says there is an intimate connection between one’s faith, vocation, and culture. “Vocation is integral,” he says, “not incidental to the missio Dei.” Steven explains how most of what God is doing in the world happens in and through the vocations of his people.”
  • Hugh Whelchel’s Top Ten Blog Posts for 2020. One of my favorite writers about integrating faith and work is Hugh Whelchel. Sadly, he has been diagnosed with ALS. Despite the many serious health challenges he has faced, he has continued to write. Here are his top ten blog posts for 2020.
  • Rethinking Your Retirement. What are the major concerns of people facing retirement? How does the “vacation view” of retirement contrast with what the Bible says about retirement? How important a dimension of retirement is Sabbath? What do you believe is the most important component of a godly retirement? Watch Jeff Haanen, executive director of Denver Institute for Faith & Work, as he is interviewed by Paul Arnott, the executive director of Q4:Rethinking Retirement, on a recent webinar.
  • Doing God’s Work in the Military. On this episode of the Making in Work: God and Your Work podcast is an interview with Master Sergeant Russ Gehrlein. Russ made his career in military service, where he not only discovered God’s purposes for his work, he also realized he could feel God’s presence at work on a daily basis. He is an operations officer for the US Army and author of the book Immanuel Labor—God’s Presence in Our Profession.
  • Better Decisions, Fewer Regrets. On this episode of the Andy Stanley Leadership Podcast, Clay Scroggins interviews Stanley on decision-making and leadership.
  • Purpose. On this edition of Minute with Maxwell, John Maxwell tells us that in finding our purpose we should look at what we are passionate about and what we are good at.
  • The Motive of Faith Driven Entrepreneurs with Patrick Lencioni. On this episode of the Faith Driven Entrepreneur podcast, listen to Patrick Lencioni talk about his latest book The Motive, which discusses the “why” behind every great leader.
  • How a Biblical Theology of Work Can Transform Your Life: Interview with Dr. Jim Hamilton. Kevin Halloran interviews Dr. Jim Hamilton, author of Work and Our Labor in the Lord.

Top 10 Faith and Work Quotes of the Week

  • Because God is a worker and we are His coworkers, we conclude (with some obvious exceptions) that all legitimate human work is valuable in an of itself. This means that whatever job we have is significant, has value, and contributes to what God needs done in the world. It also means that whatever job anyone else has is significant, has value, and contributes to what God needs done in the world. We need to treat all workers with dignity and respect. Russ Gehrlein
  • “From this will arise also a singular consolation: that no task will be so sordid and base, provided you obey your calling in it, that it will not shine and be reckoned very precious in God’s sight.” Calvin’s Institutes III.XI.6. i.e., God’s splendor emblazons even simple tasks done for him. Tim Keller
  • Living the mission of Jesus means taking your faith into your work and your life and praying for it to change people’s hearts toward God. Tim Keller
  • Does the quality of your work become the measure of your worth? Tim Keller
  • Humility and empathy gain us an audience with those we are trying to influence. Daniel Darling
  • There exists a profound separation between work and worship in the lives of many Christians today. Matthew Kaemingk and Cory B. Willson
  • There is no ideal place for us to serve God except the place He sets us down. Charles Spurgeon
  • You are not called to do something that you have no talent for. John Maxwell
  • God made me for a purpose. But He also made me fast. And when I run, I feel His pleasure. Eric Liddell


FAITH AND WORK BOOK REVIEW:

The Bottom of the Pool: Thinking Beyond Your Boundaries to Achieve Extraordinary Results by Andy Andrews. Thomas Nelson. 184 pages. 2019
** ½

Using the metaphor of “going to the bottom of the pool” from a story about how his friend Kevin discovered a way to win their childhood made-up game “Dolphin” by changing his understanding and belief about what was possible, Andy Andrews aims to tell us how to achieve the very best results in life, far beyond those most people ever imagine. We are told that Kevin employed a strategy that had never been tried before, and the results he achieved not only proved his instincts correct, but they changed the game forever.
This book is filled with interesting stories about Walk Disney, Michael Jordan, Bob Beamon, etc., and contains Andrews witty and humorous writing, but I struggled to put it all together, not unlike how I felt after reading Malcolm Gladwell’s book Talking to Strangers. There is no doubt that Andrews was passionate in trying to communicate this information about our thinking. Unfortunately, I found that I took few practical and helpful takeaways from the book.
The book addresses such items as:

  • Competing on the surface rather than at the bottom of the pool
  • Using our controlled imagination.
  • Using our humor.
  • Momentum
  • Using our “Location of Contemplation”, a place to do our deep thinking.
  • Doing the best we can do vs. the best that can be done.
  • Stop thinking “outside of the box”, but instead go “beyond the box”.
  • Striving for the best results, instead of great results.
  • Something can be true yet still not be the truth.
  • Obvious Greater Value (OGV).

Below are 15 of my favorite quotes from the book:

  1. Great is the precise target for which the vast majority of us aim. But why settle for great when best is waiting for you in slightly deeper water?
  2. When one has momentum, the results of any action are greater than reality says they should be. Conversely, when one lacks momentum, the results of any action are less than reality says they should be.
  3. Most people never even bother to imagine what event or circumstance might need to occur in order to shift their life’s results from acceptable to incredible.
  4. Most people who are doing the best they can do (especially if they are among the best at what they do) are not often remotely aware that a significant amount of territory still exists beyond that which they have already achieved!
  5. Is it possible to be satisfied you have done your best and never even come close to accomplishing THE BEST? Of course.
  6. The degree to which you will ever be financially compensated is inexorably linked to the obvious greater value (OGV) that you create for someone else.
  7. When any part of the leadership of an organization is satisfied to compete on the surface—no matter what they might otherwise proclaim publicly—I have never seen the organization achieve more than an average, industry-standard increase in results.
  8. Left to our own devices, most of us choose the greater value only about 50 percent of the time. Why? For the simple reason that most of us never recognize the greater value. We don’t discern the difference. And that is why the greater value must be obvious.
  9. If you want folks to choose you—each and every time—then the greater value you have created had better be obvious.
  10. Know this: “Customer satisfaction” is the lowest bar you can possibly hit and still stay in business. Anything less and you are in trouble.
  11. To have a shot at results that seem impossible to most, you must learn to compete in a way that your competitors do not even know there is a game going on.
  12. The obvious greater value provided by you and those on your team become a distinct and unequaled brand when every part of your business is delivered in a package of genuine care, personal concern, and honest connection.
  13. The quality of your answers will usually be determined by the quality of your questions.
  14. Obviously, there are results on the surface, but the greatest results to be gained are accomplished by thinking to the deepest level of an issue.
  15. The most important leadership role you will ever undertake is the one of leading yourself. And as you lead yourself, do so with a controlled imagination.

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.

This week we look at the book’s Introduction. Here are a few takeaways:

  • There exists a profound separation between work and worship in the lives of many Christians today.
  • By and large, most pastors and worship leaders deeply desire for Sunday morning worship to meaningfully connect with the Monday morning lives of their people. But does it? Our goal is to explore how these separated worlds of labor and liturgy might actually come to be reconciled.
  • We’ve become increasingly convinced that theologies of work need to be practiced, embedded and embodied in communities of worship. Theologies of work will never be sustainable if they remain theoretical.
  • Theologies of work matter, but they need to be sung and prayed.
  • The fabric of faith and work needs to be slowly and intentionally woven back together over a lifetime of prayer and worship.
  • Integration is more a habit to be practiced than an idea to be learned.
  • We had three specific types of readers in mind for this book: workers in the marketplace, worship leaders in the sanctuary, and scholars and students in the academy.
  • This book aims to articulate a vision for worship that is “vocationally conversant.” By “vocationally conversant” we mean forms of worship that engage work and workers in a divine dialogue. Worship that is vocationally conversant facilitates an honest exchange between workers and their God.
  • This book is focused on paid work. It rarely discusses unpaid vocations like parenting, marriage, volunteering, or political activism. This book is primarily focused on reexamining Sunday worship in the sanctuary.
  • Our primary goal is to explore how gathered worship on Sunday can help reconcile the modern divorce between faith and work.

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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