Faith and Work News ~ Links to Interesting Articles
- Should I Remain in a Job That Crushes My Spirit? Russ Gehrlein responds to a question from a nurse in the medical department of a prison.
- Work as Calling. Os Guinness delivered this message at The Gospel at Work
- Your Work Matters More Than You Think. Colin Smith writes “God puts his people in some surprising places. The testimony of Obadiah can encourage Christians who have been called to serve God in dark places for His purposes.”
- Seven New Books on Faith, Work & Economics. I appreciated this listing of new books from Jacqueline Isaacs. I just started reading Work and Worship: Reconnecting Our Labor and Liturgy by Matthew Kaemingk and Cory B. Willson.
- Patrick Lencioni on Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast. On this episode of the Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast, Patrick Lencioni explains all six types of Working Genius, and how to use the insights to best position yourself and your team.
Click on ‘Continue reading’ for:
- More links to interesting articles
- The Top 10 Faith and Work Quotes of the Week
- My Review of The Carpenter: A Story About the Greatest Success Principles of All by Jon Gordon
- Snippets from the book Work and Worship: Reconnecting Our Labor and Liturgy by Matthew Kaemingk and Cory B. Willson
- Does Our Theology of Work Include Rest and Recreation? Andrew Spencer writes “Confidence in God’s providence should encourage us to rest and to enjoy our recreation for the glory of God. It is this assurance in God’s goodness that allows us to set boundaries around our work, so that we do it for the glory of God, but we don’t do it restlessly as if everything depends on us.”
- 6 Timeless Virtues for Life and Work. Steve Graves writes “The apostle Paul uses these three (soldier, athlete and farmer), to outline a set of universal virtues people of faith should strive for in their work, regardless of their age, title, or industry.
- Legacy. On this episode of Minute with Maxwell, John Maxwell talks about choosing your legacy and living it out each day.
- 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).
- Is Vocation Just for the One Percent? Chris R. Armstrong writes “When we work, however constrained our choice of it, and however humble or unpleasant our doing of it, we are answering God’s call.”
- Should I Be Unequally Yoked in Business? Charlie Self responds to the question “What is the biblical response to an “unequal yoke” in business?”
- 52 Psalms That Will Help You Pray About Your Work. Made to Flourish shares about the DuPree Center’s newest resource, 52 Workday Prayers: Learn From the Psalms How to Pray Through Your Work, written by Mark Roberts. “52 Workday Prayers includes 52 meditations on various psalms, ranging from topics like “When You’re Afraid You Might Lose Your Job,” to “Rejoicing When Your Work is Fruitful,” to “When You’re Feeling Burned Out. Each reflection includes a prayer and further reflection questions or thoughts for deeper engagement and application.
- How to Love Your Neighbor with Your Skills and Talents. Paige Wiley writes “This, to me, was an example of what faith and work can look like in action. This is the gospel at work, through the modern-day work of physical therapy.”
- God created people to be His coworkers in expanding His kingdom on earth. He is present in the work of His children in order to meet the needs of humankind and bring glory to Himself. Russ Gehrlein
- We desperately need more leaders who are committed to courageous, wholehearted leadership and who are self-aware enough to lead from their hearts, rather than unevolved leaders who lead from hurt and fear. Brene Brown
- 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
- Daring leadership is ultimately about serving other people, not ourselves. That’s why we choose courage. Brene Brown
- Worship scatters workers, transformed by the work and Word of the Lord, throughout the city to be salt and light wherever they have been called. Matthew Kaemingk and Cory B. Willson
- Any leader who does not lift up the lives of other people is not fulfilling the highest calling of being a leader. John Maxwell
- To bear his image as Christlike imitators of God, Christians must reflect the one they worship in the way they work. James Hamilton Jr.
- 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. Os Guinness
- We are here to glorify Christ in our daily life. We are here as workers for Him, and as workers together with Him. Let us see that our life fulfills this purpose. Charles Spurgeon
The Carpenter: A Story About the Greatest Success Principles of All by Jon Gordon. Wiley. 150 pages. 2014
This book is written as a leadership fable, much like books by Patrick Lencioni, Mark Miller or Ken Blanchard, the latter of whom writes the “Foreword” for the book. The book tells the story of Michael, who with his wife, have started up a business. With the business and two children, they are quite busy and stressed. The business – Social Connect – has grown a good deal in the past year. As a result, Michael is feeling the stress of being a husband, father, and business owner. The stress eventually impacts his health.
The book opens with Michael in the hospital. He had been running through the city streets, thinking about ways to build his company, when he collapsed as a result of the stress he was under. A carpenter happened to be close by and saved his life. The carpenter had left his simple business card, so after Michael got out of the hospital, he decided to reach out to him to thank him.
The carpenter’s name was J. Emmanuel. After thanking him, Michael asked him to build an entertainment center for their home. As they worked together, Michael realized that J is much more than a carpenter. J tells him that over the years he has built more than furniture and cabinets. He has helped people build their lives, careers, and teams. He never planned it that way. It just happened. It was his purpose and he received it. Throughout the book, J shares principles about the greatest success strategies, what he calls “The Way”, and his Heart of Success Model. He tells Michael that “The Way” begins with love and love is the antidote to the fear, busyness, and stress that Michael has been feeling. Michael acknowledges that his life was based on fear, not love, and that he needed to change starting immediately.
Michael had to be away from both work and coaching his daughter’s basketball team as he recovers. During that time, Social Connect loses their largest client. They have just two months to find new clients to replace the revenue loss, or they will need to shut the business down.
J shares three main points of “The Way”, his Heart of Success Model – Love, Serve and Care. He tells Michael that you love, you serve, and you show people you care. It’s the simplest, most powerful and greatest success model of all time.
Michael is committed to implementing the principles of “The Way” at Social Connect. But will this be enough to save Social Connect before their largest client departs?
I enjoyed this story of J mentoring Michael on the principles of love, serve and care, in both his business and his personal life, as J teaches Michael how to be a servant leader.
Below are some of my favorite quotes from the book:
- Once you design your masterpiece, you must be a craftsman in your approach to your life and work.
- All success starts with being a craftsman.
- Everyone can be a craftsman or craftswoman but not everyone is willing to become one. They don’t want to spend the thousands of hours it takes to master their craft.
- Life and success are about what you choose to believe. It’s easy to believe things will be great when everything is going well, but the true test of your faith is what you believe when you are facing seemingly insurmountable challenges.
- Your optimism today will determine your level of success tomorrow.
- The more you focus on love in each moment and each day, the more fear fades away.
- You cannot be a craftsman unless you are putting your love into the work that you do.
- Only through love will you create a masterpiece.
- True success isn’t about money or possessions. It’s about people, commitment, loyalty, and relationships.
- In the end we won’t be measured by our bank accounts, sales numbers, wins and losses, or the size of the company we built, but by the difference we made in people’s lives—and we make a difference through relationships.
- If we make time to invest in our relationships and spend quality time with our family, friends, and colleagues, we will dramatically improve the quality of our lives and careers.
- Real leaders, great leaders, become powerful by serving others and giving their power away with love. Only by serving can you become truly great!
- Your greatness as a leader will not be determined by how much power you accumulate. It will be determined by how much you serve and sacrifice for others to help them become great.
- Great leaders don’t succeed because they are great. They succeed because they bring out the greatness in others.
- When you care about the work you do and show people you care about them, you stand out in a world where most don’t care.
- If you want to be successful you must show you care about the work that you do.
- When you care, you will inspire others to care.
- Caring is the ultimate success building strategy.
- Failure can be a gift if you don’t give up and are willing to learn, improve, and grow because of it.
- No challenge can stop you if you have the courage to keep moving forward in the face of your greatest fears and biggest challenges. Be courageous.
- The key to becoming a powerful success builder is to make a difference to one person, one moment at a time. You do it each day, with each person, in each moment, as part of each interaction, and over time you powerfully impact a lot of people.
- Don’t focus on building your business. Focus on using your business to Love, Serve, Care, and build others up. If you do this, your business will build and multiply exponentially.”
- Two thousand years ago there was no separation between someone’s work life and spiritual life. Now we separate them and wonder why people are so miserable. Work is meant to be a spiritual experience, not a daily chore and a grind. All work is sacred.
- You aren’t a true success unless you are helping others be successful. Success is meant to be shared.
- The success you create now is temporary, but the legacy you leave is eternal.
Faith and Work Book Club – Won’t you read along with us?
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 Chapter 1: Worship That Forms Workers
- Worship gathers workers so that they might offer their working lives to God and so that God might offer his work to them.
- Worship scatters workers, transformed by the work and Word of the Lord, throughout the city to be salt and light wherever they have been called.
- Worship scatters workers so that they can extend Sunday worship into Monday work.
- Worship does not cease come Monday. Disciples continue to worship God in a new way through their daily work.
- Worship that is vocationally conversant is able to gather workers and their work openly and honestly before God. It gives workers the space and time, and the language and practices, to offer their whole lives and their whole work to God as a living sacrifice of praise, holy and pleasing to God (Rom. 12:1).
- In worship that is vocationally conversant, both God and workers take turns speaking and listening, offering and receiving, acting and waiting.
- Through worship, the work of God threatens to invade workers and transform their work. In worship that is vocationally conversant, our work is made open to God’s work.