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

  • How to Discern God’s Will for Your Work. Russ Gehrlein writes “Even though these may seem to be the worst of times, I want to emphasize some of the basic and unchanging elements of my biblical and practical theology of work: God leads and provides for His children, we must listen to God’s voice, God is present in every aspect of our work, and God is faithful.”
  • More Significant Than What You Do? Who You Work For. Steve Graves writes “Any worker doing any kind of work in any kind of setting can be a gospel carrier when you realize that you are really working for Christ. Not for your earthly boss. Not for yourself and your family. Not for your colleagues or your customers. Not for the bonus. But instead, ultimately, for Jesus Himself.”
  • Being an Agile Leader Starts with Being Aware and Generous. Jonathan Chambers continues his series on how to be an agile leader.
  • The Calling to Excellence.   R.C. Sproul writes “What it takes to achieve excellence, more than anything else, is not talent but perseverance.”

Click on ‘Continue reading’ for:

  • More links to interesting articles
  • The Top 10 Faith and Work Quotes of the Week
  • My Review of Leadership Gold: Lessons I’ve Learned from a Lifetime of Leadingby John Maxwell
  • Snippets from the book Work and Worship: Reconnecting Our Labor and Liturgy by Matthew Kaemingk and Cory B. Willson

  • Bruce Haughey: Healing with Knowledge and Grace. On this episode of the Working with Dan Doriani, podcast, Dr. Doriani talks with renowned surgeon and pioneering medical researcher, Dr. Bruce Haughey.
  • 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).
  • A Year of Working from Home. Hace Cargo writes “There is still far more speculation than certainty about the future of the office in corporate America. And the longer that uncertainty lingers, the more pastors should be aware of the subtle effects of this unchosen work-from-home arrangement on the people in their churches.”
  • Feast of Ideas. Listen to the inaugural audiocast, Feast of Ideas. This first series features Ken Myers of Mars Hill Audio being interviewed by Case Thorp and Justin Hollcomb.
  • If Everything Will Pass Away, Why Bother Doing a Good Job? Walter R. Strickland II and Benjamin T. Quinn write “It is difficult to overstate how much this one verse (2 Peter 3:10) has affected Christians of the last century. That leads some to wonder, If I’m a construction worker, or Amazon employee, or accountant, will everything I’ve done be destroyed? If so, what’s the point of going to work—or of doing more than the bare minimum to earn my paycheck?”
  • The Secret Recipe of Servant Leadership with Cheryl Bachelder. On this episode of the Faith Driven Entrepreneur podcast, Cheryl Bachelder shares how her unique strategy of servant leadership proved to be a recipe for success at Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen.
  • The Changing World of Work (Part 1). In this article, Jeff Haanen gives a wide-angle lens to how the pandemic has shifted our work on a macro scale in three main ways. Also, watch The Changing World of Work, an interactive forum combining short presentations and virtual small group discussion exploring ways the pandemic has changed work and work culture.
  • Worship: A Key Bridge Connecting Faith & Work. In a three-part series, Robert Covolo helps us explore how worship is a crucial to the point where faith and vocation meet. The first part is “Teasing Out the Foundations”.

Top 10 Faith and Work Quotes of the Week

  • Real work is a contribution to the good of all and not merely a means to one’s own advancement. Tim Keller
  • Your success stops where your character stops. You can never rise above the limitations of your character. John Maxwell
  • Beware of men who have no authentic accountability and of men who say they are accountable only to God and not to men. Burk Parsons
  • When you know why you’ve been put on this earth and you know what you need to be doing, you don’t need anyone to motivate you. Your purpose inspires you every day. John Maxwell
  • God gives us talents and gifts so we can do for one another what he wants to do for us and through us. Tim Keller
  • 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
  • Calling is the truth that God calls us to himself so decisively that everything we are, everything we do, and everything we have is invested with a special devotion and dynamism lived out as a response to his summons and service. Os Guinness
  • Understanding our calling is critical to finding a career that gives our work life meaning. Without a calling, a job is just work. Dee Ann Turner
  • Success comes from building upon your strengths and making the most of them, not from bringing your weaknesses up to par. John Maxwell

FAITH AND WORK BOOK REVIEW:

Leadership Gold: Lessons I’ve Learned from a Lifetime of Leading by John Maxwell. HarperCollins Leadership. 268 pages. 2008
****

I first became aware of this book when the learning industry organization I served on the board with brought John Maxwell in to our community for a speaking engagement. My friend Kirk, also on the board of the organization, and I went to the airport to pick Maxwell up for the event. He had flown in from Atlanta in a private plane with Kevin Myers, a pastor from Georgia. Practicing what he preaches, Maxwell maximized the trip by using the travel time to mentor Myers. As they were sitting in the backseat of the car as we headed to the conference center, they were looking at the early draft of this book.
The book includes twenty-six chapters. Maxwell recommends that if you are an emerging leader, you spend twenty-six weeks working your way through the book—one week for every chapter. He suggests reading the chapter and then following the instructions in that chapter’s application section. However, if you are a more experienced leader, he suggests taking fifty-two weeks to work through the book. Why twice as long for an experienced leader? Because after you have worked your way through a chapter, he suggests that you spend a week taking the people you are mentoring through that same chapter. A “Mentoring Moment” is included after the helpful application exercises to help you do this.
The book covers a wide variety of leadership topics. My favorite chapters were those on working in your strengths zone and following your passion. The book is classic Maxwell, with interesting stories to illustrate his points.
Below are 35 of my favorite quotes from the book:

  • A leader’s credibility begins with personal success. It ends with helping others achieve personal success.
  • The best leaders know that leading people requires loving them! I’ve never met a good leader who didn’t care about people.
  • Good leaders understand that people do not care how much you know until they know how much you care.
  • The toughest person to lead is always yourself.
  • We tend to judge others according to their actions. It’s very cut-and-dried. However, we judge ourselves by our intentions. Even if we do the wrong thing, if we believe our motives were good, we let ourselves off the hook. And we are often willing to do that over and over before requiring ourselves to change.
  • Leading yourself well means that you hold yourself to a higher standard of accountability than others do.
  • People can change for the better only when they are open to improvement.
  • If you worry about what other people think of you, it’s because you have more confidence in their opinion than you have in your own.
  • Secure people forget about themselves so they can focus on others.
  • Insecurity and defensiveness are two characteristics that I have seen prevent many leaders from reaching their potential.
  • Following your passion is the key to finding your potential. You will not achieve the latter without pursuing the former.
  • When we hear without really listening, our leadership is bound to suffer—and so will our followers.
  • The more you work in your strength zone, the more successful you will be.
  • I believe success is Knowing your purpose in life, Growing to your maximum potential, and Sowing seeds that benefit others.
  • People’s purpose in life is always connected to their giftedness.
  • You are not called to do something that you have no talent for.
  • Good leaders help others find their strength zones and empower them to work in them.
  • The best leaders are highly intentional about developing their people.
  • The bottom line in leadership is whether the people being led are succeeding.
  • As a leader, you need to know and value your people for who they are and let them work according to their strengths.
  • As a leader, you should always challenge people to move out of their comfort zone, but never out of their strength zone.
  • In any organization, problems should always be solved at the lowest level possible.
  • Successful people focus on their strengths, not their weaknesses.
  • The best leaders invite the opinions of the people on their teams.
  • Nothing separates successful people from unsuccessful people more than how they use their time.
  • Anything worth doing is worth doing better.
  • As a leader, if I try to please everybody, eventually I will alienate everybody.
  • If you are not willing to take a risk, then you really have no business being a leader. You can’t play everything safe and expect to take people forward at the same time. Progress always requires risk.
  • To be a good leader, you have to learn to make your meetings effective.
  • Leadership is influence, nothing more, nothing less.
  • Any leader who does not lift up the lives of other people is not fulfilling the highest calling of being a leader.
  • People appreciate working for someone who appreciates them.
  • It is very easy to move from being a serving leader to being a self-serving one.
  • Passion for what you do is at the core of your success and fulfillment.
  • Leading followers is fast and easy, and it has little return; leading leaders is slow and hard, and it has great return.

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 begin looking at Chapter 3: Workers in the Pews. Here are a few takeaways from this first section:

  • Pastors and worship leaders need to cultivate a hungry curiosity about their people’s work. Learning about their careers and callings will improve the sermons they write, the prayers they pray, the benedictions they offer, and the songs they select.
  • It is important for pastors and worship leaders to regularly investigate the joyful and heartbreaking vocations that workers carry into worship.
  • The more that pastors and worship leaders immerse themselves in the working lives of their people, the more responsive and conversant worship can become.
  • Many workers sitting in the pews honestly believe that the cares and concerns of their working lives are not welcome in the sanctuary. They do their level best to suppress thoughts of work while they sit there.
  • In subtle and not-so-subtle ways the people in the pews are trained to check their work at the door.
  • Christian professionals today increasingly know their work matters to God. This is a wonderful development. But they don’t know how their work intersects with their corporate worship.
  • Pastors and worship leaders need to recognize that workplace rituals are forming and deforming their people all week long.
  • Pastors and worship leaders have a responsibility to develop Sunday liturgies that can confront and respond to marketplace malformations.
  • Intimacy with God at work can begin when a worker learns to bring their work to God in worship.
  • Intimacy with God at work is directly connected to how we enter the workplace.
  • The manner in which workers connect with God on Sunday is going to impact their connection with God on Monday.
  • Workers need to participate in Sunday liturgies that awaken them to God’s presence and power in all of life—not simply in the sanctuary.

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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