Faith and Work News ~ Links to Interesting Articles
- 10 Signs Pastors Do Not Respect or Properly Value Their Elders. I’m hoping that these signs from Brian Dodd are not typical of your church leadership team.
- What Are You Afraid Of? Howard Graham writes “Fearlessness starts with hope in something far greater than ourselves. It starts with an awestruck respect for God.”
- Where Should I Move After Graduation? Meryl Herr responds to the question “I am finishing up my degree and am looking for job and internship opportunities in different cities. What should I consider when choosing a place to live? Best job opportunity? Closest to family? A place with solid churches? Good friends?”
Click on ‘Continue reading’ for:
- More links to interesting articles
- The Top 10 Faith and Work Quotes of the Week
- My Review of Faithful Leaders: and the Things That Matter Most by Rico Tice
- Snippets from the book Work and Worship: Reconnecting Our Labor and Liturgy by Matthew Kaemingk and Cory B. Willson
- How to Go from Being a “Doer” to a Leader with Ashley Lamothe. On this episode of the Crush Your Career podcast, Dee Ann Turner is joined by Ashley Lamothe, who was the youngest black female owner-operator of a Chick-fil-A franchise when awarded her own business at the age of 26. Ashley and Dee Ann talk about her path to franchise ownership, the importance of mentorship, the leadership journey, how to go from doing to leading, important factors that determine the success of a leader, and more.
- Four Critical Characteristics of Effective Leaders. Dave Kraft shares four key characteristics of effective leaders from Mark Sanborn’s book, You Don’t Need a Title to Be a Leader.
- The Intrinsic Value of Work. Russ Gehrlein writes “All work that produces shalom is valuable, regardless of whether we get paid for it. This means that the intrinsic value of the work of a mother, a college student, or a volunteer, is just as valuable as one who earns a wage or salary.”
- 7 Markers of Great Leadership. Ron Edmondson writes “When you see these markers combined, you’ve probably found an amazing leader”.
- 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).
- Honor Your Limits When You’re Limited on Time. Meryl Herr responds to the question “Do you have any suggestions for how to free up time when you can’t outsource?”
- Faith + Work LA Podcast – Bonus Episode: A Conversation with Matthew Kaemingk & Cory B. Willson. As a follow-up to his three-part blog series, Robert Covolo sits down for a conversation with Matthew Kaemingk and Cory B. Willson, the authors of the excellent new book Work and Worship: Reconnecting Our Labor and Liturgy, which we are reading together on the blog. In this episode, they discuss how and why the book came together, the intersection of work + worship, what we can learn from the Old Testament and the early church on the relationship between work + worship, and how to best respond in our lives today.
- The Surprising Importance of Self in Ministry Leadership. Simon Stokes shares how the Bowen Family Systems Theory(BFST) has helped him understand the surprising importance of investing in oneself for ministry leadership.
- Matthew Kaemingk on Work and Worship. How can ministry leaders help lead congregants to engage their weekly work alongside their Sunday worship? On this episode of the Faith & Work podcast from the Denver Institute for Faith & Work, Joanna and Brian talk with Matthew Kaemingk, co-author of Work & Worship: Reconnecting Our Labor and Liturgy, about his most recent publication.
- The Way We’re Working Isn’t Working. Daniel Patterson reviews A World Without Email: Reimagining Work in an Age of Communication Overload by Cal Newport, who also wrote Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World. Patterson writes “In all, the main goal of A World Without Emailis to point out how the system around us is broken, to point to a future that doesn’t yet exist, but will, and to invite readers to inhabit that future now. On a much more cosmic scale, that’s an argument Christians make regularly, and can appreciate.”
- Don’t Ignore the Ordinary in Extraordinary Times. Tish Harrison Warren writes “We grieve the darkness in our world and in our vocational lives, and then take up our ordinary work to join God in making all things new.”
Top 10 Faith and Work Quotes of the Week
- In all our work, we strive to bring credit to God’s name. Dan Doriani
- Work is a gift, especially when God is present in it. Russ Gehrlein
- Therefore, do not be discontented with your calling. Whatever God has made your position or your work, remain in that, unless you are quite sure that He calls you to something else. Let your first concern be to glorify God to the best of your ability where you are. Charles Spurgeon
- The book of Genesis leaves us with a striking truth – work was part of paradise and before the Fall. Tim Keller
- 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
- Stewarding my time is not about selfishly pursuing only the things I like to do. It’s about effectively serving others in the ways I’m best able to serve and in the ways I am most uniquely called to serve. Kevin DeYoung
- In America, credentials qualify a person to lead. In Jesus, the chief qualification is character. Scott Sauls
- God is glorified when we serve Him in our proper vocations. Charles Spurgeon
- The true measure of leaders is not the number of people who serve them but the number of people they serve. John Maxwell
Faithful Leaders: and the Things That Matter Most by Rico Tice. The Good Book Company. 88 pages. 2021
In the “Foreword” for this book, Alistair Begg writes that he has come to understand that Christian leadership does not come naturally, and never becomes easy. He also states that the church does not progress beyond the spiritual progress of its leaders.
The author, a pastor in central London, tells us that our measure of success or failure will be what God says to us the day we die. It will either be “You fool”, or “Well done, good and faithful servant”. He writes that success is hearing “Well done” from the only lips that matter. Failure is being successful at things that don’t truly matter at all. This book is about what it takes to live so that we hear “Well done” instead of “You fool”. He wants us to live every day in a way that means that on that future day you’ll hear the divine “Well done”. To do that we must do two things:
- Get the word right
- Get our character right
The author tells us that we are to cut the word straight, so that people can see it clearly and simply. We do not want people to leave our sermons saying how clever or eloquent we are but how great Christ is. He encourages leaders to make sure your character matches up with your teaching.
The author tells us that you cannot lead others well if you cannot lead yourself well. Find a failure of pastoral leadership and, if you look underneath, you’ll see a failure of self-leadership. Self-leadership is essential, but it is not easy—and so being willing to listen and to be held accountable is key. He tells us that we need friends with whom we commit to confidentiality, intimacy and accountability.
The author tells us that the choice that everyone in Christian leadership must make is the choice between leading like Jesus, by pursuing Jesus-like greatness, and leading like the world, by pursuing what the world defines as greatness. Will your leadership be marked by self-seeking or self-sacrifice? True greatness shows itself in humble service. When you lead by serving, you get to be like Jesus. If you want people to follow you, to keep following you, and to be glad years later that they chose to follow you, then show them Christ in the way you lead them.
Among the topics the author addresses in this short book are false teaching, sin (using the story of Achan in Joshua 7), rest, accountability, being a servant leader (using Mark 10: 35-45) and listening.
This is a book for anyone in any kind of church leadership, though it will probably be most helpful to preaching pastors. Helpful questions for reflection or discussion, if reading with others, are included at the end of the book.
Below are a few of my favorite quotes from the book:
- Some of us are very good at hiding our sin from others and even from ourselves, but he sees it all, and to him we must give an account.
- Your sin may be a private thing to you but it is not private to God, and it affects your family and your whole church.
- You will treasure the gospel to the degree that you remember its truths and to the degree that you see your sin.
- If we want to seek true greatness, then it is expressed in service.
- Christian leaders are called to be servants, not bosses.
- Our attitude towards leadership will always show itself in the way we treat those who can do little for us.
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 continue looking at Chapter 6: The Psalms Singing God’s Work Into Ours. Here are a few takeaways from this section:
- The vivid words and images of the psalms enable workers to articulate and offer their working lives to God in profound and transformative ways.
- Within today’s faith and work movement much is made of carrying the biblical lessons of Sunday into Monday. The psalms enable the opposite. They give the worker an opportunity to carry their raw emotions of Monday into Sunday.
- The psalms offer workers a vocabulary for use in honest dialogues with God.
- The psalms will not romanticize work in a fallen world.
- These songs will tell the raw truth—sometimes in an all-out rage—that work is not what it is supposed to be.
- If Exodus assures workers that they can scream out to God about work, Psalms provides workers with the words they are allowed to scream.
- Both the spirituals and the psalms function as condensed forms of spiritual vitality and resilience that are desperately needed among oppressed workers today.
- Contemporary forms of worship can sometimes feel like a one-way conversation. Workers sit in the pews and are the passive recipients of sermonic monologues directed at them. The psalms, however, initiate a dynamic conversation, a vocational dialogue between the sanctuary and the streets.