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

  • Arrogance in the Workplace is Serious Business. John Kyle writes “The good news is that the Holy Spirit is ever-present in our lives. He teaches and guides us through God’s Word and enables us to see things in ourselves that we can’t see on our own.”
  • How to Receive Criticism with Grace. Scott Sauls writes “Because everyone is flawed, everyone can also expectcriticism from time to time. But these days, a carefully timed, well-placed call-out can have the outsized effect of “canceling” someone socially, culturally, professionally, denominationally, or otherwise.”
  • How Can I Stop Sexual Harassment Before It Starts? Charlie Self responds to the question “My secular workplace has detailed policies on how to address sexual harassment when it happens, but as a manager, I’d rather stop it before it begins. Do you have any advice on how I might do that?”
  • Peace of Mind in a Rapidly Changing World. Joshua Nangle writes “If he called you, he will sustain you to the end because, ultimately, your life is not about you. It is about him, and what he starts, he finishes.”

Click on ‘Continue reading’ for:

  • More links to interesting articles
  • The Top 10 Faith and Work Quotes of the Week
  • My Review of The Multi-Directional Leader: Responding Wisely to Challenges from Every Side by Trevin Wax
  • Snippets from the book Work and Worship: Reconnecting Our Labor and Liturgy by Matthew Kaemingk and Cory B. Willson

  • Highlights from Work + Worship. Recently, the Denver Institute and Park Church hosted Work + Worship: An Interactive Worship Experience. Guest speaker Dr. Matthew Kaemingk, co-author of Work & Worship: Reconnecting Our Labor and Liturgy, discussed practical ways to structure church worship services for local congregations and left worship leaders with a charge to fully embrace all gifts and talents of their congregation and to go out and share the good news of the gospel as they live fully empowered in their places of work. Watch Dr. Kaemingk’s message, which begins at the 34:30 point in the video.
  • Work That Makes a Difference: An Interview With Dan Doriani. David Qaoud interviews Dan Doriani about his new book Work That Makes a Difference.
  • Mark Miller on Mentorship. In this short video, Mark Miller talks about finding a mentor.
  • How Do I Find Strength to Endure at Work? Russ Gehrlein responds to the question “Do you have recommendations on how to pursue Christian perseverance? At work, I’m being pushed to the end of myself and I feel this fleshly desire to lash out and defend myself. However, I want to pursue humility and examine my own heart to see what mistakes I’ve made. Also, I don’t want to have a negative attitude while I am at work.”
  • 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).
  • Living the Bible on Work. On this episode of the Living the Bible podcast, David Murray talks about how we can enjoy our jobs better by looking at Colossians 3:22-4:1
  • Work and Rest. Enjoy this message from Luke 6 by Tim Keller. As Christians, we are able to enter into his rest and enjoy the same rest that God enjoyed after creation, by means of his works, not ours. The Sabbath is a blessing from God and one we will only enjoy if we understand it correctly.
  • On this episode of Minute with Maxwell, John Maxwell tells us that a calling is higher than a career.
  • Looking for Your Role in God’s Kingdom? Start Here. Tim Barnett writes “If you’re trying to find your role in serving the kingdom of God, remember these four things.”
  • Retirement in the Bible? Some New Thoughts and Encouragements. Mark Roberts writes “Thus, whether you’re thinking about retiring from your primary job or planning to continue on for many years, if you’re in the third third of life, perhaps it’s time for you to invest your life and leadership in one or more younger people. Who are your younger Levites? Your Elisha? Your Joshua? What might God be calling you to do for them?”
  • Carey Nieuwhof on Working at Your Best, Part 1. Doing your best work—and enjoying the process—begins by scheduling your highest priority work at the time of day when your natural energy levels are highest. How do you combat burnout and live at your best? On this episode of the Andy Stanley Leadership Podcast listen to Carey Nieuwhof and Stanley discuss working at your best.

  • The command to love our neighbor as ourselves can steer so much of our behavior at work. Dan Doriani
  • If God exists then every good endeavor, even the simplest ones, pursued in response to God’s calling can matter forever. Tim Keller
  • Are you doing what you’re merely capable of, or what you’re called to? It’s never too late to do what you were made to do. Bob Goff
  • 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
  • If I find myself becoming more zealous for my reputation than I am for Jesus’ reputation in the world, I am likewise headed in a wrong and damaging direction. Scott Sauls
  • We are not to choose jobs and conduct our work to fulfill ourselves and accrue power, for being called by God to do something is empowering enough. We are to see work as a way of service to God and our neighbor. Tim Keller
  • This job has been given to me to do. Therefore, it is a gift. Therefore, it is a privilege. Therefore, it is an offering I may make to God. Therefore, it is to be done gladly, if it is done for Him. Here, not somewhere else, I may learn God’s way. Elisabeth Elliot
  • God has placed you right where you need to be and has empowered you with all the skills you need to do this work for His purposes and glory. Russ Gehrlein
  • As a philosophy of leadership, servant leadership may be considered one option among many others; but as a theology of leadership, it is a mandate for all who call Jesus Lord. Ken Blanchard and Phil Hodges

FAITH AND WORK BOOK REVIEW:

The Multi-Directional Leader: Responding Wisely to Challenges from Every Side by Trevin Wax. The Gospel Coalition. 102 pages. 2021
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This book exhorts pastors and church leaders towards a vision of leadership that the author calls “multi-directional”. He tells us that one-directional leaders are skillful in spotting and thwarting threats to the sheep that come from a single direction of the field. Multi-directional leaders, on the other hand, fend off threats from more than one direction. To be multi-directional is to lead with dexterity and discipline. The author’s goal is to help us learn how to better and more effectively respond with wisdom to challenges from every side. He tells us that a truth central to multi-directional leadership is that different problems require different remedies, and that moving from a one-directional to multi-directional posture requires courage.
After defining the difference between one-directional and multi-directional leadership, the author gives us examples of leaders who have demonstrated multi-directional leadership, such as Jesus, Paul, John Stott, Charles Simeon, Billy Graham and Tim Keller. He then looks at applications of one-directional and multi-directional leadership in the areas of racism, complementarianism and the interpretation of scripture. Although a short book, this is a helpful book about the concept of multi-directional leadership.
Below are some of my favorite quotes from the book:

  • One-directional leaders leave the flock vulnerable and defenseless against threats from a different side of the field. Multi-directional leaders, though, spot various threats from different angles and adjust their leadership accordingly.
  • Multi-directional leaders not only recognize the reality of dangers from multiple angles, but also their need for different people to help their ministry and provide appropriate cautions. They know they have blind spots, and so they rely on others to help them see.
  • We need pastors and church leaders to sharpen their skills in fighting threats to the church that come from multiple directions. Unfortunately, many church members have come to prefer leaders who will point out the dangers coming from only one direction—while never offering a warning or uncovering the blind spots that may originate closer to home.
  • Multi-directional leadership must be distinguished from moderation. It is not about finding a perfect balance of competing interests and beliefs. It’s not about finding the middle between extremes, but about holding fiercely to both extremes, insofar as we see them in Scripture.
  • Christian leadership requires an imagination formed by Scripture as well as a deep understanding of the current cultural moment, so we know what to say and when, what to emphasize and how, and what challenges to face and where.
  • We need leaders who know their Bible and their times well enough to see threats coming from more than one direction.
  • We must pay attention to alarms sounded by people inside and outside our immediate circles. And we must seek to better understand our tendencies and temptations, as well as those of the people we lead.
  • Know yourself, take stock of your history, and recognize why you lean the way you do. In the end, you must submit to Scripture and stay alert to the way your tendencies may lead you to downplay dangers from other sides.
  • Multi-directional leaders work hard to keep both eyes open: be aware of wider cultural trends, but be most attentive to the pressing needs of your particular congregation.
  • Multi-directional leadership requires us to reject the fear of losing status. We must pursue faithful versatility no matter the risks, and never sacrifice our convictions in order to satisfy followers or peers.
  • Multi-directional leaders must recognize the risks in issuing warnings that may upset their followers.
  • Multi-directional leadership requires discernment, carefully sifting what is biblical from what is not, so that our unified action stands out with love in a world filled with disdain.

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 our review of Chapter 9: The Early Church Offering Work Becomes Worship in Christ. Here are a few takeaways from this section of the chapter:

  • Early Christian farmers and merchants who carried their work into worship could expect their work to serve one of three functions in the global work of Christ: poverty relief, ministry support, and worshipful communion. All three of these functions were considered a part of the church’s “liturgy” in the city.
  • Within the threefold offering, the Christian worker was providing for the poor in their city, strengthening the ministry of their church, and honoring their God in worship: all three of these actions constituted their leitourgia.
  • A Christian merchant’s work and worship were united, integrated, and interwoven through this threefold liturgy.
  • In and through the practice of offering, work and worship became one.
  • The Didache, possibly the earliest document discussing Christian worship, explicitly mentions the role and importance of the first-fruits offering in worship.
  • The lines of liturgical continuity between ancient Israel and the early church are striking (e.g., Deut. 26).
  • Origen, for example, noted that the regular observance of first-fruits offerings was a critical ingredient in helping ancient workers acknowledge and remember the presence of God in their everyday 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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