Coram Deo ~

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FAITH AND WORK: Connecting Sunday to Monday

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Faith and Work News ~ Links to Interesting Articles

  • It’s Not About You. Dee Ann Turner writes “Developing the ability to put others first, leading by serving and focusing on adding value rather than extracting it are important skills in managing your own ego. An out-of-control ego often leads to a derailed career. If you want to crush your career, managing your ego is an important skill to develop”.
  • Being Teachable. On this episode of Minute with Maxwell, John Maxwell states that traits of one who is teachable or coachable is that they want to learn and have the right attitude.
  • How Do I Explain a Church Switch to Colleagues? Charlie Self responds to the question “How do I explain to non-Christian colleagues about having left my former church? Sadly, during the pandemic my church pastor and elders announced major changes—to adopt a liberal, egalitarian, and LGBQT-embracing agenda. After much discussion and prayer, I’ve resigned as a member. I often invited unbelieving work friends to church events. As restrictions ease and our office is due to reopen, I don’t know how to explain my switch if the matter arises. Can you suggest any principles or approaches?”

Click on ‘Continue reading’ for:

  • More links to interesting articles
  • The Top 10 Faith and Work Quotes of the Week
  • My Review of Better Decisions, Fewer Regrets: 5 Questions to Help You Determine Your Next Move by Andy Stanley
  • Snippets from the book Work and Worship: Reconnecting Our Labor and Liturgy by Matthew Kaemingk and Cory B. Willson

  • From Hero to Zero. Russ Gehrlein writes “Like Elijah, I had clearly seen God come through for me in a mighty way over months and months of behind the scenes work in planning our major event.  It was one of the biggest projects I had ever done.  And yet, despite the overwhelming success, I ended up in a desert place, feeling fear and doubt.”
  • Mark Miller on Employee Engagement. In this short video, Mark Miller breaks down four things you can do to keep your employees engaged at work.
  • Is All Work Equal? Yes and No. Daniel Doriani writes “In short, all work can please Godand every honest job has worth, but executives exert greater influence than security guards do – I say this as a former security guard.”
  • 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).
  • Olympians and the Book of Hebrews: Running with Perseverance. Hugh Whelchel writes “We need to keep our eyes on Jesus if we want to finish the race well. Our race is much longer than 400 meters and the prize is much more valuable than a gold medal.”
  • Creating a Fruitful Workplace. In the first in a series of articles, Joshua Nangle writes “When the Holy Spirit is included in our work, we have healthy and balanced work environments where people can flourish.”
  • There is No Age Limit for Kingdom Work. Daniel Seabaugh writes “Older saints, God has work for you to do. Your race is not finished. Although our culture values youth, God values you and has work for you to do.”
  • Connecting ‘The Doctrine of Creation’ and Work. Robert Covolo writes “Bruce Ashford and Craig Bartholomew’s recently released volume, The Doctrine of Creation, is a fresh, in-depth exploration that shows the rich connections between a God who made everything and our everyday work.”
  • Character is the Core of Leadership. On this episode of Minute with Maxwell, John Maxwell tells us that when a person has character, we can trust them. If you lack character and you lead it will destroy you. Character is a choice; we are not born with it.

  • The biblical worldview has the highest opinion of the most menial of work. Tim Keller
  • We must shine the light of Christ in dark places and become part of His work to bring common grace to all who are made in His image. Russ Gehrlein
  • The easiest way to miss your calling is to ignore the call. Jeff Goins
  • All honest work is sacred when devoted to the glory of God. Dan Doriani
  • Real Work is a contribution to the good of all and not merely a means to one’s own advancement. Tim Keller
  • Following Christ means viewing our entire life (including our work) as service to God and others rather than as a means of getting something from this world. Jordan Raynor
  • People will forget your brilliance, but they will never forget your compassion. Burk Parsons
  • Your calling, when you find and embrace it, will result in the merging of your skills, talents, character traits, and experiences. John Maxwell
  • In our daily work no matter how important or mundane, we serve God by serving the neighbor and we also participate in God’s on-going providence for the human race. Martin Luther

Better Decisions, Fewer Regrets: 5 Questions to Help You Determine Your Next Move by Andy Stanley. Zondervan. 192 pages. 2020
***

I have enjoyed Stanley’s work on leadership – books such as Visioneering, Next Generation Leader and Making Vision Stick – and his Andy Stanley Leadership Podcast. I read this book from the perspective of leadership, but the five questions pertain to all facets of our lives. The book goes over five questions, with plenty of illustrations, a primary application from scripture, and “decision”, to go with each question.
Stanley writes that good questions lead to better decisions, and better decisions lead to fewer regrets. The questions in the book are for us to ask ourselves every time we make a decision of any consequence. He tells us that if we can develop the discipline to pause and ask these five questions before making important decisions, we will make better decisions and have fewer regrets.
He writes that our decisions are how we control our lives. They will determine the story of our lives. Our decisions will determine the direction and the quality of our lives.
The five questions are:

  • The Integrity Question: Am I being honest with myself . . . really?
  • The Legacy Question: What story do I want to tell?
  • The Conscience Question: Is there a tension that deserves my attention?
  • The Maturity Question: What is the wise thing to do?
  • The Relationship Question: What does love require of me?

Below are a few of my takeaways about each of the five questions:

The Integrity Question Am I Being Honest with Myself . . . Really?

  • Self-leadership is a critical component to our success in every arena of life. You’ll never be a leader worth following if you don’t lead yourself well.
  • Exceptional self-leadership, not authority, is the key to sustained influence.
  • Your influence won’t last if you don’t lead yourself well first. Great leaders last because they lead themselves first.
  • If you aren’t honest about why you are choosing what you are choosing, you will have a difficult time taking responsibility for the outcome of your choosing.

The Legacy Question What Story Do I Want to Tell?

  • Every decision you make, every decision becomes a permanent part of your story. The story of your life.
  • Decision by decision, you are writing the story of your life.
  • When confronted with anything or anybody that has strong emotional appeal, press pause, not play.

The Conscience Question Is There a Tension That Deserves My Attention?

  • That internal hesitation, that red flag, is often God’s way of turning us in another direction.
  • Is there a tension that deserves your attention? If so, pay attention to that tension. That’s a decision you will never regret.

The Maturity Question What Is the Wise Thing to Do?

  • An option can be both not wrong and unwise at the same time.
  • Our greatest regrets are always preceded by a series of unwise decisions.
  • Unwise is the gateway to regret.
  • In light of your past experience, your current circumstances, and your future hopes and dreams, what is the wise thing to do?

The Relationship Question What Does Love Require of Me?

  • This will be the question you will be most tempted not to answer honestly.
  • When unsure of what to say or do, ask what love requires of you.
  • We are to do unto others as our heavenly Father, through Christ, has done unto us.
  • There’s no guaranteed return on investment with this question.

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 complete 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:

  • Offerings afforded workers the opportunity to celebrate, remember, and practice the gracious economy of God. All three of these elements were critical to their spiritual formation.
  • At the Lord’s Table workers learned that all of their labors combined were radically dependent on a work that far surpassed their own.
  • Workers offer themselves to God in the sanctuary so they might learn to continually offer themselves to God in the streets (Rom. 12:1).
  • Emmanuel did not come to rescue humanity from his creation; he came to reside with, work alongside, and restore humanity to a renewed creation and a renewed work within his world.
  • In order for work to become worship, a greater work must be accomplished; in order for workers to become priests, a higher priest must ordain them.
  • It is only through Christ’s work on the cross that humanity’s work in the world can be transformed into holy sacrifices of worship.
  • Just as Christ took up our humanity and presented it to the Father, now also Christ takes up our work (present in the bread and wine) and lifts it up to God in an act of thanksgiving and praise.
  • In worship, Christ lifts workers up, having redeemed them and their work, and Christ offers them to the Father in an act of worship.
  • Sadly, the ancient practices of first-fruits offerings would slowly die out in the Christian liturgy.

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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