Faith and Work News ~ Links to Interesting Articles
- Jesus’ Career Before His Ministry: A Business Insider. Klaus Issler writes “By taking a deeper look at Jesus’ teachings and his own “secular” work experience prior to his public ministry, we may come to appreciate how this form of work had a significant role in Jesus’ life, and how it continues to have a vital role in in God’s ongoing work today.
- Sabotaging Success. In this short video, Mark Miller discusses how to troubleshoot the three ways leaders self-sabotage.
- The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill. My wife Tammy and I have been listening to the Christianity Today podcast The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill by Mike Cosper. I recommend it for all leaders.
- Is There Any Heavenly Good in Our Earthly Labor. John Pletcher looks at five story threads that summarize and potentially motivate us for God-honoring earthly work.
Click on ‘Continue reading’ for:
- More links to interesting articles
- The Top 10 Faith and Work Quotes of the Week
- My Review of Leading in Tough Times: Overcome Even the Greatest Challenges with Courage and Confidence by John Maxwell
- Snippets from the book Work and Worship: Reconnecting Our Labor and Liturgy by Matthew Kaemingk and Cory B. Willson
- Working As For the Lord. In this message from the 2021 Ligonier National Conference, Steven Lawson explains how we bear witness to the truth of God as we faithfully serve in our callings and vocations.
- 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).
- Education. In this episode of Minute with Maxwell, John Maxwell talks about the value of continuous learning and improving.
- Andrew Peterson Is On The Case. Ruthanne Jenkins interviews Andrew Peterson about his book Adorning the Dark, a favorite of mine.
- Thank God for Your Job (Doesn’t Matter What Your Job Is!) Tim Challies explains why you ought to thank God for your job, whatever your job is.
- What Does the Gospel of John Teach Us About Work? In this excerpt from his excellent book Immanuel Labor – God’s Presence in our Profession, Russ Gehrlein writes “The Gospel of John contains many references to work in its many forms.”
- Feel Like 2021 Has Been Harder Than 2020 On You As A Leader? You’re right. Here’s Why. Carey Nieuwhof shares five reasons leaders feel even more frustrated than they did a year ago.
- What Does It Mean To Be Called? Luke Bolton offers four simple encouragements to Christian entrepreneurs and business leaders.
- What’s the Difference Between Sloth and Rest? On this episode of the Ask Pastor John podcast, John Piper responds to the question “Can you, in principle, distinguish for us the indulgence of sinful sloth from the virtue of true rest?
- If we believe our work is a calling from God, we will “work heartily, as for the Lord,” seeking to glorify God and love others well by being the very best nurse practitioners, entrepreneurs, teachers, artists, carpenters, and executives we can possibly be. Jordan Raynor
- 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
- Success isn’t so much what you do with your life; it’s what you leave behind. Which may be what a calling is all about: leaving a legacy that matters. Jeff Goins
- If you work like the world, you will waste your life no matter how rich you get. If your work creates a web of redemptive relationships and becomes an adornment for the Gospel of the glory of Christ your satisfaction will last forever and God will be exalted in your joy. John Piper
- Not only does our day of rest and worship distinguish us from the world on Sundays but leads to a distinct work ethic on Mondays. Christians rest diligently, and we work diligently. Both are a witness to the watching world. Burk Parsons
- A person’s career or vocation can become an idol. The person becomes so obsessed with getting ahead or making it to the top that both God and family take second place. Jerry Bridges
- The Christian shoemaker does his duty not by putting little crosses on the shoes, but by making good shoes, because God is interested in good craftsmanship. Martin Luther
- Wouldn’t it be great if one day every employee had the opportunity to go to work with enthusiasm and to come home more fulfilled as a result of being there? Patrick Lencioni
- We fulfill our calling, wherever we are placed or planted. We are never released or excused from our purpose in life because this is the reason we are alive. Dee Ann Turner
Leading in Tough Times: Overcome Even the Greatest Challenges with Courage and Confidence by John Maxwell. Center Street. 145 pages. 2021
This is a “new” book from John Maxwell, created using content from several of his previous books. He writes that good leaders understand that adversity and challenges are actually opportunities to rise up in leadership. He writes that the first step you must take as you approach tough times is to prepare yourself as a leader. One of the most challenging tasks any leader faces is being a change agent and leading people through tough times. But it can also be one of the most rewarding. As a leader in tough times, you need to become a change agent. You need to help others embrace positive change, even when it takes them outside their comfort zone. During tough times, your job is to motivate your team to keep moving forward despite the obstacles in their path. During tough times, communication may be the leader’s most important skill. Everything else hinges on it.
The book covers a wide variety of subjects related to leading in tough times, including servant leadership, growth, implementing change, overcoming teamwork, trust, challenges, risk, motivation, encouragement, communication, listening, asking questions, values, vision, decision making, leadership pressures, ethics,
The book is sprinkled with interesting quotes, but not many illustrations as are normally included in his books, and lacking any references to his time leading as a pastor for twenty-five years, resulting in an overall lack of warmth that you would normally get from a Maxwell book. Still, the content here is solid.
Below are some of my favorite quotes from the book:
- I believe the only worthy motivation for leadership is a desire to serve. If you want to lead but are unwilling to serve people, I think you need to check your motives.
- If you are willing to embrace servanthood, not only will you become a better leader, you will help your team, help the people your team serves, and make the world a better place.
- Leaders need to keep growing in order to keep leading. They cannot expect their followers to grow and improve if they aren’t doing so as well. This is especially important during tough times, because tough times bring change. Confident leaders experience genuine joy in the success of others. When others shine, so do they.
- Good leaders focus on the needs and wants of their people, and as far as it is within their power, they make their people’s hopes and dreams a priority.
- Trust is one of the foundations of effective leadership. Trust is a two-way street. If you want your team to trust you, you need to trust them. That means you must value others enough to give them your trust.
- One of your jobs as a leader is to paint a picture of their future that inspires them to work harder today. Tell them who they can become. Show them what they could someday be doing. This must be done with integrity, because as leaders, we never want to manipulate people. We just want to help them envision the future.
- Risk is rarely comfortable. It requires us to get out of our comfort zone. Yet that’s where we need to live in order to make changes and develop winning strategies.
- You will drastically increase your results if you stop doing what you’re not great at and instead focus on what you do best.
- If you care about people, treat them with respect, and build positive relationships with them, you actually have increased opportunities to have hard conversations with them that will help them to grow and perform better.
- Good leaders communicate the vision of the organization once, then continually remind the team of it. They don’t stop there. They also communicate the vision through their own actions. Modeling the vision helps people understand and embrace it in ways they may not have before.
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 look at Chapter 10: Work at the Lord’s Table. Here are a few takeaways from the chapter:
- All over the world, in every denomination and in every culture, workers arrive at the table hungry and thirsty for the work of Christ.
- The following are seven verbs, seven particular actions a worker might engage in at the table. To examine To approach To thank To receive To share To hold To consume.
- Workers must carefully examine their work and their week before they approach the table.
- Christ alone can carry a worker to the table. Christ alone can make the worker new. Christ alone can turn our work into worship.
- The ultimate purpose of our work is not out own flourishing, it’s the flourishing of others. We work so that others might work, worship, and flourish within God’s gracious and just economy.
- In humbly receiving bread and wine, the worker encounters a perplexing and beautiful paradox at the intersection between faith, work, and worship.
- Week after week, workers have to practice resting in the gracious economy of God at the table.
- Holding real bread and real wine in their hands, workers can meditate on the work of Christ in their lives and labor.
- While the rest of worship has invited the worker to enter into God’s economy, at the table, God’s gracious economy has actually entered into the worker. Christ and the worker are now one.