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

  • Should I Look for a Better Job? Greg Phelan responds to the question “How do you know when to take another job? I’ve been at my current workplace for two years. Everything is fine here, but I think I could push myself harder and learn more at another employer. Is it time to move on?
  • Should I Stay or Should I Go? Chip Roper writes “There’s always angst about career choice floating in the ether. Over half of us workers would change jobs if we could and 50% of Millennials think they chose the wrong career. So how do you know if it is time to go? Short answer: 1) Understand your moment and 2) Respond accordingly.”
  • Submitting to God’s Will – Even When Your Career Falls Apart. Stevan Becker writes “When difficulty, misunderstanding, resistance, and animosities come my way, it helps me to be reminded not to seek my own justice.”
  • Seeing Others with Divine Wonder. John Pletcher writes “How do you see people with whom you work—your clients, coworkers, and employees, especially those who are suffering or just different in light of their disabilities and special needs?”

Click on ‘Continue reading’ for:

  • More links to interesting articles
  • The Top 10 Faith and Work Quotes of the Week
  • My Review of Lead like Christ: Reflecting the Qualities and Character of Christ in Your Ministry by A.W. Tozer
  • Snippets from the book Work and Worship: Reconnecting Our Labor and Liturgy by Matthew Kaemingk and Cory B. Willson

  • Business Should Bear Fruit. Howard Graham writes “To do business in the vineyard is a gift with the unending upside of fruit-filled glory. To do business this way is a confirmation of who God created us to be. Bearing fruit in business is worship to God and loving service to others (Romans 12:1).”
  • Set the Pace. Mark Miller discusses the first of three best practices for “Betting on Leadership”, Set the Pace.
  • What I’ve Learned About Jesus Christ & Full-Time Christian Service. Klaus Issler looks at some implications from Jesus’ life when it comes to ‘secular work’”.
  • Reading Recommendations. Jacqueline Isaacs shares these recommendations from IFWE, including Immanuel Labor—God’s Presence in Our Profession from our friend Russ Gehrlein.
  • Biblical Joy in the Workplace. In his third article in a series about applying the fruit of the Holy Spirit in our workplaces, Joshua Nangleexamines how joy is the result of seeking the presence of God in our work.
  • Who Are Your People? Russ Gehrlein asks “Who are the unique individuals God has placed in your midst that He has called you to serve?”
  • 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).
  • When No One Is Watching: The Heart of a Christian Remote Worker. Reagan Rose writes “While remote work presents many benefits to both workers and employers, it also comes with its own unique challenges. And there’s one challenge every Christian worker needs to face head-on: Integrity. I’m talking about doing what’s right when nobody is watching.”
  • God Gives You Great Purpose. Howard Graham writes “You see, it doesn’t matter what your job description is on paper, or even what’s in your bank account. You have been given incredible dignity, significance, and purpose.”
  • 7 Things Your Christian Healthcare Worker Wants You to Know. Gaye Clark writes “As the pandemic lingers longer than any of us anticipated, here are seven things Christian healthcare workers would like you to know.”

  • We are commanded to be time redeemers, those who reclaim our time from useless pursuits and employ it to the glory of God. Jen Wilkin
  • We are to see work as a way of service to God and our neighbor, and so we should both choose and conduct our work in accordance with that purpose. Tim Keller
  • What a joy it would be if we could go to work every day recognizing that God was using us to make a difference in the lives of others. Russ Gehrlein
  • All men were created to busy themselves with labor for the common good. John Calvin
  • The gospel frees us from the relentless pressure of having to prove ourselves and secure our identity through work. Tim Keller
  • In America, leaders crave recognition and credit. In Jesus, leaders think less of themselves, and give credit to others. Scott Sauls
  • Anyone can “succeed” in their work, whether ministry, sales, IT, finance, whatever. It’s easy. Just make an idol out of it. It’s working hard and doing well at your work while funneling your heart’s deepest longings and satisfactions into God–now that’s the real trick. Dane Ortlund
  • A servant leader recognizes the tremendous responsibility not only to lead, but also to serve. A commitment to servant leadership permeates a remarkable culture. Dee Ann Turner
  • Among the qualities Paul says are necessary for spiritual leadership: self-controlled, sensible, respectable, hospitable, not a bully, gentle, not quarrelsome. To live this out would be countercultural in our age of outrage. Daniel Darling

Lead like Christ: Reflecting the Qualities and Character of Christ in Your Ministry by A.W. Tozer. Compiled and edited by James L. Snyder. Bethany House Publishers. 192 pages. 2021
** ½

This book is based on a series of sermons delivered by A.W. Tozer on the book of Titus. Tozer’s sermons were compiled and edited by James L. Snyder. Snyder tells us to consider the book as a workbook to empower men and women to be the kinds of leaders needed by the church today. Tozer wrote that his purpose for the book was to focus on how we, as servants of Christ, can lead like Christ in the circumstances we are in today.
Tozer focuses on the book of Titus, which records how Paul mentored Titus to be a model servant and lead like Christ. His prayer is that we will be an example, as Titus was, of leading like Christ in the ministry that we are in right now. He includes a prayer at the end of each of the relatively short chapters.
In the book, Tozer takes us through sections of the book of Titus, commenting on aspects of the text. For example, he tells us that leading like Christ will require a thorough understanding of biblical doctrine. To lead like Christ, the first thing we need to do is to know Christ. He tells us that it is the Holy Spirit, and nothing else, who runs and energizes our spiritual leadership. To lead like Christ demands the heart of Christ. He tells us that spiritual leadership depends a great amount on the ministry of preaching. Good leaders are those who lead us, not those who command us. He writes that the Christ-led church will never mirror the culture, but will always reflect the Lord Jesus Christ in all of His glory. Our success comes not by imitating the world, but rather by imitating Christ. Our leadership should always reflect the values of Christ in all we do.
Tozer points out that as Paul is telling Titus the qualifications for church leadership, intellectual qualifications are entirely missing. Instead, the focus is on character traits.
Tozer steps out of the book of Titus to look at the subject of spiritual warfare. He tells us that spiritual warfare is a significant part of leadership today. Too often, though, it is either ignored or overly emphasized. As spiritual leaders, we need to prepare ourselves and our people for spiritual warfare. He writes that as a Christlike leader, he was responsible for training his people in spiritual warfare and putting on the armor of God. He tells us that one of the great problems in leadership, particularly in the area of spiritual warfare, is overconfidence in self.
Tozer tells us that to lead like Christ will cost us everything. We should expect the same kind of persecution that came to Christ, the apostle Paul, Titus, and all the followers of Christ down to this time.
The book was not exactly what I was expecting when I purchased it. I was expecting more about leadership in this book, along the lines of Lead Like Jesus by Ken Blanchard and Phil Hodges. Instead, Lead Like Christ is more like a sermon series on Titus, with occasional references to spiritual leadership.

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 look at Chapter 11 Worship That Gathers Workers. Here are a few takeaways from the chapter:

  • In times of great harvest, workers need to be reminded that they are not self-sufficient, self-made men and women. Their boom crops, bonuses, and promotions are thanks to the unmerited favor of God.
  • Failing to give God praise for his provisions in our professional lives can lead to a functional atheism. Workers come to believe that they are self-made successes—begotten of their own professional brilliance, willpower, and grit.
  • Corporate worship can and should gather workers’ vocational requests and petitions.
  • Through prayers and petitions offered in the sanctuary, workers can slowly begin the practice of dialoguing with God about their work.
  • Worshipers who regularly carry their life and work to God in the sanctuary are being formed to carry God’s life and work back into their workplaces.

Author: Bill Pence

I’m Bill Pence – married to my best friend Tammy, a graduate of Covenant Seminary, St. Louis Cardinals fan, formerly a manager at a Fortune 50 organization, and in leadership at my local church. I am a life-long learner and have a passion to help people develop, and to use their strengths to their fullest potential. I am an INTJ on Myers-Briggs, 3 on the Enneagram, my top five Strengthsfinder themes are: Belief, Responsibility, Learner, Harmony, and Achiever, and my two StandOut strength roles are Creator and Equalizer. My favorite book is the Bible, with Romans my favorite book of the Bible, and Colossians 3:23 and 2 Corinthians 5:21 being my favorite verses. Some of my other favorite books are The Holiness of God and Chosen by God by R.C. Sproul, and Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper. I enjoy music in a variety of genres, including modern hymns, Christian hip-hop and classic rock. My book Called to Lead: Living and Leading for Jesus in the Workplace and Tammy’s book Study, Savor and Share Scripture: Becoming What We Behold are available in paperback and Kindle editions on Amazon.

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