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

  • What Should I Do When My Colleague Overpromises? Charlie Self responds to the question “Sometimes I hear my boss promise things I know we can’t deliver. I know he’s just trying to reassure the client and land the sale, but it makes me deeply uncomfortable. I want to correct him, but I also want to respect him—especially in front of our clients. Is there a way to correct someone so gently it won’t be embarrassing?”
  • Let’s Talk: What’s the Point of Work? On this episode of the Let’s Talk podcast, Jackie Hill Perry, Jasmine Holmes and Melissa Kruger talk about how to think rightly about work. “There are real thorns and thistles with all of our work, even if it’s not physical ones,” Melissa says. Whether it’s just we’re tired or we’re overworked. There are all these things that, I think, in perfection wouldn’t have been true.” Yet in spite of these thorns and thistles, we can still experience God-given purpose in work as we steward the opportunities God has given us.
  • Why Working Women are Starting to Unplug from Their Churches. Sandra Crawford Williamson shares four reasons why working women choose to stay home from church.
  • How to Reconcile Cultural Differences in the Workplace with David Bailey. On this episode of the Denver Institute Faith & Work Podcast, Joanna Meyer visits with David Bailey, Founder and CEO of Arrabon, a nonprofit that helps leaders and organizations with guidance, education, and tools to build more empathetic, reconciled communities.

Click on ‘Continue reading’ for:

  • More links to interesting articles
  • The Top 10 Faith and Work Quotes of the Week
  • My Review of The Flourishing Pastor: Recovering the Lost Art of Shepherd Leadership by Tom Nelson
  • Snippets from the book Discipled Leader: Inspiration from a Fortune 500 Executive for Transforming Your Workplace by Pursuing Christ by Preston Poore

  • Build Community. In this short video, Mark Miller discusses the first best practice for all High-Performance Organizations wanting to “Win The Heart”, Build Community.
  • Random Thoughts on Spiritual Gifts. Russ Gehrlein shares a summary of insights he shared about spiritual gifts from his book Immanuel Labor-God’s Presence in Our Profession: A Biblical, Theological, and Practical Approach to the Doctrine of Work regarding a great narrative from the book of Exodus that highlights the gifted workers who were called to build the tabernacle in the wilderness.
  • 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).
  • Holy Distractions: When God Interrupts Our Productivity. Jon Bloom writes “God has not given us a formula we can apply to all situations. In fact, an interruption that’s an unplanned assignment on one day might be a distraction on another day. In other words, this is an issue of discernment. And discernment is learned by constant practice (Hebrews 5:14) as we are transformed in Christ by the renewal of our minds (Romans 12:2).”
  • The Call to Mastery: Mike Cosper. On this episode of The Call to Mastery, Jordan Raynor talks to Mike Cosper, writer and host of the podcast The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill, which I recommend all leaders listen to.
  • The Lost Art of Shepherd Leadership. On this episode of the Gospelbound podcast, Colin Hansen visits with Tom Nelson, author of the excellent new book The Flourishing Pastor: Recovering the Lost Art of Shepherd Leadership to discuss flourishing pastors, congregational expectations, friendship, failure, Dairy Queen, and much more.
  • The Need to be Needed: Finding Dignity in Our Life’s Work. Erin Rodewald writes “The relationship between work and dignity transcends job description, economic circumstance, or pay grade. Yet the peculiar challenges wrought by COVID give us reason to pause and evaluate the interplay between work and dignity and how, as Christians, we are called to uphold a biblical understanding of both.”
  • Work, Dignity & Our True Value. Daniel Darling writes “Our work is how we love and serve our neighbors.”
  • Essential Keys to Finishing Your Race Well. Dave Kraft shares nine essential keys for the Christian leader to finish well.
  • Faithful Presence in the Public Sphere. On this episode of the How to Reach the West Again podcast Tim Keller explains why Christians living out their faith in vocations and other public spaces is crucial for a missionary encounter. Missy Wallace casts a vision for viewing our jobs as one of the primary venues for putting our faith into practice. Artist Makoto Fujimura invites us to see artists as bridge builders between the church and the world.

Top 10 Faith and Work Quotes of the Week

  • Think long-term by asking yourself what kind of legacy you want to leave and how you can impact others’ lives—maybe even for eternity. Then look for ways in which your larger purpose can impact the work you do and the way you do it. Tony Dungy and Nathan Whitaker
  • When I choose to focus on the fact that God is present at work, it changes the way I perform my tasks, which enables me to fulfill His purposes. Russ Gehrlein
  • God prizes faithfulness, not success. Dan Doriani
  • God is always preparing us through our present successes and failures. Tim Keller
  • Provided your heart is set on God, when you work, serve, or otherwise do good, you’re never wasting your time. You may not see it clearly until later (maybe not until Heaven), but God has His purposes in present trials, mundane experiences, and daily duties. Randy Alcorn
  • Leadership is not a title. President or plumber, homebuilder or homemaker, leadership is inescapable; the only question is if we will be faithful to our calling. Chris Larson
  • Answering the call of our Creator is “the ultimate why” for living, the highest source of purpose in human existence. Apart from such a calling, all hope of discovering purpose will end in disappointment. Os Guinness
  • Real work is a contribution to the good of all and not merely a means to one’s own advancement. Tim Keller
  • Nothing in life is as rewarding as fulfilling your calling—nothing. Wealth, fame, achievement, recognition: all of them fall short. John Maxwell


The Flourishing Pastor: Recovering the Lost Art of Shepherd Leadership by Tom Nelson. IVP. 246 pages. 2021.   
The author is a pastor, founder of the Made to Flourish organization, and author of Work Matters and The Economics of Neighborly Love. He writes that the pastoral calling is a very challenging vocation. He tells us that many pastors are not flourishing. When pastors flourish, congregations flourish, and when congregations flourish, communities flourish. However, when shepherds become lost, neither they nor their flock flourish.
This excellent book is about shepherd leadership. The author uses Psalm 78:72 as an inspirational framework for exploration and reflection. In Psalm 78 and throughout Scripture, the guiding model given for pastoral leadership is one of a shepherd.
The book is divided into three parts:

  • The Shepherd
  • Integrity of Heart
  • Skillful Hands

Among the subjects addressed in the book are pastoral isolation, followership, wisdom, self-care, close relationships, a hurried spirit, guilt, shame, cultural intelligence, political views, faithful presence, organizational health, storytelling, core values, the Sunday-to-Monday gap, a shepherding scorecard, mentoring and multiplying shepherding leaders and finishing well. Throughout the book the author shares helpful thoughts from authors such as Jim Collins, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, James Hunter, Dallas Willard, Tim Keller, Max De Pree and others.
The book includes a helpful “Discussion Guide” and would be a good book to read and discuss with others.
This is a book that I can’t recommend too highly for pastors and church leaders. Below are some favorite quotes from the book:

  • Jesus does not offer shepherds a green room to pridefully bask in; instead, he offers a cross to carry and a basin and towel to serve with.
  • The vision pastors desperately need is not one of a humanized grand future, but a growing vision of the glory of our triune God.
  • The pastor has a lifelong quest not merely to know about God, but to know God personally and to be known by God intimately.
  • The big why that animates my pastoral calling, what gets me out of bed every morning and compels me to bring my best to the work God has called me to do, is I believe with every fabric of my being that the local church as God designed it is the hope of the world.
  • The shepherd leader is a highly relational calling. If people are not your thing, then pastoring should not be your thing.
  • Pastors must never forget that the sheep belong to God and that we are accountable for leading them well.
  • Shepherding leadership done well requires an ongoing growth in leadership competency.
  • To lead out of a shepherding paradigm, we need to receive God’s loving shepherding first.
  • The greatest lessons of leadership arise in the process of followership—both when we follow others well and ultimately when we follow our shepherd well.
  • The first call of pastoral leadership is to draw near to and follow our Good Shepherd in tender intimacy, daily obedience, and a lifestyle of joyful worship.
  • Flourishing pastors cultivate a constant awareness that they are never ever alone, that their Good Shepherd is right there with them, eager to share their burdens.
  • Flourishing pastors cultivate a growing and increasingly intimate friendship with the Good Shepherd of their lives, increasingly knowing him and being known by him. There is no greater personal joy or leadership priority than this.
  • Of primary importance is our own self-care. Properly understood, self-care is not selfishness; it is essential to our ongoing spiritual formation and a primary stewardship of pastoral leadership.
  • Imagine the impact on your life, your relationships, and your leadership if you were continually aware of God’s presence with you throughout the day. You would lead with bold faith, humble confidence, hopeful realism, and contagious joy.
  • The more we grow in Christ, the deeper our communion is with him and the greater our desire to be an integral leader.
  • The lost art of shepherding leadership needs the recovery of apprenticeship because it is primarily calibrated around a person, not a leadership strategy.
  • The primary aim of our apprenticeship with Jesus is not to accomplish great things for Jesus, but to enjoy a growing intimacy with Jesus.
  • Spending much time with Jesus is not an option for pastors; it is essential and the fountainhead of sustained and effective servant leadership.
  • Growing in greater Christlikeness is the most important priority in pastoral leadership.
  • Living and leading from an increasingly integral life is at the heart of being a flourishing and fruitful pastor.
  • True leadership influence must be fueled by the virtuous life you are living.
  • One of the most important skills of shepherding leadership is insightful navigation of the broader contours of contemporary culture.
  • As pastoral leaders of faithful presence, we must grasp that a primary work of the church is the church at work.
  • While pastors may have strong personal political or partisan views, I believe they must take great care if and when they bring them into the local church community.
  • It is not surprising that for many pastoral leaders, the most important question in considering a pastoral call is not the denominational affiliation, the location, or even the size of the church, but the health of the church.
  • Gaining and maintaining missional clarity is one of the most important stewardships of a pastoral leader.
  • Many congregants need much more encouragement and support for their work as well as guidance for how to integrate their faith in their workplaces.
  • A primary responsibility of shepherding leadership is encouraging and equipping apprentices of Jesus for their Monday worlds, those majority places where God has called them to be his kingdom ambassadors.
  • Building regular workplace visits into my schedule has been one of the most transforming and powerful pastoral practices I have ever embraced.
  • Our congregants’ work matters more than we often realize. The work they are called to do is a primary means of their worship and a large contributor to their spiritual formation.
  • The ways we often define and assess ministry “success” or “failure” need prayerful reevaluation, courageous recalibration, and in many cases, heartfelt repentance.
  • Faithful and fruitful pastoral leadership ought to be able to point to ongoing evidence of how shepherding leaders are being mentored and multiplied.
  • It is not uncommon to start well, what is uncommon is to finish well. How we finish will greatly shape the leadership legacy we leave behind.
  • Shepherding leadership is not a playground; it is a battlefield.
  • As shepherd leaders we are instruments in our Lord’s hands. Our lives and leadership callings are a sacred trust; they are not ours to squander.

Faith and Work Book Club – Won’t you read along with us?

We are reading through Discipled Leader: Inspiration from a Fortune 500 Executive for Transforming Your Workplace by Pursuing Christ by Preston Poore.

Discipled Leader provides struggling, stuck, or merely surviving Christian business leaders with a framework to grow their influence through becoming a redemptive (i.e., change for the better), Christlike presence in the workplace and living a more fulfilling life.

This week we look at Chapter 7: Stand. Here are a few takeaways from the chapter:

  • Courage is acting in the presence of fear. You must have the courage to fight.
  • While you fight, always remember this empowering truth: you are fighting as a result of victory, not to achieve victory.
  • The war has already been won. It is from this victory and through God’s power that you fight.
  • God will win the war, but we still have to fight the daily battle.
  • Discipled leaders overcome fear through faith. They understand that fear or faith will rule their hearts and minds depending on which one they feed the most.

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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