Faith and Work News ~ Links to Interesting Articles
- The Triune God is a Worker. In this article, Russ Gehrlein shares some excerpts from Chapter 3 of his book, Immanuel Labor – God’s Presence in our Profession.
- 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).
- Remember: Your Co-Workers Don’t Have the Church. Adam Nesmith writes “One of the most important things you can do as you go off to work is to remember that your coworkers don’t have the Church. And that has several implications that you should keep in mind when you enter the world of your 9 to 5.”
- Your Soul or Your Job. You Choose. Will your church membership cost you your job? It’s not just a hypothetical question. The new chief executive of a major Australian sports franchise lasted exactly one day on the job after a hideous scandal was discovered—he attends an evangelical church and leads its board.
- What Does It Mean to Represent Jesus in My Job? In this short video, Bryan Chapell states “If we are representing Jesus in our work, it means there’s value to our work because we are showing the world his character and care—and that’s always part of our witness. And that’s an important thing. It’s also important to recognize that in representing Jesus, we are fulfilling the purposes he has for ordering the world.”
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 It Matters to God: Values-Driven Leadership in a Success-Driven World by Richard Stearns
- Quotes from the book You’re Only Human: How Your Limits Reflect God’s Design and Why That’s Good News by Kelly Kapic
- Three Myths About Finding Your Calling. Daniel Darling writes “How do we know where, when, why, and how God might use us for His kingdom purposes? I think we can begin to discover this by shattering three myths about calling.”
- Cancelling the Noise in Your Work. Steve Graves writes “We are hardwired to make a contribution to society until the day we die, albeit in differing volumes. By that definition, work isn’t an option; it’s functioning properly.”
- 2022 Annual Conference – Michaela O’Donnell: Creativity, Resilience, and Calling. From the Center for Faith & Work Los Angeles 2022 Annual Conference, “In a world of accelerating change, Michaela O’Donnell, author of Make Work Matter (see my review of the book here), helps us discover a renewed sense of calling, pathways for growth, and a mindset that leads to truly meaningful work.”
- Build Structures to Serve Your Calling. On this episode of the Ask Pastor John podcast, John Piper responds to the question “I’m a doctor. I’ve tried to live and serve by 1 Peter 4:10–11. However, I’m also the practice owner. My family and our two dozen employees and their families all financially depend on the profitability of our practice. Increasingly, I find my thoughts and efforts consumed by the profit-seeking aspects of running a business. Biblically, is there a way for me to reconcile a God-honoring attention to patient care with my responsibility as a business owner to generate a profit so that employees can provide for their families?”
- Help! I’m Worried I Can’t Finish My Work in Time. Amy DiMarcangelo responds to the question “I have crippling anxiety about getting my work done in time, and I don’t know how to cast my worries on God. What should I do?”
- 24 Questions to Consider Before Taking a New Job. Ashley Marivittori Gorman writes “One way to “count the costs”—and the benefits—of a new job is to take our cues from Jesus here and sit down, pause, and ask some important questions. Here are some to consider.”
- The Key to Organizational Health with Patrick Lencioni, Part 2. Organizational health comes from simple day-to-day disciplines. On this episode of the Andy Stanley Leadership Podcast, Stanley and Patrick Lencioni continue their discussion on the four disciplines that create healthy organizations.
- Having Biblical Expectations of Our Work. Simon van Bruchem writes “Take time to thank God for your work. Yes, even if it is boring, if it is not ideal, and if it contains all kinds of tasks you do not enjoy. Your work is a key way that you serve your God.”
- Recovering Our Identities as Priests. Art Lindsley writes “If the Church teaches that working in business, communications, politics, or any other profession is just as impactful as working directly in the ministry, it allows Christians to connect their beliefs to their everyday actions, giving them purpose in their jobs and equipping to them to serve others and improve society through their daily work.”
Top 10 Faith and Work Quotes of the Week
- Work is not burdensome when you do what you love, for people you love. Dan Doriani
- God is always preparing us through our present successes and failures. Tim Keller
- God measures us by how much we grow in grace, not by the position we occupy because of our gifts. Sinclair Ferguson
- If you don’t want to serve, you cannot be a great leader. Ken Blanchard and Mark Miller
- Don’t let success go to your head, nor let failure go to your heart. Tim Keller
- Leadership is energizing a community of people toward their own transformation in order to accomplish a shared mission in the face of a changing world. Tod Bolsinger
- The Sabbath is a declaration of freedom from the tyranny of workplace identity placed on us in culture. Tim Keller
- All Christians are called as Christ’s ambassadors into the places where they live, work, play, and worship, with the glorious purpose of leaving people, places, and things better than they found them. This is the universal Christian job description. Scott Sauls
- It can take thirty years to build a reputation, and only five minutes to ruin it. Alistair Begg
FAITH AND WORK BOOK REVIEW:
Lead Like It Matters to God: Values-Driven Leadership in a Success-Driven World by Richard Stearns. IVP. 240 pages. 2021
Richard Stearns served as President of World Vision for twenty years, after previously serving as CEO of Parker Brothers and Lenox. In this book, he writes that he believes that God is far more concerned about how a leader leads than he is about the success that a leader delivers. The book is about why he believes the values Christian leaders embrace – he writes about seventeen of them – are more important than the success they achieve. He tells us that these Christian values are under assault in our culture, and the book is about reclaiming those values.
He writes that we are to work with excellence and diligence wherever we serve, not because success is our goal but because faithfulness is our goal. He tells us that when we focus first on being faithful to God in our lives, and when our work is driven by the values of God’s kingdom, he may very well bless us with successful outcomes. But qualities like integrity, humility, excellence, perseverance, generosity, courage, and forgiveness matter more to God than the most impressive résumé of accomplishments.
Each of the chapters of the book begins with a scripture passage and a corresponding leadership principle. Throughout the book, the author illustrates each of the values with stories from his life.
A key scripture verse for the author, and one that he had stenciled on his office wall for most of his time at World Vision is 2 Corinthians 5:20:
We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us.
That verse, more than any other, seemed to capture his role as a Christian leader. He tells us that wherever you work or volunteer—in a school, a business, a church, a ministry, a nonprofit, in government, or in your home—you too are called first to be Christ’s ambassador.
I really appreciated this book about values driven leadership, which should be required reading for Christian leaders.
Here are 25 of my favorite quotes from the book:
- When we truly take God with us to work, He will use us for His purposes.
- We reward success, but God’s bottom line is faithfulness.
- Your life is your witness whether you are at work or at home.
- Values-driven leadership is more about character than capabilities, more about being than doing, more about pleasing God than people.
- Work is inherently valuable as we use our unique talents and abilities in ways that reflect God’s own creativity to produce products and services that benefit the broader community.
- Our workplaces matter because they are human institutions filled with people whom God cares about. God wants all people to flourish and to be drawn into relationship with him.
- Good and godly leadership contributes to human flourishing when it creates cultures and environments that are fair, just, and caring.
- Your career is just the setting in which you live out your calling to serve as Christ’s ambassador.
- A surrendered leader is called to a higher purpose: to know, love, and serve God in this life.
- Only by learning to trust God for their careers can leaders truly rise above the daily stresses and pressures of life and bear fruit for the Lord.
- Outcomes do matter. But it is how those results are best achieved that matters more in the long run.
- Excellence means that we will always strive to use the gifts and abilities that God has given us to the fullest extent possible.
- As a Christian leader, your coworkers should be among the main objects of your love of neighbor.
- When you show the people around you that you care, you earn the right to be their leader.
- Rank and title should not determine how you treat people in the workplace—or anywhere else. An attitude of superiority toward others will kill your witness for Christ at work.
- When you, as a leader, make the effort to get to know the people around you at a deeper level, they feel valued and affirmed, and you gain a new appreciation for their unique gifts and abilities.
- The best leaders help people achieve the things that are important to them through coaching, encouragement, and practical direction.
- A leader’s first responsibility is the well-being of the people he or she is entrusted to lead.
- Integrity may be the single most important quality a leader can possess.
- Sometimes there is a price to pay when we try to live out our faith at work. But Jesus never promised us a faith that costs us nothing.
- One of the chief tasks of a leader is to create a vision for a different and better future, and a belief that it can be achieved.
- The place you work is your place of Christian ministry, and you have also been placed there to serve God.
- The best leaders make efforts to become aware of their own weaknesses and shortcomings and learn to understand the magnified impact their words and actions can have on others.
- The people you work with were placed in your life for a reason. You have been entrusted with them for a season. God wants you to be his ambassador in their lives, showing them his love and care.
- A Christian leader can be an island in the storm for people who are hurting in a difficult work environment.
Faith and Work Book Club – Won’t you read along with us?
We are reading through You’re Only Human: How Your Limits Reflect God’s Design and Why That’s Good News by Kelly Kapic. The list of demands on our time seems to be never ending. It can leave you feeling a little guilty–like you should always be doing one more thing.
Rather than sharing better time-management tips to squeeze more hours out of the day, Kelly Kapic takes a different approach in You’re Only Human. He offers a better way to make peace with the fact that God didn’t create us to do it all.
Kapic explores the theology behind seeing our human limitations as a gift rather than a deficiency. He lays out a path to holistic living with healthy self-understanding, life-giving relationships, and meaningful contributions to the world. He frees us from confusing our limitations with sin and instead invites us to rest in the joy and relief of knowing that God can use our limitations to foster freedom, joy, growth, and community.
Readers will emerge better equipped to cultivate a life that fosters gratitude, rest, and faithful service to God.
This week we look at the first half of Chapter 8: Why Doesn’t God Just Instantly Change Me? Here are a few helpful quotes from the chapter:
- God’s highest value is not efficiency, especially considered in any simple or mechanistic sense—it is love.
- Love, beauty, wonder, and worship are God’s main goals.
- God has consistently been concerned with process and not merely with a finished product.