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

  • Help! I Work for a Pastor with Low Emotional Intelligence. Miranda Carls responds to the question “I work for a pastor who lacks emotional intelligence. He is arrogant, condescending, and has no self-awareness. Do you have any advice for me?
  • Mere Christians: David Platt. On this episode of the Mere Christians podcast, Jordan Raynor visits with David Platt about six steps to following Jesus fully at work, how Platt’s view of the Great Commission has greatly expanded over time, and how to respond to gender pronouns in the workplace.
  • Mere Christians: Amy Sherman. On this episode of the Mere Christians podcast, Jordan Raynor visits with Amy Sherman, author of Kingdom Calling and the new book Agents of Flourishing.

Click on ‘Continue reading’ for:

  • More links to interesting articles
  • The Top 10 Faith and Work Quotes of the Week
  • My Review of The Eight Paradoxes of Great Leadership: Embracing the Conflicting Demands of Today’s Workplace by Tim Elmore
  • Quotes from the book You’re Only Human: How Your Limits Reflect God’s Design and Why That’s Good News by Kelly Kapic

  • Help! I’m Working Twice as Much for the Same Pay. Russ Gehrlein responds to the question “A handful of my coworkers have recently left for greener pastures. As a result, my job responsibilities have doubled, though my position title and salary are the same. My boss says he intends to hire replacements, but I don’t think he’ll be very motivated to hire while I’m doing both jobs. I’m capable of doing all the work, yet it seems unfair for my boss to expect me to do two jobs for the same pay. I’m trying to obey Colossians 3:23to work for the Lord and not for men. Does this mean I should just accept the situation and do the very best work I can?
  • God, the Gospel, and Your Vocation. Adam Nesmith looks at three New Testament verses that that address Christians and their vocations. In particular, these three texts will focus on how God’s plan for the world and the gospel connect to your work.
  • How to Equip People for the Work They’re Called to Do. “For most of us, the word “work” mainly equates to compensation. But fundamentally, according to pastor Tom Nelson, work is far more: It’s a vital part of being an image bearer of God, and it’s not primarily about whether or not it earns monetary compensation. It’s about contribution to God’s world, contributions that can take paid and unpaid forms. In this episode of The Flourishing Pastor Podcast, Nelson explains how this integral view of work transformed the way he pastors, including a significant pivot in what it looks like to equip people for the work of ministry.”
  • How (and How Not) to Think about Retirement. John Dunlop writes “A good retirement is far from a given. Due reflection must be given to how you will take advantage of the new opportunities available and how bad choices can easily disappoint.”
  • There’s Dignity in Productivity, No Matter the Job. Logan Smith writes “All work, manual or mental, is worthy of dignity and respect.”
  • 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).

Top 10 Faith and Work Quotes of the Week

  • If God’s purpose for your job is that you serve the human community, then the way to serve God best is to do the job as well as it can be done. Tim Keller
  • God created us as His coworkers with various talents so that He could meet all of the complex physical, mental, emotional, social, and spiritual needs of people. God loves people through our vocations. Russ Gehrlein
  • The only way to create great relationships and results is through servant leadership. It’s all about putting other people first. John Maxwell
  • Jesus came into this world not as a philosopher or a general but as a carpenter. All work matters to God. Tim Keller
  • No one has ever been called to do something he or she wasn’t suited for. Calling always matches who you are. John Maxwell
  • If the ultimate example of a leader is our Savior, who forsook his lofty place, suffered willingly and laid down his life for his own, then wherever we are called to lead, we should be known for humble, tender service, not for our power and control. Paul Tripp
  • Whatever mind-numbing work you are feeling weary in today, pause. Deep breath. Thank God for the endeavor, those people, and the place this tedious task blesses. Then pick it up again and do it anyway. Let God’s Spirit recalibrate your spirit with faithfulness and deep joy. John Pletcher
  • The leadership that matters most is convictional—deeply convictional. This quality of leadership springs from those foundational beliefs that shape who we are and establish our beliefs about everything else. Albert Mohler
  • Emotionally unhealthy leaders do not practice Sabbath — a weekly, twenty-four-hour period in which they cease all work and rest, delight in God’s gifts, and enjoy life with him. Peter Scazzero


The Eight Paradoxes of Great Leadership: Embracing the Conflicting Demands of Today’s Workplace by Tim Elmore. HarperCollins Leadership. 240 pages. 2021

This book looks at eight surprising paradoxes that effective, or uncommon, leaders must practice as they lead. Most of these paradoxes are about our emotional intelligence, not our cognitive intelligence. The author tells us that the good news is that while IQ doesn’t change much over our lifetime, EQ can be developed.
The author, who served alongside worked with John Maxwell for twenty years, tells us that leading in the twenty-first century is more complex than it was in past centuries.
Each chapter of the book includes strategies to practice the paradox, a summary of the paradox, keys to navigating the paradox, and helpful questions about the paradox. A final chapter discusses a new kind of leader.
Here are the eight paradoxes along with a few quotes about each one that I found to be helpful:
PARADOX 1 Uncommon Leaders Balance Both Confidence and Humility

  • Uncommon leaders possess inspiring confidence yet express it with palpable humility.
  • When humility is present, trust deepens among team members.

PARADOX 2 Uncommon Leaders Leverage Both Their Vision and Their Blind Spots

  • Team members need their leader to not only possess a vision, but to communicate it clearly so they can implement it.
  • Failure is only a bad thing when we fail to learn from our mistakes.
  • A lifelong learning posture is our only hope to thrive in the future.

PARADOX 3 Uncommon Leaders Embrace Both Visibility and Invisibility

  • In the beginning of any mission, most people need a visible leader, demonstrating what to do and clarifying the goal. Over time, however, those people need the leader to step aside to let them realize their potential. Ownership must be transferred.
  • Visible leadership deepens your credibility in the minds of your people.
  • Our world is crying out for leaders who practice what they preach.

PARADOX 4 Uncommon Leaders Are Both Stubborn and Open-Minded

  • We must stop selling product features to customers and focus on outcomes.

PARADOX 5 Uncommon Leaders Are Both Deeply Personal and Inherently Collective

  • Social intelligence is developed when we actively listen without interrupting.
  • Leaders must never forget that people need both the collective and the personal.

PARADOX 6 Uncommon Leaders Are Both Teachers and Learners

  • In our day of unceasing change, leaders are forced to be teachers, and organizations are forced to adapt.

PARADOX 7 Uncommon Leaders Model Both High Standards and Gracious Forgiveness

  • People need leaders to call out the uncommon strengths that lie inside them. Without this push, most succumb to a gravitational pull toward average.
  • Our greatest growth and best chance to stand out lie in the areas of our natural strengths.

PARADOX 8 Uncommon Leaders Are Both Timely and Timeless

  • Wise leaders utilize vision that can see both backward and forward.
  • Drafters are people who are ahead of you and inspire you to get better.

Throughout the book, the author illustrates each paradox with stories about people such as Martin Luther King Jr., Truett Cathy, Harriet Tubman, Bob Iger, Walt Disney, Mother Teresa, and others. He tells us that each of them represents a new kind of leader.

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 second half of Chapter 9: Do I Need to Be Part of the Church? Loving the Whole Body. Here are a few helpful quotes from this half of the chapter:

  • Only when we live in our interconnectedness will we stop belittling those with “secular” vocations who honor Christ as painters and teachers, as landscapers and homemakers, as politicians and software engineers. Rather than disparage someone else’s work, we can see it as part of the whole, and thus we are liberated to really celebrate all manner of vocations and labor.
  • Whether you buy or sell, use pens or the plow, tend the hearth or the child, each is enabled to use their labor to honor God and for the common good.
  • Growing research shows that recognizing one’s needs and limits is essential for the long-term health of those in ministry.
  • If physical, emotional, or relational health is not honored by our minister, it will be harder for us to value it in our lives.
  • For the sake of ministry leaders, for our sake, and for the sake of the kingdom, let us deal with the full humanity of ministry leaders, reminding them and ourselves that they are creatures and not the Creator, that their finitude is not a sign of sin but the reality of faithful, creaturely dependence.
  • It takes the whole church to be the one body of Christ. Our interconnectedness is good not just for leaders but for the entire congregation.

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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