Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

FAITH AND WORK: Connecting Sunday to Monday


Faith and Work News ~ Links to Interesting Articles

  • How Can I Point to Christ When Work Gets Stressful? Miranda Carls responds to the question “It seems like challenges at work tend to bring out the differences between my faith and the faith (or lack thereof) of my colleagues. We recently had a tough situation with a difficult boss, and I could tell my reactions weren’t the norm in our office. I wanted to share my faith but also wanted to be sensitive to everyone’s heightened (and not always rational) emotions. How do I know when to share with my co-workers that my faith is informing my approach? And how can I do that well?”
  • Christians Can Guide the Transition to Working with AI. John Pletcher writes “What if instead we dare to view AI as another wonderful advancement flowing from the image of God in humans? After all, words and thoughtful proliferation of words were the Creator’s original ideas.”

Click on ‘Continue reading’ for:

  • Further Insights on Why Work is so Hard. Russ Gehrlein shares some additional insights on why work is so hard from 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).
  • Clarifying Your Purpose in the Third Third of Life, Part 5. Mark Roberts writes “This is the fifth article in a series on “Clarifying Your Purpose in the Third Third of Life.” To this point, I have offered six suggestions to help you identify and live into your third third purpose. In this article, I will offer another suggestion: “Get in touch with and act upon your generativity.”
  • Author Interview on “The Sacred Meaning of Everyday Work.” Jacqueline Isaacs interviews Robert Tribken, author of “The Sacred Meaning of Everyday Work,” a book I recently read and benefitted from.
  • 5 Ways to Leave a Legacy: Mentoring in Retirement. Jeff Haanen writes “The best mentoring relationships often look more like intergenerational friendship.”
  • Sacrificial Love Gives Us Endurance at Work. Russ Gehrlein shares some thoughts about one of his favorite theology of work topics – “thorns and thistles.”
  • Why Work? (Comments on Dorothy Sayers’ Famous Essay). Rob Tribken writes “Sayers’ essay continues to inspire those of us who want to rethink our attitudes toward work. Given Sayers’ religious background and her ability to speak to the church, this could be an especially important message for churches that want to minister to people in the workplace.”
  • Working with Dan Doriani: Dan Allender. On this episode of the Working with Dan Doriani, Dan is joined by Dan Allender, who wrote Leading with a Limp, a book I am reading now.
  • Mere Christians: Jon Tyson. On this episode of the Mere Christians podcast, Jordan Raynor visits with Jon Tyson about what will make Christians distinct in the workplace, what Sabbath ceasing, resting, embracing, and feasting can look like practically, and why the goal of local churches should be to equip believers for working outside the church.

Top 10 Faith and Work Quotes of the Week

  • A job pays the bills; a calling fits our gifts and interests. Dan Doriani
  • A church that defines leadership should not only develop Christian leaders for the church through gospel evangelism and discipleship but also develop Christian leaders from the church who are then deployed into the world to penetrate every sphere and institution of society. Harry Reeder
  • The command to love our neighbor as ourselves can steer so much of our behavior at work. Dan Doriani
  • There is no ideal place for us to serve God except the place He sets us down. Charles Spurgeon
  • There is dignity in doing our secondary callings (i.e., working, parenting, citizen-ing, caring for an elderly parent, etc.). When our secondary calling of work is elevated over other secondary callings, a dignity shortfall occurs. Luke Bobo
  • I have seen family, friends, and coworkers who are at the right place and time with the right gifts and talents and who are making a difference for the glory of God in their jobs. Russ Gehrlein
  • We are here to glorify Christ in our daily life. We are here as workers for Him, and as workers together with Him, let us see that our life fulfills this purpose. Charles Spurgeon
  • To me, servant leadership is the only way to guarantee great relationships and results. Ken Blanchard
  • Mission includes our vocations and not just church ministry. Tim Keller

Gospel Eldership: Equipping a New Generation of Servant Leaders by Robert Thune. New Growth Press. 144 pages. 2016

I first became aware of this book when it was used as a part of a soft skills module I was helping lead in our NXTGEN Pastors Cohort. We then decided that another elder from our church and I would read the book to see if it might be a resource that would be helpful to use in our church.

The book was written with three primary audiences in mind.

  • Current elders
  • Elders-in-training
  • Christians who are seeking to better understand the Bible’s teaching about local church leadership.

The book consists of ten short lessons, each with an objective, a scripture reading and discussion questions. Each lesson is followed by an exercise, which includes a section for personal reflection and Gospel application.

The author has found that you will get the best results when the book is used as a small-group study. He writes that ideally a current elder or spiritual mentor should lead a group of emerging leaders through the content, which is how I can see it being used in our church. This book not only shares information about what the Bible says about elders, but it really gets at the heart of those who are or may one day be an elder.

The author writes that God intends for his church to be led by godly leaders known as elders. One office—the office of local church elder—is referred to under three titles: elder, pastor, and overseer/bishop. The office of elder-pastor is to be filled by men. The author tells us that if a church is to be healthy, its elders must be men who are grounded and rooted in the gospel. That is the crucial gap in many churches today, and that is the weakness that the book is designed to address.

The book includes two appendices:

APPENDIX A: Functional & Formative Eldership
APPENDIX B: Supplemental Resources

Gospel Eldership will be a helpful resource for the church in mentoring future or new elders.

Here are twelve helpful quotes from the book:

  1. The world’s default model of leadership, practiced over centuries and across cultures, is about being served. Jesus expects his followers to be servant leaders. And he’s come to make them just that. Jesus is our example. He is the ultimate Servant Leader.
  2. Gospel leadership is servant leadership;
  3. We cannot be the servant leaders Jesus commands us to be without believing the good news of the gospel.
  4. Jesus is the head of the church. And Jesus has taught us how he wants his church to be led. Our job is to follow his blueprint.
  5. Eldership is much less about competence than about character.
  6. If you haven’t built a consistent habitual practice of spiritual disciplines, you shouldn’t expect to grow in godly character.
  7. The categories of character, competence, and compatibility form a “triangle” of biblical leadership qualifications.
  8. Elders are shepherds of God’s flock.
  9. Elders must be men of the Word. They must love, treasure, memorize, and meditate on the Scriptures.
  10. A good elder knows that he leads the flock well by leading himself well.
  11. Unless a man has proven that he has the skill and ability to lead other leaders, he should not be leading as an elder in God’s church.
  12. If elders are living missionary lives, loving, and serving non-Christians, the church will be doing so as well. If elders are failing in mission, the church will not be missional.

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

We are reading Agents of Flourishing: Pursuing Shalom in Every Corner of Society by Amy Sherman. Sherman is also the author of Kingdom Calling: Vocational Stewardship for the Common Good, a book I first read in my “Calling, Vocation and Work” class at Covenant Seminary.

Every corner, every square inch of society can flourish as God intends, and Christians of any vocation can become agents of that flourishing. In this book, Sherman offers a multifaceted, biblically grounded framework for enacting God’s call to seek the shalom of our communities in six arenas of civilizational life (The Good, The True, The Beautiful, The Just, The Prosperous, and The Sustainable).

This week we look at Chapter 3: A Strategy for Cultivating the Good: Strengthen Marriage. Here are a few quotes from the chapter:

  • Preventing the harm of divorce on children is a moral good and provides sufficient motivation for churches to be engaged in marriage ministry.
  • When marriages are strengthened, churches are strengthened.
  • Christ-followers know that healthy relationships are at the center of human flourishing.

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.

2 thoughts on “FAITH AND WORK: Connecting Sunday to Monday

  1. Pingback: Further Insights on Why Work is so Hard | Reflections on Theological Topics of Interest

  2. Pingback: Sacrificial Love Gives Us Endurance at Work | Reflections on Theological Topics of Interest

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