Faith and Work News ~ Links to Interesting Articles
- The Blessings of Difficult Bosses, Coworkers, Employees, and Customers. Russ Gehrlein writes “My main ideas are these: the difficult people we must work for and with are going to be the ones God uses to develop perseverance, teach us valuable lessons, and are the ones who need what we have to offer: our time, talents, and unconditional love.”
- 4 Ways Pastors Can Help Women Think About Work. Courtney Moore shares four theological concepts pastors can teach that will help women think about their work.
- Integrity. On this episode of the Andy Stanley Leadership Podcast, Stanley discusses how to build integrity and the importance of maintaining it.
- God Works in Sales & Advertising, Too. Stevan Becker writes “God is intimately involved in our work. He cares about the details. He’s doing his work through the work of our hands—even in the “secular” sales and advertising space.”
Click on ‘Continue reading’ for:
- More links to interesting articles
- The Top 10 Faith and Work Quotes of the Week
- Faith and Work Book Review ~ The Sacred Meaning of Everyday Work by Robert Tribken
- Quotes from the book Agents of Flourishing: Pursuing Shalom in Every Corner of Society by Amy Sherman.
- Mentoring a Georgian-era Daniel: John Newton and William Wilberforce. Karen J. Ristuccia writes “Newton was correct. God is in the business of raising up Daniels, and he does so in community. We need this lesson as much in our day as Newton and Wilberforce did over two hundred years ago.”
- 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).
- How Vocation Transformed Society. Gene Veith writes “The doctrine of vocation has been strangely forgotten today. What would a rediscovery of vocation do to today’s society?”
- Hope For Those Struggling with Adulting. Greg Phelan responds to the question “I’m struggling to transition between university and adult life—things like handling finances and finding energy to do anything after work.”
- Is There Really any Heavenly Good in Our Earthly Work? John Pletcher writes “I never thought of anything I did at Woolworth’s as accomplishing anything truly good. I was certain such labor was far from heavenly.”
Top 10 Faith and Work Quotes of the Week
- Our vocations are one avenue for doing God’s work in the world. Tim Keller
- Pay attention to the holy dissatisfaction you feel. There may be a purpose in it. God may be preparing you to begin another chapter in your life. If you decide to go, God will be with you wherever it is. He will give you wisdom to make the best decision in His time. Russ Gehrlein
- You achieve true mastery when you identify the few things God has created you to do most exceptionally well and work at them “with all your heart, as working for the Lord” (Colossians 3:23). Jordan Raynor
- When he calls, he goes with you. What he calls you to do, he empowers by his grace. Paul Tripp
- We are not to choose jobs and conduct our work to fulfill ourselves and accrue power, for being called by God to do something is empowering enough. We are to see work as a way of service to God and our neighbor. Tim Keller
- This job has been given to me to do. Therefore, it is a gift. Therefore, it is a privilege. Therefore, it is an offering I may make to God. Therefore, it is to be done gladly if it is done for Him. Here, not somewhere else, I may learn God’s way. Elisabeth Elliot
- In all that we do, the pursuit and promotion of the glory of God must be our all-consuming passion. Steven Lawson
- As a philosophy of leadership, servant leadership may be considered one option among many others; but as a theology of leadership, it is a mandate for all who call Jesus Lord. Ken Blanchard and Phil Hodges
- The biblical worldview has the highest opinion of the most menial of work. Tim Keller
FAITH AND WORK BOOK REVIEW:
The Sacred Meaning of Everyday Work by Robert Tribken. Faith and Enterprise Press. 304 pages. 2023
In this book, Rob Tribken, the executive director of the Center for Faith and Enterprise, deals with both the positive and negative aspects of work. Shalom is a key concept in the book. The author tells us that in the Bible, shalom involves completeness or wholeness and is meant to encompass all aspects of human life. He writes that the concept of shalom can help us see the connection between the practical and spiritual aspects of our work and can remind us that we are working toward a better world for ourselves and others. Understanding the sacred meaning of our work will help us understand its deeper purpose and how it contributes to the greater good.
The author writes that he believes that many people are insufficiently aware of the contribution their work makes to the well-being of others and the greater good. He states that if we cannot see the religious or spiritual value in our work, then we not only cut ourselves off from the resources of our faith or spirituality in our work, but we also confine them to relatively small, restricted areas of our life. Among the many topics addressed in this book are shalom, sin, forgiveness, repentance, misfortune or adversity, character development and strengths, virtues, prayer, spiritual practices, pursuing excellence, calling, harmonious and obsessive passion, and leadership. I particularly enjoyed the author’s discussion of calling and of spiritual practices which could be done in the workplace.
The book draws insights from the Bible. In addition, the author quotes from several psychologists, not something you would normally find in a book about faith and work.
The author includes three appendices:
Appendix A: Work in the Bible
Appendix B: Work in the Twenty-First Century
Appendix C: Spirituality and the State of Flow
Appendix D: The Opportunity for Churches – a helpful addition to the book.
This book covers a lot of ground in the faith and work arena and would be a welcome addition to your library.
Below are a few helpful quotes from the book:
- There is something about prayer that seems to center us and helps us think clearly and make good decisions.
- Calling is a multidimensional concept that reflects our human desire for meaning and purpose.
- Working with a sense of calling can have substantial benefits. Most of us would expect to work with a greater degree of purpose, fulfillment, and satisfaction. I would expect that we would also be more productive, energized, and resilient.
- People who work with a sense of calling tend to be more committed to their work and their organization, have greater clarity of purpose, and are more likely to experience greater meaning and satisfaction in their life overall.
- Calling is not only an individual issue; there are very real benefits for an organization if a larger proportion of its members see their involvement in this way.
- Developing a calling will almost always take a lot of time, patience, trial and error, and reflection.
- People will be more effective, happier, and motivated when they are using their gifts in productive ways.
- The need for competent, virtuous leadership is especially critical during times of crisis. During these times, there can be a particularly stark contrast between honest, effective leadership, and weak, dishonest, or foolish leadership.
- A key goal of shalomic leadership is to establish an environment where people can thrive as they contribute as active participants to the organization’s goals.
- An appreciation for the dignity of all individuals underlies the shalomic organization.
- When we can put people into positions where they can use their initiative and creativity, we are more likely to move toward shalom, for everyone’s benefit.
- Work is important and makes an essential contribution to shalom. But our work must be conducted in an ethical manner and in a way that contributes to human well-being.
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 5: A Strategy for Cultivating the True Partner in Public Education
- Education matters deeply for human flourishing; not caring about it isn’t an option for Christ-followers.
- Developing friendships with non-English speakers can also be an avenue for more holistic ministry, including introducing those unfamiliar with Christianity to the love of Jesus.
- Of all people, Christ-followers should be passionately committed to and engaged in education. We serve a God who is the fount of all wisdom and knowledge.
- Christians’ support of high-quality education for all is also rooted in our mandate to create healthy communities.