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

  • Does my Earthly Work have Eternal Value? (Part 1). Russ Gehrlein writes “This topic is worth considering, especially if you think that what you do all day is not worth much. Perhaps there is more lasting value to your work than you think.
  • Working for the Weekend? Part 1. Robert Covolo writes “No, we don’t work for the weekend. Nor do we make our work a weekend. Rather, we embrace both work and rest as those made in the image of the God who does both.”
  • Reassessing Our Relationship with Work and Rest. Michaela O’Donnell writes “We will worship God, the one who both works and rests, and gives us the good gift of a rhythm that includes both. In this, our sense of meaning-making returns to the one who made us and who invites us to align with the kingdom in all that we do.”
  • The Emotional Journey of the Entrepreneur. Jeff Haanen writes “We need to acknowledge that entrepreneurs don’t just change the world; they themselves are being changed by the world around them. This move toward self-awareness is the first step toward living healthier emotional and spiritual lives as entrepreneurs.”

Click on ‘Continue reading’ for:

  • 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).
  • Workplace Christianity. Steven Lawson preaches this sermon titled “Workplace Christianity” from Colossians 3:22-41.
  • The Wisdom of Work. Nick Batzig writes “In the short time God has given us, we should seek to embrace our vocations and set our hands to work with preparation, diligence, skill, and joy.”
  • Do Our Churches Understand Faith and Work? Hugh Whelchel writes “The integration of faith and work can be misunderstood not only by the church members who sit in the pews but by those who stand behind the pulpit. The good news is that there is a lot that churches can do to explicitly teach people in the pews that their work matters to God.”
  • Why Christian Students Should Work in College. Sarah Eekhoff Zylstra interviews Stan Norman about what he’s learned about work, how he makes up the tuition difference, and what benefits he’s seeing at the Southern Baptist Convention’s only work college.
  • The Blessings of Difficult Bosses, Coworkers, Employees and Customers. Russ Gehrlein shares that the difficult people we must work for and with are going to be the ones God uses to develop perseverance, who teach us valuable lessons, and who need what we have to offer: our time, talents, and unconditional love.
  • Are You Asking the Right Questions about Your Life’s Purpose? Hugh Whelchel writes “We need to look back to God’s grand metanarrative for creation—the four-chapter gospel—to understand our purpose in life. This is how we should live.”
  • How to Have Your Best Getaway Ever. John Pletcher hopes that your next getaway is packed full of God-like rest, joy, and rejuvenation.
  • Mastering Communication with John Maxwell. On this episode of the Andy Stanley Leadership Podcast, Stanley and John Maxwell discuss why communication is the most important skill a leader can develop. If you want to improve your leadership, you must improve your communication.

Quotes about Faith and Work
Top 10 Faith and Work Quotes of the Week

  • If we believe our work is a calling from God, we will “work heartily, as for the Lord,” seeking to glorify God and love others well by being the very best nurse practitioners, entrepreneurs, teachers, artists, carpenters, and executives we can possibly be. Jordan Raynor
  • Everything we do is to be done to the glory of God. That is the mark of a godly person. Jerry Bridges
  • When we begin to see that there’s dignity in every vocation, we realize that every job has a purpose of serving others and bringing glory to God. Bryan Chapell
  • People will forget your brilliance, but they will never forget your compassion. Burk Parsons
  • God created people to be His coworkers in expanding His kingdom on earth. He is present in the work of His children in order to meet the needs of humankind and bring glory to Himself. Russ Gehrlein
  • Our work can only be a calling if someone calls us to it, and we work for their agenda rather than our own. For the Christian, this means working for the sake of our Savior. What is his agenda? To glorify God and love our neighbors as ourselves. Jordan Raynor
  • Your calling, when you find and embrace it, will result in the merging of your skills, talents, character traits, and experiences. John Maxwell
  • Image is what people think we are. Integrity is what we really are. John Maxwell
  • God is calling you to a profession. His name is on you. Profess him in all you do. Honor him, and he will use your work for his purposes. Bryan Chapell

Leading With a Limp by Dan Allender. WaterBrook. 226 pages. 2011

The author, Professor of Counseling Psychology at The Seattle School, tells us that nothing is more difficult than leading, and it is likely the most costly thing you will ever do. He writes that to the degree you face and name and deal with your failures as a leader, to that same extent you will create an environment conducive to growing and retaining productive and committed colleagues. The author writes that we must acknowledge and embrace our weaknesses, for good can come out of them.
The author states that when we muster the courage to name our fears, we gain greater confidence and far greater trust from others. Leading with a limp works by inversion and paradox. He writes that you are the strongest when you are weak, and you are the most courageous when you are broken.
The author tells us that leaders are called to lead with character. The purpose of limping leadership is the maturing of character.
He describes a leader as anyone who wrestles with an uncertain future on behalf of others—anyone who uses their gifts, talents, and skills to influence the direction of others for the greater good. He tells leaders to prepare to admit to your staff that you are the organization’s chief sinner. He describes God’s leadership model as follows: He chooses fools to live foolishly in order to reveal the economy of heaven, which reverses and inverts the wisdom of this world. He calls us to brokenness, not performance; to relationships, not commotion; to grace, not success.
The author addresses many topics related to leadership, among them are being a reluctant leader (another name for a servant leader), counting the cost of leadership, isolation, loneliness, weariness, stories, chaos, blame, crisis, shame, a broken leader, confidence, courage, being a fool, betrayal, a narcissistic leader, gratitude, hiding, truth, honesty, busyness, disillusionment, hope, character, awe, dignity, depravity, and the three offices of leadership (prophet, priest, and king).
Throughout the book, the author shares helpful stories from the Bible, his own life, and others. Leading With a Limp will probably be unlike any leadership book you have read in the past. It would be a good book to read slowly and discuss with others.
Here are some helpful quotes from the book:

  • The reluctant leader doesn’t merely give accolades to others. It is her true joy to see others awaken to their potential and exceed their greatest dreams.
  • We all need a model. We all need to know how to lead from having watched someone we respect.
  • God loves reluctant leaders and, even better, he loves reluctant leaders who know they are frightened, confused, and broken. In fact, he seems to have a special fondness for rebels and fools.
  • Leaders are primarily storytellers and story makers; and troubled people are called to be leaders because they create and tell compelling stories.
  • Most leaders had no intention or desire to lead; instead, they were thrown into the mess by being discontent. If they had been willing to endure life as it was, then they would never have become leaders.
  • A controlling leader always gets what he deserves—the bare minimum and conformity without creativity.
  • The only viable option for leaders who want to mature is to embrace being broken.
  • Betrayal is certain; what is uncertain is how we will embrace betrayal and use it for the growth of character.
  • When you live and lead with a deep sense of God’s grace, you can’t avoid gratitude. It’s humbling to give God all the credit, and it’s also a place of deep rest.
  • A leadership team is meant to be a community of friends who suffer and delight in one another.
  • The sole reason to serve as a Christian is Jesus, yet he is easily lost in the various activities that consume our days. The real cost of busyness, therefore, is the loss of our spiritual vitality.
  • Seldom do leaders take on their burdens merely to maintain the status quo. A true visionary pursues a dream that she can transform what exists and create a better way.
  • The hope that renews and refreshes limping leaders comes with the freedom of knowing one’s limitations. When you admit that you can’t do everything, you are then free to more fully embrace the call of God.
  • God calls leaders to be servants. And we are to lead our organizations from good to great by serving, by giving credit to others when success occurs and by accepting the blame when failure ensues.
  • A leader—whether in the home, church, business, community, or government—has authority due to her role, but her positional power will not bring about good for individuals or organizations unless it is backed up by the capital of character.
  • Leading people requires throwing yourself into a process that is fragile and tension-filled in order to help them not only do their jobs and fulfill the organization’s mission but also grow as characters with character.

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 6: The Beautiful Flourishing in the Realm of Creativity, Aesthetics, and Design. Here are a few helpful quotes from the chapter:

  • God is the Beautiful and the ultimate source of all beauty.
  • We are made for God; thus, we are made for beauty. And we were designed to delight in, dwell upon, and meditate on that beauty.
  • Beauty is neither frivolous nor an optional add-on in the Christian life and witness.
  • God created art as a means of communicating his truth.
  • Art is designed to be a vehicle for expressing human creativity and imagination, but it is also meant to be more than that. It is designed to point (ultimately) to truths about the world and to offer something to the viewer.
  • It must be acknowledged that contemporary Christians have sometimes ignored or even disdained the realm of aesthetics and design.
  • We are creation and new creation people, and we are called by a beautiful God to create and extend beauty in God’s world. We can do so both inside and outside the four walls of our churches.
  • Engagement with the arts is needed because the church must show the alluring beauty of Jesus Christ alongside his goodness and truth.

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.

One thought on “FAITH AND WORK: Connecting Sunday to Monday

  1. Pingback: Does my Earthly Work have Eternal Value? (Part 1) | Reflections on Theological Topics of Interest

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