Faith and Work News ~ Links to Interesting Articles
- Start with the Heart. Mark Miller writes “Regardless of where you are on your timeline, there are four arenas which require your attention and ultimately your mastery if you want maximum influence and opportunity. These four domains create an eco-system of sorts – Leading Self, Leading Others, Leading Teams and Leading Organizations. Each contains its own unique elements, but each also is in a symbiotic relationship with the others.” Here he takes a look at what he contends is the most challenging domain of them all and where all great leadership begins… Leading Self.
- Five Thoughts on “Makers” and “Managers”. Eric Geiger writes “Makers primarily focus on creating while managers primarily focus on managing people, processes, and systems to ensure the work gets done.”
- Work: What is it Good For? In this video interview Tim Keller discusses his excellent book Every Good Endeavor, and how our faith should inform our work.
- Redeeming Work. Listen to Matt Perman’s messages from the Redeeming Work Conference.
- Groans as in the Pains of Childbirth. Carey Bustard interviews Kimberly Ibarra, who works in obstetrics/women’s health, about how she integrates her faith and work.
- Lessons from the First 20 Years. On this episode of the Andy Stanley Leadership Podcast Stanley looks back on 20 years of organizational leadership – what worked and what really mattered. Hoping that he puts all of this into book form someday.
- You Have What You Seek. Dan Rockwell writes “To get where you want to go, move toward authentic leadership.”
- Leave It Better: Faith, Vocation & The Mission of God. I’ve been enjoying Scott Sauls’ sermon series on faith and work titled “Leave it Better: Faith, Vocation & The Mission of God. You can listen to them here or on the church’s podcast available on iTunes.
- What Does God Want Done? Matt Perman writes “We can define productivity in this way: to be productive is to be fruitful in good works.”
- Nehemiah and John Kotter on Leading Change. Dave Kraft looks at the eight steps for leading change, according to John Kotter, and how one can see them in Nehemiah’s leadership.
- Four Ways to Be a Less Bossy Boss. Eric Geiger writes “Few leaders want to be known as being a “bossy boss,” and even fewer people want to work for one. So here are four ways to be sure you are leading, not just bossing.”
- 5 Reasons Your Pastor May Not Be Leading Well. Ron Edmondson writes “When a pastor isn’t leading the church well, there’s usually an answer as to why.” He lists five reasons he has observed for this.
- Teamwork. In this “Minute with Maxwell”, John Maxwell discusses what teamwork means.
- How I Work: An Interview with Steven Grant. Joe Carter interviews web developer Steven Grant about integrating his faith and work.
- 30 Questions Every Leader Can Ask to Become a Better Coach. Paul Sohn writes “Whether you’re a CEO, teacher, parent, project leader or any other kind of a leader, you need to know how to coach your team. The need for coaching has never been greater. Gallup’s research shows that a team that is highly engaged has double the chance of job performance and success.”
- Top Ten Books on Faith & Work. Hugh Whelchel offers this list that you may find helpful. This list is already a few years old, and there are constantly good new books available in this genre. The Center for Faith and Work in New York City offers this helpful list.
- Teachability: The Prince Of Character Traits. Dave Kraft writes “When I’m thinking of investing in a potential leader, having a teachable spirit is the number one quality I’m looking for.”
- Leading Team Members You Don’t Like. In this episode of the 5 Leadership Questions podcast Todd Adkins and Barnabas Piper talk with Brad Lomenick about the challenges, complexities, and techniques of leading team members you don’t really like very much.
- Thinking Strategically in the Moment. Ron Edmondson writes “What the leader says can negatively impact other people or the organization. Good leaders have to learn to think strategically — even when making quick decisions.”
- 4 Steps to Dying Slowly. Dr. Alan Zimmerman writes “Your stress and your unhealthy habits may be killing you and hurting your company.” He offers these four helpful thoughts for us to get rid of our unhealthy habits and stress.
- Results. In this “Minute with Maxwell” John Maxwell discusses achieving the results that we would like to accomplish.
- Are You an Ambivert? Dr. Travis Bradberry writes “I’m sure you’ve been asked many times whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert. For some people, it’s an easy choice, but for most of us, it’s difficult to choose one way or the other.”
Faith and Work Quotes
- Mission includes our vocations and not just church ministry. Tim Keller
- Holy Spirit, free us to receive feedback humbly and non-defensively today, and help us to give feedback with compassion and clarity. Scotty Smith
- One often sees a call only in retrospect. This too is God’s design. God often reinforces our faith after we trust Him, not before. Ravi Zacharias
- When Christ says “Follow Me,” He never tells us where He will lead us. He decides, we follow. Steven Lawson
- There is a big difference in wanting to and willing to. Coach K
- In our creativity and work, we image our creator and fulfill his purpose. Art Lindsley
- Average people make their decisions according to the present, not the future. Andy Andrews
- We were meant to give our lives away. Spend more time living your legacy instead of worrying about leaving it. Lee J. Colan
- Your roles are all callings from God and thus avenues of worship. You can serve Him just as fully in the “secular” areas of your life as you can in the spiritual areas. Matt Perman
- Pray as though everything depended on God. Work as though everything depended on you. Augustine
- Leaders are responsible to be Lifter Uppers, not Letter Downers. Brad Lomenick
- God feeds the birds, but He doesn’t throw worms in their nest. Dave Ramsey
- If your heart is not right, no one cares about your skills. Mark Miller
- You can’t please everyone. On your best day someone loves everything about you and someone is struggling to find one good thing to say. Ron Edmondson
Faith and Work Book Clubs – Won’t you read along with us?
I first read this book in a “Calling, Vocation and Work” class with Dr. Michael Williams and Dr. Bradley Matthews at Covenant Seminary two summers ago. King Jesus is on a mission to bring restoration in every sphere of society and has invited His followers to join Him in this Kingdom-advancing work. Learn to deeply, creatively and intentionally steward your vocational power in ways that advance foretastes of the coming Kingdom of shalom for our neighbors near and far.
This week we’ll look at the Conclusion and the remainder of the book:
- What the individuals and church leaders profiled in this book have accomplished is not outside the realm of possibility. These are people like you; these are congregations like yours. What they have done, you can do.
- The people and the churches profiled in these pages have struggled, questioned, gotten frustrated and taken missteps along the way. They’re ordinary folks like you and me. They didn’t have this all figured out.
- Coming to clarity about the specific actions you can take to advance the kingdom in and through your profession takes time – time to muse, to pray, to consult, to read, to discuss, to question, to debate.
- Fining the vocational sweet spot is typically a process with plenty of trial and error in it.
- Waking up to all the different possibilities there are for serving God through our vocational skills also takes time.
- Similarly, the churches mentioned in this book also hit bumps along the road. They weren’t perfect. They have their struggles just like every congregation.
- Pursuing the journey of vocational stewardship as a church is not about “three easy steps and you’re done.” It’s an evolving process that looks different at different times and contexts. And it’s not one-size-fits-all.
- In all spheres where we work – education, business, government, media, law, arts and more – we are agents of restoration. Talk about a heady job title! The contentions of Christian doctrine are bold; the work we do matters and it lasts.
- Believers who participate intentionally, thoughtfully, strategically and creatively in the mission Dei through their daily work taste more deeply of God. They learn more about his character as they participate with him in the things he is passionate about. Their work lives gain deeper meaning and purpose. They realize that God is accomplishing his “creational order” work through them. That is, they’re able to see the intrinsic value of their farming or their “lawyering” or their artistry or their managing or their teaching. Through such professions, they realize that God is doing his work – through them! – of providing for, sustaining, and governing his world.
- Believers who take vocational stewardship seriously also see their reliance on the Holy Spirit become more authentic, more of a daily practice. They lean hard into prayer, seeking heavenly wisdom for decisions. They offer up their workday, each day, as worship to God. They look for new ways to serve their neighbors near and far through their work. Along the way, they begin to feel as though they have stopped being mere spectators and have become active players in the work King Jesus is doing to push back the curse and push in the kingdom of shalom. And all of this brings rejoicing.
- As we take up our place as agents of restoration, we also become instruments through which our neighbors taste more of God’s goodness. As we faithfully do our part on the section of the “wall” (from Nehemiah), we been called to, we promote the common good. Depending on our circumstances, our efforts to steward our vocational power can cause transformation at a variety of levels – among individuals, within local organizations or neighborhoods, or throughout institutions and different sectors of society.
- To find a number of helpful follow-up resources go to www.vocationalstewardship.org
Next week, we’ll begin a new book club on the book that has had the most influence on me outside of the Bible – Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper. Why not read along with us?