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FAITH AND WORK: Connecting Sunday to Monday

  • Pastor, Visit Their Workplace. Justin Buzzard writes “Because God designed people to work, my congregants spend most of the week at their workplace. I realized years ago that a powerful way to know and love my church members is to visit them there. I want to know this massive part of their lives. There’s a connection that can happen in the workplace that’s more holistic than a conversation in the pews or at a coffee shop.”
  • Community and the Cubicle. The High Calling blog writes “What would it look like to extend the community-cultivating power of the gospel into our cities, into our workplaces, into our churches? How would the workplace change?”

REAL-LIFE EXAMPLES:

  • Astros Chaplain: Play for God and Pray to Win Kate Shellnutt interviews the Houston Astros Chaplain Juan Jesus Alaniz. Alaniz states “We try to get them to that higher-level perspective, instead of just “I’m playing for my country. I’m playing for my family. I’m playing for my Astros fans.” No, you’re playing for the Lord. The Word of the Lord never comes back empty, so we keep sharing those things with them. It’s nice to see them respond.”
  • World Series Winning Baseball Player Shares His Faith in God. Kristen Undset writes about World Series Champion Jose Altuve, who states ““We need to not just ask God but thank Him for everything like our health, our family. And ask Him to bless our homes and to always be present in our daily lives. And to keep us safe is most important.”
  • Faith at Work. Russell Shorto writes “Chuck Ripka is a money lender – that is to say a mortgage banker – and his institution, the Riverview Community Bank in Otsego, Minnesota, is a way station for Christ.”
  • Building Houses for God’s Glory | Merle and Dave Stoltzfus. Bill Peel writes “David and Merle Stoltzfus take Psalm 127 very personally as residential developers in eastern Pennsylvania. But they don’t just build structures, they build communities. Because they believe that God is in their work, the Stoltzfus brothers take Jesus’ command to love our neighbor seriously.”
  • The Kind of Leader Worth Following. Scott Sauls writes this tribute to Tim Keller.

YOUR WORK MATTERS TO GOD:

  • The Value of Our Work. Listen to this interview with Bryan Chapell about how God values our work.
  • How the Reformation Revolutionized Diaper Changing. Greg Forster writes “Luther wasn’t the first to see this calling to serve God in all of life, which theologians call the doctrine of vocation. And those who came after him have contributed significantly to our understanding of it. But Luther was one of the most important champions of this doctrine in history.”
  • Why Dishwashing Matters in God’s Kingdom. Hugh Whelchel writes “Even though our work has eternal meaning, it doesn’t mean it will be easy. But it does mean that we can live a fully integrated life, where there is no division between the sacred and the secular, where our Christian faith infiltrates all of who we are and what we do, not just on Sundays, but on Mondays, too.”

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FAITH AND WORK: Connecting Sunday to Monday

Faith and Work News ~ Links to Interesting Articles

  • Minister with Monday in Mind. This episode of the Gospel Coalition podcast is a message from Tom Nelson from the Gospel Coalition 2017 National Conference. The gospel speaks into every nook and cranny of life, including the work we’re called by God to embrace for his glory and the furtherance of the common good. Tragically, many church leaders fail to adequately equip congregants for their vocational callings. What’s really at stake when our gospel-centered churches fail to connect Sunday worship with Monday work? What changes will lead to greater pastoral faithfulness and more flourishing congregations?
  • How Whole Life Discipleship Changes Cities (Part 1). Amy Sherman writes “We will not see revitalization in our cities without individual congregants coming to a deep understanding and practice of whole-life discipleship. Congregants need to have a vision for how their daily callings—their professions, their family life, their call to citizenship—connect with God’s mission to bring renewal to all things, and particularly to the hurting parts of our cities.” Read Part 2 here.    Essays for the Common Good. Luke Bobo of Made to Flourish writes “Our new ebook, Essays for the Common Good: Nine Pastors and Churches Share How They Are Putting Ideas into Practice, is a compilation of essays representing nine pastors and churches whose experiences are as diverse as the contexts in which they serve. They are churches in large cities and churches in rural areas. They are churches with thousands of members and they are churches with small gatherings. But even with all the ways they are different, they each share a belief that the local church can act as a powerful agent of cultural renewal for the common good in their communities.”

REGARDING WOMEN:

  • The Faith-Work Gap for Professional Women. Katelyn Beaty writes “One of the most important findings of the Barna survey is that millennials (defined as Americans born between 1982 and 2004) are uniquely accepting of women in the workplace.”
  • Why Packing Lunches and Helping with Homework Have Eternal Value. Anna Arnold looks at the relationship between fulfilling our call to the family and flourishing.
  • How to Steward Your Passions in the Season of Motherhood. Ann Swindell writes “As Christian mothers, this question bubbles up often: How do we navigate the years of childrearing with our own desires to create and innovate and learn? While there’s no one response for every woman, it’s important to ask the right questions as we consider how to steward our passions and live faithfully in our current season.”
  • Be a Boaz in Your Business. Racheal Starke writes “If you’re a man blessed with authority and influence in the workplace, use it to protect and empower women. As you do so, you follow in the footsteps of not just Boaz, but Boaz’s greatest son, Jesus Christ.”

BIG BOSS MAN…OR LADY:

  • 5 Traits of a Great Boss. Dan Reiland writes “John Maxwell and Kevin Myers are two great bosses I have worked for in my ministry career. They are both strong visionary leaders, creative, empowering and love God. I’m grateful for them both. I have also known many bosses that other people work for who are a cross anywhere between Mr. Rogers and Godzilla. Extremes I know, but bad bosses are unfortunately all too common.”
  • 7 High Costs of Leadership Every Leader Should Pay. Ron Edmondson writes “Leadership should be expensive. If we desire to be leaders it should cost us something. Leadership is a stewardship. It’s the keeping of a valuable trust others place in you. Cheap leadership is never good leadership.”
  • The World Will Give You Trouble — Love Anyway. Scott Sauls writes “If you are a Christian leader, boss, or influencer, a time may come when your faith is costly to you and also to those whom you lead and serve.”

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FAITH AND WORK: Connecting Sunday to Monday

Faith and Work News ~ Links to Interesting Articles

GRIPING VS. CONTENTMENT:

  • 4 Major Gripes Heard Around the Office. Dr. Alan Zimmerman writes “As a speaker in hundreds of companies, I’ve kept a record of the gripes I hear people utter. After all, it’s my job as a speaker/trainer/coach to turn those things around. These are the four most commonly heard gripes these days.”
  • What is Biblical Contentment? Dave Kraft writes “Contentment has less to do with the amount of, or intensity, of the activity you are involved in and more to do with your mind-set. Who are you truly trusting to see things happen in your life, relationships, work and ministry–yourself or God?”

VOCATION AND CALLING:

  • “Job Crafting”: Cultivating Our Vocation at Work. Stevan Becker writes “Cultivating our vocation is a matter of listening to God in the particulars of our work situation and discovering the unique things we’ve been created to do. Cultivating our job may mean taking what we have to work with and recreating
  • How to Glorify God at Work. John Piper writes “The point is: Whatever you do, whether you eat or drink or work, do all to make God look as great as he really is.”
  • Your Calling Actually Isn’t About You. Sharon Hodde Miller writes “At some point, a self-centered calling conflicts with God-centered callings, because God-centered callings always lead to a cross. God-centered callings involve suffering, sacrifice, and looking like a fool, because this is the path of the Savior we follow. If your calling is about your image or your reputation or your comfort and convenience, it will eventually diverge from the path of Christ. At some point, God will ask you to do something that isn’t about you or doesn’t feel good or requires you to suffer, and you will have to make a choice.”
  • Help Me Teach the Bible on Work. The latest episode in Nancy Guthrie’s “Help Me Teach the Bible” is with Peter Orr on work.
  • Top Reasons Why a Long Commute May Be Worth It. Hugh Whelchel writes “Work is necessary for a meaningful life, but we must not make our work themeaning for our existence. As Christians, we must find our identity in Christ, not in our work. Yet, work is the major way we respond to God’s call on our lives. So, no matter the length of your commute, be encouraged that what you do today at work matters!”

REAL LIFE EXAMPLES:

  • God Works in 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. No matter what you do for work, stop and pray through your projects, both the big ones and the small ones. Pray that he will be glorified as you serve him in all you do.”
  • Everybody Matters Podcast: Mark Sawyier of Bonfyre. This episode of the Everybody Matters Podcast features a discussion with Mark Sawyier of Bonfyre, a company who has created a workplace culture platform that is helping organizations engage, include and inspire their people.

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FAITH AND WORK: Connecting Sunday to Monday

Faith and Work News ~ Links to Interesting Articles

  • The Best Workers Are the Best Neighbors. Tom Nelson writes “Martin Luther said it well: “God does not need your good works, but your neighbor does.” A primary way God designed us to love our neighbors is for us to do our work well, and from our work to have the capacity to be generous to neighbors in need. When it comes to being a helpful neighbor, a slothful worker faces an uphill climb. On the other hand, the best workers make the best neighbors.”
  • Leaders and Loneliness. Scott Sauls writes “In the past two years, five of my friends who are pastors lost their ministries because of moral failure.”
  • Humility 101: Continuing Ed for Leaders. Bill Peel writes “To discover whether pride is edging out humility, give yourself a “fruit inspection.” The absence of fruit of the Spirit means something besides the Holy Spirit is guiding you, and could be setting you up for an unwanted spot on the evening news.”
  • If God’s a Worker, What Kind of Work Does He Do? Russell Gehrlein writes “how does God carry out this work today? Sometimes he works supernaturally. For example, he does redemptive and revelatory work through his Holy Spirit, in revealing our sin and leading us to Christ. However, it is also true that God has chosen to use human beings, both believers and nonbelievers, to do this work.
  • Why You Get Distracted at Work. Michael Hyatt writes “Interruptions are outside things that throw us off. Distractions are things we do to ourselves to derail us.”
  • Center for Faith and Work Podcast. Check out the new Center for Faith and work podcast that will run every Wednesday. Here is the initial episode “Taking Faith to Work”.
  • The Greatest Burden of Leadership. Tim Challies writes “I believe the greatest difficulty of all is the knowledge that I am leading poorly. It’s the knowledge that I am not leading as well as I could or as well as I wish I would. The burden of responsibility is light compared to the burden of insufficiency, inability, or just plain failure.If all those other weights are heavy, this is the one that threatens to be crushing.”

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FAITH AND WORK: Connecting Sunday to Monday

  • Do Blue Collar Workers Fit Our Theology of Vocation? Daniel Darling writes “If we are not careful we can create a kind of second class system by elevating those whose vocations seem more praiseworthy—white collars or creative such as artists, engineers, lawyers, and CEOs—over and above the blue collar, “dirty jobs” professions that so employ so many of our people.”
  • How Should I Apply My Gifts in the Workplace? Art Lindsley writes “Remember, you are uniquely gifted with talents that help you find fulfillment and that bless others. These gifts can be applied in a number of different jobs or careers. Focus less on finding a specific career or job than on finding an environment in which you can regularly (not perfectly) use your gifts in the way God designed you. Perhaps it’s your current circumstances! Even unexpected gifts can transfer into unexpected jobs and roles in life. Be open!”
  • 5 Traits That Set Great Leaders Apart from the Pack. Ellie Walburg writes “What sets apart good leaders from great leaders? Is it political savvy and the ability to maneuver their way to the top? Is it the number of connections they have? Is it their ability to speak well and motivate people? While all these things may be helpful to varying degrees, leadership goes much deeper than that, to the very core of a who a person is.”
  • 7 Things to Do If You Don’t Like Your Job. Chuck Lawless states that many people are in work roles that they don’t enjoy. If that is where you are, perhaps these suggestions will help you look at your job differently.
  • Peter: The Servant Leader. John MacArthur writes “Restraint, humility, and servanthood aren’t obvious leadership qualities in the corporate world. Nor are they character traits that readily spring to mind for modern churches focused on growth and vision. But Christ prioritized those three qualities as he cultivated future leaders of the Christian church, most notably Peter.”
  • Chick-fil-A VP: The Advice I Give My Own Children — How to Start a Career. Dee Ann Turner writes “My three sons began receiving career advice from me before they even started high school. It was both the curse and the blessing of having a Mother who spent time as the Vice President of Talent and the Vice President of Human Resources at Chick-fil-A. As they matured, I tried to impress upon them the importance of character, competency and chemistry in their professional lives. These are the top tips I shared with them in advising them on starting and growing their careers.”
  • 4 Practical Reasons Character Must Trump Competence. Eric Geiger writes “When inviting others to join your team, both character and competence matter. They are both important. A person of integrity who is not skilled for the role will only grow frustrated while frustrating everyone else. So competence is important, but character is more so.”
  • The Value of Our Work. On this episode of Unlimited Grace, Doug Chamberlain interviews Bryan Chapell about the value of our work.
  • What are You Gifted to Do? Art Lindsley writes “Our gifts are things we do well because God has gifted us to do them. We enjoy doing them because God has created us to experience life and joy through our own unique gifts, and in this way, we experience flourishing.”
  • Christians in the Profession of Arms. Russell Gehrlein writes “Serving in the military was, and is, godly work. And God is definitely present in it.”
  • Global Leadership Summit Podcast. In this episode, Patrick Lencioni compares “smart” vs. “healthy” organizations, making the case that organizational health is the greatest competitive advantage in business. He then unpacks the four disciplines necessary to building organizational health.
  • Catch and Release: A Necessary Strategy for the Modern Leader. Steve Graves writes “As for me, my faith helps me live with catch and release because I trust that God is in control. I will do the best I can to keep my best people, but if something outside of my control happens and an employee leaves, that’s okay.”

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FAITH AND WORK: Connecting Sunday to Monday

Links to Interesting Articles

  • God The Great Janitor? Jim Mullins shares four of the main ways that janitors, and people with similar occupations, display the actions and attributes of God through their work.
  • How to Lead When You’re Not in Charge, Part 2. In this episode of the Andy Stanley Leadership Podcast, Stanley concludes his conversation with Clay Scroggins abouthow to leverage influence when you lack authority.
  • 2017 NFL Hall of Fame Leadership Quotes and Lessons from Kurt Warner. Kurt Warner was my favorite NFL player. A great example of someone integrating their faith and work. I’m thankful to Brian Dodd for capturing these quotes from Warner’s Hall of Fame speech.
  • Giving Servant Leadership the Works:  An Interview with Ken Melrose.In this interview, The High Calling talks to Ken Melrose, former CEO of the Toro Company, about how faith informs work and vice versa.
  • Luther on Vocation: Michael Horton. In this episode of the 5 Minutes in Church History podcast, Steven Nichols visits with Michael Horton about Martin Luther and the doctrine of vocation.
  • Peter: The Submissive Leader. John MacArthur writes “Character is absolutely critical in leadership. America’s current moral decline is directly linked to the fact that we have elected, appointed, and hired too many leaders who have no character.”
  • Cultivated Podcast. Check out this new podcast on faith and work. Enjoy interviews with Steve Taylor, Andy Crouch, Propaganda and others.
  • Do You See Work as a Platform or a Prison? Chris Patton writes “Too many Christians see their work as a prison.  It is a required part of their week, but it is not something they enjoy.  When asked for their reasons, the answers vary, but there is a recurring theme. Most view their work as a necessary evil instead of a source of joy and an opportunity for impact.  Very few would consider their work as a platform.”

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FAITH AND WORK: Connecting Sunday to Monday

Faith and Work News ~ Links to Interesting Articles

  • Rest ≠ Idleness. Watch this two-minute video from Courtney Reissig. She states “As a stay-at-home mom, it can be really hard to think about balance in the work of the home because we don’t have a boss.”
  • The Biblical Solution to Unproductivity and Laziness: Begin With Your Heart Motives. Lara d’Entremont writes “The truly productive person is motivated by a desire to deny themselves, serve others, and glorify God with their time. Because of what God has done for them (dying on the cross to give them eternal life) their primary concern is showing others that same love and glorifying God in that.”
  • Know Your Comparative Advantage to Make Better Decisions. Anne Bradley writes “Knowing your gifts and focusing on them is important for faithful stewardship. It allows us to specialize, especially with regard to things we produce and sell through our labor (our work). This specialization frees us from having to be good at everything and allows us to trade with others.”
  • Profitable Fails. David Murray writes “The basic difference between successful people and the rest of us is that they’ve learned to fail well. They humbly embrace their mistakes, use them as opportunities to learn, and persevere until each shot got them nearer the bulls-eye.”
  • Monday’s Preparation Brings Friday’s Success. Ron Edmondson writes “I find the more deliberate I am to pre-plan my day and week the more productive I feel at the end of the week.”
  • The Dangers of Success. Tim Keller writes “Success can easily cause us to forget God’s grace, because our hearts are desperate to believe that we can save ourselves.”
  • In this “Minute with Maxwell”, John Maxwell states that discipline allows us to have a life to do what we need to do, not what we want to do. If we cannot discipline ourselves, life will become hard for us.
  • Redirection Not Retirement. Peter Markgraaff writes “Retirement is an opportunity for a redeployment, a recalibration, a reset, revival, reform, and a new trajectory.”
  • How to Receive Constructive Feedback with the Gospel in View. Kristin Brown writes “Getting constructive feedback is going to happen. In more theological terms, it’s part of the sanctification process—being changed to be more like Christ.”
  • When the Gospel Invades Your Office: Tim Keller on Faith and Work. Matt Smethurst interviews Tim Keller about “working for the weekend”; how the counternarrative of the gospel addresses our propensity to idolize or demonize, to overwork or underwork; how to counsel discouraged employees; and more.”
  • Why Your Church Needs to Talk about Vocation. Amy Sherman asks “Why does it matter to have a strong theology of work? Why should congregational leaders help their flock connect faith and work? Why should we talk about vocation when there are so many other worthwhile things we could talk about, like evangelism or compassion ministry? Why does it matter?”
  • 17 Powerful Workplace Scriptures. WorkMatters writes “Many scriptures are found throughout the Bible that support the importance of our work to God. Each contain God’s wisdom and views about our work, the importance of our work, or how we should conduct ourselves while performing our work.”

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