Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview


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FAITH AND WORK: Connecting Sunday to Monday

Faith and Work News ~ Links to Interesting Articles

  • Doing What Only You Can Do. In this episode of the Andy Stanley Leadership podcast, he begins a two-part conversation about onlydoing what only you can do.
  • Far and Away, This is Always Listed as the Biggest Time Waster by Most Leaders. Dave Kraft writes “For the most part, meetings I have experienced over 49 years of Christian ministry are poorly prepared, poorly executed, with poor follow-up.”
  • The Freedom of Working to Please Jesus, Not People. Hugh Whelchel looks at what freedom at work looks like from Sebastian Traeger and Greg Gilbert’s excellent book The Gospel at Work: How Working for King Jesus Gives Purpose and Meaning to Our Jobs.
  • 4 Reasons Your Work Matters Today.Michael Kelley writes “Does our work really matter? And if the answer is “yes,” then are there reasons for that answer that go beyond the scope of a particular vocation? In other words, does our work matter regardless of what our position is?”
  • Character. In this “Minute with Maxwell”, John Maxwell states that reputation iswho people think we are, and character is who we really are.  For years, I’ve defined character as doing the right thing when nobody was watching. How would you define character?
  • Is the Protestant Work Ethic Still Alive? Hugh Whelchel writes “As we become serious about being “salt and light” in our communities, we can have the same effect as yeast in a loaf of bread, providing a significant moral framework that positively influences those around us.”
  • How the Protestant Reformation Renewed the Church, Our Work and Society. Hugh Whelchel writes “We are called to reshape andreform our world to be the place God originally intended it to be—restoring order, loving and serving each other with integrity and honesty, meeting each other’s needs, and creating something of value from the raw materials he has supplied—all through the work of our hands.

 

GOOD AND NOT SO GOOD LEADERSHIP:

  • Isolated Leaders are Dangerous Leaders. Eric Geiger writes “The sting of criticism, the burden of the responsibilities, and the pace of leadership can nudge a leader towards isolation, but every step towards isolation is a step towards danger.”
  • 5 Warning Signs That Laziness Is Creeping into Your Leadership. Eric Geiger writes “Like all sin, laziness can slowly creep into our lives and leadership. If we fail to address the temptation to move toward laziness, we become unfaithful in our leadership.”
  • Giving Credit Where Credit is Due. Bob Chapman writes “Leaders, next time you’re ready to celebrate with your own particular touchdown dance in the end zone, think about how you got there. I would bet that it wasn’t a solo effort. Think about what a simple act can mean to those who participated in this triumph. They want to know they matter, and sometimes, just a simple high five is a way to help them know that their work is appreciated.”
  • Leading with Control Versus Leading with Influence. Ron Edmondson writes “Leaders, if you want to to have a healthy team environment, you must learn to control less and influence more. The differences are measured in the results of creating a healthy team.”
  • Why Busy Leaders Make Bad Leaders. Carey Nieuwhof writes “I’ve noticed that people who usually tell you they’re busy are often bad leaders. Or flip that. Talk to highly effective leaders and you’ll notice they rarely tell you they’re busy.”

REST:

  • Better Than Busy. Colin Noble writes “What would happen to our 24/7 switched-on world if the people who came to Jesus for rest regularly took a day of rest from distraction, work, and busyness? What would this weekly habit have to offer to the world in which we find ourselves — a world that restlessly continues to search for peace amid busyness?”
  • Trusting and Resting in God’s Work as We Do Our Work.Scotty Smith prays “Heavenly Father, we LOVE the freedom grace gives us to work without any concern for merit or deserving, personal failure or not measuring up.”
  • The Power of Deep Rest. Tim Keller writes “There is a symbiotic relationship between work and rest. Of course, we know this at one level. We get away from work in order to replenish our bodies and minds. Resting, or practicing Sabbath, is also a way to help us get perspective on our work and put it in its proper place.”

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10 Books I Plan to Read This Summer

The summer is a great time to get some reading in. I have several books on my “to be read” list (aka my “on deck circle”). Here are ten of them I hope to read this summer:

42 Faith: The Rest of the Jackie Robinson Story by Ed Henry

This book brings a different perspective to the well-known Jackie Robinson story. From Amazon: “Journalist and baseball lover Ed Henry reveals for the first time the backstory of faith that guided Jackie Robinson into not only the baseball record books but the annals of civil rights advancement as well. Through recently discovered sermons, interviews with Robinson’s family and friends, and even an unpublished book by the player himself, Henry details a side of Jackie’s humanity that few have taken the time to see.”

Work Matters: Lessons from Scripture by R. Paul Stevens

I recently started reading this book about work that was listed as recommended reading by Redeemer Presbyterian Church’s Center for Faith and Work. From Amazon: “In Work Matters marketplace theology expert R. Paul Stevens revisits more than twenty biblical accounts — from Genesis to Revelation — exploring through them the theological meaning of every sort of work, manual or intellectual, domestic or commercial. Taken together, his short, pithy reflections on these well-known Bible passages add up to a comprehensive, Bible-based theology of work — one that will be equally useful for seminars, classes, Bible studies, and individuals seeking to grasp more fully the theological dimensions of their daily labor.”

Reset: Living a Grace-Paced Life in a Burnout Culture by David Murray

I am a regular reader of David Murray’s HeadHeartHand blog and I appreciated his book Christians Get Depressed Too. From Amazon: “Drawing on personal experiences—and time spent counseling other men in the midst of burnout—David Murray offers weary men hope for the future, helping them identify the warning signs of burnout and offering practical strategies for developing patterns that are necessary for living a grace-paced life and reaching the finish line with their joy intact.”

Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans

My wife Tammy and I are reading and discussing this book this summer. I first heard about it from the Center for Faith and Work at Redeemer Presbyterian Church. From Amazon: “In this book, Bill Burnett and Dave Evans show us how design thinking can help us create a life that is both meaningful and fulfilling, regardless of who or where we are, what we do or have done for a living, or how young or old we are. The same design thinking responsible for amazing technology, products, and spaces can be used to design and build your career and your life, a life of fulfillment and joy, constantly creative and productive, one that always holds the possibility of surprise.”

Working for Our Neighbor: A Lutheran Primer on Vocation, Economics, and Ordinary Life by Gene Veith

Gene Veith’s God at Work is one of the best books I read about integrating our faith and work. I’m looking forward to this new book from him. From Amazon: “In this elucidating work, Gene Edward Veith connects vocation to justification, good works, and Christian freedom—defining how the Lutheran contribution to economics can transfigure ordinary life, and work, with the powerful presence of God.”

Why the Reformation Still Matters by Michael Reeves and Tim Chester

I’ve read several of Michael Reeves books and seen him speak at the last two Ligonier National conferences. I also enjoyed Tim Chester’s book Gospel Centered Work. With this year being the 500th Anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, this is a timely book to read. From Amazon: “In this accessible primer, Michael Reeves and Tim Chester answer eleven key questions raised by the Reformers—questions that remain critically important for the church today.”

Rediscovering the Holy Spirit: God’s Perfecting Presence in Creation, Redemption, and Everyday Life by Michael Horton

Over the years I’ve read several of Michael Horton’s books, seen him speak at conferences and enjoyed his White Horse Inn radio program. From Amazon: “In Rediscovering the Holy Spirit, author, pastor, and theologian Mike Horton introduces readers to the neglected person of the Holy Spirit, showing that the work of God’s Spirit is far more ordinary and common than we realize. Horton argues that we need to take a step back every now and again to focus on the Spirit himself—his person and work—in order to recognize him as someone other than Jesus or ourselves, much less something in creation. Through this contemplation we can gain a fresh dependence on the Holy Spirit in every area of our lives.”

The Mythical Leader: The Seven Myths of Leadership by Ron Edmondson

I enjoy reading pastor Ron Edmondson’s blog on leadership and am looking forward to this new book. From Amazon: “In The Mythical Leader, Edmondson exposes some of the most common misunderstandings of leadership, shares stories from his own experiences, and will help church leaders develop healthier patterns to improve their individual leadership.”

A Little Book on the Christian Life by John Calvin 

I’m looking forward to this new translation of Calvin’s classic book from Burk Parsons and Aaron Denlinger. From Amazon: “For centuries, disciples young and old have turned to this book for guidance in the Christian life. Today, it remains unique in its clear exposition of God’s calling for Christians to pursue holiness, endure suffering, and fulfill their callings. This is a book for every Christian to pick up, read, and apply.”

H3 Leadership: Be Humble. Stay Hungry. Always Hustle by Brad Lomenick

I enjoyed reading Brad Lomenick’s book The Catalyst Leader and regularly read his blog on leadership. From Amazon: “He categorizes 20 essential leadership habits organized into three distinct filters he calls “the 3 Hs”: Humble (Who am I?), Hungry (Where do I want to go?) and Hustle (How will I get there?). These powerful words describe the leader who is willing to work hard, get it done, and make sure it’s not about him or her; the leader who knows that influence is about developing the right habits for success. Lomenick provides a simple but effective guide on how to lead well in whatever capacity the reader may be in.”

These are the books I’m looking forward to reading or listening to this summer. How about you? What’s on your reading list?