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

  • How Should We Respond When a Leader Implodes? Eric Geiger writes “Regardless of whether or not the reality of leaders falling is more common or the same as it has always been, it’s happening too much. The moral failures are far too frequent. So how should we, those of us who are believers, respond when a leader disqualifies himself or herself from their role?”
  • The Sanctity of Labor. Are you working “for the weekend”? Or counting the years to retirement? From his series Christian Ethics, R.C. Sproul explains that work is sacred and we are called to labor diligently to the glory of God.
  • Work’s Toll and Significance. Bill Peel tells us that work can have a high toll on us but also a lasting significance. Learn how to work smarter for the Kingdom of God.
  • John Coltrane’s Faith and Work Story Behind A Love Supreme. Caroline Cross writes “Like Coltrane, we too are working toward the consummation of a calling.”
  • Strengths or Weaknesses: Which Need More Attention? Hugh Whelchel writes “God intends for us to use our gifts and talents to glorify him, serve the common good, and further his kingdom in all we do in our churches, our families, our communities, and at our jobs.”
  • How to Establish a Workplace Cultures That Actually Sticks. Art Lindsley writes “In today’s culture, we are desperately seeking a renewal of character but are not willing to give it a sufficient foundation.”
  • Practicing Curiosity: How to Connect Better with Congregants. Amy Sherman writes “To shepherd well, a pastor must know his sheep. To know implies curiosity about the people God has entrusted to your care. Curious pastors will study their congregations, they will seek to understand their lives and contexts, and they will give particular attention to the vocations of their people. Curious pastors will want to know what their sheep do Monday through Saturday and how they do it.”
  • Discerning the Season of Your Life. Ron Edmondson writes “Review your life by how the seasons molded you. God never wastes a season. Ask God to place in your heart what He wants you to learn during this specific season of your life. Invite God to speak into your seasons.”

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Three Organizations That Exemplify a Close Connection between Faith and Work


There are a few organizations that I respect because they exemplify a close connection between faith and work. Three in particular are:

Chick Fil-A. In her book It’s My Pleasure: The Impact of Extraordinary Talent and a Compelling Culture by Dee Ann Turner writes that Chick Fil-A is not in the chicken business, but the people business. Selling chicken is just a means for glorifying God.  See my review of Dee Ann’s book.
All Chick Fil-A stores are closed on Sunday. Chick Fil-A’s founder Truett Cathy, made the decision to close on Sundays in 1946 when he opened his first restaurant in Hapeville, Georgia. Having worked seven days a week in restaurants open 24 hours, Truett saw the importance of closing on Sundays so that he and his employees could set aside one day to rest and worship if they choose.
Cathy also stated “We should be about more than just selling chicken. We should be a part of our customers’ lives and the communities in which we serve.”
Chick Fil-A is known for their world-class service. I’ve read about their organization in books by Patrick Lencioni, Ken Blanchard and Mark Miller.

Hobby Lobby. Hobby Lobby got its start in 1970 when David and Barbara Green took out a $600 loan to begin making miniature picture frames out of their home. Today, with more than 750 stores, Hobby Lobby is the largest privately owned arts-and-crafts retailer in the world with approximately 32,000 employees and operating in forty-seven states.
One of their principles is “Honoring the Lord in all we do by operating the company in a manner consistent with Biblical principles”. Another is “Providing a return on the family’s investment, sharing the Lord’s blessings with our employees, and investing in our community.” All Hobby Lobby stores are closed on Sunday.

Barry-Wehmiller. Barry-Wehmiller is a global supplier of manufacturing technology and services based in St. Louis, Missouri. I first read about Bob Chapman, CEO of Barry-Wehmiller in Simon Sinek’s book Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t. Barry-Wehmiller measures success by the way they touch the lives of people.
Their website states the following about their organizational culture:
“Step inside any one of our 100 locations around the globe and you’ll feel it: a culture of care, compassion and human connection. Our commitment to our people-first culture runs deep and has inspired a leadership model that places a priority on improving the lives of the people who make our business possible. We call it Truly Human Leadership and it stems from a deep-rooted belief that this is the way we are called to work and live. By sharing the story of our successful cultural and leadership model initiatives we intend to raise the awareness of other leaders about the power of business to have a profound positive impact on the world.”
Check out Everybody Matters: The Extraordinary Power of Caring for Your People Like Family by Chapman and Raj Sisodia to learn more about this extraordinary organization.  Read my review of the book.

Are there any organizations that you respect because of how they connect faith and work?


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FAITH AND WORK: Connecting Sunday to Monday

Faith and Work News ~ Links to Interesting Articles

  • Faith & Work Conference Livestream. If you are not able to travel to New York City for the Center for Faith & Work Conference don’t despair, you can watch the conference via livestream for just $35. “Join us via Livestream for this two-day event which is part of Redeemer’s Formation Conference Series! Explore how the gospel gives us a radical new vision: the issue is not that we expect too much from our work, it’s that we expect too little.” Speakers include Tim Keller, Katherine Leary and David H. Kim.
  • Made to Flourish. “Made To Flourish exists to equip pastors with a more integral connection between Sunday faith and Monday work, in order to empower them to lead churches that produce human flourishing for the common good.”

  • When It Seems Your Life is Going Nowhere. Scott Sauls writes “Although it is sometimes hard to believe that your work, done for God’s glory, has enduring significance, it absolutely does.”
  • Finding Glory in My Ordinary Year. Courtney Reisigg writes “One day I will do the work in a way that I want again, but until then I am asking for grace to find the glory in the ordinary days—even days where everyone else is helping me get by.”
  • 3 Ways to Help Your Students Discern Their Vocational Future. Meryl Herr writes “A theology of calling could be the anchor that these young people need. Our primary call is to follow Christ. Yet each Christ-follower also has a unique, or specific, calling.”
  • 7 Tips for Writing Your Personal Vision Statement. Hugh Whelchel writes “Having a clearly articulated personal vision statement gives you a template of purpose that can be used to initiate, evaluate, and refine all of your activities.”
  • Why Your Personal Vision is Important and How to Discover It. Hugh Whelchel writes “Discovering your personal vision helps you understand who you are in Christ, your talents, and your comparative advantages. It helps you know how to create the greatest value for yourself, your family, your church, your community and your work for the glory of God.”
  • How to Climb the Corporate Ladder – For Jesus’ Sake. In this episode of the “Ask Pastor John” podcast, John Piper answers the question “How do I balance my earthly work with eternal work”
  • Work for the Common Good. God designed every human being to find agency in his or her vocation. “If we understand the “common good” as the truest good for all people, how can our work play a role in renewing the world? Author, speaker, and pastor Skye Jethani helps us contemplate how our work is not primarily for the gain of wealth and pleasure—but ultimately an opportunity to cultivate a better world for our neighbors.”

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FAITH AND WORK: Connecting Sunday to Monday

Faith and Work News ~ Links to Interesting Articles

REAL-LIFE EXAMPLES:

  • Christian Lawyers Discuss Their Work. In this video, New Testament scholar Sean McDonough argues that the work modern lawyers do has its roots in the Bible, specifically Luke 10:25-29. Starting at the 9:06 point in the video, professional lawyers share how the Christian faith changes their approach to their work. This video is part of Jesus And Your Job, a video series on how Christians in different industries view their work.
  • The Honorable Edmund Moy, 38th Director of the U.S. Mint | Interview and Video. Bill Peel writesEd Moy served as Director of the US Mint (2006-2011). He is an advisor to presidents, a television commentator, an author, a business executive, a corporate director, as well as a pastor and follower of Jesus. Through his story, Ed shares how service to the Lord is more than a Sunday event but an everyday working reality.”

  • A Magazine about Work. The current issue of Light Magazine is on the topic of work. Russell Moore explains why teaching our kids to work is a vital part of parenting. Jason Thacker explores the rise of automation and its effects on the ever-changing job force. Justin Lonas looks at the challenges in rural America and how the church can be a helpful presence. And Carolyn McCulley chronicles the relationship between women and work and the factors that have made it so confusing.
  • When Work Gets Wearisome. Scott Sauls writes “It turns out that even Jesus, the one with enough power to speak the galaxies into existence by speaking, had to endure the Sisyphus experience in his work of saving souls and loving people, places, and things to life. Shouldn’t we, who are far less strong and far less perfect than he, expect similar things for ourselves? If Jesus, who will one day resolve every groan in his good creation, was subject to the groan, shouldn’t we expect to be also?”

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FAITH AND WORK: Connecting Sunday to Monday

Faith and Work News ~ Links to Interesting Articles

  • Why Do You Work? Stephen Nichols writes “The chief end of our work comes in verse 31: “May the glory of the Lord endure forever; may the Lord rejoice in his works.” Our work has meaning. Our work points to the One in whose image we are made. As we work, we bring glory to God. As we work, God is delighted with us. Now we have stumbled upon our answer to why we work.”
  • Is Your Work Spiritual Enough? Art Lindsley writes “How many of us feel our work is not “spiritual” enough or doesn’t matter in God’s grand design? Understanding this concept of a “priesthood of all believers” can help us see how all our vocations bear great importance.”
  • Can Meaningful Work Truly Be Found? Hugh Whelchel writes “For the Christian, life without work is meaningless, but work must never become the meaning of one’s life. We must find our identity in Christ, not in our work. Our union with Christ transforms our hearts and gives us the desire to serve him out of gratitude as we engage the world through our work.”
  • Are Biblical Principles Shaping Your Values? Hugh Whelchel writes “The more we are “all in,” the more our thoughts and actions align with God’s principles, the more we can glorify God, serve the common good, and further his kingdom in this time and this place—in our particular season on this earth. And it is in the process of bringing more flourishing to the communities we serve that we flourish, too ( 29:7).”
  • Faith and Work Integration: Trendy or Essential? Mark D. Roberts writes “It’s not just trendy to seek to do everything in the Lord’s name, including those things that fill most of our waking hours. Doing our ordinary work in the Lord’s name is an essential, though often overlooked, element of our calling. So, whatever you do—whether managing staff, selling products, leading organizations, changing diapers, teaching children, building start-ups, preaching sermons, making films, writing books, molding clay, or cleaning houses—do everything, yes, everything, in the name of the Lord Jesus.”

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FAITH AND WORK: Connecting Sunday to Monday

Faith and Work News ~ Links to Interesting Articles

  • Flourishing Leaders. Watch this thirty-five-minute message from Tom Nelson, president of Made to Flourish, from the Common Good Series.
  • 7 Ways I Deal with Fatigue as a Leader. Ron Edmundson writes “Leading today (actually life today) requires a lot of energy. I meet so many people who don’t have the energy they need to get through the day. I realize there are seasons in life where this is unavoidable, but we should strive to keep ourselves healthy enough to be productive and enjoy life.”
  • Sharing God’s Love in Our Work. Watch this five-minute video, in which Lindsay, a young teacher discovers how her past experiences have prepared her for a unique ministry in New York public schools.
  • There’s Dignity at Work for the Gleaner and the Businessperson, Too. Kristin Brown writes “What’s ironic is that many workingChristians lack a sense of dignity in their work because they think it’s meaningless—outside of perhaps earning money to support their family and church. The principles that shape our outreach to those in need should also shape how we view our own work.”
  • The Biggest Reason the Church Must Say Something About the Economy. Greg Forster writes “The church must talk about work. But talking about work is not enough—the church must also teach and affirm that we are social beings. So, the church must speak about faith, work, and economics because the economy is a social enterprise.”
  • Culture of Collaboration. On this month’s Andy Stanley Leadership Podcast, he concludes a two-part conversation on creating a culture of collaboration.
  • Work is Worship. Darren Bosch writes “Work is God’s gift to us. It’s not a result of the fall into sin. In creating Adam and Eve the job of cultivating and caring for the garden, He not only made them the first landscapers, He designed their DNA so that whatever they put their head, heart and hands to is a form of worship. The same is true for us. Made in His image, vocation is an extension of God’s work of maintaining and providing for His creation, bringing Him glory and enjoying Him.”
  • The 10 Commandments of Christian Leadership. What are things we must do to develop ourselves as leaders? If we want to be effective leaders that glorify God in our leadership, we must look to Jesus. How else can we improve? Check out this five-minute video from Eric Geiger.
  • 5 Things I Have to Do, But Don’t Like Doing as a Leader. Ron Edmondson writes “A friend asked me once to name the things I do as a leader because I have to do, but don’t necessarily like to do. He even had a term for it. He called it the “underbelly of leadership”.
  • 20 Quotes from Mark Dever on Church Leadership.Matt Smethurst shares these quotes from Mark Dever’s book Understanding Church Leadership.
  • The Loneliness of Leadership. Ron Edmondson writes “The responsibility of being a leader should never be abused. Leadership is never an excuse for dictatorship or control. We must always consider the interests of others ahead of our own. (That’s a Biblical command.) But, make no mistake about it, loneliness sometimes comes with the territory of being a leader. In those days, we stand firm in our faith and our calling. And, we wait for better days.”
  • Great Leadership is Always About Serving Other People. Brandon A. Cox writes “The greatest example of leadership will always be Jesus, as modeled in the four gospels and expounded in the epistles. But what made Jesus’ style of leadership so great?”

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FAITH AND WORK: Connecting Sunday to Monday

Faith and Work News ~ Links to Interesting Articles

  • Vocation in Retirement. Gene Veith writes “Retiring from the workplace is allowing me to pursue my other vocations and to love and serve my other neighbors in ways that I had neglected.”
  • Why You Can’t Measure the Value of Homemaking.  Andrew Spencer writes “All work that honors God’s design has inherent value; it is good work. Homemaker, engineer, athlete, artist, and janitor all have the potential to fulfill God’s purpose for the world and enhance the common good.”
  • Called to the Cubicle: Regardless of Where We Work We’re All in Full-Time Ministry. Daniel Darling writes “No matter what we do for a living, we’re engaged in full-time Christian ministry from nine to five each day. The cubicle is not a prison but an altar, and knowing that should radically change how we think about the place where we spend a large part of our adult lives.”
  • If He Calls You, He Will Equip You. Stacy Reaoch writes “God often stretches us beyond what we think is possible. He calls us to tasks that seem greater than our capabilities. If you’re in a place of insecurity today, wondering how you’re going to handle the assignment given to you, remember three things.”

  • Servant Leadership Characteristics and Why They are Effective. Maren Fox writes “Nearly 50 years after Robert K. Greenleaf pioneered servant leadership, its key characteristics speak more to today’s workforce than any generation before. He wrote that the servant leader “focuses on the growth and well-being of people and the communities to which they belong.”
  • Servant.  In this “Minute with Maxwell”, John Maxwell states that a servant is someone who is mature and puts the interests of others above themselves.
  • The Servant Formula for Succeeding in Business. Sarah Stanley writes “Greenleaf’s “best test” for servant leaders is if their employees and mentees go on to become leaders, ideally servant leaders, themselves.”

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