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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

CHRISTIANS SHAPING CULTURE:culture

your-work-matters

  • Why Work Matters. Watch this message from Trip Lee as he discusses why every job and task is important in God’s Kingdom.
  • To Be a Diaper Changer. Nick Batzig writes “To be a diaper changer to the glory of God is a glorious thing. Jesus said, “He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much” (Luke 16:10).”
  • Women, We’re Co-Workers, Not Competitors. Bethany Jenkins writes “When we see that Jesus is our identity, we have new eyes to appreciate others’ contributions rather than fearfully guarding our own choices. When our goal is to advance his kingdom, not our own, we can rejoice in all sorts of work being done since we’re on a shared mission. Women making different choices are co-laborers, not competitors. It’s a team effort, so it’s a team sense of joy.”
  • Career. Calling. What’s the Difference? Hugh Whelchel writes “Rather than equate vocational calling with a specific occupation or career, we are called to be Christians in whatever situation we find ourselves. Vocational calling stays the same as we move in and out of different jobs and careers. It is directly related to the discovery of our God-given talents. We develop and hone these talents into useful competencies for the glory of God and the benefit of others, often in various jobs or occupations.
  • On Christian Retirement. Hugh Whelchel writes “A Christian never retires from serving God through his or her vocational call. While we may have moved into a new season in our lives, God still calls us to grow and invest our gifts and talents in the work that he is doing in the world.”
  • Essential Keys to Finishing Your Race Well. Dave Kraft shares these essential keys for the Christian leader to finish well. He writes that he regularly teaches these, and by His grace, seeks to practice them in his own life and work.
  • In this “Minute with Maxwell”, John Maxwell encourages us to be an everyday learner. We should keep learning and keep earning so that we can be returning.
  • It’s Not Only Athletes: What Platform Has God Given You? Randy Alcorn writes “But regardless of what vocation or position or role in a family God gives us, when God gives His people a platform to stand on, and a voice that can be heard, He expects them to represent Him faithfully. When they achieve something, whether as a farmer, factory worker, teacher, nurse, clerk, or salesperson, He calls upon them to give Him glory.”
  • Ken Costa on How to Discover Your Calling, Hope in the Workplace, and Connecting with Millennials. Carey Nieuwhof talks to Ken about integrating faith at work, finding your calling, Alpha and what millennials are looking for.

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4 Reasons to Consider Starting a Faith and Work Book Club in Your Workplace

book-club
For the past few years, I’ve enjoyed participating in a Faith and Work Book Club in my workplace. We meet early on a Friday morning and are currently working on our fifth book since the group began. It’s a highlight for me each week as I get together with a small group of peers to discuss the book and how to integrate our faith and work and be a positive influence and representative of Christ in our workplace.

I can think of 4 reasons that you should consider starting a Faith and Work Book Club in your workplace:

  1. To help others with the concepts of calling and vocation. While some people think of their work as a career, many think of it as just a “job”, and a way to pay the bills. They look forward to each weekend and can’t wait for retirement. In your Faith and Work Book Club, you help participants see their work as a clear calling from the Lord. They can see that the work they do Monday through Friday in the workplace is a way to serve the Lord.

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord. (Colossians 3:23-24)   

  1. To show the value of “secular” work in comparison to “full-time Christian ministry”. Many believers (and I used to feel this way) don’t think that their secular work has value in God’s eyes. Yes, their jobs provide for their families and allow them to support their churches and missionaries, but does God really care about what a computer programmer does in an insurance company, for example? In other words, can they code for the glory of God? I’ve seen the light come on when people realize that the answer to this question is a resounding “Yes”!

One of the books we have read and discussed is Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper. In the chapter entitled “Making Much of Christ from 8 to 5”, Piper writes:  “Seek to do your work in such a way that Christ looks more important than your work. Seek to make and use money in such a way that Christ looks more important than money. Seek to have relationships with people in the workplace such that Christ is more important than those relationships”.

In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 5:16)

  1. I know far too many people who are unhappy in their jobs. When you are unhappy in your job, it can easily carry over into your home life, negatively impacting relationships with your spouse and children. I’m also aware of some who have actually retired earlier than originally planned because they were unhappy in their work. You don’t want your group to become a “gripe session”, but you do want it to be a place of encouragement.

Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. (2 Thessalonians 5:11)

  1. Prayer and Fellowship. A Faith and Work Book Club can be a place in which rich relationships can be made and strengthened. We share what is going on in our lives and pray for each other (and others) in our group.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. (Philippians 4:6)

These are just 4 reasons that I can think of why you should consider starting a Faith and Work Book Club where you work. Do you have others? Have you started a Faith and Work Book Club in your workplace? If so, please let us know what your experience has been. And feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions about how to start a Book Club in your organization.

There are many excellent books being published to help us integrate our faith and work. Here are 5 that I would recommend that you consider for your Book Club:

Work Matters: Connecting Sunday Worship to Monday Work by Tom Nelson

Work Matters: Connecting Sunday Worship to Monday Work by Tom Nelson

Every Good Endeavor: Connecting Your Work to God’s Work by Tim Keller

Every Good Endeavor: Connecting Your Work to God’s Work by Tim Keller

God at Work: Your Christian Vocation in All of Life by Gene Edward Veith

God at Work: Your Christian Vocation in All of Life by Gene Edward Veith

The Gospel at Work: How Working for King Jesus Gives Purpose and Meaning to Our Jobs by Sebastian Traeger and Greg Gilbert

The Gospel at Work: How Working for King Jesus Gives Purpose and Meaning to Our Jobs by Sebastian Traeger and Greg Gilbert

How Then Should We Work

How Then Should We Work? by Hugh Whelchel

 


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FAITH AND WORK: Connecting Sunday to Monday

Faith and Work News ~ Links to Interesting Articles

CALLING, PURPOSE, VOCATION AND DESTINY:vocation

  • God Sees Value in Your Work and Callings e-book. I would appreciate your prayers as I work on a short e-book about my journey in seeing that God values our work and callings, not just those that are in “full-time Christian work”. I’m looking to see if with my unique perspective (nearly 37 years in leadership at a Fortune 50 company, nearly 21 years as an elder in my church and a recent seminary graduate), I might have something fresh to add to the faith and work conversation. We’ll see. Over the past few years I’ve written a lot about this. Now I am pulling all of that together in one place and then hopefully get the opportunity to speak to more groups about what I’ve learned on this journey. Thanks!
  • Three Ways Calling Impacts Our Lives. Art Lindsley writes “We live before an audience of One and are called by him to give our lives for others.”
  • Discover Your Destiny. Bill Peel writes “Do you ever have questions about your purpose? What you have to offer the world? Why you even exist in the first place?”
  • More Misunderstanding of Vocation Gene Veith writes “Anyone, of any tradition, who writes about vocation needs to start with the great theologian of vocation:  Martin Luther.  According to him, vocation is God’s calling to love and serve our neighbors in the tasks and relationships that He gives us.  Also, our “jobs” are only one facet of our vocations and probably not the most important:  we also have callings in the family, the church, and the society.  And our vocations are not just where we find our fulfillment but also where we bear our crosses.”
  • Know Your Why. Ken Costa writes “True identity cannot be self-motivated; it is given by God. Our tasks are to live out our true callings as uniquely shaped by God.”
  • In this “Minute with Maxwell”, John Maxwell states that purpose keeps us focused.  It is the engine that drives your leadership. Each day you want to make sure that your life is filled with purpose.
  • Reviving the Biblical Doctrine of Work in America. Hugh Whelchel writes “The biblical doctrine of work has to play a larger part in our worldview if we are to be effective. This is a vision that sees our work as important to God and as a gift from God, bestowed on us to influence the world for his glory and the furtherance of his kingdom.”
  • What Does the Bible Say about Finding Personal Job Satisfaction? Russell Gehrlein writes “Do you have a sense that God has designed and prepared you to do what you get paid to do? Are you filled with contentment and the peace that passes all understanding, resting in God’s grace that has led you safely thus far and will ultimately lead you home?”
  • Where God is Calling You. Ken Costa writes “The fact that we are passionate about something is often a sign that this is where God is calling us to be.”

REAL LIFE EXAMPLES:

  • aaron-rodgers-green-bay-packersHow Aaron Rodgers Saved the Packers’ Season. Speaking about Patrick Lencioni’s book The Five Dysfunctions of a Team (my favorite leadership book, and one that can be used for business, church, non-profit, etc.), Green Bay Packers’ quarterback states “”One part of the book that especially talked to me about this team was communication and conflict and being comfortable having issues with teammates and resolving them and moving forward in a positive way and not having that fear of conflict, which I think alienates and isolates individuals. Being comfortable talking to people and letting them talk to you about issues they have and being constructive and positive in your reaction to that.”

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FAITH AND WORK: Connecting Sunday to Monday

Faith and Work News ~ Links to Interesting Articles

  • ImagoDeiThe Image of God at Work. In this one-minute video, Albert Mohler, president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, cites the Hoover Dam as an example of the enormous ability and industry that God imbued in humanity at creation. Pastors, he says, need to help their people connect the storyline of scripture with their work and economic lives.

integrating faith and work

  • What Are We Actually Talking About When We Say “Faith and Work”? Matt Rusten writes “While it may be impossible to bring everyone on the same page with a neat and tidy description of what “faith and work” is, there are categories that can help us communicate. David Miller has given one such taxonomy. He defines four different areas in which people integrate faith and work, and encourages us towards a more robust paradigm–that we might seek to understand and integrate them all.”
  • When Will the Church Overcome the Sacred-Secular Divide? Hugh Whelchel writes “Our response as Christians to our Heavenly Father should be unlimited, all encompassing, and comprehensive. It should not be limited to church on Sundays and some personal devotions during the week. It should appear in every dimension of our lives.”
  • Vocation is Integral. Many people today see their job as nothing more than a paycheck. But is one’s calling more than that? Steven Garber says yes. He says there is an intimate connection between one’s faith, vocation, and culture. “Vocation is integral,” he says, “not incidental to the missio Dei.” Steven explains how most of what God is doing in the world happens in and through the vocations of his people.
  • mark-miller-quoteLet’s Celebrate Those Who Rest. Courtney Reissig writes “Learning to praise the person who rests as much as the one who works will take some practice on our part, especially those of us who like productivity. But it’s necessary for our spiritual and physical health. We want to be faithful in our work, but let us also be faithful in our rest, living as his image-bearers, depending on him to work on our behalf, and resting in him who always finishes the work he starts.”
  • Quality.  In this “Minute with Maxwell”, John Maxwell states that what sets people and companies apart is the quality and excellence of the products or service that that they provide.
  • Glimpses of Great Joy: Our Good Shepherd-King. Our friend Kevin Halloran writes “One of the scary facts about life is that a bad leader can greatly damage to a nation and its people. People don’t want their lives in the hands of people who don’t know their needs and seem only out to help themselves!”
  • 6 Ways to Stop Being a People Pleaser. Dr. Alan Zimmerman shares six strategies to say “no” more effectively and put a stop to inappropriate people pleasing and start living a saner, more respectful life.
  • How Should a Christian Define Success? Scott Rodin writes “If we believe we were created to know God and enjoy him forever, then our daily passion is being conformed to His image and transformed by the renewing of our minds. This is success in terms of becoming a faithful steward.”
  • Do More Better, the Course. This course from Ligonier Connect, based on Tim Challies’ book, Do More Better, provides a short, practical guide to productivity. Whether you are a student or a professional, a work-from-home dad or a stay-at-home mom, it will help you learn to structure your life to do the most good unto the glory of God.
  • 8 Ways to Use Emotional Intelligence and Make Lasting Connections. Alan Zimmerman writesUnfortunately, the emotional intelligence researchers tell us that relationship skills are critical, but they don’t tell us how to do it. I suggest you start with the following connective communication skills.”
  • Seeing God’s Presence in Government Work. Russell Gehrlein writesNo matter what job we have, we are truly co-workers with God. We bring order out of chaos. We participate in fulfilling the creation mandate to fill, subdue, and rule the earth.”
  • 15 New Books I Recommend. Brad Lomenick recommends these books, three of which I’ve read (Designed to Lead, The Ideal Team Player and Living Forward).

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FAITH AND WORK: Connecting Sunday to Monday

Faith and Work News ~ Links to Interesting Articles

  • u-s-mintMeet the Christian Who Transformed the U.S. Mint. In telling us the story of Ed Moy, Bethany Jenkins writes “And it wasn’t just a fancy, slick marketing campaign. It was connecting a deep part of being meaning-makers—of who God made us to be—to the larger narrative of working for the public good, loving our neighbors, and contributing to human flourishing. And people responded by enjoying their work.”
  • Work Is Central to the Forgotten Message of Advent. Hugh Whelchel writes “What does the Advent Season have to do with our work? Everything. This connection is part of the forgotten message of Advent.”
  • Respect for Dangerous Work. Luke Bobo writes that he enrolled in his city’s 11-week Citizens Police Academy because he needed to be fair and allow those men and women to share their side of the story. He states that he enrolled because I wanted to learn about their line of work.
  • How to Connect Sermon Application to People’s Jobs. I enjoyed two classes at Covenant Seminary with Dan Doriani. Here he writes “Believers often wonder how they can serve God and neighbor at work, and often doubt the value of their work. But pastors can help, and the strategic sermon illustration is a leading tool in our arsenal. A good illustration is like a parable, presenting a case that is both particular and universal, specific and common.”
  • Christians Should Not Fear Speaking about their Faith at Work and in Public Places, Theresa May Says. Steven Swinford writes that the British Prime Minister said people should be able to celebrate Christmas as she endorsed a report which said that Christianity should be “celebrated, not denigrated”.
  • Insights I Have Learned About Failure. Ron Edmondson writes “I’ve had failures – but I’m not a failure. Because I got back up every time I failed.”
  • Reputation.  In this “Minute with Maxwell”, John Maxwell states that a reputation is something that takes a while to earn, but it can be destroyed in an instant.
  • An Attitude of Gratitude. In this “Tuesday Tip”, Dr. Alan Zimmerman gives us five actions that will help us toward an attitude of gratitude.
  • Why Giving Thanks Gives You an Edge. Michael Hyatt writes “There are at least three ways gratitude encourages resilience. And these apply to athletes, entrepreneurs, parents, leaders … anyone.”
  • What John Maxwell Taught Me About Building Relationships. Paul Sohn shares five key principles from John Maxwell’s book Winning with People that will help you improve your trust-ability with your direct reports, colleagues, and bosses.
  • Connecting Real Faith to Real Work. Jason Dollar writes “The idea that most vocations are secular while only a few (like pastors and missionaries) are sacred is an idea that is being successfully challenged.”
  • The Way Home Featuring Bryan Chapell. Listen to this podcast as Daniel Darling talks to Bryan Chapell about his transition from seminary leadership to local church ministry and what advice he has for young pastors today.
  • Solution.  In this “Minute with Maxwell”, John Maxwell states that he asks his team members that when they bring a problem to him they also bring three possible solutions to the problem.

your-work-matters

  • 7 Reasons Why Our Work Matters. Austin Burkhart writes “Our work is one of the primary tools God uses to transform us into his glorious image. And that, if nothing else, is a great reason to get up and go to work today.”
  • Your 9-to-5 Is Not in Vain. Andre Yee writes “In our performance-driven world, fruitlessness is usually a difficult pill to swallow (especially for the more driven personalities among us). We expect immediate results and we can quickly become discouraged when we fall short of our own expectations.”
  • Mastering Work When Work Masters You. RJ Grunewald writes “We spend a large portion of our day trying to become masters of our work. We train, we hustle, and we network all for the sake of having more control and more influence in our jobs. What many of us have also realized though, is despite our best efforts to master our work, we often feel like our work has mastered us.”
  • Grace for Monotonous Work. Andre Yee writes “Unfortunately for me, not all the work I do daily is creative. In fact most of our work is of the repetitive and monotonous type — interspersed with occasional opportunities for creativity. This is true of much of our work that must get done every day, both in the office and at home.”

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FAITH AND WORK: Connecting Sunday to Monday

Faith and Work News ~ Links to Interesting ArticlesRethinking Work

  • Serving Image-Bearers On and Off the Farm. Abigail Murrish interviews Nathan Jaeger, currently director of beef, equine, hay and forage, meat, goat, and sheep divisions for the Alabama Farmers Federation, about how he integrates his faith and work.
  • Immanuel Labor: God’s Presence with Us in Our Professions. Russell Gehrlein writes “Having a good understanding of what it means to be a co-worker with God as He works through us to meet the needs of our customers, fellow employees, subordinates, and supervisors, makes all the difference in how we approach our jobs every day, no matter what job we currently have.”
  • Five Concepts for Taking a Long-Term View of Calling. Hugh Whelchel writes “What is our role as we seek to be faithful to God in all that we do? How can we not only contribute, but truly play a leadership role in bringing about flourishing in our communities, our cities, our nation, and our world?”
  • The Perilous Sunday to Monday Gap. Watch this message that Tom Nelson delivered at a recent pastor’s lunch on the importance of connecting Sunday faith and Monday work.
  • The Glory of Obscure Work. Matt Rusten writes “The Bible is not shy about motivating us to do our daily work unto the Lord with the promise of future rewards.”
  • 3 Benefits of Trust [When Leading]. Eric Geiger writes “Trust is a prerequisite for leadership.”
  • Visioneering, Part 2. In this month’s Andy Stanley Leadership podcast, Stanley concludes a conversation around the building blocks of a compelling vision. Download our Application Guide for this podcast below for key takeaways, questions for reflection and/or discussion, and resources mentioned in the podcast.
  • Time Management. In this “Minute with Maxwell”, John Maxwell states that you can’t manage time, but you can make the best use of time. You can’t manage time, but you can manage yourself and your priorities.
  • 4 Ways to Recapture the Lost Art of Making People Feel They Matter. Dan Rockwell writes “On a scale of 1-10, how do you rank yourself on making others feel they matter? ‘10’ means people always feel they matter – heard and understood – when you listen to them, ‘1’ means almost never. This isn’t about your intention to make people feel they matter. It’s about actual behaviors.”
  • Redefining Work-Life Balance. Skip Prichard writes “Achieving balance will make you more productive in and out of the workplace.  It will enrich your relationships and allow you to achieve greater satisfaction in life.”
  • 7 Scheduling Tips Guaranteed to Increase Productivity and Enhance Fulfillment. Dan Rockwell writes “Productivity is about being effective with your time, energy, resources, and talent.”
  • Ex-Convicts Need Second Chances Too. Abby Perry writes “As we remember the One who drew near to us, walked alongside us, and won redemption for us—even when our sin had left a crimson stain—may we be agents of reconciliation in our organizations and companies, bridging the gap between inherently dignified workers and inherently dignified work.”

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FAITH AND WORK: Connecting Sunday to Monday

Faith and Work News ~ Links to Interesting Articles

WISE WORDS FROM JOHN MAXWELL AND DR. ALAN ZIMMERMAN:

john-maxwell-on-mentors

  • The Ten Commandments of Confrontation. John Maxwell writes “So is there any good way to confront or correct a team member? I believe there is. That doesn’t mean it’s always easy, or always goes the way we want it to. But there are some guidelines we can follow to create the best conditions for a positive outcome.”
  • In this “Minute with Maxwell”, John Maxwell states that branding identifies us and it is how we are known by others. Are we being branded in a positive way or a negative way?
  • Bounce Back from Your Setback. John Maxwell writes “Of all the traits I’ve learned as a leader, perhaps none has been as useful to me as resilience. The ability to bounce back from a setback often makes the difference between losing and winning.”
  • Facing the Challenge of Leading Up. John Maxwell begins what could be considered a refresher course on his book The 360° Leader. Here he looks at the challenge of leading up – of influencing the people above you in your organization.
  • The Power of Sacrifice. John Maxwell writes “Whether you’re talking about personal growth, personal health, business or some other aspect of life, nothing of value is easy. The precious things in life require something in exchange.”
  • In this “Minute with Maxwell”, John Maxwell states that whatever we do, we should be able to sign our name to it with pride.
  • Four Questions to Ask Before Moving On. John Maxwell writes “No matter where you are now, if you’re committed to growth, you will eventually feel like you have more to give than your current situation allows. And the good news is, there are always places for people who are pushing the limits of their potential.”
  • In this “Minute from Maxwell”, John Maxwell states that it is wonderful when the leader believes in the people.
  • Developing a Powerful Positive Perspective. John Maxwell writes “One of the greatest assets any leader can have is a powerful positive perspective – the ability to see the good in any circumstance.”
  • Do People Skills Really Matter? Alan Zimmerman writes “Some people hold a “leadership” title, but that is no guarantee that he or she knows how to bring out the best in others.”
  • The Payoff Principle – 4 Approaches to Life and Work. Dr. Alan Zimmerman shares a “15-question quiz will open your eyes to the 4 approaches to life and work, as well as the 3 secrets for getting what you really want out of life and work.”
  • 6 Attitudes for Dealing with Difficult People. Alan Zimmerman writes “If you work in a typical organization, you’ve probably got more difficult people floating around than you would like. If your family is even somewhat normal, you’ve got a few difficult family members as well.”
  • Self-Control. In this “Minute with Maxwell”, John Maxwell states we can be and should be responsible for ourselves.
  • The Greatest Secret in Emotional Intelligence. Dr. Alan Zimmerman offers ways to implement the emotionally intelligent practice of making people feel important in your life.
  • What You Say Before You Say a Word. John Maxwell writes “Attitude is a choice. Choosing a positive attitude is not always easy. And sometimes we’re tempted to just let a negative attitude flow. But when we do, it will show on the outside. And it will have an effect on our interaction with others.”
  • Roadblocks. In this “Minute with Maxwell”, John Maxwell tells us to take a roadblock and make it a moment for learning, growth and advancement.
  • Hard Work and Success. Dr. Alan Zimmerman writes that working hard involves three things.
  • In this “Minute with Maxwell”, John Maxwell encourages us to find one person or activity that helps us to relieve stress.
  • Be Quick to Encourage Growth in the People You Care About. John Maxwell writes “Life is about more than work. And influence is felt in more places than the office. Opportunities exist all around to encourage growth in the people we care about outside of work. That means your family, your neighbors, and people in your community can grow as a result of your influence.”

INTEGRITY, CHARACTER AND KINDNESS MATTER!

  • Be a Finisher. Brad Lomenick writes “I love leaders who execute. Leaders who get it done. Leaders who can take a project across the finish line. Leaders who know how to finish. And are motivated towards completion.”

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