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

Click on ‘Continue reading’ for:

  • More links to interesting articles
  • The Top 10 Faith and Work Quotes of the Week
  • My Review of The Leadership Style of Jesus: How to Make a Lasting Impact by Michael Youssef
  • Snippets from Os Guinness’ book “The Call: Finding and Fulfilling God’s Purpose For Your Life”

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7 Ways in Which Good Leaders Are Generous


In the book The Leadership Style of Jesus: Making a Lasting Impact by Michael Youssef, one of the chapters looks at the generosity of a leader. Youssef writes, “Great leaders who follow the leadership style of Jesus are generous with their resources, their time, their wisdom, and their insight. They give as Jesus gave, expecting nothing in return.” One of the principles the author lists is:  Authentic leaders give generously.
This got me to thinking about ways in which good leaders are generous. There are any number of ways that we could think of, but here are seven that I would like to highlight: Continue reading


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FAITH AND WORK: Connecting Sunday to Monday

Faith and Work News ~ Links to Interesting Articles

  • My New Book. My book Called to Lead: Living and Leading for Jesus in the Workplace is now available in the Kindle edition (Kindle devices and Kindle reading apps). It is also available free on Kindle Unlimited. You can read a FREE sample of the book. If you have read the book, I’d love to hear what you thought of it.
  • Reflecting on Work While Picking Blueberries. Russell Gehrlein, author of Immanuel Labor – God’s Presence in our Profession: A Biblical, Theological, and Practical Approach to the Doctrine of Work, reflects on the many blessings of being a co-worker with God as he worked in His presence to harvest what others had cultivated from what he had created.
  • What Should I Do About a Corrupt Boss? Will Sorrell writes “As a follower of Jesus, you have a responsibility—and the strength—to speak truth, and so honor Christ. Your honesty and forthrightness are an overflow of the Spirit within you.”
  • 12 Bible Verses to Encourage Christian Leaders. Ron Edmondson writes “Perhaps you should choose one or two of these – write them down somewhere you’ll see them often, and commit them to memory”.
  • Finding Work-Life Balance in the Practice of Sabbath. Andrew Spencer writes “Left unchecked, our work can demand all our time and energy, leaving no room for rest. It can rob us of Sabbath. It can diminish our delight in God’s creation.”
  • Integrating Faith and Work in a Crisis. Watch this discussion between Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church pastor Rob Pacienza and Tom Nelson, President of the Made to Flourish Network, on the topic of Integrating Faith and Work in a Post-Pandemic World.

Click on ‘Continue reading’ for:

    • More links to interesting articles
    • The Top 10 Faith and Work Quotes of the Week
    • My Review of Covert Cows and Chick-fil-A: How Faith, Cows, and Chicken Built an Iconic Brand by Steve Robinson
    • Snippets from Os Guinness’ book “The Call: Finding and Fulfilling God’s Purpose For Your Life”

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FAITH AND WORK: Connecting Sunday to Monday

Faith and Work News ~ Links to Interesting Articles

  • Called to Lead Book. My book Called to Lead: Living and Leading for Jesus in the Workplace was recently released. The book is now available on Amazon for all Kindle devices and Kindle apps.
  • Grief, Hope, and Work in a Time of Pandemic. Gage Arnold writes “Even amid a pandemic, our need for work and our need to continue the Genesis 1:27 cultural mandate of being fruitful and multiplying still holds fast. While the work may look different, the promises of scripture stand firm amidst the shaking of our own infrastructures and idols of comfort.
  • Work is a Way to Love Our Neighbors. Watch this message from Katherine Leary Alsdorf, founder and former executive director of Redeemer Presbyterian’s Center for Faith & Work, and co-author with Tim Keller of Every Good Endeavor.
  • God’s Presence with Moses. Russell Gehrlein, author of Immanuel Labor-God’s Presence in Our Profession, writes “Having a good understanding of what it means to be a coworker 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 own jobs every day, no matter what job we have.”
  • JOB vs. CAREER vs. CALLING: What’s the Difference? In this video, Paul Sohn explains the difference between a job, career and calling. Often, we use these words interchangeably but the actual meaning of them are quite different. At the end, Paul shares tips on how to transform your job into a calling.
  • The Simple, Effective, and Free Path to Loving Your Work. Everyone needs three things in order to love their work. This episode of the At the Table podcast with Patrick Lencioni addresses job fulfillment, employee satisfaction, and what managers need to give the people they lead.

Click on ‘Continue reading’ for:

  • More links to interesting articles
  • The Top 10 Faith and Work Quotes of the Week
  • My Review of “The Economics of Neighborly Good: Investing in Your Community’s Compassion and Capacity” by Tom Nelson
  • Snippets from Os Guinness’ book “The Call: Finding and Fulfilling God’s Purpose For Your Life”

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Announcing the Release of My Book “Called to Lead: Living and Leading for Jesus in the Workplace”

I’m excited to announce that my book Called to Lead: Living and Leading for Jesus in the Workplace is available now on Amazon. The book is available in the Kindle edition, and the updated version can be read on all Kindle devices and on Kindle Reading Apps. The book is free on Kindle Unlimited and available on the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library.
The book looks at calling, vocation, the integration of faith and work and leadership, and ends with some information that will be helpful specifically for church leaders. It includes lessons I’ve learned from more than 40 years of leading in the workplace and at church.
Here is a brief summary of what is in the book:
In Chapter 1 I take you on my faith and work journey.
In Chapter 2-4, I share what the Bible says about work, calling and what I learned about integrating my faith and work as a leader.
In Chapters 5-9, I talk about being called to be a leader and practical applications of living and leading for Jesus in the workplace, which includes meetings, communication, listening, goal setting, leading large teams and challenges in
leadership. There are also tips on how to care for others and develop future leaders.
In Chapter 10 I look at finishing well in our callings and also the idea of retirement for the Christian.
In Chapter 11, I share a few suggestions for church leaders on how they can help those under their care see that God values their work and callings.
In Chapter 12 I share some leadership lessons from the Bible.
Chapters 13-16 include thoughts for developing leaders inside and outside of the church, as well as practical advice on effective planning in the church, as well as reasons why your church should establish a personnel structure.
While the book has been written primarily for Christians, in both the general marketplace and the church, I hope that there will be some helpful takeaways for everyone. Go to this page in the Amazon Kindle Store to view a free chapter in the book and/or purchase it. If you read the book, please let me know what you think of it. Thanks.

https://www.amazon.com/author/billpence


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FAITH AND WORK: Connecting Sunday to Monday

Faith and Work News ~ Links to Interesting Articles

  • 5 Ways to Make the Most of Unemployment. Tom Nelson writes “When we find ourselves unemployed, how do we make the most of it? Trusting God and his promises, we can take positive steps in moving forward.”
  • How to Faithfully Work from Home in a Season of Teleworking. Russell Gehrlein addresses some of the unique challenges he has faced since having been forced to telework on short notice due to social distancing as a result of the pandemic. Then, he focuses his thoughts on how his Christian faith is impacted by this new environment.
  • Leading in Times of Disruption. Uncertainty and disruption are why the world needs leaders. In this month’s episode of the Andy Stanley Leadership Podcast, Andy and Lane Jones discuss how to lead in uncertain times.
  • Thank God It’s Monday. John Stonestreet writes “To be Christian is to be called to God’s redeeming work in the world. And anyone who is in Christ can and should seek to glorify God wherever they are—even on a Monday.”
  • Business for the Common Good On-Demand. The Denver Institute recently launched Business for the Common Good On-Demand, a resource they are giving away for The videos and discussion guides address questions like: How do you determine if a business is successful? Is it reflected in a positive balance sheet, gleaming customer reviews, or a charismatic CEO? What if God measured success by a broader standard—by the way businesses help every employee, supplier, consumer, or community they touch to thrive?
  • How to Thrive in Work. Paul Tripp shares six gospel principles that will allow you to thrive spiritually in your place of employment.

Click on ‘Continue reading’ for:

  • More links to interesting articles
  • The Top 10 Faith and Work Quotes of the Week
  • My Review of Hand Me Another Brick: How Effective Leaders Motivate Themselves and Others by Charles Swindoll
  • Snippets from Os Guinness’ book “The Call: Finding and Fulfilling God’s Purpose For Your Life”

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FAITH AND WORK: Connecting Sunday to Monday

Faith and Work News ~ Links to Interesting Articles

  • Now’s the Time for Rest. Dan Doriani writes “If we hope to endure without a burden of guilt or bad temper, we should rest. We need this God-given rhythm.”
  • Too Many Christian Workaholics. Paul Tripp writes “When you look to work for your identity, you will find it very hard to resist its challenges, demands, and promises of reward.”
  • What COVID-19 Lays Bare: Implications for Women’s Work. Joanna Meyer shares 4 Ways COVID-19 will change how we think about women’s work.
  • COVID-19 Reminds Us of the Humanizing Aspect of Work. Anthony Bradley writes “We need to be reminded why work matters for persons and their communities beyond its capacity to help people meet their personal financial obligations and businesses to remain open.”
  • 3 Essentials to Remember as You Go Back to Work. John Pletcher writes “Remember that work is our Father’s gracious gift. Remember our divine purpose, to serve others for his glory. And remember to “call it a day.” He did.”
  • Mission at Work. Enjoy this sermon series from Bryan Chapell, in which he deals with many workplace realities and challenges us to examine how the Bible applies to each, and to show that it is not only possible to live for Christ at work, but it is also every Christian’s mission.
  • The Theology of Work on Display During our Darkest Days. Russell Gehrlein writes “In the midst of this awful pandemic, it has been an extraordinary time to clearly see some of the basic tenets of the theology of work on display for all to see.”

Click on ‘Continue reading’ for:

  • More links to interesting articles
  • The Top 10 Faith and Work Quotes of the Week
  • My Review of “Great Leaders Grow: Becoming a Leader for Life” by Ken Blanchard and Mark Miller
  • Snippets from Os Guinness’ book “The Call: Finding and Fulfilling God’s Purpose For Your Life”

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Adaptability:  A Key Leadership Trait in the Pandemic (and Always)


I always enjoyed it when a team member demonstrated adaptability by willingly pivoting to a different task on a project, or moving to a completely different effort all together – all with a positive attitude and approach. Adaptability can be looked at as effectively adjusting to changing conditions. It’s important for team members to be able to be adaptable, but it’s critical for leaders to be able to adjust to changing conditions, especially during the pandemic we are experiencing.
My wife Tammy and I enjoying eating out a lot. We also enjoy having pizza delivered to our home. I’ve observed three types of adaptability regarding food service providers during the past several weeks – No, Slow and Go.

No Adaptability – In my state, we went under a “stay at home” order on March 22. Since that date, we have not been able to eat inside restaurants in Illinois. Restaurants were only allowed to serve customers via drive-thru lanes, delivery service or curbside pickup. Some restaurants that had not previously provided carryout or delivery service, didn’t adapt and just decided to close their doors. Some of those establishments have since announced that they were closing permanently. I wonder how many more will close permanently before this is all over.
Also in this category are businesses that have not adapted by taking all of the recommended safety precautions. An example is an ice cream shop in town that also sells food (burgers, etc.). My wife went recently through their drive thru lane, and was stunned to find that the person handing her the food was wearing neither a mask nor gloves. We haven’t been back there since.

Slow Adaptability – Some businesses initially remained closed, only later to open with limited menus and carryout service, curbside pickup or delivery. An example of this is our local Cracker Barrel. They initially were closed, but within a few weeks, began offering curbside pickup service. Even though they already had carryout service, I assume they needed time to develop processes to handle the curbside pickup service, as they had not previously offered it.   But their menu no longer included mashed potatoes?!
Some restaurants began advertising on television, telling their customers that they were open for carryout, curbside or delivery service. Some quick service restaurants, such as Arby’s, began advertising that their food was being delivered. All kinds of food service providers began offering delivery service through firms such as Door Dash, Uber Eats and Grubhub. One company, Papa John’s Pizza, advertised “No Contact” delivery for “extra safety and peace of mind” of their customers.

Go Adaptability – Some businesses demonstrated innovation as they adapted to the changing conditions. Our local Chick-fil-A, with all personnel wearing masks and gloves, continued to operate two drive-thru lanes, with personnel taking orders outside as the cars proceeded through the lanes. But then, Chick-fil-A decided to improve service further by adding a third drive thru lane – that’s right, three drive thru lanes. This took leadership, innovation and additional coordination, but the lines, even during peak periods, continued to move at a good pace.   Another good example is Bob Evans Restaurants quickly shifted to delivering 3 meals a day, and doing it well, without delivery fees.
These are just a few examples of how one industry – restaurants – have adjusted to the changing conditions in my town. My guess is that many restaurants are doing all they can to hold on during the pandemic and various stages of shutdown and recovery. Most areas of the state will soon be allowed to offer socially distanced outdoor dining, creating another opportunity for leaders to show their adaptability.

How have you seen restaurants in your area demonstrating adaptability – be it No, Slow or Go?


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FAITH AND WORK: Connecting Sunday to Monday

Faith and Work News ~ Links to Interesting Articles

  • Help! I’m Irritated with My Work-From-Home Husband. Amy Dimarcangelo answers a question from a wife who is feeling envy over how meaningful and interesting her now working from home husband’s work is compared to hers.
  • Vocational Stewardship for the Common Good. Amy Sherman writes “Churches need to do better at teaching their members about ‘vocational stewardship’ – seeing their jobs also as God’s provision, and deploying their talents through their work in ways that express love of neighbor.”
  • Reflections on the Pandemic’s Impact on Work. Our friend Russell Gehrlein reflects on some of the challenges that we face together in our work situations in response to this pandemic, reminds us of the kinds of valuable coworkers God provides to meet our human needs, and offers some hope grounded in a biblical perspective.
  • Resources for Work Disruption Related to COVID-19. The Global Faith & Work Initiative provides these helpful resources for those whose work has been disrupted due to the global pandemic.
  • Faith in a Time of High Anxiety. Hugh Whelchel writes “We believe that we are in control, the masters of our own destiny. Then, an event like this comes along, and as a society, we must confess we have no control over our current circumstances. At best, we can only control our reactions to the situation in which we find ourselves.”

Click on ‘Continue reading’ for:

  • More links to interesting articles
  • The Top 10 Faith and Work Quotes of the Week
  • My Review of “Failing Forward: Turning Mistakes into Stepping Stones for Success” by John Maxwell
  • Snippets from Os Guinness’ book “The Call: Finding and Fulfilling God’s Purpose For Your Life”

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The Most Difficult Conversation I Ever Had at Work

As a leader, I had to have many difficult conversations in my career. But as I reflect back, there was one conversation that took place several years ago that stood out above the rest as the most difficult.

In the organization I worked at, we would regularly have conversations about analysts who had the potential and interest to move into a leadership position. If everyone agreed, these analysts would be placed on a “promotability list”. This list would have multiple levels.  Being placed in the top category indicated that they were ready to take on a leadership position.
One of my team members was in that top category when our leadership team had their regular conversation about our area’s candidates. At that time, there was very little movement of analysts into leadership. As a result, there was new criteria applied to those on the list. As a result, my team member was not approved to stay on the list. They were not going to be moved back a level on the list, but taken off the list completely, which was very unusual. As their leader, I would have to communicate this news to them. But I was going to be out of the office on a previously scheduled vacation before our meeting. Needless to say, I thought about our meeting a lot during my vacation. Continue reading