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

  • Where is God When I’ve Been Fired. Russell Gehrlein writes “There are no easy answers when a person loses their job. However, knowing and trusting that God will provide for his children and that he will work all things out for good can give us hope, peace, and rest as we navigate the rough waters ahead.”
  • When Has My Career Become My Idol? On this episode of the Ask Pastor John podcast, John Piper responds to the question “At what point does vocational diligence become corrupting idolatry?”
  • Your Daily Commute is One Way God Transforms You. Denise Daniels and Shannon Vandewarker write “When you commute to work, you likely take a similar route each day. To implement a liturgy of commute, you can use the landmarks and cross streets of your route as a trigger for engaging with God.”
  • Bearing Fruit in Every Good Work. Clay Randall writes “Tom Nelson suggests that there are three types of fruit: the fruit of intimacy, the fruit of character, and the fruit of contribution. I believe these categories are helpful and logically flow from one to the next.”
  • How to Become a Servant Leader in Your Organization. Dee Ann Turner shares four ways in which to become a servant leader.
  • How to Read Your Job Well. Steve Lindsey writes “Have you ever considered reading your work? This type of reading requires discovering wisdom about what practices and principles best apply to your unique job.”

Click on ‘Continue reading’ for:

  • More links to interesting articles
  • The Top 10 Faith and Work Quotes of the Week
  • My Review of Called to Lead: 26 Leadership Lessons from the Life of the Apostle Paul by John MacArthur
  • Snippets from Os Guinness’ book “The Call: Finding and Fulfilling God’s Purpose For Your Life”

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5 Essential Qualities of a Great Leader


The subject of leadership is something I think of often. We are all impacted by our leaders, be it for good or bad, from the President of the United States to our immediate supervisor and parents. Soon, I’ll be teaching a class at our church on how to lead like Jesus. The idea behind the class is to make our church a “leadership factory”, teaching how to be a Christ-centered leader no matter where you lead – business, church, sports, non-profit or the home. What better place to learn how to lead like Jesus than the church?
As I prepared to teach the class, I once again gave thought to what the essential qualities of a great leader are. These are qualities that apply to all leaders, wherever they serve. We could name any number of qualities that would be desirable for a leader to have. For example, John Maxwell is known to say that leadership is influence, nothing more and nothing less.
The 2020 Presidential election is fast approaching. What characteristics will voters find most important when they vote for the leader that will represent our country? Some people may focus more on competency, while others may focus more on character. There were eight manager openings in Major League Baseball after the season ended. What qualities are General Managers looking for as they fill those openings?
If you had to name the 5 most essential qualities of a great leader, what would they be, and why? And, what leader(s) would come to mind that demonstrate each of these qualities. Below I’ll share my thoughts on this. Continue reading


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FAITH AND WORK: Connecting Sunday to Monday

Faith and Work News ~ Links to Interesting Articles

  • When to be Silent – and when the Speak Up – in the Workplace. Charlie Self writes “Challenges arise when we’re faced with ethical dilemmas concerning our speech, particularly when it concerns our bosses and fellow employees. Leaving aside obvious insults and overt rebellion, and friendly joking and celebrations, how do we discern when to be silent and when to speak?”
  • Facing Unpleasant Tasks. Russell Gehrlein writes “Life is filled with unpleasant tasks for all of us; so, how do we think biblically about them?”
  • Help! I Resent My Husband’s Long Work Hours. Megan Fowler writes “Your desire to cheerfully support your husband is good and can be a blessing to him and your family. The strain of an oft-absent husband can be used by the Lord to refine your character, show you your sin, and bring you into deeper dependence on God and his people.”
  • Watch Your Conscience in the Workplace. Matt Rusten writes “What recent situation has rung the alarm of your conscience? What might happen in our places of work if we sought, with God’s help, to keep a clear and healthy conscience?”
  • How to Think Biblically About Obedience at Work. Hugh Whelchel writes “Our obedience in the long haul, even in the most mundane area of our work, not only provides a sense of joy, but is also what God uses to give our work great satisfaction and significance.”
  • Laziness is Profoundly Unchristian. David Mathis writes “Developing and strengthening a Christian work ethic, like Paul’s, is a lifelong process. We fight the battles over and over again, day after day, week after week. Every moment of emotional resistance, standing face to face with the friction and discomfort that tempts us to grow weary and cease, is an opportunity: to move forward in the strength God supplies, rather than backwards into lethargy.”

Click on ‘Continue reading’ for:

  • More links to interesting articles
  • The Top 10 Faith and Work Quotes of the Week
  • My Review of Didn’t See It Coming: Overcoming the Seven Greatest Challenges That No One Expects and Everyone Experiences by Carey Nieuwhof
  • 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

Click on ‘Continue reading’ for:

  • More links to interesting articles
  • The Top 10 Faith and Work Quotes of the Week
  • My Review of Essays for the Common Good: Nine Pastors and Churches Share How They Are Putting Ideas into Practice. Edited by Luke Bobo.
  • Snippets from Os Guinness’ book “The Call: Finding and Fulfilling God’s Purpose For Your Life”

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Leadership Courage


I used to regularly get feedback indicating that “Bill doesn’t like conflict”. Well, I’m not sure many people really like conflict, but I do know that if you avoid situations because you don’t want to deal with conflict due to a lack of leadership courage it can result in other problems. In fact, Patrick Lencioni has written that the fear of conflict is almost always a sign of problems.
In the organization that I worked at as a leader for nearly 38 years, we often talked about leadership courage, especially in evaluating emerging leaders. But what do we mean by leadership courage?
John Maxwell has said that he has never known a successful leader who was not courageous. He states that courage is an essential quality for a leader. Samantha Pena has written that a courageous leader is someone who constantly asks themselves if they are being courageous enough, who are willing to make difficult decisions and do not back down when things get too hard.

Leaders who consistently demonstrate leadership courage model these 5 traits:

  • Confront reality. Leaders need to be able to assess their environment effectively and then lead based on the current reality. They have to be able to adjust their thinking and approach based on current conditions.
  • Change agent. Leaders who have leadership courage are comfortable driving change, are not afraid to challenge the status quo and take calculated risks. Susan Pearse writes “Without courage you can’t have the right conversations that lead to change. Without courage you won’t even get off the starting block as a leader.”
  • Open and honest communication. Leaders must be able to deliver the difficult messages about change in their organization, even if they may personally disagree with them.
  • Honest performance feedback. Not being honest about a team member’s performance appears to be kind, but it’s really not. Not being honest doesn’t do the team member nor the organization any favors. Giving a team member a better than deserved performance evaluation is not being fair to them, because eventually they will encounter a good leader who will be honest with them. Give them honest feedback that will help them to address any performance issues they may have.
  • Go back. There are times when a leader must show leadership courage and go back on a decision they have made when it becomes obvious that the decision was wrong. This also takes humility, a trait of all great leaders.

These are just 5 traits of leaders who consistently demonstrate leadership courage. What would you add to the list?


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FAITH AND WORK: Connecting Sunday to Monday

Faith and Work News ~ Links to Interesting Articles

  • The Church of Chicken. I often say that there is no organizational culture that I respect more than Chick Fil-A. Here’s a long, but excellent, article about the organization.
  • Where is God When I Have Been Fired? Russell Gehrlein writes “I have been reading William Morris’ book Where is God at Work? since last August.  His fresh perspective aligns so well with mine, showing the many ways in which God is present in various challenging situations at work.
  • A Timely New Book on Faith and Work—20 Years in the Making. Craig Sanders reviews Dan Doriani’s new book Work: It’s Purpose, Dignity and Transformation, the best book on work from a Christian perspective that I have read. He writes “Doriani’s years of research and reflection on this important topic sets this text apart from other recent books on the theology of work. His smooth exposition of complex economic and theological themes blended with stories from experience and interviews combine for an eminently readable product. I’d recommend this book to pastors so they can learn about connecting faith and work for their congregations, and the discussion questions in each chapter make this a great resource for small-group studies as well.”

Click on ‘Continue reading’ for:
 More links to interesting articles
 The Top 10 Faith and Work Quotes of the Week
 My Review of “The Soul of a Team” by Tony Dungy with Nathan Whitaker
 Snippets from Os Guinness’ book “The Call: Finding and Fulfilling God’s Purpose For Your Life”
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3 Areas I Needed Discernment in as a Leader


Hannah Anderson discusses the issue of discernment in her book All is Good: Recovering the Lost Art of Discernment, which was named the best book in the “Christian Living” category of the 2018 Gospel Coalition Book Awards. She defines discernment as the ability to sort between a host of options and pick what is good. She tells us that discernment carries the idea of judging the merits of something, being able to distinguish between good and bad and what is best.
She states that in order to make good decisions, you must become a discerning person, a person skilled in wisdom and goodness itself. At the same time, she states that people who are confident in their own ability to make good decisions shouldn’t be. How are we to get this discernment?  Anderson tells us that God will give us discernment when we ask Him for it.
Discernment is a key attribute of leadership. I would go so far as to say that it is an essential for a good leader to have discernment. I had to make many difficult decisions as a leader. Here are three situations in which discernment was needed for me, and where I would often go to the Lord in prayer for wisdom: Continue reading