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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

  • 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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FAITH AND WORK: Connecting Sunday to Monday

Faith and Work News ~ Links to Interesting Articles:

REST:

  • Work Is Not Your Life: Why Sabbath Rest Is Essential. Hugh Whelchel writes “God rested not because he was tired, but because he had completed his work. God wanted to teach us that work is not an end in itself, which is why he instituted the Sabbath.”
  • How to Embrace Rest When Work Never Ends. Courtney Reisigg writes “Since work is a fluid part of my life (as a stay at home mom), with no real beginning and end, a question keeps arising in my own mind, and maybe in yours as well: What’s the difference between rest and play?” 
  • How to Harness Sleep to Boost Your Productivity. Michael Hyatt writes “When we face time crunches, sleep is often the first thing to get cut. It may seem efficient and even smart at the time, but it’s not.”
  • A Christian’s Secret Weapon to Prevent Burnout: Shalom. Hugh Whelchel writes “We must learn to live lives that are integrated around a single, common purpose. Here, we as believers have a secret weapon in the war against burnout. Our singular purpose is to glorify God, fulfilling this mission by living lives based on his design and desire.”

WORKING AT HOME:

REAL-LIFE EXAMPLE:

  • Every Role in the Assembly Line Matters. Bethany Jenkins interviews Matt Carter, pastor of preaching and vision at the Austin Stone Community Church in Austin, Texas about how he integrates his faith and work.

YOUR PURPOSE:

  • The Why. In this “Minute with Maxwell”, John Maxwell states your why is your purpose.When you find your WHY you find your Way. Lose your WHY you lose your way.
  • What’s the Purpose of Business? HINT: It’s Not Maximizing Shareholder Value. Hugh Whelchel writes “Work was given to us by God as a tool to bring about flourishing for his creation. We all need to act purposefully to see that it is used for this end.”
  • Only One Platform Will Last. Karen Swallow Prior writes “Our real platform is the life we are living and the work and ministry we are already doing. Platform is our proven track record and the authority we’ve gained in whatever area God has called us to—whether we work out of the home and take care of children, or teach and research as a professor.”
  • Why Don’t All Jobs Matter?Paul Krugman writes “I don’t want to sound unsympathetic to miners and industrial workers. Yes, their jobs matter. But all jobs matter. And while we can’t ensure that any particular job endures, we can and should ensure that a decent life endures even when a job doesn’t.”

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FAITH AND WORK: Connecting Sunday to Monday

Faith and Work News ~ Links to Interesting Articles

Speaking Updates. Thanks for the words of encouragement about a few faith and work presentations I have coming up. The first will be at the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) General Assembly in Greensboro, North Carolina. I’ll be speaking at 8:00 am on Wednesday, June 14. The title for that presentation is “Helping Our People Connect Their Faith to Their Work and Callings”.  The second will be at 6:15 pm on Thursday, July 6  at the By the Way Conference at the Lexington Community Church. The working title for that presentation is “Disciples at Work”.

WOMEN AND WORK:

  • Working Women are Leaving the Church. Here’s How to Bring Them Back. Diane Paddison writes “It is possible to stem the tide of working women leaving the church. See that working woman, acknowledge her, and provide opportunities for her to connect, learn, and serve. With the church’s help, she can transform her family, her workplace, her church, and her community with the gospel.”
  • Is Homemaking Part of God’s Economy?Anna Arnold writes “So, take heart (John 16:33)! Be encouraged. Just because what you do as a stay-at-home mom doesn’t make the news or get quantified in some tangible way, you have great value to our economy, our society, and, most importantly, to the God who made you.”
  • At-Home Work—Not Just for Women. Courtney Reissig writes “But the work of the home is for everyone. The home isn’t just filled with women or mothers. It’s often filled with children and a husband. Sometimes it’s filled with other family members and houseguests, too.”

REAL LIFE EXAMPLES:

  • The Golfer Who Won the 2012 U.S. Open. Sean Martin interviews Webb Simpson, who has won four times on the PGA Tour, including the 2012 U.S. Open, and has ranked as high as No. 5 in the world, about how he integrates his faith and work.
  • Why John Wooden’s Teams Won. John Maxwell writes “Most of you who are reading this are interested in winning and learning how you can get ahead at your own businesses. So let me share with you two things that helped set Coach Wooden apart from other coaches.”
  • The Navy Captain Who Said No to the Dream. Jason Cook interviews Voresa Booker, a retired Navy captain who served our country for more than 30 years, about how she integrates her faith and work.
  • Conversations with Consequences. I was encouraged to hear about Steven Garber, who gave the address at my graduation ceremony in 2014, working with Covenant Theological Seminary on a DMin degree in “faith, vocation and culture”.
  • When Tragedy Touches Every Part of Your Job. Abby Perry interviews Val Anderson, the executive director of His Grace Foundation (HGF), a nonprofit organization that provides physical, emotional, and financial support to patients and families on the Bone Marrow Transplant Unit (BMTU) of Texas Children’s Hospital (TCH), about how she integrates her faith and work.

YOUR WORK MATTERS TO GOD:

  • The Value of Work. In this episode of the Unlimited Grace podcast, Bryan Chapell answers questions about how God values our work.
  • Check Your Bias at the Door—Manufacturing Jobs Have Dignity, Too. Anne Bradley writes “We were designed to reflect the creativity of the One who designed and brought us into being. We need to be proactive about affirming the dignity of others in their work, just as we need to possess a balanced, honest understanding of our own value in society and to our God.”
  • Christ-Like Submission at Work. Watch this three and a half minute video clip from J.D. Greear about three things that Christ-like submission at work means.
  • Wanted: A Meaningful Job. Hugh Whelchel writes “Can you see your work through God’s eyes? Do you see how meaningful your job is to God? Embracing his perspective should put the work of every Christian, no matter what it is, at the top of the “most meaningful job” list.”
  • 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?”
  • 3 Transforming Truths About Your Work. Tom Nelson writes “God cares a great deal about your work. How about you? Are you increasingly seeing your work as God sees it? What does faithful stewardship in your vocation look like? Are you being slothful or diligent? Has work become an idol in your life? Or are you seeing your work and workplace as a primary place for your spiritual formation and gospel mission? What steps do you need to take to embrace a more seamless gospel faith that narrows the Sunday-to-Monday gap? Your work really does matter.”

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FAITH AND WORK: Connecting Sunday to Monday

Faith and Work News ~ Links to Interesting Articles

REAL-LIFE EXAMPLES:

  • What’s the Difference Between American Apparel and Chick-fil-A? Bethany Jenkins writes “Both companies want to provide fair wages to their employees and be transparent in their dealings. But Chick-fil-A’s leadership wants “to glorify God” in everything they do—from how they treat their customers to how they cook their food.”
  • Ministering from Behind the Barber’s Chair. Jason Cook interviews Thomas “Tick” Campbell a barber in Oxford, Mississippi about how he integrates his faith and work.
  • Living for More than Sunday’s Game. Jason Cook interviews Cedric Peerman, who played in the National Football League (NFL) for nine years and is currently with the Cincinnati Bengals, about how he integrates his faith and work.
  • Coding for the Kingdom. Timoteo Sazointerviews Adam Murray, a senior web developer for World Vision and associate pastor of Priest Lake Christian Fellowship in Nashville, Tennessee, about how he integrates his faith and work.
  • When a Gospel Conversation Finds You. Bethany Jenkins interviews Regina Robinson, dean of student affairs at Cambridge College and co-founder of Heart Change Fellowship, about how she integrates her faith and work.
  • Evangelism Lessons from Dr. Walt Larimore. Bill Peel writes “Here are some of the most important things I’ve learned from my friend, Dr. Larimore, about bringing faith conversations into a medical practice that are applicable to any workplace.”

  • Tim Keller’s 4 Ways the Gospel Transforms Work. Tim Keller started thinking deeply about a Christian view of work when a member of his congregation met with him to ask what it meant to be a Christian actor. Over years of thinking and teaching on work, Keller has observed four ways the gospel can transform work. Listen to Keller unpack these principles (and share a fifth as a bonus) to an audience at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama, on November 8, 2016. A time of questions and answers follows the talk.
  • An Evening with Christian Wiman. “What is it we want when we can’t stop wanting? I say God.” Such core revelations are what comprise the latest work of world-renowned poet Christian Wiman. The intermingling of calling and desire, the inhering of the self in our work, the catalyzing hunger of longing — these tensions form the high-wire of meditation that Wiman treads. Hear this critically acclaimed poet investigate the ineffable essence of God’s calling in our daily lives in his brand new work, presented for the very first time, commissioned under the Center for Faith and Work’s inaugural Artist Fellowship. Watch the 47-minute video.
  • Neither Snobbish Nor Super-Spiritual About Work. William Taylor writes “Realizing all jobs are dignified should profoundly influence how we view ourselves and the position in which God has placed us. Indeed, it will influence what kind of work we’re prepared to do for the gospel’s sake.”
  • The Uniqueness of Christian Service. David Wells writes “Christian service is unique for three reasons. First, it is unique in its source. That source is our redemption in Christ. Second, it is unique in its objective, which is to model, as far as is possible, Christ’s kind of servanthood. Third, it is unique in its character, for it is motivated by God’s holy-love.”
  • The Christ-Centered Employee. Paul Tautges writes “Knowing that we ultimately work for the Lord is what will keep us working for the glory of God, both in spirit and performance. As we honor and submit to our earthly masters, God will be glorified in the workplace.”

Continue reading for more links on Leadership – inside & outside the church and Practical Ideas; Top 10 Faith & Work Quotes of the Week; A review of Ken Costa’s book, “Know Your Why”; and to follow along with our Faith & Work Book Clubs!

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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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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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