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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

GRIPING VS. CONTENTMENT:

  • 4 Major Gripes Heard Around the Office. Dr. Alan Zimmerman writes “As a speaker in hundreds of companies, I’ve kept a record of the gripes I hear people utter. After all, it’s my job as a speaker/trainer/coach to turn those things around. These are the four most commonly heard gripes these days.”
  • What is Biblical Contentment? Dave Kraft writes “Contentment has less to do with the amount of, or intensity, of the activity you are involved in and more to do with your mind-set. Who are you truly trusting to see things happen in your life, relationships, work and ministry–yourself or God?”

VOCATION AND CALLING:

  • “Job Crafting”: Cultivating Our Vocation at Work. Stevan Becker writes “Cultivating our vocation is a matter of listening to God in the particulars of our work situation and discovering the unique things we’ve been created to do. Cultivating our job may mean taking what we have to work with and recreating
  • How to Glorify God at Work. John Piper writes “The point is: Whatever you do, whether you eat or drink or work, do all to make God look as great as he really is.”
  • Your Calling Actually Isn’t About You. Sharon Hodde Miller writes “At some point, a self-centered calling conflicts with God-centered callings, because God-centered callings always lead to a cross. God-centered callings involve suffering, sacrifice, and looking like a fool, because this is the path of the Savior we follow. If your calling is about your image or your reputation or your comfort and convenience, it will eventually diverge from the path of Christ. At some point, God will ask you to do something that isn’t about you or doesn’t feel good or requires you to suffer, and you will have to make a choice.”
  • Help Me Teach the Bible on Work. The latest episode in Nancy Guthrie’s “Help Me Teach the Bible” is with Peter Orr on work.
  • Top Reasons Why a Long Commute May Be Worth It. Hugh Whelchel writes “Work is necessary for a meaningful life, but we must not make our work themeaning for our existence. As Christians, we must find our identity in Christ, not in our work. Yet, work is the major way we respond to God’s call on our lives. So, no matter the length of your commute, be encouraged that what you do today at work matters!”

REAL LIFE EXAMPLES:

  • God Works in Advertising, Too. Stevan Becker writes “God is intimately involved in our work. He cares about the details. He’s doing his work through the work of our hands—even in the “secular” sales and advertising space. No matter what you do for work, stop and pray through your projects, both the big ones and the small ones. Pray that he will be glorified as you serve him in all you do.”
  • Everybody Matters Podcast: Mark Sawyier of Bonfyre. This episode of the Everybody Matters Podcast features a discussion with Mark Sawyier of Bonfyre, a company who has created a workplace culture platform that is helping organizations engage, include and inspire their people.

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FAITH AND WORK: Connecting Sunday to Monday

Faith and Work News ~ Links to Interesting Articles

  • The Best Workers Are the Best Neighbors. Tom Nelson writes “Martin Luther said it well: “God does not need your good works, but your neighbor does.” A primary way God designed us to love our neighbors is for us to do our work well, and from our work to have the capacity to be generous to neighbors in need. When it comes to being a helpful neighbor, a slothful worker faces an uphill climb. On the other hand, the best workers make the best neighbors.”
  • Leaders and Loneliness. Scott Sauls writes “In the past two years, five of my friends who are pastors lost their ministries because of moral failure.”
  • Humility 101: Continuing Ed for Leaders. Bill Peel writes “To discover whether pride is edging out humility, give yourself a “fruit inspection.” The absence of fruit of the Spirit means something besides the Holy Spirit is guiding you, and could be setting you up for an unwanted spot on the evening news.”
  • If God’s a Worker, What Kind of Work Does He Do? Russell Gehrlein writes “how does God carry out this work today? Sometimes he works supernaturally. For example, he does redemptive and revelatory work through his Holy Spirit, in revealing our sin and leading us to Christ. However, it is also true that God has chosen to use human beings, both believers and nonbelievers, to do this work.
  • Why You Get Distracted at Work. Michael Hyatt writes “Interruptions are outside things that throw us off. Distractions are things we do to ourselves to derail us.”
  • Center for Faith and Work Podcast. Check out the new Center for Faith and work podcast that will run every Wednesday. Here is the initial episode “Taking Faith to Work”.
  • The Greatest Burden of Leadership. Tim Challies writes “I believe the greatest difficulty of all is the knowledge that I am leading poorly. It’s the knowledge that I am not leading as well as I could or as well as I wish I would. The burden of responsibility is light compared to the burden of insufficiency, inability, or just plain failure.If all those other weights are heavy, this is the one that threatens to be crushing.”

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FAITH AND WORK: Connecting Sunday to Monday

  • Do Blue Collar Workers Fit Our Theology of Vocation? Daniel Darling writes “If we are not careful we can create a kind of second class system by elevating those whose vocations seem more praiseworthy—white collars or creative such as artists, engineers, lawyers, and CEOs—over and above the blue collar, “dirty jobs” professions that so employ so many of our people.”
  • How Should I Apply My Gifts in the Workplace? Art Lindsley writes “Remember, you are uniquely gifted with talents that help you find fulfillment and that bless others. These gifts can be applied in a number of different jobs or careers. Focus less on finding a specific career or job than on finding an environment in which you can regularly (not perfectly) use your gifts in the way God designed you. Perhaps it’s your current circumstances! Even unexpected gifts can transfer into unexpected jobs and roles in life. Be open!”
  • 5 Traits That Set Great Leaders Apart from the Pack. Ellie Walburg writes “What sets apart good leaders from great leaders? Is it political savvy and the ability to maneuver their way to the top? Is it the number of connections they have? Is it their ability to speak well and motivate people? While all these things may be helpful to varying degrees, leadership goes much deeper than that, to the very core of a who a person is.”
  • 7 Things to Do If You Don’t Like Your Job. Chuck Lawless states that many people are in work roles that they don’t enjoy. If that is where you are, perhaps these suggestions will help you look at your job differently.
  • Peter: The Servant Leader. John MacArthur writes “Restraint, humility, and servanthood aren’t obvious leadership qualities in the corporate world. Nor are they character traits that readily spring to mind for modern churches focused on growth and vision. But Christ prioritized those three qualities as he cultivated future leaders of the Christian church, most notably Peter.”
  • Chick-fil-A VP: The Advice I Give My Own Children — How to Start a Career. Dee Ann Turner writes “My three sons began receiving career advice from me before they even started high school. It was both the curse and the blessing of having a Mother who spent time as the Vice President of Talent and the Vice President of Human Resources at Chick-fil-A. As they matured, I tried to impress upon them the importance of character, competency and chemistry in their professional lives. These are the top tips I shared with them in advising them on starting and growing their careers.”
  • 4 Practical Reasons Character Must Trump Competence. Eric Geiger writes “When inviting others to join your team, both character and competence matter. They are both important. A person of integrity who is not skilled for the role will only grow frustrated while frustrating everyone else. So competence is important, but character is more so.”
  • The Value of Our Work. On this episode of Unlimited Grace, Doug Chamberlain interviews Bryan Chapell about the value of our work.
  • What are You Gifted to Do? Art Lindsley writes “Our gifts are things we do well because God has gifted us to do them. We enjoy doing them because God has created us to experience life and joy through our own unique gifts, and in this way, we experience flourishing.”
  • Christians in the Profession of Arms. Russell Gehrlein writes “Serving in the military was, and is, godly work. And God is definitely present in it.”
  • Global Leadership Summit Podcast. In this episode, Patrick Lencioni compares “smart” vs. “healthy” organizations, making the case that organizational health is the greatest competitive advantage in business. He then unpacks the four disciplines necessary to building organizational health.
  • Catch and Release: A Necessary Strategy for the Modern Leader. Steve Graves writes “As for me, my faith helps me live with catch and release because I trust that God is in control. I will do the best I can to keep my best people, but if something outside of my control happens and an employee leaves, that’s okay.”

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FAITH AND WORK: Connecting Sunday to Monday

Links to Interesting Articles

  • God The Great Janitor? Jim Mullins shares four of the main ways that janitors, and people with similar occupations, display the actions and attributes of God through their work.
  • How to Lead When You’re Not in Charge, Part 2. In this episode of the Andy Stanley Leadership Podcast, Stanley concludes his conversation with Clay Scroggins abouthow to leverage influence when you lack authority.
  • 2017 NFL Hall of Fame Leadership Quotes and Lessons from Kurt Warner. Kurt Warner was my favorite NFL player. A great example of someone integrating their faith and work. I’m thankful to Brian Dodd for capturing these quotes from Warner’s Hall of Fame speech.
  • Giving Servant Leadership the Works:  An Interview with Ken Melrose.In this interview, The High Calling talks to Ken Melrose, former CEO of the Toro Company, about how faith informs work and vice versa.
  • Luther on Vocation: Michael Horton. In this episode of the 5 Minutes in Church History podcast, Steven Nichols visits with Michael Horton about Martin Luther and the doctrine of vocation.
  • Peter: The Submissive Leader. John MacArthur writes “Character is absolutely critical in leadership. America’s current moral decline is directly linked to the fact that we have elected, appointed, and hired too many leaders who have no character.”
  • Cultivated Podcast. Check out this new podcast on faith and work. Enjoy interviews with Steve Taylor, Andy Crouch, Propaganda and others.
  • Do You See Work as a Platform or a Prison? Chris Patton writes “Too many Christians see their work as a prison.  It is a required part of their week, but it is not something they enjoy.  When asked for their reasons, the answers vary, but there is a recurring theme. Most view their work as a necessary evil instead of a source of joy and an opportunity for impact.  Very few would consider their work as a platform.”

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FAITH AND WORK: Connecting Sunday to Monday

Faith and Work News ~ Links to Interesting Articles

  • Rest ≠ Idleness. Watch this two-minute video from Courtney Reissig. She states “As a stay-at-home mom, it can be really hard to think about balance in the work of the home because we don’t have a boss.”
  • The Biblical Solution to Unproductivity and Laziness: Begin With Your Heart Motives. Lara d’Entremont writes “The truly productive person is motivated by a desire to deny themselves, serve others, and glorify God with their time. Because of what God has done for them (dying on the cross to give them eternal life) their primary concern is showing others that same love and glorifying God in that.”
  • Know Your Comparative Advantage to Make Better Decisions. Anne Bradley writes “Knowing your gifts and focusing on them is important for faithful stewardship. It allows us to specialize, especially with regard to things we produce and sell through our labor (our work). This specialization frees us from having to be good at everything and allows us to trade with others.”
  • Profitable Fails. David Murray writes “The basic difference between successful people and the rest of us is that they’ve learned to fail well. They humbly embrace their mistakes, use them as opportunities to learn, and persevere until each shot got them nearer the bulls-eye.”
  • Monday’s Preparation Brings Friday’s Success. Ron Edmondson writes “I find the more deliberate I am to pre-plan my day and week the more productive I feel at the end of the week.”
  • The Dangers of Success. Tim Keller writes “Success can easily cause us to forget God’s grace, because our hearts are desperate to believe that we can save ourselves.”
  • In this “Minute with Maxwell”, John Maxwell states that discipline allows us to have a life to do what we need to do, not what we want to do. If we cannot discipline ourselves, life will become hard for us.
  • Redirection Not Retirement. Peter Markgraaff writes “Retirement is an opportunity for a redeployment, a recalibration, a reset, revival, reform, and a new trajectory.”
  • How to Receive Constructive Feedback with the Gospel in View. Kristin Brown writes “Getting constructive feedback is going to happen. In more theological terms, it’s part of the sanctification process—being changed to be more like Christ.”
  • When the Gospel Invades Your Office: Tim Keller on Faith and Work. Matt Smethurst interviews Tim Keller about “working for the weekend”; how the counternarrative of the gospel addresses our propensity to idolize or demonize, to overwork or underwork; how to counsel discouraged employees; and more.”
  • Why Your Church Needs to Talk about Vocation. Amy Sherman asks “Why does it matter to have a strong theology of work? Why should congregational leaders help their flock connect faith and work? Why should we talk about vocation when there are so many other worthwhile things we could talk about, like evangelism or compassion ministry? Why does it matter?”
  • 17 Powerful Workplace Scriptures. WorkMatters writes “Many scriptures are found throughout the Bible that support the importance of our work to God. Each contain God’s wisdom and views about our work, the importance of our work, or how we should conduct ourselves while performing our work.”

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FAITH AND WORK: Connecting Sunday to Monday

Faith and Work News ~ Links to Interesting Articles

CALLING AND VOCATION:

  • Pursue Your Vocation. Tim Challies writes “If you are going to run to win, you, like Jesus, must pursue your vocation.”
  • Your Calling is More Than Your Job. Art Lindsley writes “Before we devote ourselves to a job or role, as Christians, we should devote our lives to God. Before he calls us to a job, God calls us to himself. That is and always will be our greatest call. Our answer to this call should inform and transform every area of life.”
  • Rethinking Christian Calling. Kyle Borg writes “You don’t need a divine calling to confirm the decisions in your life. In a sermon Augustine once famously said, “Love, and do what you will.” Not to tinker unnecessarily with the words of Augustine, but if I can modify that slightly I would say: glorify God in whatever you do, and do what you want. Glorify God in your relationships, and marry who you will. Glorify God in your studies, and study what you will. Glorify God in your job, and work where you will. Glorify God, and do what you want.”
  • Jesus Calls the Disciples (Matthew 3-4). Jonathan Pennington and Alice Mathews of the Theology of Work Project write “Does a call from Jesus mean that we have to stop working at our current job and become a preacher, pastor, or missionary?”
  • Work as Ministry. John A. Bernbaum writes “Viewed biblically, every Christian has ministerial rank! After all, if we are going to be “Ambassadors of the King,” ministerial rank is required.”
  • How God Sees Your Work. Listen to this Table Podcast with Darrell L. Bock and Stephen Ramseur.
  • There’s Nothing Ordinary About You. Art Lindsley writes “Many of us have lost our sense of dignity and self-worth. As a result, we are blind to our own inherent creativity and God-given talents.”
  • One Calling, Multiple Expressions. What does it mean to have a calling? How can we each know what it is we’re meant to do? Annie F. Downs reminds us that God has a specific call on each of our lives and no matter what our vocation is, our role matters.
  • On Calling, Ambition and Surrender. Many of us struggle to discern our role in God’s bigger plan for the world; some of us even struggle to see God’s plan at all. We’re unsure of our purpose, or uncertain of how we can use that purpose to bring renewal to our communities. Pete Richardson helps executive, church, and cultural leaders hone in on their life purpose and perspective. He reveals some of the questions we need to ask ourselves, and the results we can expect when we respond to God’s very personal assignment for each of us.

CHRISTIANITY AT WORK:

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FAITH AND WORK: Connecting Sunday to Monday

Faith and Work News ~ Links to Interesting Articles

  • Every Job a Parable: What Walmart Greeters, Nurses & Astronauts Tell Us About God. Bill Peel reviews this new book by John Van Sloten. He writes “Chances are you’ll find someone he interviewed doing work like you do, and sees God at work in their work. Van Sloten calls the jobs he writes about “parables” because each one is a real-life, lived-out story depicting some aspect of God’s work and tell us something about God.”
  • Made to Flourish National Conference. Common Good is the annual national conference for the Made to Flourish organization. Common Good 2017 (cg2017) will be Friday, October 13, 2017. The central Kansas City location will be at the Sheraton Crown Center, and they we will also have several local sites throughout the country. National speakers include Amy Sherman, Andy Crouch and Tom Nelson.
  • wellbeing@work: Chris Schroeder of PCMC.Bob Chapman writes “Most leaders understand their influence on team members’ lives during work hours, but often enough, they don’t think about how their leadership affects team members outside of the workplace as well. The way you lead impacts the way people live.”
  • Why You Should Not Copy Spurgeon’s Schedule. David Murray writes “While there is much to commend in the schedule—his weekly Wednesday Sabbath with his family, for example—I want to offer a caution lest any pastor try to implement a modern version of this.”
  • 5 Goals of Vacation for the Leader. Ron Edmondson writes “What is the purpose of vacation? Another way I might ask this question: What are the goals you have for vacation?”
  • Stop Overspiritualizing ‘Calling’. Bethany Jenkins writes “Our primary calling is to know Jesus Christ. That’s his resounding voice in his Word. Yes, in addition to his Word, he has given us gifts and talents—as well as prayer and community—and called us to different stations. But there’s no perfect job and, even if we love our work, we often only experience that in retrospect after years of deep labor, working heartily as unto the Lord.”
  • Is It Just Tiredness You Are Dealing With, Or Is It Actually Exhaustion Leading to Burnout? Dave Kraft writes “In my work with leaders and the churches in which they serve, I am encountering (more so than ever before) those who are very tired.”
  • Is Your Job a Living Sacrifice? In looking at Romans 12:1-2, John Piper states “The goal of these two verses is that you find the way of life at work and your home that makes Christ look at valuable as He really is. That’s what worship is.”
  • #KingofDreams. Steve Graves writes “Do strategy and Scripture have anything to do with each other? I’m convinced they do. Sometimes it is clearly stated in a single passage and other times it is embedded deep in the narrative or overall context.”
  • The 10 Commandments of Leadership. Brian Dodd shares these helpful 10 Commandments of Leadership, some the concepts were taught to him by John Maxwell.
  • Great Leaders Develop Leadership Vocabulary. Ron Edmondson writes “Great leaders understand the power of their words. The things they say develop the culture of the organization, team member’s perceptions of their individual roles, and the overall health and direction of the organization. Great leaders, therefore, choose their words carefully.”
  • The Greatest Leader in America. Patrick Lencioni writes “The truth is, our greatest leaders usually don’t aspire to positions of great fame or public awareness. They choose instead to lead in places where they can make a tangible, meaningful difference in the lives of the people they are called to serve.”
  • The Difference Between Your Job and Your Work. In this short post, Dan Cumberland writes “Few jobs bring a perfect alignment between your real work and your job. The more you can do your work in and through your job, the more connected you’ll feel to what you do.”
  • Five Reasons a Team Lacks Joy. Eric Geiger writes “A joyless team harms the people on the team and those the team serves.”
  • Work as Calling. Watch this forty-minute messages from Os Guinness (author of The Call, the best book I’ve read on the subject of calling), at the 2013 Gospel at Work Conference.
  • Your Job Doesn’t Define You. Megan Sauers writes “Are we compelled by the fact that He loves us? That is the most important thing. Not what we do, but that He loves us!”

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