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Posted by on Sep 2, 2019 in Architecture and Design, Art, Craftsmanship & Manual Labor, Culture, Economy, Education, Faith and Work Movement, Finance, Nonprofit, Science, Technology, vocation, Work | 0 comments

Faith and Work Bible Study

Faith and Work Bible Study

Friends, a happy Labor Day to you! To celebrate your work, I wanted to give you a gift: a free Bible study on Faith and Work. The study is structured around people’s stories. In a series of articles, I highlighted the way people are living out their faith in the workplace. Each study has a brief story Bible study participants can read at home. After each article, and before the study, we encourage you to Pause and Reflect on what the story might be telling you about God’s call for your own work. The Bible study is structured around six sections: Introduce, Discuss, Explore, Apply, Closing Thoughts, and Prayer. It also has additional Resources. Here are the weekly topics for “His Story, Our Stories: Encountering God Through Our Work”: (1) “Light for Electricians,” (Creation) (2) “Investments for the Kingdom” (Calling) (3) “Showing Hospitality to Strangers and Spring Breakers” (Fall) (4) “Productivity and Grace: Management and Labor at a Denver Manufacturer,” (Witness at Work) (5) “A Well-Designed Journal Can Change...

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Posted by on Jul 29, 2019 in Craftsmanship & Manual Labor, Politics, vocation, Work | 0 comments

‘Tis a Gift to Do ‘Undignified’ Work (Christianity Today)

‘Tis a Gift to Do ‘Undignified’ Work (Christianity Today)

Blue-collar labor often goes unappreciated and under-rewarded. How can that change? When I was growing up, the best TV shows all featured blue-collar characters. Cheers, The Simpsons, Love and Marriage, The Wonder Years—each centered on the lives of loveable laborers. Cliff from Cheerswas a postman, Homer Simpson pulled levers in a nuclear power plant, and even the disgruntled Al Bundy sold women’s shoes. One episode of The Wonder Yearsfeatured Kevin learning about his dad’s career path from a loading dock worker to a distribution manager. “You have to make your choices,” Mr. Arnold told his son. “You have to try to be happy with them. I think we’ve done pretty well, don’t you?” What a difference two decades makes. Since 1992, nearly every Emmy for Outstanding Comedy has gone to shows depicting white-collar adults working in Los Angeles, Seattle, Boston, New York, or Washington, usually without kids. The exception would be The Office, but its humor is based on the idea that selling paper is an utterly miserable and meaningless job. In the NBC drama This Is Us, the...

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Posted by on Mar 4, 2019 in Craftsmanship & Manual Labor, Faith and Work Movement, Work | 2 comments

The Thinker

The Thinker

Back of the beating hammer    By which the steel is wrought, Back of the workshop’s clamor    The seeking may find the thought; The thought that is ever master    Of iron and steam and steel, That rises above the disaster    And tramples it under heel! The drudge may fret and tinker,    Or labor with lusty blows, But back of him stands the thinker,    The clear-eyed man who knows; For into each plow or sabre,    Each piece and part and whole, Must go the brains of labor    Which gives the work a soul! Back of the motor’s humming,    Back of the belts that sing, Back of the hammer’s drumming,    Back of the cranes that swing, There is the eye which scans them,    Watching through stress and strain, There is the mind which plans them—   Back of the brawn, the brain! Might of the roaring boiler,    Force of the engine’s thrust, Strength of the sweating toiler,    Greatly in...

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Posted by on Nov 13, 2018 in Craftsmanship & Manual Labor, Work | 0 comments

Be a gardener

Be a gardener

Be a gardener, dig and ditch, toil and sweat, and turn the earth upside down and seek the deepness and water the plants in time. Continue this labor and make sweet floods to run and noble and abundant fruits to spring. Take this food and drink and carry it to God as your true worship. Julian of Norwich...

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Posted by on Oct 12, 2018 in Craftsmanship & Manual Labor, Economy, Work | 4 comments

Six Differences Between How Professionals and the Working Class See Their Daily Work

Six Differences Between How Professionals and the Working Class See Their Daily Work

America is working pretty well for the top third of society. It’s the other two-thirds who are struggling. I came to this conclusion after reading Robert Putnam’s stunning book Our Kids.  After seeing the growing class divide separating American society, I also started to ask: how does the working class see their work?   As I spend nearly all my time working with and for professionals (those with a four-year college degree), in a recent article I confessed that as I grew older, I realized I didn’t have a single working-class friend. Their world was foreign to me. And so was their work. Joan C. Williams is a law professor at the University of California, Hastings who studies social class. Her book The White Working Class: Overcoming Class Cluelessness in America explains how differently professionals and the working class see their daily work.  Her research is a wise, honest look into working class values, beliefs, and opinions about their families and work. Here are six differences between how professionals...

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Posted by on Sep 27, 2018 in Craftsmanship & Manual Labor, Culture, Economy, Faith and Work Movement, vocation, Work | 5 comments

“God of the Second Shift: The Missing Majority in the Faith and Work Conversation” (Christianity Today Cover Story)

“God of the Second Shift: The Missing Majority in the Faith and Work Conversation” (Christianity Today Cover Story)

By Jeff Haanen The following is the cover story for the October 2018 print issue of Christianity Today. To access the full article for free, click the “friends and family” link below. Also, if you’re not a subscriber, please consider subscribing to Christianity Today to support their work. Here’s an excerpt of the story. Our group was white, college-educated, and passionate about helping people find meaning in their careers. We looked at Josué “Mambo” De León, pastor of a bilingual working-class congregation called Westside Church Internacional, eager to hear his thoughts on a recent “faith and work” conference.  “For us, work isn’t about thriving,” Mambo said. “It’s about surviving.”  Between bites of salad, it slowly became clear who the man in a red baseball cap, World Cup T-shirt, and jeans really was: an emissary from another world.  “You start with the premise that you have a job and that you feel a lack of purpose,” he said. “But that doesn’t resonate with us. How are you supposed to find purpose...

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