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Posted by on Jan 27, 2015 in Theology | 0 comments

10 Steps Toward Becoming a Culturally-Engaged Church

10 Steps Toward Becoming a Culturally-Engaged Church

We’ve made huge strides in the past several years on bringing the topic of work to church. But I’ve noticed an ongoing tension. It’s a tension between what we say about work on Sunday and what we do (or don’t do). On the one hand, talk of “faith & work” and cultural engagement have been popping up across the evangelical landscape. From Lecrae waxing eloquent on the sacred/secular divide at Liberty University to the forthcoming publication of a Faith and Work Study Bible, it’s becoming blessedly normal to embrace the importance of work for Christian cultural engagement. But on the other hand, painfully few churches actually do anything on a regular basis to equip their own people for works of service in their daily work. Most church services and weekday programs have gone untouched. This leaves many folks sitting in the pews feeling a bit like Van Gogh’s Starry Night – a city full of light, but a church that has gone dark. This is really perplexing considering the sheer scope of programming some churches can offer.  Ministries for every...

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Posted by on Dec 31, 2014 in Theology, Work | 0 comments

Video Release: Eugene Peterson on Vocation

Video Release: Eugene Peterson on Vocation

On New Years Eve, 1868, Andrew Carnegie sat alone in his room in the St. Nicholas Hotel in New York. Only 33 years old, he had already been successful beyond his wildest dreams. That year he made $56,110 and had accumulated $400,000 in assets. But his heart was restless. New Years Eve was a time of sober reflection for Scottish Calvinists. Though an atheist, Carnegie the Scot picked up a pen and wrote that night, “To continue much longer overwhelmed by business cares and with most of my thoughts wholly upon the way to make more money in the shortest time must degrade me beyond hope of permanent recovery.” Though he delayed in taking action, that night he committed to get a thorough education, take part in “public matters especially those connected with education and the improvement of the poorer classes” and “choose the life which will be the most elevating in character.” For many of us, New Years is a time to examine our lives and make plans...

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Posted by on Dec 1, 2014 in Theology, Work | 0 comments

Four Sermons on Work

Four Sermons on Work

In the past several months, I’ve been honored to give four different sermons on work in the Denver Metro area. If you have some time this week, download them onto your iPhone or iPod (remember those?) and listen on your way to or from work. I’d love to get your feedback. Here they are. I’ve included the title, time & place, biblical text, description, brief outline, and highlights for your scanning pleasure. Happy listening. “The Gospel as Public Truth” Listen Now: The Gospel as Public Truth Date: July 27, 2014 Location: Fellowship Denver Church Key Text: Acts 25:23-26:27 Description: Why does it seem like the public worlds of business, politics, technology or art seems so isolated from the world of church? In this sermon, Jeff Haanen explores Paul’s testimony before King Agrippa and Festus in Acts 25-26 to find a model for cultural engagement for our modern culture. Based on Paul’s own call, Jeff explains what it means to be a witness and servant of the gospel of grace in...

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Posted by on Oct 2, 2014 in Theology, Work | 0 comments

Saving the Three “E”s

Saving the Three “E”s

  I think we’ve been a bit too hard on the three “e”s. Here’s how the argument often goes. In a past generation, those interested in “faith at the workplace” stressed the three “e”s: excellence, ethics, and evangelism. Each of these are “good but insufficient.” We need people to actually see the value of the work itself, and not just get people converted or be nice to co-workers. Now, I sympathize with this line of reasoning. I was recently at a Christian business conference, and one man gave his testimony of how he lives out his faith at work. As the owner of a company that produces dental products, he proudly noted how he begins staff meetings with prayer. What he failed to mention, however, was that producing artificial teeth for his clients was itself an act of neighbor love and a way to provide for the needs of the world. Indeed, for many of us younger folks interested in faith/work integration, we react against a highly individualistic view...

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Posted by on Aug 27, 2014 in Theology | 0 comments

A Prayer for Work

A Prayer for Work

  O Lord! May all my work today be for you, and you alone! Teach me to see my daily labor in the piercing light of your Truth. Open my ears to hear the great cloud of witnesses who have gone before me, that I might walk in paths of righteousness for your name’s sake. Stir my heart to speak and embody your gospel of grace to all, employees and co-workers, bosses and clients, patients and students – to all that all might have life, life, eternal life! O Christ of the cross, in the pain of my work, give me the courage to sacrifice for the good of others, all the while pointing to you, he who suffered and died, and overcame death! May I not turn back from the plow, but may the sweat of my brow bring the first fruits of new life! O incarnate King of Heaven, show me where I might draw close to others as you draw close to us, that the human...

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