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Posted by on Jun 17, 2021 in business, Theology, vocation, Work | 0 comments

The Pearl of Vocation: Why I Bring My Whole Self to Work, Including My Faith

The Pearl of Vocation: Why I Bring My Whole Self to Work, Including My Faith

When I was in elementary school, my mother took my older sister and I to Lake Itasca State Park for summer vacation, located in the cool northern woods of Minnesota. A life-long teacher, she would glory in making the outdoor visit into a lesson: spotting the diving loons in search of breakfast, explaining the history of old-growth red pines towering over the landscape, and proudly declaring that we were looking at the headwaters of the mighty Mississippi River. My sister and I, however, were more concerned with the number of times we could skip a rock across the glassy surface and the tiny creatures we discovered on the lakeshore. Barefoot and with a cool breeze in my curly blond hair, I would spend afternoons hunting for tadpoles or grabbing tiny oysters to crack them open, in search of treasure. Though I never did find a pearl in those oysters, the shell’s rainbow iridescence, shimmering in the sunlight, hinted at a joy embedded deeply within creation. Three decades later, with...

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Posted by on Mar 20, 2020 in Work | 0 comments

Designing Workplaces to Be More Human

Designing Workplaces to Be More Human

Designing Workplaces to Be More Human We spend about a third of our waking lives at work. And yet, for the majority of people, work is not much more than a paycheck. We feel lonely, especially men. We feel like there’s a gap between our job responsibilities and our own potential. We often feel exhausted and question whether our work is making any meaningful difference. How might we reimagine what it means to be fully human in our working lives? Here are five aspects of what I think it means to be human, and, as a result, what I believe we need to focus on if we’re going to build workplaces that really invest in human potential. Humans are emotional and spiritual. It’s tough to avoid it. Fear, anger, joy, surprise, sadness, disgust, elation – every day we’re a mix of emotions. My guess is that today, before leaving for work, you experienced at least a few of these emotions. One philosopher has made the case that fundamentally, we...

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Posted by on Dec 11, 2019 in vocation, Work, World | 0 comments

“A Fully Activated Workplace” (Global Workplace Forum, Lausanne Movement)

“A Fully Activated Workplace” (Global Workplace Forum, Lausanne Movement)

This last summer I was deeply honored to serve on a panel in Manila on “A Fully Activated Workplace.” I shared the stage with a clinical psychologist in Nairobi working with refugees, an electrical engineer in Canada, a manager at Apple, and a man doing church planting with nomadic tribes in central Asia. I shared about my research on the American working class. Incredible what God’s doing around the world…Bravo Lausanne Movement. And bravo to all of you for stepping into God’s call in your life wherever you may be walking on the planet earth...

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Posted by on Oct 3, 2019 in Theology, Work | 0 comments

Spiritual Disciplines for Your Work: A Reflection Guide

Spiritual Disciplines for Your Work: A Reflection Guide

Recently my colleague Brian Gray, COO and 5280 Fellowship Director, wrote a short reflection guide for our donors on living out the Christian life in our daily work. Here’s my introduction to the booklet. If you’d like to receive monthly updates or receive a booklet, visit here. Dear friends, When I was a new Christian, one of the first things I learned from my involvement in campus ministry was that Christians are supposed to have a daily “quiet time.” This usually involved structured Bible reading, perhaps a devotional book, and — if I was particularly motivated or had the time — a list of prayer requests.  Daily devotions worked for me for years, but eventually, I grew tired of them. I had read the stories, done the prayers, experimented with dozens of devotional books. Eventually, I fell away from morning devotionals. And for years, I felt a deep sense of shame. Was I failing? What was wrong with my spiritual life? Had God left me completely?  Strangely enough, in...

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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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