Posts tagged ‘church’
While the editor for PLNU’s alumni magazine was away on maternity leave, I got to manage the production of our fall issue. One of the perks of being in charge is that you sometimes get to push your own agenda. And, well, my agenda is helping people make a meaningful connection between faith and work. I encouraged the executive director of our Fermanian Business and Economic Institute, Randy Ataide, to pull together some of his thoughts on entrepreneurship, faith and culture. He had been writing along these lines in the academic arena with lots of big words and complicated concepts. He was kind enough to write an original piece for our magazine that is very personal and puts some complicated concepts into easy-to-understand terms. Check out the article.
In the article, he shares his personal reflections on the opportunities for connection between the church and the entrepreneur, as well as the mischaracterization and misunderstanding that he has personally experienced. His article explores some exciting connections that entrepreneurs can help the church make in the world, including the ability to critique the dominant culture, serve the poor and do justice, and reach the lost.
I hope you enjoy reading the article as much as I enjoyed getting it printed for 40,000 alumni to read!
You just have to try this at your church! Our Faith and Work Ministry did some focus groups and found that people want to hear from their fellow church attendees about what they do Monday to Friday. Sure, seminars about leadership and life balance are cool, but what about the stories of real life people doing their faith and work thing?
So we created 20/20. Presenters got to talk with 20 slides that rotated automatically every 20 seconds. A tall order, I know. But people did really well. Of course, I’m the one that got lost on where I was!
The goal was to have people talk about their work and make a faith and work connection in some way. We turned it into a Friday evening social event co-hosted by our church hospitality team. We put mood lighting around the room and hip music in the background. Nothing about this night felt like a learning opportunity, but oh was it ever. People are already asking when we are having the next event; some are even volunteering to speak at the next one (now that they know what the heck we meant by 20/20).
So here they are. Harbor’s first 20/20 speakers. We had to leave one speaker off the internet because his work is top secret. But I’ll just testify that turning algae into gasoline will be a restorative force someday in the not too distant future.
If you do this at your church, you could give prompts to your presenters like:
a. Tell us about an exciting project you are doing at work (How does this work reflect the image of God?)
b. Describe a struggle you have at work (How does your faith inform the issue?)
c. What do you love most about your job? (What are the opportunities to be transformational in your work?)
d. What is going on in your industry right now? (What would your industry look like if the Kingdom took hold of it?)
e. How did you get into the job you have? (Are you able to use your gifts and passions in your job?)
f. How does your job connect to caring for and maintaining the earth? (How could you engage in issues of mercy and justice through your work?)
g. How is the economy affecting your workplace? (Where are the opportunities for you to love the people right in front of you?)
Enjoy. And let me know if you have any questions about pulling one of these events off at your church.
My church, Harbor Presbyterian, just finished up a sermon series on faith and work.
The Gospel Reverses the Curse on Work
I Hate My Job
I Hate the People I Work With!
The latest industry prayer we prayed during our church service:
Father in heaven, we offer thanksgiving for our military, police, and fire fighters. Those in these fields fight crime and fires here… and enemies abroad. From the desk to the front lines—logistics and communications, military doctors and lawyers, administrative support and strategy planning—thank you for these men and women. They serve and protect us, maintaining peace in our communities and around the world. Lord, you are our ultimate protector, and these men and women are blessed to partner with you. Your protection often comes through those you have placed in these roles.
We are humbled by the sacrifices made by these men and women and their families—sacrifices sometimes beyond what any of us could imagine. What an amazing picture of your sacrifice to save and protect us all, Lord! Please protect them as they serve—emotionally, mentally and physically. Strengthen their marriages and their relationships with their children. Grant peace amidst the uncertainty of where and what their next orders or call will be. Help them find a community of Christian support wherever they go. Comfort them when they are lonely.
Lord, when the tasks feel mundane, help them remember the honor in their work. Help them resist mediocrity and strive to work with excellence. Inspire them to take initiative despite inefficiencies—and let their initiative be recognized and rewarded. Open to them opportunities to serve in ways that use their talents and passions.
For those in command, we pray that they would be wise and just. For those lower on the chain, help them model Christ’s humility. Help all to remember that ultimately they are serving you.
And we pray for our veterans, many who suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder from seeing unthinkable things. Others have severe physical and mental injuries. Give them an extra measure of your grace and hope.
Remind us all to express gratitude to the men and women who serve so faithfully. Thank you, Lord, for your protection and your unfailing love. May we be inspired to love and fight for justice in our own areas of influence because we have seen the love you and these folks have shown us.
We pray these things in Jesus’ name.
My church is praying during the service for different industries. The latest was science, engineering and technology. Here it is. I encourage you to do this in your church. It’s been really powerful!
Lord Jesus, in prayer we lift up the industries of science, engineering, and technology and all the people who work in these fields. Those working in these industries work in fields that reflect your very nature: from the administrative assistant keeping the office or finances in order, to the scientist in the lab, to the repair person who maintains the equipment.
You were the original creator of this complex and beautiful world, and you provide healing and restoring solution to problems. We are following in your footsteps. You gave us the raw materials for discovery, and you gifted us with the skill to make scientific and technological advances that contribute to the betterment of humanity.
We pray that those working in these fields would connect their work with your desire for your Kingdom to grow. May their work serve others and bring redemption – not lead to the destruction that sometimes comes with so-called “advances” in society. Guide us to find more and better ways to use technology and discovery to connect, guide, heal, and help people. Grant solutions to problems for which we still have no answers.
Encourage those in these fields when a solution they have been working toward does not work. Sustain them when work becomes tedious. Inspire them when there does not seem to be a way through a complex problem. Help them to respond with love when faced with frustrated and demanding clients, bosses, and coworkers. Guide them to make ethical decisions when confronted with unbridled possibilities.
Lord, we pray that those who have multiplied your wonders by use of their skills will not fall in love with their own glory, not compromise your values or misrepresent your truths. Let them seek advancement and progress not for riches but for your glory. Forgive them for lacking humility. Save them from making knowledge and discovery an idol. Let their growing knowledge grow their knowledge of YOU, pointing them and those around them to their need of salvation, and resulting in viewing their coworkers, neighbors and society with compassion. Focus their hearts on you, the author and perfecter of our faith.
Lord, we have all benefited from the discovery, inventiveness, and creativity of science, engineering and technology. Inspire us all by the vision of a better future that is revealed by the very nature of their work. Let these industries fill us with hope and joy because they remind us of your promise that one day this world will be made perfect. Remind us that our earthly lives have great significance in your Kingdom.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Awhile back, I wrote a post about needing to make a big decision. I decided to say yes, which makes me the new director of Harbor Church’s Faith and Work Ministry. I have been freaking out the past few weeks about saying yes – scared that I’m going to screw up this great ministry. When the previous director, Denise Yohn, who started the ministry, came to me and told me she believed that the strengths she used to initiate the ministry were no longer being used and that the ministry now needed my strengths, I was stunned. Denise had been such a great leader and I had not been sitting on the sidelines waiting to do it my way. I was happy to be a foot soldier.
At its core, Harbor Church believes the Gospel renews the marketplace. This belief has given birth to the Faith and Work Ministry and our vision to transform people, their work, and the workplaces of San Diego by bringing the hope of redemption and renewal that comes through the Gospel to the marketplace.
Harbor is a church planting movement with 10 churches currently and the goal of 100 churches in the San Diego/Tijuana region by 2035. The hope is that if we, along with other like-minded groups, can reach a critical mass of people with a grace renewal message within the marketplace, we can really effect change in a city. So now do you see why I’m freaking out a bit. That’s a lot of pressure!
Some points were made this weekend that might help you in your own leadership:
1. I need to stop making excuses for what I cannot do and look for what God will do.
2. I should be expecting multiplication not addition. If I can let go and let people work, God will multiply His impact over and over.
3. It’s not an organization I’m operating, it’s essentially about people. This is a good reminder for me since I tend to value structure and systems. I need to look for immediate needs and encourage the team to jump in, not form lots of big committees.
4. It is out of the overflow of my relationship with God that God does God-sized things.
5. The Living Christ has a plan; He is actively at work seeking to fulfill His plan. I had a very clear call on my life years ago to engage in issues of faith and work. We can get so wrapped up in planning programs and events that we do not pay attention to where the Lord may be leading.
Whew, I feel a lot better now knowing that it’s not solely up to me to make this ministry a success. But now I’m a little stressed about the need to be fully yielded to Him. It’s often so hard for me to stop and rest in the Lord.
One thing I do know is that if I had dreamed about my future when I was insprired by issues of faith and work years ago, I would have never guessed that this is where I would end up on this journey. I had tried to start things up on my own in the past without much success. I am completely humbled that God would bless me with such an opportunity as this. And I can’t wait to see where the Lord takes me next.