Faith and Work

Faith and work were meant to go together. You can be on mission in your everyday life and work, both on the job and at home.

4 Spiritual Takeaways After Being Laid Off

The landscape of Scripture is populated with saints who faced unmerited deprivations that affected their whole lives, including their work. Joseph was enslaved and then imprisoned on a false accusation. David was on the run for years despite being the rightfully anointed king. Esther survived being held captive in a pagan harem, and found a way to advocate for her people in such circumstances. I may feel the allure of achievement telling us, “If you work hard and do the right thing, you’ll get ahead.” In contrast, Jesus tells me, “In this world you will have trouble” (John 16:33 NIV).

Bad news about work situations is par for the course. I shouldn’t be offended by it, as though I deserve better or are somehow above the vicissitudes of life that common mortals face.

How Does Bivocational Ministry Work? An Interview with Dan Bovey

I like the term “covocational” better than “bivocational,” because it implies that it’s all really one thing. When I am working as a landscaper, or as a small business owner, it gives me unique opportunities to live out the Gospel, and specifically to share the Gospel in real-life situations. Throughout my lifetime, my major thought has been that I want to do what is the most significant as much as I can. And I’ve come to realize that this work does fit in with that.

Darth Vader is a micromanaging boss

How Do I Deal with My Micromanaging Boss?

A micromanaging boss can get under your skin. There’s something about having someone breathing down your neck—it’s not just annoying; it can feel infuriating. It makes you want to shout, “Just let me do my job!”

At the other end of the spectrum, there’s the boss whose expectations are a mysterious void. You want to do a good job, but you’re hard-pressed to say what your job is. Sometimes you just make something up and do that for a while, because getting a straight answer or clear instructions is impossible.

The sweet spot for empowering leadership is between those two extremes: The boss who provides clear expectations and helpful guidance, but leaves the details of execution up to you, because you’re smart enough and competent enough to figure it out.

When and How Should I Ask for a Raise?

At some level, when you ask for a raise, you’re telling your boss how to do her job. You’re saying, “It’s in your best interest to change compensation for one of your employees; here’s why.” So, before you ask, consider this: If you had your boss’s job, would you give you a raise? Why?

When Do I Let A Team Member Fail?

The example of surgery is instructive, because the costs of failure are so stark. The “July effect,” so-called for the month when U.S. medical residents begin their work, has an even bleaker nickname in the United Kingdom: the killing season. That irreverent moniker reminds us that there is no “failure free” option for teaching human beings new skills, even in life-and-death disciplines. Every summer, the experts grimace and hand over the knife to those who have never held it before. Whatever our line of work, we can learn to do the same for those who need the chance to learn.

Christians in the Marketplace

When you think of the marketplace giants in the nineteenth century, few people loom as large as John D. Rockefeller. His company, Standard Oil, serves as the foundation of our modern anti-trust legislation, the set of laws that exist to prevent the creation of monopolies and regulate anti-competitive business behavior. And yet, for all his ruthlessness in business, Rockefeller also considered himself a devout Christian.

Subscribe to the Mission Central Blog

Thoughtful insight on leadership and spiritual formation every other Thursday. Subscribe to receive notifications of new posts by email.