How Government Support Saved Me, Too

D. L. Mayfield (whose career I’ve followed ever since she and I were put together in a “cover package” at Christianity Today about alcohol) has a piece on what it was like to be on food stamps at Christianity Today: Two years ago when my second child was born, I wasn’t able to work, and while moving across the country, our only car broke down. By the time we finally found an apartment to live in and a job for my husband,… Read more

Social Entrepreneurship…and Kale

I ran into Sow Green So Good over on the Seedbed Faith and Work Collective. (Actually, I would have run into them first if I’d gone to the 2016 Asbury Project, where they were winners of the business plan competition.)  They have more to say about what’s happened since then at Seedbed: Sow Green Sow Good is a sustainable company that provides greens such as turnips, collards, mustard, kale and other vegetables to people in the Midsouth. The company also… Read more

Why Healthcare Matters to God

Fighting Mortality One of the most amazing and simultaneously depressing stories in the Bible (from a worldly perspective) is the resurrection of Lazarus in John 11. Amazing, because we see the miracle-working power of Jesus!  Lazarus was dead and buried!  He was in the grave for 4 days!  That guy was dead!  And Jesus restored his life!  Amazing! Amazing because we see a demonstration of what Jesus will do for all of us someday: He will call forth our names,… Read more

When Richer Weds Poorer

Starting tomorrow, I’m taking this class from Made to Flourish regarding ministering to blue-collar workers. As part of the pre-class assignments, we had to read this article from the New York Times about a marriage that illustrated the struggles of class differences: The religious difference — he is Roman Catholic, she is Jewish — posed no problem. The real gap between them, both say, is more subtle: Mr. Croteau comes from the working class, and Ms. Woolner from money….Marriages that cross class boundaries… Read more

When Shark Tank Met the Church: An Update on Innové

Reprinted from Seedbed. See MISSION:WORK’s 2014 interview with Brian Jones here. By Brian Jones On Friday, January 11, 2013, Rev. Daniel Harrell and I sat down with our wives to watch Triple Expresso, a popular Minnesota comedy show. Daniel, as the Senior Minister, and I, as the Minister of Mission, were there for the laughs, trying to take our minds off the $250,000 we were worried we were throwing away. In just a few short hours, a deadline for our… Read more

How to form wise Christian institutional leaders in an uncertain world

Our patterns of education and formation must nurture practical wisdom, encourage unlikely friendships and seed understanding about the ecosystems an institution needs to survive, writes the theologian and executive vice president and provost of Baylor University. This post is reprinted from Faith & Leadership. What patterns of education and formation will be most fruitful in forming wise leaders of Christian institutions in the volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA) world in which we live? Are new practices and organizations needed… Read more

#ThanksforTyping

This article by Kira Schlesinger appeared a bit ago at Ministry Matters, a site dedicated to resourcing church leaders: Over the weekend, a hashtag started popping up in my social media feeds: #ThanksForTyping. It had started with a few tweets by Bruce Holsinger, a literary scholar at the University of Virginia, noting that the acknowledgments in older academic work often included the author’s wife for her work in typing the manuscript. In some acknowledgments, the unnamed wife did much more… Read more

How to Spend The End of the Workday

A friend of mine once described the “how-to-be-productive” genre of articles as “hyper-masculine, business-world *&$%”.  I suppose she had a point. However, from time to time I find them helpful, and this article from Fast Company fit the bill: It’s 4 p.m. and you’re having a hard time focusing. So you stare at your computer and click in and out of lots of tabs. But when you look up, you see it’s only 4:03 p.m. Then, you get a glass of water,… Read more

Why Matt Overton started a social enterprise at his church

Social enterprises might be a risky and unusual form of ministry, but a youth pastor argues that they can bring new life to the church. This post is reprinted from Faith and Leadership. Mowtown Teen Lawn Care and Youth Ministry Innovators in Vancouver, Washington, are among the organizations recently honored with the Traditioned Innovation Award from Leadership Education at Duke Divinity. The following is the fourth in an occasional series of articles about the award winners. Many people who learn about the… Read more

Meditation, Dentistry, and the Entrepreneur

By Timothy Askew; reprinted from Inc. with the kind permission of Timothy Askew. Johnny Depp once said: “Trips to the dentist; I like to postpone that kind of thing.” I was stuck in the dentist’s chair for two and a half hours last Tuesday. This was perfect for a rainy spring day in New York. I came in depressed and anxious about business and some personal issues. After hearing the dentist’s usual homily on my dental sins (poor brushing, insufficient… Read more

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