The Curse of Hard Work: Another View

So, if you’ve been reading this blog for long you know I have a lot of jobs. One is as an editor for The High Calling at The Theology of Work Project.  (THC, for a long time, was solely a production of The H. E. Butt Family Foundation in Texas….also known as the people who bring you Laity Lodge, one of the most beautiful places on earth. But I digress.) Anyway, the day-to-day production of THC now happens at TOW, where… Read more

We Have to Dare to Preach the Gospel

In this interview, the leader of the Moral Mondays movement talks about leading in the public square. Reprinted from Faith&Leadership. The Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II is the president of the North Carolina NAACP and architect of the Moral Mondays protest movement, which began in Raleigh in 2013 and has spread across the country. Barber has been engaged in social activism for many years, but he began his rise to national prominence after organizing a 2007 coalition of advocacy… Read more

Why Are There So Few Mainline Celebrities?

The chilly relationship between mainline Protestantism and the popular marketplace has become a stable feature of the former’s self-understanding. Reprinted from Faith&Leadership. By Kate Bowler Millions of Americans once tuned in to see Will Willimon preach at the Crystal Cathedral for the “Hour of Power,” one of the most prominent Christian programs at the height of the televangelism era and an icon of modern faith. They watched him ascend one of the most famous pulpits in the country, clear his… Read more

Entrepreneurship and Escaping Ennui

By Timothy Askew; reprinted from Inc. with the kind permission of Timothy Askew. Belgian painter Erik Pevernagle says, “In a lifeworld, where we can be what we are, and not what people expect us to be, we can escape a blank and void existence, which is linked to wrecking ennui.” I don’t think I’ve been bored a single day since I embraced entrepreneurship in 1996. Not a day. Not an hour. What is boredom? Bertram Russell defines boredom as “…essentially… Read more

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

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