My friend, Matt Perman, helps us understand the doctrine of vocation and how our work is a calling from God. I found this very helpful. I'm also looking forward to Matt's forthcoming book called, What's Best Next: How the Gospel Changes the Way You Get Things Done.
From Jim Collins’s book Beyond Entrepreneurship: Turning Your Business into an Enduring Great Company:
1. People execute well if they’re clear on what they need to do. How can people possibly do well if they don’t have a clear idea of what “doing well” means — if they don’t have clear goals, benchmarks, and expectations?
2. People execute well if they have the right skills for the job.The right skills come from talents, temperament, and proper training.
3. People execute well if they’re given freedom and support.No one does a good job with people looking over his shoulder; when people are treated like children, they’ll lower themselves to those expectations. Also, people need the tools and support to do their job well. To use an extreme illustration, imagine how difficult it would be for Federal Express employees to make on-time delivery without reliable trucks.
4. People execute well if they’re appreciated for their efforts.All people want their efforts to be appreciated. We’ve consciously chosen the term appreciated rather than rewarded because it more accurately captures that excellent performers value respect and appreciation as much as, and often even more than, money.
5. People execute well if they see the importance of their work.
(HT: Matt Perman)
The topic of work is all to often absent from church pulpits and Christian conversations. Yet it’s where we spent most of our time apart from our beds. To ignore the Christian perspective on Work is to fail in discipling the church and living on mission.
Here are a few good resources all written by Dodson on this topic:
It's the first Monday of the New Year and all of us want to change. And we want these changes to happen immediately. So we run hard doing whatever it takes to change. But all this running could be done in vain if we begin at the wrong end. J.C. Ryle's words are worth meditating on as we begin this new year:
Would you be holy? Then you must begin with Christ .... Men sometimes try to make themselves holy first of all, and sad work they make of it. They toil and labor, and turn over new leaves, and make many changes; and yet, like the woman with the issue of blood, before she came to Christ, they feel "nothing bettered but rather worse" (Mark 5:26). They run in vain, and labor in vain; and little wonder, for they are beginning at the wrong end. They are building up a wall of sand; their work runs down as fast they throw it up. They are bailing water out of a leaky vessel; the leak gains on them, not they on the leak .... Go to Christ. Wait for nothing. Wait for nobody. Go and say to Him, in the words of that beautiful hymn -- "Nothing in my hand I bring, Simply to Thy cross I cling; Naked, flee to Thee for dress; Helpless, look to Thee for grace." There is not a brick nor stone laid in the work of our sanctification till we go to Christ (J.C. Ryle, Holiness, p. 49).
Zach Nielsen gives some good advice on being a parent in a busy world and what he's done to manage his family. These are just the main points. Read the whole thing as he fleshes out these points. Very helpful! 1. I have a rockstar, off the chart, amazing wife ... 2. We don’t watch much T.V. 3. We are very intentional about doing things WITH the kids 4. We have “special dates” with the kids individually 5. Try to lay a great foundation with the older kids as it helps the younger ones in the long run 6. As our kids get older, I’m sure we’ll limit their activities 7. In the end, I think you just sort of get used to the chaos 8. Function not as reactionaries to the schedule, but rather implement structure so that our priorities can be realized 9. Hold on, pray, and know this time will be gone soon, so cherish every moment
Are you organized? Overall, I have some room to grow! That's why I picked up the book, Organizing for Dummies, awhile back. Let me just say that these for Dummies books are really helpful! I also have the Training for Dummies book and it's a great resource for anyone who trains others in business, education, ministry, etc. Anyway, the two big areas that I've tried to get more organized in are my desk at work and my garage at home. Organzing for Dummies actually devotes a couple chapters to each of these areas. Here are just a few helpful acronymns that relate to pretty much anything you're trying to organize.
W.A.S.T.E. -- To decide if something's worth keeping
W - Worthwhile? A - Again? S - Somewhere else? T - Toss? E - Entire?
R.E.M.O.V.E. - To clear off your desk
R - Reduce distractions E - Everyday use M - Move to preferred side O - Organize together V - View your time E - Empty the center
P.L.A.C.E. - Putting everything in its place
P - Purge L - Like with like A - Access C - Contain E - Evaluate
I would also highly recommend my friend Matt Perman's blog called, What's Best Next. He is probably the most organized guy I know, and it seems his passion is to help you do things more efficiently in order to serve people more effectively.
Here’s a summary of how President Obama spends his time, from a recent Newsweek article:
“I’m a night owl. My usual day [is]: I work out in the morning; I get to the office around 8:30 a.m. to 9 a.m.; work till about 6:30 p.m.; have dinner with the family, hang out with the kids and put them to bed about 8:30 p.m. And then I’ll probably read briefing papers or do paperwork or write stuff until about 11:30 p.m. and then I usually have about a half hour to read before I go to bed . . . about midnight, 12:30 a.m. — sometimes a little later.”
Robert Pagliarini gives a brief analysis of the President's schedule here and ends with this exhortation:
I don’t care how busy I get or how important I think I am, if the President of the United States still has time to exercise, spend time with family, read, and grow, I certainly can, too. What about you?
(HT: Matt Perman)
Some thought provoking words about the evil of dish washers from Tim Chester: 1. Despite what all the adverts claim, they don’t wash as well. They mist over glasses and leave a soapy taste on things. We can all tell crockery, mugs and glasses that have been routinely washed in a dish washer.
2. They remove a great opportunity to train your children to serve. Doing the washing up is lesson 101 in serving others.
3. They remove a great opportunity for pastoral care. One person washing while another is drying is a great context for pastoral chats. It’s one-on-one. But you’re doing a task together so it’s not too intense. ‘How are you doing?’ ‘How’s your walk with God?’ Great questions to ask while your filling the washing up bowl. Or how about, ‘You know you wash up like a legalist’!
4. Dish washers guzzle electricity. Not as bad a tumble dryers (another evil and mostly unnecessary household appliance). So reduce global warming - and keep your hands beautiful and soft for free!
Agree/Disagree? I don't know about you, but this was one of my household chores as a kid and it not only provided a way to serve the rest of the family, it also opened up time to talk with my mom while she washed and I dried. Likewise, for the first 6 years of our marriage, Jaime and I never had a dishwasher and we didn't seem to mind. But ... I think we're glad we got one now that we have 3 small kids!
By 2000, forty million American white-collar employees were using the cubicle. What began as a customizable work environment eventually turned into an urban dungeon. Cutting us off from contact with the real world, the cubicle is scorned for suffocating productivity and community. Attempts to correct these individualistic work environments, such as co-working or collaborative workspace, have met with little to moderate success. Does work have to be so isolating? (Read the rest here)
On Saturday morning a group of 5th and 6th graders from our church (called Route 56) spread out into our community and raked leaves. It was a great time to serve together and live out our faith as the body of Christ. The picture shows a few of the kids who raked over 75 bags of leaves at one house alone! It truly is amazing to see how much we can accomplish together in just a couple hours for the glory of God and the good of our community.
My friend, Matt Perman, recently started his own website called, "What's Best Next." Matt is a sharp thinker, and you'll benefit from his wisdom on making good decisions in life, work, business, and society. Particularly, Matt will help you get organized and thereby increase your productivity at work. Check out his website here.
The High Calling is running a brief article written by my friend, Jonathon Dodson, called “In the Workplace, But Not of It.” This ministry offers a variety of resources to help Christians glorify God in everyday life and work. It's a good follow up to the sermon my preaching pastor shared on Sunday called, "Is Your Work Your Witness?"