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Stewarding everyone's gifts

Christians should care about equity in the workplace

By Joanna Meyer
Men and women work side by side, wrestling with the same business challenges, attending the same meetings, and walking the same hallways. But as a recent Wall Street Journal article suggests, the common ground ends there:

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Three Signs We've Made Work an Idol

As Published in The Marketplace magazine

By Jeff Haanen 

I think there are at least three signs we can see in our lives when we make work an idol.

1. Exhaustion.
Always busy, and always tired. That’s the way many Americans live out their lives. Often, I’m the worst offender. Do one more text in the car (at a stoplight, of course);
get in one more email; go in early; stay late. Squeeze in a bit more on the weekends.

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What Promises Do You Make to Your Employees?

Daily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling

As published in The Marketplace Magazine Nov-Dec. 2018

By Deidra Riggs

If you’re reading this, you’ve probably been the one sitting in the office chair behind a desk, facing a potential employee, and trying to figure out whether or not that person in the chair would be a good fit for your organization. You’ve been on the other side of the desk, too: the potential employee, trying to anticipate the questions you’d be asked by this potential employer.

Everyone is looking for something, aren’t we?istock employee interview photo for Soul Enterprise pg. 4 November 2018 issue The Marketplaceistockphoto lafor

Employers want to know their risk will pay off if they hire you. Employees want to know they’ll be treated fairly, paid an honest wage, and given the opportunity to exercise their gifts while learning new skills and being treated with respect.

The internet is teeming with advice for those on either side of the interview desk. Advice for the interviewee includes what to wear, what to share about your strengths and weaknesses, whether or not you should talk with your hands or leave them folded in your lap.

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Four Things to Do When You Make a Mistake at Work

As printed in The Marketplace - 2018 - September/October

pointing fingersBy David Rupert

Each summer, as a teenager headed for college, I was determined to make as much money as possible. My dad, a roofer, needed the help. There were perks:  free transportation in Dad’s ‘52 Chevy, a lunch packed by mom, and a paycheck that didn’t bounce.

Reality is, I wasn’t a good roofer. My lines were often crooked and, if left uncorrected, would ruin the run of shingles going all the way up the house. My patient dad would help me rip up the offending row, and we’d start over.

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Life lessons from improv

By Mike Strathdee

As Printed in the Marketplace - July/August 2018

book cover God Art of Improv Soul Enterprise July 2018Speaking in public tops the list of many people’s greatest fears.

Getting up in front of a room full of strangers and doing improv — a performance made up on the spot — is something that can challenge even people used to public speaking.God, Improv And The Art of Living By MaryAnn McKibben Dana (Wm. E Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2018, 230 pp, $21.99 US)

The skills of a good improv artist are things we can all benefit from learning, and are applicable to far more than stand-up comedy, MaryAnn McKibben Dana says.

The author, who is a pastor and student of improv, suggests that we are all improvisers. Recognizing this truth can help us in decision making and many life endeavours, at work, in church, or just around the people we interact with every day.

The book outlines three types of improvisers, all of whom are as useful in companies, congregations and other groups as they are in onstage situations: Pirates, robots and ninjas.

We need all these characters in our lives, in the proper ratios.

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Profits with purpose

Book calls believers to gain wealth for good

By Mike Strathdee

As Printed in The Marketplace – March/April 2018

In recent years, several authors have suggested that pastors who fail to preach regularly about money, (sermons where the focus is other than giving) are committing clergy malpractice.

Given that more of Jesus’ teachings dealt with material things and work than any other topic, it’s not difficult to agree with the malpractice theory.

Yet many pastors are given precious little, if any, teaching about personal finance or economics during their Bible college or seminary studies. Significant numbers arrive at their first ministry post with crushing student debt. Neither of those life experiences serve them well in meeting the needs and expectations of the people they are called to serve.

 

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Rethinking money, biblically

Missional Economics coverMissional Economics: Biblical Justice and Christian Formation
By Michael Barram (Wm. E Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2018, 283 pp, $26 US)

As printed in The Marketplace magazine

 If North American Christians are guilty of biblical illiteracy, nowhere is this more so than in our failure to wrestle with and grasp God’s intentions around economics.

Most of us, Michael Barram argues, “are, at best, only vaguely aware of what the Bible has to say about economic issues related to justice and Christian discipleship.”

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Is technology reducing our sense of good choices?

Spiritual discernment starved in digital dessert

By Ron Tinsley

As printed in The Marketplace - July/August 2018 .

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Anyone who thinks technology has no impact on spiritual formation is mistaken, Ron Tinsley says

“The Bible consistently warns us about where we fix our gaze and how we direct our desires, he says. “From the golden calf in the Old Testament to Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness, where we focus our inclinations tells others what is important to us. As Christians, our focus should be on Jesus and the Spirit he promised us.”

Abundant leisure time and media stimuli provide many more distractions than ancient peoples faced, he notes. “This can draw us away from the rich oasis of experiencing God and increasingly into a digital desert of distractions. Many of them are coming through technology.”

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Marketing as Reconciliation

As printed in The Marketplace - May/June 2018

IMG 5939Professor describes a redemptive approach to the art of persuasion.

By Dan Galenkamp

Ask the average consumer about their ideas on business, and they’ll likely describe it as profit-oriented and self-serving, tainted by greed and excess. Marketing — the industry of persuasion — is often perceived as having no moral criteria, as taking advantage of people and encouraging destructive consumerism. Marketing carries heavy baggage.
There is a need to develop both a theology of marketing and a framework for teaching, researching and practicing it ethically. In other words: how can God’s shalom redeem the art of persuasion? Prof. Laurie Busuttil, assistant professor and chair of Redeemer’s Business department, examined how the purpose of marketing has gradually become misaligned with the practice in her tenure paper and presentation, Marketing: Exchanging What Is for What Should Be.

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Giving freely

By Mike Strathdee

As printed in The Marketplace - November/December 2017LoveLetGo cov 9780802874474Love Let Go — radical generosity for the real world By Laura Sumner Truaz & Amalya Campbell (Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2017, 203 pp. $21.99 US)

Imagine being part of a hand-to-mouth urban church serving the disadvantaged, when a $1.6 million windfall from the sale of a nearby housing complex falls into your lap.

Think about how you would feel as you and your fellow congregants were told of a decision to distribute $100,000 to people in the pews — $500 each — to “go out and do good in God’s world.”

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