POST LABOR DAY SALE AND A FREE BOOK WITH EVERY ORDER God At Work: Your Christian Vocation in All of Life by Gene Vieth, Jr.
FIVE DAYS ONLY – EXPIRES 9/30/22
30% OFF (WHILE SUPPLIES LAST)
We don’t usually tell our customers what to do with their purchases, but, ya know, I think I might be a bit pushy and suggest something. We’re a few weeks past Labor Day Sunday and I know more than one friend was a bit perturbed that there was no mention in their church about work or labor, no prayers for people at their jobs, no honoring of nurses, teachers, factory workers, engineers, unionists, or businesspeople. The proverbial butchers, bakers, and candlestick makers just don’t get much recognition in most churches, not even on Labor Day.
So, why not share with your pastors and preachers a book or two, now while the memory is still fresh? It is likely they have never read anything like this. You could wait until next summer, I suppose, but, ya know, I think the time is now. We have a few at 30% off (for five days only) and we’ll throw in a free book we have a batch of, while supplies last.
We do not suggest being too pesky about it, of course — certainly there is no call to be unpleasant, even if you deeply long to be told that what you do matters to God and that your job site really is a venue for your own discipleship and spirituality. I know that there is some pain about the routine apathy towards your work life that you experience in church; I get it. So here’s a chance to gently educate your pastor, preacher, worship leader, educator, spiritual director, youth pastor, campus minister, or others on your congregation’s leadership team. We’ve selected a handful of great titles that we happen to be able to sell a bit more cheaply now and we’re happy to offer these resources for you or yours.
THE EXTRA 30% DISCOUNT EXPIRES FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 2022. After that they revert to the typical BookNotes 20% off.
I won’t go into great detail about them here since I’ve reviewed most of those at BookNotes before. If you have any questions, hop on our inquiry page and ask away. We’re here to help. (I’ve done some Zoom conversations with groups about these very sorts of titles and could do some show and tell with your adult ed committee if that would be useful.) In any case, check these out and order a few pronto. We only have a few of some of these and the extra discount is while supplies last.
Garden City: Work, Rest, and the Art of Being Human John Mark Comer (Zondervan) $19.99 OUR SPECIAL 30% OFF SALE PRICE = $13.99
I’ll admit I adore this book and so respect Comer and his several good books. I have joked before about how hip and cool he is and how even the page design (with short sentences, a certain contemporary font and lots of white pace) appeal to younger readers. But his conversational tone and snark is one thing: his profound insight and solid help framing the topic of work and public life (and rest) by the large question of what it means to be human is, frankly, nothing short of brilliant. It’s a great read (nicely setting the stage, perhaps, for Culture Making: Recovering Our Creative Colling by Andy Crouch, another personal favorite) and is very highly recommended.
Work Matters: Connecting Sunday Worship to Monday Work Tom Nelson (Crossway) $17.99 OUR SPECIAL 30% OFF SALE PRICE = $12.59
We rave about this because it is written by a pastor who came to realize he was almost engaging in pastoral malpractice by getting everybody to sign up for church work and not faithfully equipping them to live out their faith in their workplaces. This is the story of how that church grew, with stories by a variety of congregants about how they think Christianly and serve God in their own career areas. It’s really a very fine book, good for pastors or ordinary work-world folk.
Living Salty and Light-Filled Lives in the Workplace Luke Bobo (Resource Publications) $16.00 OUR SPECIAL 30% OFF SALE PRICE = $11.20
I like this little book and really respect the author. Luke is a strong African American leader who worked for a while at Made to Flourish (an organization Tom Nelson founded to equip churches to minister well to their congregation in the work world and to steward their gifts to help make a difference in their communities.) We’ve all heard about being “salt and light” from Matthew 5 but few have spelled out the challenges of obeying Christ’s call in those 90,000 hours that we spend working over the course of our lives.
This small book — with a great forward by Jerome Barrs — helps both blue-collar workers and white collar professionals to imagine how to live out faith in the workplace. There are good discussion questions and the whole book is just under 100 pages. Nice.
Every Good Endeavor: Connecting Your Work to God’s Work Timothy Keller & Katherine Leary Alsdorf (Penguin) $18.00 OUR SPECIAL 30% OFF SALE PRICE = $12.60
I have long admired Tim Keller as an astute, evangelical pastor in New York, but his co-written here, Katherine Leary Alsdorf, is, similarly, nothing short of brilliant. She worked in the serious world of a global business corporation and came to faith in mid-life. Eventually she took over the innovative (and at the time, nearly groundbreaking) Center for Faith & Work at Redeemer Presbyterian in New York. She led them to create classes, professional groups, industry specific book lists, discussion guides and a Fellows program to train thoughtful young Christians to be faithful leaders in their various work venues. This book is still the gold standard on these things and every pastor should have it. There is a blurb on the back from Comment magazine’s review which, come to think of it, I think I wrote. I’m a fan.
Make Work Matter: Your Guide to Meaningful Work in a Changing World Michaela O’Donnell (Baker Books) 19.99 OUR SPECIAL 30% OFF SALE PRICE = $13.99
This is a 2021 release and is certainly one of the best books in recent years on this topic, inviting to a “path toward more more meaningful work that makes an impact.” There are three main sections of Make Work Matter that starts off with “Where Do You Want to Go?” And shifts to several chapters under the heading “Who Will You Become?” leading to the final section, four profound chapters on “How Will You Get There?”
Dr. O’Donnell is executive director of the De Press Center for Leadership (at Fuller Seminary) and is not only an entrepreneur, teacher, leadership coach and sought-after speaker, she is a great writer. She helps hold out a dream of “closing the gap between what you’re doing now and the life-giving work you desire.” Ordinary pastors should be helping parishioners chart a way forward into this kind of discernment about their callings and careers, so this book could provide a model for many.
The recommending blurbs on the inside offer raves and come from some of the best people in their field, from Redeemer’s legendary Missy Wallace to the aforementioned Luke Bobo to great leadership writer Roy Goble (Salvaged: Leadership Lessons Pulled from the Junkyard), our old Pittsburgh pal Lisa Slayton (CEO of Tamim Partners and associate at Denver’s Institute for Faith and Work), Denise Daniels (Working in the Presence of God: Spiritual Practices for Everyday Work), Tod Bolsinger (Canoeing the Mountains), and, importantly, Dave Evans of Stanford, co-author of Designing Your Life. When this many good authors and leaders endorse a book, you know it’s worth having.
Daniel M. Doriani (Presbyterian & Reformed) $12.99 OUR SPECIAL 30% OFF SALE PRICE = $9.09
This thin book, in some ways, is a practical sequel to his more major volume, Work: Its Purpose, Dignity, and Transformation.) In just a bit over 100 pages he has given us a great introduction to the topic, laden with stories, case studies, examples, and a passionate clarity that is nearly unsurpassed. Inspired by Tim Keller and his New York Center for Faith and Work, Dan starred the Center for Faith & Work St. Louis.
If you’ve ever wondered how you can best serve God and your neighbor faithfully in your work, this study provides welcome encouragement and guidance. Discover what makes your work both good and strategically valuable — the develop a concrete plan to make a difference in your corner of the world.
For the last year, my friend Dan Doriani and I have empowered twenty-five multicultural leaders through weekly cohorts on Work That Makes a Difference. These meetings and Dan’s book are transforming communities with hope. I highly recommend Dan’s book and invite you to join the team of faith-and-work disciple makers that ‘walk the talk’ by living the love of Jesus daily in the marketplace.–Brad Wos, Multicultural Director, Evangelical Free Church of America Central District
God’s Big Canvas of Calling and Renewal Dr. Stephen R. Graves (KJK Inc.) $10.00 OUR SPECIAL 30% OFF SALE PRICE = $7.00
I love this little book that, among other things (like its solid, lively content) is one of the nicest designed books in this list. Handsome, graphically arranged, well made with some handsome pull quotes and near blank pages. It is clear-headed, offers a very faithful wholistic vision of the full gospel unfolding towards the redemption of all things, but also has some down-to-Earth strategy stuff about embedding the gospel in organizational health and development. Very impressive.
Discipleship with Monday in Mind: How Churches Across the Country Are Helping Their People Connect Faith and Work Skye Jethani & Luke Bobo (Made to Flourish) $8.99 OUR SPECIAL 30% OFF SALE PRICE = $6.29
If you are taking me up on the suggestion to gift some books to your congregational leaders — or if you are a congregational leader — you really, really should consider this. It’s nearly pocket sized, compact and only about 90 pages. It is a great little book about which we can easily say there is simply nothing like it in print. (Yes there are some bigger and more complex books on mentoring people into marketplace ministry and the like — see, for instance, the fabulous Equipping Christians for Kingdom Purpose in they Work: A Guide For All Who Make Disciples by Tom Lutz & Heidi Unruh.) But this is short and sweet and has lots of great examples to offer encouragement. It is a short guide to expanding pastoral practice, attending to corporate worship and including all this work-world stuff into our spiritual formation and disciple-making programming. There is even a bit on including this in our mission and outreach work. Fantastic!
Work and Worship: Reconnecting our Labor and Liturgy Matthew Kaemingk and Cory B. Willson (Baker Academic) $29.99 OUR SPECIAL 30% OFF SALE PRICE = $20.99
I remain so enchanted by this magisterial work — see my early review of it at BookNotes HERE or HERE — and am pleased to offer it here for those who want to share it with their worship planners and preachers. With the brilliant foreword by Nicholas Wolterstorff you might realize it is mature and somewhat sophisticated and it is. But, importantly, as Wolterstorff highlights in his foreword, they see that the breach, the gap, the disconnect between faith and the works world can be healed not only by a theology of work and encouragement to see career’s as holy callings, but by integrating, naturally and regularly, our theology of work into the worshipping life of our gathering faith communities. That is we must sing it, pray it, recite it. There must be a more explicate connection between liturgy and labor and in this regard, this book is one-of-kind. It does not bring me joy to say that there is nothing like it in print, but it is also exciting. This simply must be on the shelf of every worship planner and worship leader, regardless of denomination of worship style. It is urgent.
Happily as many have said, Kaemingk and Willson know what they are doing. They are robust in their knowledge of a theology of work and a theology of worship. They are uniquely skilled to bring these things together and they offer tons of resources, litanies, prayers, hymns and songs, and more to help congregants worship well.
Here, finally, is the book that will take the ‘faith and work’ conversation to new depths of intentionality. With theological clarity and real-world accountability, Kaemingk and Willson mend what we have rent asunder. Advancing scholarship in theology of culture, it is also a must-read for those who lead worship for workers–which includes, of course, everyone. This should become a standard textbook, for the sake of the church and for the sake of the world. — James K. A. Smith, Calvin University; author of You Are What You Love, On the Road with Saint Augustine, and How to Inhabit Time
Kaemingk and Willson make an inspired contribution to the underdeveloped connection between work and worship in Christian life. They do not take the predictable approach of beginning with a theology of work and applying it to worship; rather, they come at it from the opposite direction, proposing that when references to labor are faithfully represented in the liturgy, it forms us for the work we ultimately present to God in all vocations. — Constance M. Cherry, Indiana Wesleyan University; author of The Worship Architect
Born of years of deepening commitment and maturing insight, the great gift of this groundbreaking book is its remarkably rich study of Scripture and history, showing that the deepest, truest witness through the centuries comes from an understanding of liturgy and labor–which is surprisingly seamless. Work and Worship is a gift to the church. — Steven Garber, senior fellow for vocation and the common good, Murdock Charitable Trust; author of The Seamless Life: A Tapestry of Love and Learning, Worship and Work
The Seamless Life: A Tapestry of Love and Learning, Worship and Work Steve Garber (IVP) $20.00 OUR SPECIAL 30% OFF SALE PRICE = $11.90
Those who follow BookNotes know that I highlight this from time to time, a book of short essays that I simply adore. These pieces are tender and passionate, short and sweet. They are, in a way, reports from Steve’s amazing travels, teaching about the connections between work and worship, weaving together (as his earlier book put it) belief and behavior. What does it look like to be a person of profound integrity, whose life holds together, seamless? He’s no idealist and he is aware — deeper than almost anyone I know, I sometimes think — that the world is broken and that are all implicated. Sure, he’s a bit intense at times. But he usually writes with a lovely, light touch. This handsome, compact sized hardback has full color photos and a great feel in the hand. I love this book and we’re so glad it hints at the deep integration that relates worship and work, living deeply with visions of vocation. It mostly shows rather than tells, with good storytelling. Somebody you know will love it.
The World Beyond Your Head: On Becoming an Individual in an Age of Distraction Matthew B. Crawford (FSG) $17.00 OUR SPECIAL 30% OFF SALE PRICE = $11.90
Okay, this is the only one on the list not written out of an overtly theological perspective, although the insight and wisdom of Matthew Crawford is solid and lovely. You may know his much talked about book (a bit philosophical but a must-read, called Shop Class As Soul Craft in which he tells the story of his getting tired of his obtuse white-collar professional job and starting up his own motorcycle repair shop. It’s a great screed against the “information age” which fails to appreciate skilled workers, shop class, craftspeople.) This one is a “brilliant and searching new work of social criticism” which follows up his previous rumination on the ethical and practical importance of manual competence. If Shop Class extolled mastering our skills of working in the creation, this explores our fractured mental lives, the forces that seem to distract and disrupt us.
This is not just a screed against computers or automation but he does argue that we must reckon with the way “attention sculpt the self.” He looks at the intense focus of short order cooks and ice hockey players, the “quasi-autistic behavior” of gambling addicts, the slow craft of building pipe organs. As it says on the back, “He shows that our current crisis of attend is only superficially the result of digital technology” because it really is a deeper question that pervade how Western culture understands humans in the world. This has radical implications, he insists, about how we raise children, design public spaces, and arrange democracy itself.
This cogent, analytic, book makes a strong argument and the attitudes we have about our life in the world, include our callings and careers, our work (and worship) might need to be reconsidered after reading it. It isn’t only about work, but it includes some cool stories of workers who use their skills well. I wanted to offer it here on this short list of key titles. Enjoy.
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