5 book reviews
living out our Christian faith in the workplace
At Hook we believe that all of our lives can be used to worship God and that God is interested in all of our lives. Our time together on a Sunday is to provide encouragement for us, for when we return back out to the places God has put us the rest of the time.
Here are a few books that we would recommend to help you as you live as a Christian, particularly in your workplace.
1. Mark Greene - ’Thank God It’s Monday’. This is the classic on the topic of Christian’s in the workplace. It’s now over 20 years since it was first written but it has been updated with a new edition in 2017. If you haven’t got a copy it is a must-read for Christians in the workplace. Its not long and it's engagingly written in Mark Greene’ s inimitable style
2. If you’ve read Mark’s book and what to go deeper on the theology of work and the impact that we can have generally then Tim Keller’s book Every Good Endeavour is the best follow up on the topic I have read in the 20 years or so since I read Mark’s book. As with all Keller books it is dense with content, scripturally based, and deeply encouraging and challenging. It is also infused with the experiences of one of his church members, Katherine Leary Alsdorf who is a co-author.
3. Sharing the gospel in the workplace is something that should be on our hearts for our colleagues. ‘Workplace Grace’ by Bill Peel & Walt Larrimore is the best book I have read on this topic. You can tell from the names this is an American book but I can assure you that their book is as relevant to the UK as the US. And it is the most practical work on the subject I have ever come across. It is not a manual of how to explain the gospel in one shot. It is also not a book that will load guilt on you. But it will suggest simple practical ways you can share God’s grace with others with the ultimate goal of pointing others to HIm. So we are called on to care for others. But also to use ‘Faith Flags’ and Faith stories to point others to issues of faith.
4. Finally two books that talk about relationships. The first is another book by Mark Greene but this one is relevant to everyone, not just those in the workplace. It is called ‘Probably the best idea in the world’ and a new edition was published earlier this year. His starting point is Jesus’ answer to the question of what is the greater commandment, . Mark 12:30-31 [loving God with all our heart, mind and soul, and loving our neighbour as ourselves]. From there he challenges us on the quality and health of our relationships, with God, with our family and friends, in the workplace and at church. This is an easy but inspiring read motivating us to follow Jesus in living out these commandments in love
5. And if we understand the importance of relationships I would then recommend as my final read ’The Relational Manager’ by Michael Schluter and David Lee. It is a business book without a Bible verse in sight but written by Christians with the goal of applying the basic Christian commandments; anyone in a management role can think through how improving relationships can improve their workplace. It is written for a general audience, and therefore not overtly Christian but it is underpinned by clear Christian principles. It starts slowly but ends up being very practical and if you are grappling how to apply some of the topics covered in the first 2 books this one can help.
So if you want to have a bigger impact on your frontline in 2019 then why not start with an inspirational or practical read?