There are a lot of books on how to integrate faith and work, and you might be wondering which ones are going to help you work more effectively for God. Here are my top ten.
10. Michael R. Baer, Business as Mission: The Power of Business in the Kingdom of God (Seattle WA: YWAM, 2006)
Mike is an innovator in the area of thinking through how your business can reflect kingdom principles. He is effective in helping to set us businesses that have an effect both as a Christian witness in the marketplace, and as the means of bringing people and communities out of poverty.
Best points: Short, practical, wise, and biblically-based.
Audience: Business owners.
9. Anne Winckel, Time Poor, Soul Rich (North Sydney: Ark House/Media Incorporated, 2015)
has worked as a professional businesswoman and is a keen evangelist.
This book is designed to speak to Christians and non-Christians,
addressing the issue of busyness, and the chronic problem of neglect of
soul. She shares through moving stories, carefully selected pictures,
and biblical wisdom..
Best points: Treasure-trove of great ideas, a wonderful gift for any busy professional woman. Australian author.
Audience: Working women.
8. Nathan Grills, David E. Lewis, S. Joshua Swamidass (eds.), Faithful is Successful: Notes to the Driven Pilgrim (Outskirts, 2014)
This book is a compilation of reflections by high-performing Christian professionals. In some ways it is an updated version of the wonderful Faith Goes to Work, edited by Robert Banks. It deals with issues of calling, ambition and integrating your faith in your work.
Best points: Real stories from people on the frontline (although weighted to those in academia), Australian contributions from Nathan Grills and Justin Denholm.
Audience: Workers who are Christian.
7. Darrell Cosden, The Heavenly Good of Earthly Work, (Ada MI: Baker, 2006)
This is the best book I have read on the eternal value of our daily work. Darrell argues cogently for ordinary work as a valid focus for meaning, faith-expression and mission. It is especially good to give to those people who do not see “secular” jobs as kingdom work.
Best points: Short, clear, persuasive, deep, and transformative.
Audience: Workers who are Christian, and church leaders
6: Robert Banks, God the Worker: Journeys Into the Mind, Heart and Imagination of God (Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock, 2008)
While this book has been around for quite a while (originally published in 1994), it is still a gem whose lustre has not faded. Robert details how God’s work is described in working metaphors in the Bible including God as composer/performer, metalworker/potter, garmentmaker/dresser, gardener/orchardist, famer/winegrower, shepherd/pastoralist, tentmaker/camper, and builder/architect.
Best points: A rich exploration of the links between our working and the way God works.
Audience: Workers who are Christian (especially dignifying for manual labourers).
5. Mark Greene, Fruitfulness on the Frontline: Making a Difference Where You are (Nottingham: Inter-Varsity, 2014)
Mark has pioneered faith and work ministry. This book, accompanied by a DVD and course, demonstrates how people can be more effective wherever their “frontline” is, that is, wherever they spend most of their time among non-Christians. There are six frames for fruitfulness: modelling godly character, making good work, ministering grace and love, moulding culture, being a mouthpiece for truth and justice, being a messenger of the gospel.
Best points: Practical, relevant, easy to understand.
Audience: Workers who are Christians, and church leaders.
4. Ben Witherington III, Work: A Kingdom Perspective on Labor (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2011)
This is a concise but deep theology of work that also addresses key issues for workers such as the goodness of work, calling, work as culture making, idleness, work as ministry, and balancing work with rest and play.
Best points: Deep, biblical, theological, and challenging.
Audience: Workers who are Christians, church leaders, and theological thinkers.
3. Amy L Sherman, Kingdom Calling: Vocational Stewardship for the Common Good (Downers Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity, 2012)
This book is a real delight. It is written to help churches grapple with a wider vision of vocation and to free the workers in their congregations to explore their callings. It also manages to combine that exploration with God’s bias toward justice.
Best points: A manual for helping churches to reframe, giving them practical ideas of how to equip the workers in their congregations.
Audience: Primarily church leaders, but also workers who are Christians.
2. Theology of Work Bible Commentary, Volumes 1–5 (Theology of Work Project, Hendricksen MA)
These commentaries are being rolled out over a number of months, although eBooks are available. They provide in a concise form the excellent work available on the Theology of Work Project website: a scrupulous and well-researched book-by-book, verse-by-verse analysis of the Bible through the frame of work.
Best points: Sound biblical material, source for expository studies, and thoughtful application
Audience: Bible study leaders, church leaders, and workers who are Christian.
1. Tim J Keller and Katherine Leary Alsdorf, Every Good Endeavour: Connecting Your Work to God’s Plan for the World (London: Hodder & Stoughton, 2014)
This book has helped to popularise faith and work integration. Tim’s excellent communication style, the gospel-based work theology: good, fallen, redeemed, and Katherine’s great stories and practical application, have made this a paradigm-shifting resource.
Best points: Simple yet profound, practical ideas, and tips for churches
Audience: Workers who are Christians, and church leaders