Here are four big ideas from his book that go to the heart of the biblical and Reformation understanding of faith and work. If you reflect on these ideas, you begin to see how truly transformative they are.
- One of the chief insights of the Reformation is that we can (and must) find God in everyday life, not just in spiritual contemplation and devotion.
- We can find God in everyday life because he created it and is Lord of all life.
- This means that daily work is not a hinderance to the Christian life, but a necessary ingredient of it. We can find God in our work and work with him in it, as co-workers.
- God will judge your work.
One crucial aspect of productivity is getting into the context where you can be the most productive—which means getting the right job. When it comes to the job hunt, resumes are still an essential tool.
- Don’t fudge the facts
- Do include jobs you think nobody cares about
- Don’t make spelling and grammar mistakes
- Do invite people to critique your work
- Don’t assume a good resume will get you a job
- Do know your resume inside and out
If you haven’t seen it on social media, I have an update: Last year I started as director of career development at The King’s College in New York City. In my role I help students launch meaningful careers that will impact the culture through remarkable excellence, professionalism, and service.
I am thrilled to be at King’s and it is a great place. One reason it is such a good fit is that I believe that Christians are called to influence culture, and that is exactly the mission of King’s:
Through its commitment to the truths of Christianity and a biblical worldview, The King’s College seeks to transform society by preparing students for careers in which they help to shape and eventually to lead strategic public and private institutions, and by supporting faculty members as they directly engage culture through writing and speaking publicly on critical issues.
King’s has a fantastic philosophy of education that focuses on seeing the connections across disciplines, and is one of the best Christian colleges in the nation. The opportunity to obtain a rigorous Christian education in the heart of NYC is something that you cannot find anywhere else, and I believe that through this King’s is making a crucial contribution to the call of the gospel to engage the culture winsomely. You can learn more about my role here.
What does this mean for WBN? We are expanding! As we mentioned the other day, Daniel Kaufman, who has many years experience doing training for Chick-fil-A, just joined our team as our newest coach. I highly recommend reaching out to set up a series of coaching sessions with him. I am also available for our 2-Hour DARE coaching package.
My plan is to resume posting regularly and continue creating new products. We have a new book coming in the months ahead, which we will be sharing more about soon. And in December a new study guide and video curriculum for What’s Best Next launches from Zondervan.
In sum, Lord willing, great things are ahead!
I was on Bold TV a few weeks ago talking about What’s Best Next and how the Golden Rule is at the heart of how to be productive. I had a great time, and you can watch the segment above or watch it on their website.
Bold TV is a digitally native news network committed to bipartisan dialogue and innovation for people, businesses, and communities. It was founded in conjunction with Al Roker Entertainment. Bold hosts three one-hour online shows per week (Bold Politics, Bold Life, and Bold Biz), and you can also access the segments (as well as relevant articles) on their website. Their live shows run on their Facebook page on Fridays beginning at 10:00 Eastern.
Bold Politics is co-hosted by Carrie Sheffield and Clay Aiken. Carrie is the founder of Bold, a leading entrepreneur, a political analyst, and had an accomplished career in journalism and finance prior to beginning Bold. Clay, as you may know, should have won the second season of American Idol! (Though Ruben Studdard, who won that year, was great also.) He is also very sharp politically and in 2014 ran for congress in North Carolina’s second congressional district.
Here are two key things to note.
Digitally Native and Innovative
First, Bold TV is digitally native. That is, it has the principles of online communication and the new economy baked into it from the start. Instead of being a meatball sundae of taking an older business model and retrofitting the Internet on top of it, it shows us what a “digital first” media business model looks like. As such, it is at the leading edge of new media programming today.
Second, Bold is bi-partisan and dialogues respectfully about differing viewpoints. It seems like so much political discourse today is carried out with a bitter spirit, and that many news outlets today are profiting from conflict. Regardless of how strongly we feel about things, it does not have to be that way. You can disagree with someone and still respect them. This is how discussion and debate are supposed to proceed.
Bold embodies this, bringing on guests from both sides of the political spectrum. Further, the hosts themselves represent this, as Carrie is a strong conservative and Clay Aiken is on the liberal side.
Instead of seeking to profit from conflict, Bold is based on cooperation—which is a much-overlooked, but central, principle of the new economy. Businesses that seek to profit from conflict are operating according to the old model, and this will not last.
Bold’s style represents a much better way forward in the political discussion of our nation today. Bold TV is worth checking out and tuning in to as a leader in this much better (and, I would argue, more effective and more human) approach.
I was on Pete Mockaitis’s How to be Awesome at Your Job podcast the other day, and really enjoyed it. You can listen below or at the website, where you will also find helpful links to the various books mentioned and some relevant previous episodes (for example, his episode with David Allen).
Pete is doing great work and I highly recommend his website and podcast for specific, actionable insights that will boost your work performance.
Here’s a summary of the show:
Matt Perman explains how to tell the difference between important tasks and urgent tasks, and how to make room for what’s important in your life and work.
- Why you should plan your day with your time, not your tasks
- Four tips for effective personal management
- Two ways to prioritize like a pro
This is a basic marketing principle which Seth Godin summarizes very well. Seems obvious, but it is often overlooked!
If an Apple upgrade breaks your phone and you switch to Android, it costs Apple more than $10,000.
If you switch supermarkets because a clerk was snide with you, it removes $50,000 from the store’s ongoing revenue.
If a kid has a lousy first grade teacher or is bullied throughout middle school, it might decrease his productivity for the rest of us by a million dollars.
Torrents are made of drips.
The short-term impact (plus or minus) of our work or our errors is dwarfed by the long-term effects. Compounded over time, little things become big things.
In other words, courtesy and generosity are not only good for business — they are essential for business when you look at things from the long-term perspective.
This goes back a couple years. I just came across online the message I gave at the 2015 Work as Worship Conference.
Here is a summary of the message I gave and, I believe maybe if you log in, the audio.
Here’s the message description:
Business leaders hold a critical place in the world because work serves as one of the chief means God uses to change culture. Because of this, work carries tremendous value in the life of every Christ follower. In this 29-minute session from the 2015 Work as Worship Conference, Matt Perman, author and founder of WhatsBestNext.com, speaks on the significance of accomplishing work in a gospel-centered way.
The Worldview Study Bible raises this insightful issue:
“Christians must be different from the world.” Whenever we hear this statement in sermons or read it in books, we usually think about our behavior, right? We nod our heads and think, Yes, our actions must set us apart! But there’s another application of this statement that is equally important. Christians must be different from the world in the way we think.
That is a fantastic point. But how are we to develop our thinking as Christians? The new Worldview Study Bible is one tool to help—and it succeeds admirably.
The first way it succeeds is in showing the importance of intentionally developing our worldview as Christians. Everyone has a worldview, it points out. So we need to take to the task of developing an accurate, truthful, and biblical worldview.
Further, worldview is not only a matter of thought. It also aids our spiritual transformation and shows us how to live—and is actually essential for doing so (Romans 12:2). Trevin Wax, one of the general editors, makes this point in his article for the study Bible, “An Introduction to a Christian Worldview”:
God left us with something better than a simple list of commands. He gave us renewed minds that–through the power of his Spirit–will be able to discern what actions we should take. He is seeking to transform us so that we can determine God’s will in particular situations where explicit instructions are not spelled out in Scripture.
From even just a short time with this study Bible, I have been renewed in my conviction of the importance of biblical, worldview thinking.
Second, this study Bible succeeds in equipping us to develop an accurate worldview on the specific issues that are most facing us today. It is highly relevant to our era, and deals with the issues concisely, powerfully, and biblically.
It does this, of course, through the study notes. But especially noteworthy are the various articles spread throughout the Bible. These articles are simply fantastic. And, as I mentioned, they cover the relevant issues of our day, and are unique in the broad spectrum that they address. Some of the articles include:
- “How Should Christians Relate to Government”
- “Textual Criticism”
- “The Incarnation of Jesus Christ”
- “Ethics of Global Missions”
- “Chief Purpose of Humanity”
- “A Biblical View of Work”
- “Language and Meaning”
- “A Biblical View of Music”
- “The Bible and Creation Care”
- “The Crisis of the Christian Mind”
The Bible also has great introductions that highlight the main worldview contributions of each book, the CSB translation it utilizes is good (using an optimal equivalence translation philosophy, which affirms formal equivalence while addressing its limits), and is well put-together, with Smyth-sewn binding.
There are lots of study Bibles out there. This one stands apart!
Update: LifeWay.com currently has the Worldview Study Bible available at a 50% discount for the next few days.
What’s Best Next received this Bible for free in exchange for our honest review.
People often say that “doing less” and “saying no” is the key to productivity. But this advice actually doesn’t work — unless you include with it the necessary corollary.
When you do that, you have perhaps the guiding concept for being effective.