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Monday, January 30, 2023

Developing a deeper sense of purpose... The Sacred Meaning of Everyday Work Robert H. Tribken

“A thorough resource for connecting spirituality and work
The Sacred Meaning of Everyday Work” by Robert Tribken is for those who want to find greater meaning in their work (regardless of field) through relating their work to their spirituality and faith in God." Amanda, Amazon


Published: January 23rd, 202
(An earlier version was published in 2021as Sacred Rhythm: A Christian Spirituality for Our 21st Century Work Lives by Robert Tribken.)

It’s time to engage problems and opportunities with a new sense of purpose

Work can sometimes feel like a pressure cooker, with painful levels of stress, interpersonal conflict, and the risk of burnout. We can lose track of our goals and maybe even feel as though our work is pointless and going nowhere.

Developing a deeper sense of purpose will help us overcome these problems and perhaps even flourish in our work lives.

Many of us have a deep, intuitive desire to connect with something deeper than ourselves; for many, this means a deeper awareness of God and the divine mystery as we go through the week. And we have a closely related desire to contribute to the greater good and the well-being of other people through our work.

These powerful desires can profoundly affect our work lives if we let them guide us to our deeper purpose.

The Sacred Meaning of Everyday Work will help you find this new sense of purpose and deal with your challenges and opportunities with wisdom, strength, and courage.

The author offers practical insights from multiple sources, including the Bible, contemporary research, and experience in business. He invites you to consider these in light of your own faith or spirituality and your own work experience.

This book will help you:

  • Find deeper purpose and meaning in your work and see its spiritual connection.
  • Cultivate the character strengths like courage, integrity, and compassion you need to lead in a time of uncertainty.
  • Overcome work-related problems like stress, burnout, and interpersonal conflict.
  • Adopt short spiritual practices that help you relax, turn your attention toward God, and focus on the work at hand with new energy.
  • Understand how your work contributes to the greater good and the well-being of other people.
  • See how the values you bring to your work can encourage the teamwork essential for success.
  • Learn what the Bible actually says about your work’s positive value and its contribution to human flourishing.

Your work is important for yourself, your family, your coworkers, and society as a whole. Finding its sacred meaning will help you work with a new sense of purpose.

The Impetus for Writing This Book

Much of the impetus for writing this book grew out of my interviews and discussions with people over ten years. Most of these were with church members who do paid work outside the church; the focus was on the connection between their work and their faith or spirituality.

Opinions varied greatly. This was natural, given the wide range of views about work and faith. One tendency, however, showed up more often than I would have liked.

I believe that most work makes an important contribution to the greater good and the well-being of others, but too many people do not fully appreciate the contribution of their own work. I am especially sensitive to this because I believe it is important for people to know that what they are doing is appreciated and has significant value. 

The truth is that a great many goods and services are needed to build and maintain a flourishing society; through our work, we serve other people and the greater good in many different ways. This includes those who produce food and other goods, construction workers, distributors and retailers, writers and other communicators, people who care for others, homemakers, accountants and lawyers, maintenance workers, administrators and advisors of a great many kinds, entrepreneurs, and many other occupations, paid and unpaid.

If we are part of a religious tradition, then I believe it should help us think about our work and its contribution. Sometimes it does, but not always. Most of us understand that our religion teaches us to love our neighbors and to act with integrity. But it should also help us see and appreciate how our work contributes to the well-being of others, whether customers, coworkers, suppliers, or the people who depend on us for support. Our work has the potential to contribute to the flourishing of society, and this should have religious and spiritual significance.

A main purpose of The Sacred Meaning of Everyday Work is to help people see this significance. This, I believe, will help them engage problems and opportunities in their work lives with a new sense of purpose.

 Adapted from The Sacred Meaning of Everyday Work, copyright 2023 by Robert H. Tribken, faithandenterprise.org.

About the author:
Rob Tribken has been in business for over four decades and is the founder of several businesses. Along the way, he has had to deal with many of the most difficult issues people face in their work lives.

Over the years, Tribken became interested in the connection between faith, spirituality, and work. Several decades spent working in business combined with several years studying theology and becoming acquainted with organized Christianity convinced him that there is a great need to find better ways for churches to minister to people in the vocational aspects of their lives. He launched the Center for Faith and Enterprise to meet this need and help people experience a new sense of purpose, fulfillment, and effectiveness in their work lives.

Tribken’s educational background helps him explore the connections between faith, spirituality, and work. He earned an MBA from The Harvard Business School and an MA in Theology from Fuller Theological Seminary. Tribken is pursuing a Doctor of Ministry in Faith, Work, Economics, and Vocation at Fuller. He has also spent considerable time researching positive organizational psychology and has incorporated findings in his writings.

Tribken has led retreats, taught classes, led groups engaged in contemplative practices, and spoken on the subjects of spiritual practices, connecting faith and work, business as a calling, and the role of business in ending poverty. In addition to his work with the CFE, he has been involved with several other non-profit organizations dealing with the connection between faith and work. In past years, he has served as a volunteer Chairman of the Board of Partners Worldwide, a board member of the Max DePree Center for Leadership, and an advisor to entrepreneurs.

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1 comment:

Jim said...

The book sounds interesting