Daily Archives: February 6, 2012

Study explores gap between God and jobs

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Center for Faith & Work www.CenterforFaithandWork.com

Special to Inside The Pew

DALLAS — Do faith and work mix? And if so, as America’s workforce increasingly wants meaning beyond a paycheck, do pastors help? From a recent national study commissioned by Dallas-based LeTourneau University’s Center for Faith & Work, answers are, “Yes,” and “Not enough.”

“Ninety-three percent of pastors say they want to help members of their congregations integrate faith and work but fully two-thirds of them admit their efforts fall short,” Bill Peel, Center for Faith & Work executive director, said. “People work more, and better, when their labor carries a sense of calling. But most employers can’t give it, and most pastors don’t.”

The church-work gap emerges in data from two surveys commissioned by the Center and conducted by the Barna Group.

Highlights:

• Nearly all (93 percent) pastors said helping people integrate faith into daily work is “very important”
• A third (32 percent) of those pastors claim an “excellent understanding” of workplace issues
• Half (49 percent) of churchgoing, employed Christians “strongly agree” that their church gives information, guidance, and support to live out faith at work
• 26 percent of pastors say their sermons address faith at work
• 8 percent of pastors provide prayer support for workplace issues
• 3 percent of pastors report they visit their members at work

The LeTourneau Center for Faith & Work, founded in 2011, reflects a burgeoning “faith at work” movement to help the employed — and unemployed — find God beyond church doors.

The Center’s web site assembles resources, tools, and curriculum for churches, students, and the global Christian community to equip and connect them to live out their faith in the workplace. Foundational to the Center is the notion that God values good work well done.

“From Genesis to Revelation, work is essential to human flourishing,” Peel said. “Pastors and pew populations too often default to esteeming ‘church work’ over traditional business. But God doesn’t draw that line.”

In 1946 R.G. LeTourneau, industrialist and inventor, founded LeTourneau University; and his refusal to separate faith and business formed “the DNA of the university.” Bill Peel, founding executive of the university’s Center for Faith & Work, is an award-winning author of seven books, including Workplace Grace, What God Does When Men Lead, and Discover Your Destiny.

Texas Wesleyan’s Frederick conference player of the week

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By Jacob Trimmer
Inside The Pew

Four times the charm for Texas Wesleyan University’s Eric Frederick.

The senior forward from Oklahoma City, Okla., was named player of the week for the fourth time this season by the Red River Athletic Conference on Monday, Feb. 6. He received the award for the period of Jan. 30 to Feb. 5.

Frederick, the nation’s second-leading scorer, had to double-double games for the 14th-ranked Rams (17-4, 12-3) last week. He scored

Eric Frederick

29 points against both Wiley College and Jarvis Christian College (8-14, 7-10), nabbed 10 rebounds against the Wildcats and 12 in the Rams’ victory over Jarvis Christian College 86-80, on Feb. 4 in Hawkins. For the week, he shot 48.8 percent from the field (21-of-43).

The Lady Rams were also victorious over Jarvis Christian College, 53-50, on Feb. 4. Octavia Mullins led the way for Texas Wesleyan, posting her 13th double-double game of the season with 11 points and 16 rebounds. Ivory Russell led the Lady Bulldogs with 19 points and 11 boards, followed by Marsharae Brown with 13 points and nine rebounds.

OLLU men, women dominate St. Thomas in hoops

Our Lady of the Lake University men’s and women’s basketball teams scored wins over St. Thomas on Feb. 4 in San Antonio. The Lady Saints (12-4, 17-5) cruised by the Lady Celts (4-152, 6-15), 97-49. Arlene Cisneros lead OLLU’s charge with 15 points, followed by Jasmine Fuller, Nashae Owens, and Jennifer Davison, and Ali Bills with 11 points each. Alisha Crump finished with 10 points and 11 boards for OLLU. St. Thomas’ Brooklyn McCall finished with seven points. OLLU men slipped past St. Thomas, 77-74. Robert Martinez scored 17 points, followed by Marco Cooper with 12. The Saints improved to 18-4, 15-1, while the Celts fell to 11-4, 14-8.

Music publishing vet creates Church Musicals

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In the know: For more on Church Musicals, visit www.churchmusicals.com

Special to Inside The Pew

Record company and Christian music publishing veteran Ed Kee has created a way for churches to minister to the unchurched Broadway style.

Kee’s latest endeavor, Church Musicals, provides high-quality Broadway-style musicals that not only entertain, but also create a

Church Musicals' production of "Humbug"

non-threatening outreach tool as well.

Founded in 2003, the vision for Church Musicals began when Kee, as creative director for Brentwood Records, would go to New York and see Broadway musicals.

“The combination of story and character-driven songs was powerfully moving,” said founder Kee. I realized that this was the perfect medium for the church to convey biblical truths and concepts in a way that people would easily relate to. This is exactly what Jesus did through the parables he told,” Kee said.  “I thought, If Jesus was able to convey God’s truth through stories, why can’t we do the same thing – with the same affect?”

Kee said Christian Musicals allows churches to minister to the unchurched without losing them in “Bible-thumping” rants or “church-speak,” something they do not readily understand.

“The goal is to entertain and demonstrate God’s love at the same time,” Kee said.

Kee said more churches are discovering Broadway-style musicals are an effective outreach to the community.

“It gets people into the church where relationships can be formed and where the gospel can be shared,” Kee said. “One essential component, however, is quality. The stereotypical picture of a ‘church musical’ involves people in bath robes and sandals. Unless you provide high quality entertainment, people aren’t likely to come,” he said.

For those churches that do musical theater, the available repertoire has been slim to non-existent. The large Christian Music publishing companies have – with a few notable exceptions – made rather feeble attempts in recent years at creating musicals for this market, but have now abandoned it altogether because of its niche appeal. Kee is a staunch believer in niche marketing and in the power of this medium for communicating the gospel. His goal is to be the “go to” company for Broadway style musicals. Kee is also in the process of writing and developing other original musicals for release later this year and early 2013.