(Often we are asked to write recommendations for books. The few sentences on the back of books that either draw us in, or keep us out– the words matter. Over the last year or more we have been part of the birthing of a very good book, Work Matters by Tom Nelson, pastor of Christ Community Church in Kansas City. Not only were we part of the thinking through of the book, but we wrote a blurb for it that is now on the back cover. This week Tom asked if we would write a couple of paragraphs for a mailing of the book that the publisher is doing next week, sending a copy of the book to many pastors and leaders across the country. What follows here are those words. For more information on the book, we have given two links.)
Words matter, just as work matters. When Tom Nelson first asked me to read his manuscript, I was eager, as I knew him and his vision—and the ways that his congregation had taken his pastoral teaching into the concreteness of their callings all over the city. Watching the book be born over the last year has been a delight. As I wrote for Crossway’s publicity department, “No one has tried to do what he has done, and has done so well.” Words do matter, and Tom’s work is that unique and that good.
While there are a number of important books by theologians about work, this is the first time a pastor has stepped in, offering a theologically rich vision of vocation. Tom’s pastoral heart is thoughtfully and carefully threaded through from the first chapter to the last, page after page offering stories of the ways that the people in his congregation are working at their work, making sense of what they do and why they do what they do in light of the truest truths of the universe.
Work Matters is a book that will change the conversation about calling, because it will change the way we understand worship and work— the holy rhythm of life for everyone everywhere.
Dr. Steven Garber is Founder and Principal of the Washington Institute and author of The Fabric of Faithfulness.