What if we could resolve the exhausting struggle between work, family, and spiritual life? What if we recognized a deep connection between faith and business? What if biblical values weren’t roadblocks but actually the source of successful business? What if the real goal of business were more noble than maximizing profit? What if we could see our everyday work as having spiritual value? What if we could approach it as ministry? What if it were our calling, a calling as high as that of a pastor or missionary? What if God cared deeply about our work and wanted to be involved? And what if we could even partner with him in our business?
Many of us believe the key to resolving the tension between work and faith lies in a more balanced life. Pursuing balance is important, Eldred explains, but that noble effort still leaves us with compartmentalized lives. We still sense that all those prime hours of our day have little or no spiritual significance.
Integration is the key to changing that mindset and thus “redeeming” the vast majority of our time, the hours devoted to work. When our work is a holy calling and a ministry, it’s loaded with spiritual significance. All that time we spend at work has spiritual value. So while balance alone might redeem some hours, integration can redeem far more!
Ken Eldred reveals how to find a deep integration between our work and faith such that all areas of our lives further God’s kingdom, glorify him, and fulfill our life mission. As we integrate our lives, he explains, we can experience the abundant life that Jesus offers us.
The author takes on pervasive misconceptions stemming both from business and from church. He debunks these misguided beliefs and attitudes that hold us back and reveals a transformational new paradigm for purpose-driven work.
Eldred explains that we have a threefold ministry in our work life: pointing those around us to God (a ministry at work), serving and creating via the work itself (a ministry of work), and redeeming the practices, policies, and structures of institutions (a ministry to work). That’s a pretty lofty charge for those of us in the marketplace!
This book offers a powerful picture of the integrated life in which our faith impacts every sphere, including our work in the marketplace. Drawing on his own experience and the example of others, Eldred lays out practical applications that lead to abundant living through a far deeper connection between work and faith.
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About the Author
Mr. Eldred has founded numerous successful companies, including Ariba Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: ARBA), the leader in the Internet business-to-business industry, and Inmac, which went public in 1987 and later merged with Micro Warehouse. He was named Silicon Valley "Entrepreneur of the Year" in 1988. Internationally, Mr. Eldred is co-founder and director of Epicenter Technologies, a 1,000-person call center business based in India. He has also founded other ventures in Europe and China. Currently, Mr. Eldred is an investor and founder/CEO of Living Stones Foundation Charitable Trust, where he focuses his efforts primarily on charitable projects. He serves on the Board of Advisors for Crosspoint Venture Partners, named by Forbes as the most successful venture firm for three years in a row. Mr. Eldred is also chairman of Parakletos Venture Capital. He is in much demand as a speaker and as an advisor to various business ventures. Mr. Eldred holds a B.A. and an M.B.A. from Stanford University. He was the Lauder Executive-in-Residence at Auburn University School of Business and was named a Hoover Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. Mr. Eldred is the author of God Is at Work: Transforming People and Nations Through Business (Regal Books, 2005; Manna, 2009), named the number one book in the field by the Business as Mission Network, and the co-editor of On Kingdom Business: Transforming Missions through Entrepreneurial Strategies (Crossway Books, 2003), winner of a 2004 Christianity Today Book Award. He has been profiled in Executive Influence by Christopher A. Crane and Mike Hamel (NavPress, 2003).
Read an Excerpt
What if we recognized a deep connection between faith and business? What if biblical values weren’t roadblocks but actually the source of successful business? What if the real goal of business were more noble than profit maximization? What if we could see our everyday work as having spiritual value? What if we could approach it as ministry? What if it were our calling, a calling as high as that of a pastor or missionary? What if God cared deeply about our work and wanted to be involved? And what if we could even partner with him in our business? That’s the paradigm of work and faith that forms the basis of the integrated life.
Table of Contents
Part I The Way Things Are 1
Chapter 1 Unanswered Questions 3
Chapter 2 Trying to Keep Up 13
Chapter 3 The Compartmentalized Life 22
Part II What I Didn't Learn in Business School 37
Chapter 4 The Real Goal of Business 39
Chapter 5 Where Do Business Principles Come From? 52
Chapter 6 Spiritual Capital: The Missing Leg of the Stool 64
Part III What I Didn't Learn in Church 79
Chapter 7 Profit & Wealth-The Great Bugaboos! 81
Chapter 8 The Spiritual Role of Work and Business 92
Chapter 9 Unmasking the Common Goal of Church and Business 109
Part IV Increasing Your Spiritual Joy While Impacting Your Work 125
Chapter 10 Partnering with God to Leverage Your Results 127
Chapter 11 Living Your Faith at Work 143
Chapter 12 Serving Others to the Glory of God 154
Part V Living the Integrated Business Life 169
Chapter 13 The Shepherd of the Ritz 171
Chapter 14 Transforming the Marketplace 186
Chapter 15 Venturing into the Integrated Business Life 194
Author's Note 203
A That's What Christians Do Now 208
B Personal Biblical Values in Business 211
C Livery Companies of the City of London 215
D Resources for Further Exploration 218
What People are Saying About This
“Ken Eldred writes compellingly about the ‘Sunday-Monday Gap,’ sharing real-life examples of how this split impoverishes both our faith life and our business life. Eldred takes us out of this false choice, and offers wonderful wisdom and stories about how to live an integrated and abundant life.” Professor David W. Miller, Director, Princeton University Faith & Work Initiative
“For years I have been blessed and challenged by the life and ministry of Ken Eldred. My prayer is that this book will challenge many to live out their faith in the high-pressure world of business, technology, and finance in the same real, vibrant, and pervasive way.” Dr. Luis Palau, World Evangelist
“Ken Eldred has addressed a topic that has confused and bewildered Christians for yearshow to reconcile your faith and your work. Whether you are a CEO or a bagboy at the supermarket, this book will show you how you can transform people, organizations and communities by serving others to glorify God.” Dr. John E. Mulford, Former Dean of Graduate School of Business, Regent University
“Dr. Eldred’s unique added distinctive is his skill to translate spiritual values into the business equation where it connects and convinces the most astute MBA. Never have I heard a man who speaks with greater effect upon an audience! … a must read, chock full of the nuggets of wisdom that have made Dr. Eldred such a rare find!” Dr. Jerry Johnston, Senior Pastor, First Family Church, Kansas City, Kansas
“I have been privileged to work with Ken Eldred for 40 years and watch him truly integrate his faith and business skills to build profitable businesses and impact lives in the marketplace. This book can be instrumental in helping believers to integrate their faith and their work to be personally fulfilled and more successful as they work to transform the marketplace and society.” John B. Mumford, Founding Partner, Crosspoint Venture Partners
“Ken Eldred has proven his extraordinary gifts in the areas of faith and business over the years, and now he has been proficient in connecting these two crucial elements of success seamlessly in his latest book … I highly recommend that you read and study Ken Eldred’s latest book which is tremendous in its scope and vision.” Dr. Yonggi Cho, Founding Pastor, Yoido Full Gospel Church, Seoul, Korea