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What Sense Do You Bring?


Issue 299

What sense do you bring with you to work? Everybody brings a sense of something to work. Let me explain what I mean:

Just over twelve years ago, a new ministry was established under the name WorkNet Partnership which became WorkNet and is now called WORKTALK. Back then, my job title was National Director. It has changed to International Director and is now Founder. We have had around a dozen individuals involved at Board level and another dozen at Council. Various staff members have joined and contributed, then moved to other things. We have broadcast over one hundred radio programmes, published books, DVDs, CDs and resources along with designing training programmes. Over the years, the ministry has reached thousands of individuals and been used by churches in several countries. This is the 299th edition of WORKTALKweekly.

One constant, as his name suggests, in all of this work, has been our Chairman, Simon Constantine who co-founded the work. This WORKTALKweekly is being broadcast on Friday, 27th of February because Simon is celebrating an important birthday. Far be it from me to divulge his age but you will find it encoded as you read on. Whether edition number 300 of WORKTALKweekly is ever broadcast will depend on how this modest man reacts to what you are about to read.

This WORKTALKweekly edition is written as a tribute to Simon, a thank you and a gift in honour of twelve years of travelling together. During these twelve years Simon has not only been our Chairman, but Chair of a number of companies, a COO, CEO and on the board of a variety of businesses. In these contexts, I have been able to watch him work with others as well as experience his working practices first hand. WORKTALK is all about trying to find good and healthy ways to work, so let me tell you what sense Simon has brought to WORKTALK , so that you can join in the celebration and grab a few lessons simultaneously.

Early on, a regular comment from the Chair was “If it is not 70% fun, why are we doing it?” This, surprisingly, was a new concept to me. Work was work; fun was extra-curricular. Simon has brought a sense of fun to WORKTALK. This is all the more remarkable because WORKTALK is focused on the work of Christ on the cross with all the seriousness and pain that this involves. But there is a joy set before us when we go through the cross to the results of that work. There is also an echo of the Ecclesiastes preacher who, whilst not the most positive of thinkers, observed, “’I saw that there was nothing better for a person than that they enjoy their work.”.

So, WORKTALK board meetings are fun. Planning is fun and the atmosphere of the team is fun. We have been through highs, lows, joys and sorrows like any other team but Simon has helped us retain that sense of fun.

Then, there is his sense of integrity. This is not a cheap commodity;seeking to behave with integrity can be expensive:it can cost you financially, emotionally, physically and personally. Jesus paid a ransom which found its expression in questions like, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” He remained right when alone and demonstrated integrity under pressure. Ransoms set people free but cost the payer. WORKTALK has been designed to point people to the work of the cross and it is no coincidence that our Chairman is a man who would rather sacrifice than compromise. There is a battle involved in working with integrity but the peace, or shalom, that results, creates the context for working well.

If you negotiate with Simon on business deals, you will experience a man who keeps a question in mind as he deals. That question is: “Is it fair?” Unfair deals are not good deals and unjust agreements won’t work so Simon brings a sense of fairness with him to WORKTALK, connected to the way in which the Lord encouraged Amos to challenge his marketplace to use accurate scales – do fair deals and create win-win situations.

“If you’ve seen me, you’ve seen the Father,” said Jesus, years ago. In so doing, He invited us to look through him as a window into exactly what the Father was like. He came to show not hide, reveal not conceal, open up not close down. It is this sense of transparency which is so important in a world of opaque deceit. There is a powerful reality in a Chairman who leads from a position of transparency and takes that into all dealings.

Speaking of reality, the last reflection on the WORKTALK years so far, is that work needs to be done by people being themselves. Of all the things to take to work, you must take yourself with you. This sense of ‘you’ is the doorway to freeing what God has breathed into you and others with whom you work. When you take ‘you’ to work, there is less acting, pretence and posturing. ‘Yes’ is ‘yes’, ‘no’ is ‘no’ and the authentic expression of the Creator’s skill in designing you – fearfully and wonderfully – can contribute to the project of working well.

So, there you have it – the senses of Fun, Integrity, Fairness, Transparency and ‘You’. Happy Birthday Mr. Chairman and thank you for helping us all …


Eccl 3:22

22 I saw that there was nothing better than that a person enjoy their work

Hebrews 12:2

22 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross

Matthew 27:46

46 About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?”—which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

Amos 8:4-7

4 Hear this, you who trample the needy
and do away with the poor of the land,
5 saying,
“When will the New Moon be over
that we may sell grain,
and the Sabbath be ended
that we may market wheat?”—
skimping the measure,
boosting the price
and cheating with dishonest scales,
6 buying the poor with silver
and the needy for a pair of sandals,
selling even the sweepings with the wheat.
7 The LORD has sworn by the Pride of Jacob: “I will never forget anything they have done.

John 14:9

9 Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?

Psalm 139:14

14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

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Series: -
Module: 2
Season: Milestone
Daily Guide: No

Tags: fairness, fun, integrity, sense, transparency

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Work well
Geoff Shattock

© Copyright 2023 Geoff Shattock

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