05 May #067 – Integriosity – RENEW—Mind-Shift #1–The “WHAT” of Integration
ESSENCE: The first key “mind-shift” of business a better way through Integriosity® captures a new way of thinking about the WHAT of faith-work integration–the very PRINCIPLE that defines faith-work integration. The critical thing to remember about Mind-Shift #1 is “FAITH CAN’T FIT INTO WORK“. Faith-work integration is about integrating work into faith, not faith into work. Integrating faith into work suggests a VERY SMALL view of faith. In reality, our faith is our life, and work is just a part of life. Semantics? Our words become our actions, which become our habits, which become our values, which become our destiny. What is the “destiny” of our efforts to integrate faith and work if we start out thinking about it the wrong way? The “destiny” of getting it backwards can be the Side Road of Cosmeticizing. Leading an organization to faithfully “do right” through business a better way requires mind-shifts that lead to heart-shifts, both in the leaders and in the organization.
In our last post (#066) we introduced the five key “mind-shifts” of business a better way thinking that are the gateway to moving into the RE-IMAGINE process of Integriosity®. Unless a leader has made these mental and heart shifts, RE-IMAGINING will just be “Re-Justifying”.
Mind-Shift #1 is about rethinking the “WHAT” of faith-work integration–it is getting at the very PRINCIPLE behind faith-work integration. The “world” doesn’t even understand the concept, and faith as usual thinking often has the integration going the WRONG WAY! It is pretty hard to implement faithfully “doing right” through faith-work integration if you have a backwards understanding of WHAT Biblical faith-work integration looks like.
“MIND-SHIFT #1”–Principle Behind Faith-Work Integration
It is impossible to pursue faithfully “doing right” in leading an organization without a solid understanding of the PRINCIPLE behind faith-work integration. We believe there are two common (and misguided) views as well as what we call the RENEWED view.
- World View: The secular “world” view of faith and work is that they have absolutely nothing to do with each other. Faith is personal and does not belong at the office/factory/store (sometimes because the proponents of this view are hostile to faith). Sadly, many people who profess faith in God do not get much further than this view. Back in post #010, we explained the three gaps that people serious about faith-work integration needed to cross: the Sunday/Monday Gap, the Sacred/Secular Gap and the Knowing/Doing Gap. The “world” is effectively stuck behind the Sunday/Monday Gap, but so are many regular church-goers. What they do Monday-Friday is disconnected from the faith they practice on Sunday (or Saturday)–not because they are hostile to faith, but because they have never been taught otherwise.
- “Faith as Usual” Views. Even those who cross the Sunday/Monday Gap can miss truly understanding the PRINCIPLE behind integrating their faith and work, in most cases because they have heard a backwards view of faith-work integration–they are looking at in the WRONG WAY. In post #027, we explained the Placebo we call The “Add Some Faith” Pill. The key problem with that Placebo is that it gets its theology backwards The most common words used to express The “Add Some Faith” Pill are “Integrate your faith into your work or business” or “bring your faith into your work or business.” The problem with this theology (or expression) is best captured by a concept articulated by Max De Pree, CEO of Herman Miller (paraphrasing a quote by Richard Mouw): “Talking about integrating your faith into your work is like talking about integrating your marriage into your sex life.” Here is how it shows up:
- Individuals. Individuals talk about “bringing my whole self to work”, which is a common theme in the Employee Resource Group (ERG) movement. Unfortunately, this can translate into bringing faith activities (Bible studies, prayer meetings, devotional e-mail chains) into work, but it misses viewing work itself as sacred–it keeps these workers from crossing the Sacred/Secular Gap and asking how their work has intrinsic Kingdom value and how their faith should change the way they work.
- Organizations. Leaders talk about “integrating my faith into my organization”, which is the most common language used in the faith/work movement. It is at the core of The “Add Some Faith” Pill. The “Add Some Faith” Pill can lead a person to see their work or business as the “main thing” and their faith as the sugar on top. The “Add Some Faith” Pill can deceive a leader into believing that the integration of faith and work is principally about sprinkling some “faith” pixie dust over the organization to make it look and feel “Godly”–and that leads down the Side Road of Cosmeticizing. A leader who has successfully crossed both the Sunday/Monday Gap and the Sacred/Secular Gap, gets sent on a Side Road in trying to cross the Knowing/Doing Gap because the foundation of their Knowing about Doing has been turned on its head.
Integrating faith into work suggests a VERY SMALL view of faith. Talking about integrating faith INTO work also suggests that faith is something separate from work, and that we are doing something UNNATURAL by bringing them together. Here is what it looks like:
Talking about integrating your faith into your work is like talking about integrating your marriage into your sex life. (paraphrasing Richard Mouw quoting Max De Pree)
- The “Renewed” View. The critical thing to remember about Mind-Shift #1 is “Faith Can’t Fit Into Work“. In fact, our faith is our life, and work is just a part of life. We are actually doing something UNNATURAL by keeping them apart. We believe faith and work integration is about integrating your work and business into your faith. It looks like this:
Semantics? We don’t think so. “Christian businessperson”–backwards. “Work/Life Balance”–deceptive. Words matter–words have power. There is a famous quote (attributed to various people in various forms) that essentially says our words become our actions, which become our habits, which become our values, which become our destiny. What is the “destiny” of our efforts to integrate faith and work if we start out thinking about it the wrong way?
Leading an organization to faithfully “do right” through business a better way requires mind-shifts that lead to heart-shifts, both in the leaders and in the organization. Anything less can bring the the missed purpose for organizations, the missed calling for leaders, the missed flourishing for people and the increased misery that was explained in Post #036.
We believe it is time for business a better way in alignment with Biblical values and priorities–it is time to begin faithfully “doing right” through Integriosity.
SPOILER ALERT: Getting the WHAT of faith/work integration right is critical to the second stage of Integriosity–RE-IMAGINE..
PERSONAL NOTE (from PM): Through my involvement in the New Canaan Society, I became very involved in the faith/work movement. The language I heard and used was “integrate your faith into your business”. But my “AHA!” moment about Mind-Shift #1 came on May 3, 2014, at the 2014 New Canaan Society Washington Weekend. Eric Metaxas was interviewing Greg Brenneman and Richard Mouw about faith/work integration. That is when Richard Mouw told a story about having been corrected about faith/work integration by Max De Pree, the Chairman of Herman Miller Furniture. De Pree told Mouw that he had been invited to speak to some business leaders about “integrating their faith into their work” and planned to tell them they had it “the wrong way around”–it was like talking about “integrating my marriage into my sex life”. That brief two-minute story stuck with me and opened the door to thinking about what I call The Add Some Faith Pill and Cosmeticizing. If you want to watch that interview, the video is embedded below. Mouw tells this story at minute 10:50.