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Editorial Reviews


“God has created us for relationship and work for his honor—to bring hope and justice to the nations and our neighbors, and joy and purpose to our own hearts. In Work Matters, Tom Nelson examines how God uses our work, even the ordinary and routine, to transform us and to reveal our gifts and calling. I have known Tom for several years, and his life and work exemplify these profound and practical truths. His book will inspire and encourage you to reexamine not only your understanding of work but yourself as well.”
Ravi Zacharias, Founder and President, Ravi Zacharias International Ministries; author, Jesus Among Other Gods

“Tom Nelson does a marvelous job of walking his readers through a robust theology of work, and he does so in a very provocative way. We are all Jesus’s apprentices and our work lives are filled with opportunities for spiritual growth and discipleship. Work Matters will compel you to approach work differently.”
Moe Girkins, author, Mother Leads Best

“Tom Nelson and I have been walking down the same pathway as we have been learning together more and more about how God views work. Tom’s conclusions, insights, and examples will help many people get a better grip on serving God and finding purpose in the work place. This book is thoughtful, practical, entertaining, and true to Scripture. The lights are going to suddenly come on in many readers’ minds, and that’s not just great fun but a good thing as well.”
John Yates, Rector, The Falls Church, Falls Church, Virginia

“By definition, every Christian is in full-time ministry. Yet, unfortunately, many of us see a great divide between the secular and spiritual, ministry and work. In Work Matters, Tom Nelson helps to bridge the artificial and unbiblical gap that keeps us from fully realizing our calling and full potential in Christ. Read it. It will change the way you think about Monday to Friday.”
Larry Osborne, Pastor, North Coast Church, Vista, California; author, Sticky Church

“More than just a book, Work Matters is a kaleidoscopic testimony to the power of calling in the lives of a vibrant local church, inspired to engage their community and city. If every pastor taught like this and every church lived like this, America would be a very different country.”
Os Guinness, cofounder, The Trinity Forum; author, The Call

“Not many pastors are adept at encouraging the Christians they serve to think deeply about the work they undertake during the six days when they are not gathering for corporate worship. So many of our applications and exhortations, as important and as faithful as they are, deal with prayer, Bible reading, family relationships, and evangelism, and not with the work that takes up much of our time and that we are called to offer up to God. I first heard Tom Nelson bring some clarity to these matters in some addresses at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and I am delighted to see his reflections expanded and put into print. This book is greatly needed.”
D. A. Carson, Research Professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

“Each week people gather to experience a time of worship. The idea that this moment on Sunday can actually be a time for both celebrating the Savior and for strategically shaping what happens when we leave those four walls is rarely considered. Work Matters takes a look into the Christian’s life, offering strategic insight into the work place as a key part of God’s Kingdom agenda and explaining how Sunday’s worship experience can spill over into Monday through Saturday. A great work indeed.”
Stan Archie, Vice President, Missouri State Board of Education; Senior Pastor, Christian Fellowship Church, Kansas City, Missouri

“This is a very important book written by a pastor who I respect immensely. Work Matters will change how you view your vocation and in the process it may just change your life.”
Adam Hamilton, Senior Pastor, The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection, Leawood, Kansas; author, The Journey: Walking the Road to Bethlehem

“Tom Nelson offers the world a profoundly rich vision of vocation as integral to the mission of God in history—by a pastor who has spent the years of his life helping his people understand what they do and why they do what they do in light of the truest truths of the universe. Theologically serious and pastorally aware, no one has tried to do what he has done, and has done so well. For pastors and for their people, indeed for everyone who wants to connect the vocation of the ministry with vocations in the marketplace; it will change the conversation about calling because it will change the way we understand worship and work.”
Stever Garber, Director, The Washington Institute for Faith, Vocation, and Culture; author, The Fabric of Faithfulness

“In a most readable and engaging style, Tom Nelson gives us a complete, biblical understanding of work—starting with ‘in the beginning,’ when God created us to work. Coming from his engagement with workers of all sorts in his own congregation, Nelson has seen the truth of the gospel transform their lives and work in a powerful way. This book delivers no small message: the gospel changes everything! It transforms people at the core of our being, our motivations for work, how we behave, and the influence of our work in God’s creation. Thank you, Tom.”
Katherine Leary Alsdorf, Founder and Director, The Center for Faith and Work, Redeemer Presbyterian Church

About the Author

Tom Nelson (DMin, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) has served as senior pastor of Christ Community Church in Leawood, Kansas, for more than twenty years. He is the author of Five Smooth Stones and Ekklesia as well as a member of The Gospel Coalition.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Crossway (October 5, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1433526670
  • ISBN-13: 978-1433526671
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.3 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #71,506 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Customer1 VINE VOICE on February 12, 2012
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I was very excited to read this book on this important topic which I believe is written too little about, but found myself a bit disappointed.

WHAT I LIKED: Mr. Nelson is an engaging and entertaining writer. Early in the book I thought it was going to be great. He's a very quotable & talented writer, and writes like he's speaking to you; some thoughts are expressed very clearly and well. Each chapter is followed by a letter from a real life person applying the principles just covered - I found that to be an excellent approach to showing the practicality of the information.

WHAT I DIDN'T: The book is not arranged (outlined) very distinctly. I've never critiziced this before, but that's the best way I can explain it. The result is that as you progress through the book, rather than growing in your understanding, you begin to feel like the same point is being rehashed with each chapter. This becomes frustrating when, in the latter chapters, we often read of the "robust theology of vocation;" why not dedicate more pages to explaining that robust theology?

OVERALL: Mr. Nelson makes some excellent points in plain English; but the book could have been much shorter with the same information. If you have not read a book on this subject, it will be a good start. If you're looking for a more thorough treatment, try God at Work, by Gene Veith.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By George P. Wood VINE VOICE on March 16, 2012
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
In the late 1990s, I took a two-year hiatus from pastoral ministry to work in corporate America. My experience there shaped the way I think about Christian vocation. It taught me that the pastoral vocation was but one of many Christian vocations. Its purpose was to help people respond to both their primary vocation (faith in Jesus Christ for salvation) and their secondary vocation (faithful presence in the workaday world).

Tom Nelson's Work Matters is an insightful treatment of how Christians' primary vocation affects their secondary vocation. The book grounds its treatment of the subject in the biblical categories of creation, fall, redemption, and glorification (chapters 1-4). Based on that foundation, it then examines practical issues such as dealing with the ordinariness of work, how work shapes us, working for the common good, vocational giftedness, workplace integrity, and the church's role in shaping good workers (chapters 5-10). In each chapter of this well-written book, Nelson moves seamlessly between biblical exposition, culturally relevant illustration, and practical application. Each chapter concludes with a personal testimony from a Christian worker explaining how their faith shapes what they do.

Nelson is pastor of Christ Community Church in Leawood, Kansas, and author of Five Smooth Stones: Discovering the Path to Wholeness of Soul and Ekklesia: Rediscovering God's Design for the Church. In Work Matters, he writes for Christian laypeople, not pastors, and each chapter includes discussion questions. I would recommend this book to adult Sunday school classes, small groups, and book clubs. Pastors might also consider using it as a resource for a preaching or teaching series on work.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Greene VINE VOICE on February 20, 2012
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Jesus spent most of his life working as a carpenter. If Jesus were around today the Son of God would likely be repairing roofs, serving fast food, or maybe providing computer maintenance. Tom Nelson highlights this point in his delightful book `Work Matters'.

According to Nelson, the fact that Jesus had a rather ordinary job in addition to his side-gig as Redeemer of humanity should bring tremendous consolation to many who may feel disillusioned by the drudgery of their own work. All work, whatever it may be (aside from professions like hit man) has worth, value and meaning to God. Why? Because we were designed for work and when God renews the world, we will continue to work in his kingdom. Therefore, Nelson argues that Christians should make the effort to integrate their `Sunday worship' with their `Monday work'. In other words, Christians shouldn't compartmentalize between worship and work but allow their work to be filled with the Gospel and Holy Spirit and conduct it as worship to God in the character of God. An important point that Nelson highlights is that doing God's work is not limited solely to the traditional occupations of the church (pastor, missionary, church administrator). All work contributes to the multifaceted needs of God's kingdom.

Nelson shares stories and anecdotes to present a Scripture-based understanding of the nature of work in relation to God. We're reminded that though work is important, we should rest from it because it should not be the ultimate center of our lives. That honor belongs solely to God.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Terry L on February 13, 2012
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I enjoyed reading this book. It held my interest, wasn't too wordy, and wasn't "preachy" either. He used scripture and the works of other authors to make useful points. He gave good examples and explained them well. Overall, the book was well-written.

The Amazon book description covers what the book is about, so I will not repeat it. I'll just say that the author did a good job with the subject and if the subject interests you, you will probably enjoy this book as I did. It wasn't too long, didn't puff itself up with flowery preacher talk, and didn't sound like it was written by someone who never gets out of a church building.

One point I really liked was when the author reminded us that Jesus was a carpenter and got up and went to work just like the rest of us. Okay, the author's point is longer than that, but I liked the reminder. That made me wonder why God had Jesus be born to someone who would have him go into a manual labor (though skilled) trade instead of something else. Interesting to think about.

Anyway, to sum up, I found the book interesting, it made some good points, I learned something from it, and it was well-written, so I gave it a four star rating.
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