Three key themes are woven together in an intriguing way.
First, there is the ongoing reality of COVID-19 and its reality on the world of work. We are pleased to welcome a Canadian author, Philip Yan, who tells the fascinating story of how he and his friends organised and delivered large quantities of PPE during the early stages of the pandemic. This flowed from an experience of lament which led Philip to find inspiration in the story of Nehemiah. It’s an excellent example of a Christian initiative filling a ‘service gap’ before adequate supplies of PPE reached healthcare facilities through normal means.
Over the last year many people have lost their jobs. Steve Apted provides a theological response to this, arguing persuasively for a theology of redeployment. In the process he draws helpfully on three redundancy experiences of his own, and shows how a change of circumstances can be a time of pruning that prepares for greater fruitfulness. In a similarly positive vein, Phil Jump argues the need for new wineskins as the working world emerges from COVID-19.
Second, there are books. We carry reviews by Peter Warburton of Ross Douthat’s The Decadent Society and Andrew Henley of David Rouch’s The Social Licence for Financial Markets. Both books reflect – in very different ways – on the type of companies that characterise the contemporary world and how they need reform to create a healthier society.
Two authors write articles that provide readers with appetising tasters for books they themselves have recently written. Val Mullally, author of Ancient Wisdom for Business Success, delves into the book of Proverbs and shows how Solomon provides lessons on listening with discernment when faced by difficult business decisions. Peter Lupson, author of In God’s Company, introduces us to seven Christian giants of business whose exemplary practice in the past retains its relevance and remains an inspiration for people running companies today.
This leads into the third key theme, that of purpose. In another of our autobiographical pieces, Keith Simpson describes his experience after coming to faith of ‘working for the currency of joy’, something that sustained him even through some very challenging times during his career in managing building services. Purpose (‘What is business for?’) was the theme of April’s Faith in Business Retreat, and Chris Gillies offers a masterful summary of what he and many others learned from that event. Peter Heslam, who organised the Retreat, concludes with the third in his series of articles reconsidering the purpose of business – sharing insightful theological perspectives on the new phenomenon of ‘woke capitalism’ and a dynamic understanding of the Trinity.
In conclusion, and continuing on this rich theme of purpose, may we point out that the next Faith in Business Monthly webinar is at 12:30pm on 1 July, when James Shand and Fiona Brennan-Scott will be discussing ‘How can we live with Purpose in our Personal and Professional Lives?’ For more details see www.faithinbusiness.org.