a pastor’s take on “Saving the World at Work”

I finished reading “Saving the World at Work” a few weeks ago, but with the holiday rush, this is the first opportunity I’ve had to write about it. I heard Tim speak at Catalyst in October and was moved by his discourse. He spoke a couple sessions after Jim Collins, so his statement, “Good is the new Great” carried even more punch. So, we bought his book.

He devotes much of his writing here to convincing the reader that one person, whom he calls the saver soldier, can make a difference. He offers several examples across industries of such persons.  He discusses the change process during a revolution in an industry – circumstances, values, innovation, disruption, and the new order. 

His six laws of the saver soldier are fantastic in my estimation. Then he offers a foundation for action for those of us seeking change within organization. As a pastor, I do believe that one person can facilitate great change and this books explains one way to do that.

It is really a “Green-onomics” book. If you own a small business and don’t read this, you will never be more than a small business (and you might be a moron). It gives some great practical ways to increase customer base, positively impact community, and increase profit margins by tightening your environmental belt.

Of course, I am reading this as a pastor so what did I get out of it:

·        Churches ought to be conscious of their environmental footprint and how to reduce it.


·        How can my church positively impact the local economy, environment, culture, etc?


·        In the midst of environmental, political, and economic disruption in America, how can my church offer hope and stability?


·        In the midst of environmental, political, and economic disruption in America, the church must find a point of appropriate impact in each area, locally. I suppose what I mean is, we must be sure to curb wastefulness with our resources. We must be sure to speak to political issues without being arrogant, partisan, and without stereotyping. We must be sure to contribute to our local economy through our collective purchasing power, and benevolence.


·        Churches should partner with businesses for social causes when those businesses believe they can do well by doing good.


·        Christians can have a tremendous impact on the community if Christian businesswomen and businessmen take the time to mentor someone. This will have an immediate impact as well as a generational impact both economically and spiritually, and then socially.


·        The Church must find a way to promote diversity (people from every tribe and tongue) without ceasing to be the church.


·        Again, we must assess and reduce wastefulness in areas fiscal and environmental. Often, the two are connected.


·        Interdenominational efforts are no longer cutting edge, but a way of existence for churches. Ceasing to cooperate in such ways means we will continually lessen our impact until we cease to exist.


·         “Your company [church] is either a nutrient, a filler or a toxin to its communities” – page 159


·        “The more that you invest into your community, the more the community will patronize your business” – page 163


·        “the impact of dollars spent in an independent business delivered two times the economic impact of spending at national chains…less than 15 percent of big-box retailer revenue remained in the state, and what did consisted mainly of low-income wages and minimal taxes” – page 17o – Churches should utilize local establishments if at all possible.  This has a positive economic impact on the community, but the social impact is improved as well.


·        Churches should use recycled paper because it’s so easy. By not doing it, they are saying they don’t give a crap about the environment.


·        Churches should regulate their energy usage with efficient light bulbs, thermostats, insulation, etc. These are easy solutions and by not doing it, (again) churches are saying they don’t give a crap about the environment.


·        Environmentally friendly practices often reduce facilities costs, thus more money can be funneled to things that actually matter instead of facilities.

These are just some of my thoughts on the book. I hope that you will take the time to read it.


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