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Every Good Endeavor: Connecting Your Work to God's Plan for the World

4.25  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,171 Ratings  ·  348 Reviews
New York Times bestselling author of The Songs of Jesus Timothy Keller shows how God calls each of us to express meaning and purpose through our work and careers.

In a work world that is increasingly competitive and insecure, people often have nagging questions: Why am I doing this work? Why is it so hard? And is there anything I can do about it?

Tim Keller, pastor of New Yo
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Hardcover, 288 pages
Published November 13th 2012 by Viking (first published November 1st 2012)
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Minyoung Lee
Feb 10, 2013 Minyoung Lee rated it it was amazing
Though I did not have any idea what this book was about, only that it was Reverend Keller's new book, I am so glad I decided to read this at this point in my life. It almost seemed like God's personal counseling to me, since the topic discussed in the book, namely Gospel-minded career choices and attitudes toward work, is exactly the main focus of my thoughts and efforts right now for the past year or so. And finally, I found sound Christian career advise that is realistic, applicable, and Bibli ...more
Brian Pate
May 03, 2014 Brian Pate rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014
Mark Twain said that "work is a necessary evil to be avoided." Tim Keller and Katherine Leary Alsdorf disagree. They contend that work is a vital part of being created in the image of God. This book is divided into three parts, which can be summarized as: (1) work is good, (2) after the fall work is frustrating, (3) and because of the gospel, work can be redeemed.

Work is good: There is dignity to our work because we care for God’s creation in his place (ch. 2). Work is how we love our neighbor (
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Vaughn
Jan 26, 2013 Vaughn rated it really liked it
In 1990, Doug Sherman wrote "Your Work Matters to God." It's a great book and highly recommended. But it is a bit dated and thus, I picked up Tim Keller's more recent treatment on the theology of work, "Every Good Endeavor," and I am very happy I did so.

Early in Keller's book, he asks, do you feel that you have a "job" or a "calling"? Most of the time people think of a "calling" as being something a Pastor / missionary / professional Christian worker has from God. But Keller reminds us that God
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Justin Tapp
Mar 06, 2014 Justin Tapp rated it it was amazing
Every Good Endeavor: Connecting Your Work to God's Work

In my Southern Baptist circles, I often hear too often "Not enough men go into ministry," or "preaching is the highest form of worship," or "I could do so much more for the Lord as a full-time minister." I believe this often creates guilt among laypeople and sets up a class divide-- either you're "really spiritual" or you're part of "the world." Keller argues that these types of statements lack a proper understanding of a theology of work. T
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Steve Hemmeke
May 04, 2013 Steve Hemmeke rated it really liked it
Excellent book. Solid four and a half stars.

Classic Keller: translating a Reformed and Biblical worldview to communicate winsomely to the secularized person today.

Keller considers the nature of work, how sin messes up work, and how the Gospel of Jesus Christ relates to work. Here are some highlights:

The doctrine of common grace brings a great deal of freedom to our work. Christians often feel false guilt for not creating an explicitly Christian product or service in their work. Non-Christians ca
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Zack
Jun 08, 2016 Zack rated it really liked it
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Admittedly, it is my introduction into the literature surrounding faith and vocation from a Christian perspective. To be fair, I've read Os Guinness's volume on calling, but I read it as one exploring the call to full-time vocational pastoral ministry. This book has a different intended audience.

Drawing on his own study (and sermon preparations, I'm sure) as well as on experiences of professionals in his congregation (like Katherine Leary Alsdorf), Keller lays out
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Bob
Jan 23, 2014 Bob rated it really liked it
What do you think might happen if you could persuade those who follow Christ to give 40 to 60 hours of their best time to the advance of God's purposes in the world? That is what Timothy Keller wants to do in his book Every Good Endeavor. The subtitle of his book is "Connecting Your Work to God's Work" and what he wants to do is help us understand how work is integral to what it means to be made in the image of God. Work is not "the curse", although human rebellion against God manifests itself i ...more
Amber  Dlugosh
Jun 17, 2016 Amber Dlugosh rated it really liked it
Refreshing theology about modern work! I needed to be reminded of how freeing truly knowing Christ is! It frees us from the toil of working by offering hope amidst our service!
Carol
Nov 27, 2015 Carol rated it really liked it
A good overview of a theology of work: it is essential to our lives, there is dignity in work, we work for an audience of One. I especially liked the concept of a Ministry of Competence, with a good dose of grace when you face failure.

Keller urges his readers: [this] means having a track record of saying what we mean and doing what we say, following through on commitments every time, whether formal or informal, and being transparent and fair-minded.

Favorite quotes:

Work is as much a basic human n
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Paul
Sep 25, 2013 Paul rated it really liked it
Puts things into the right perspective. The practical examples are really, really good.
Jean-Daniel Veer
Jan 17, 2016 Jean-Daniel Veer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: vocation, kindle
It is a great discovery for me. It (re)introduced me to a theology of creation, common grace and the importance of worldview as narrative. It introduces a theology of work and a way to do the work that resounds with the Gospel of Christ. It also takes into account the wisdom needed in this life. "[Wisdom] is knowing the right thing to do in the 80 percent of life's situations in which the moral rules don't provide the clear answer." This book guides you in that.

This book is accurate on so many l
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Susanna Fraser
May 18, 2016 Susanna Fraser rated it it was amazing
"The gospel frees us from the relentless pressure of having to prove ourselves and secure our identity through work, for we are already proven and secure." (page 63)

"Work will still bear some fruit, though it will always fall short of its promise. Work will be both frustrating and fulfilling, and sometimes--just often enough--human work gives us a glimpse of the beauty and genius that might have been the routine characteristic of all our work, and what, by the grace of God, it will be again in t
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Jimmy
Aug 21, 2013 Jimmy added it
This works explore the Gospel implication towards the area of work and career. I wish there were more books on work from a Christian perspective that’s Gospel driven. While Tim Keller doesn’t answer everything concerning a Christian view of work, the book does manage to do a good job of laying down the foundation of a Christian view of work—and as a result this book was better than I originally expected. I appreciated Keller’s consciousness of worldviews—and worldviews as meta-narratives. If one ...more
Dave Jenkins
Feb 04, 2013 Dave Jenkins rated it it was amazing
Shelves: christian-living
Work is something everyone does whether its vocationally or doing volunteer work. Work is a necessary but hard part of life. God set Adam in the Garden and put Adam him to work. Work is very important to God but not only that we do work but also how we work. In his new book Every New Endeavor Connecting Your Work to God’s Work seasoned Pastor Tim Keller writes to show how God calls each of us to express meaning and purpose through our work and careers.

One of the most neglected areas of theology
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Denys
Jun 27, 2013 Denys rated it it was amazing
As a recent graduate from university soon to begin his first proper full-time job, I thought it would be useful to pre-empt any difficulties I would run into by preparing myself beforehand--naturally, my preferred approach was to read a book, in the hope that it would provide an appropriate framework for strengthening my own nascent theology of work. Having read The Reason For God earlier this year and found it to be illuminating in many respects, it did not take long for me to settle upon Kelle ...more
Elizabeth L
Oct 22, 2013 Elizabeth L rated it it was amazing
This is really a great book for someone trying to seek God's wisdom, especially in fields that may be more 'secular'. For me a few of the misconceptions that Keller cleared up are 1. That in order for the job to be 'right' for you, you should always love it and always feel passionate about it. Keller refers to the Bible and Adam's fall and the consequence of that being that work will always involve some amount of toil. This is sobering. Just because you find yourself frustrated in a job doesn't ...more
David
Nov 01, 2013 David rated it really liked it
Shelves: christian
** spoiler alert ** Tim Keller is not a radical. Unlike, say, David Platt, Keller does not believe that every single Christian is called to missions overseas. In his book, Keller lays out a vision and an outline for what work looks like for the majority of us who stay home, and how we can integrate faith with work. Boiled down, here are his key concepts:

God’s Plan for Work
1. We are designed for work. From the beginning, work was part of God’s perfect design for human life. Without meaningful wor
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David
Sep 20, 2013 David rated it it was amazing
If I could recommend only one book to people to read on the subject of work, it would probably be this one. Keller covers a lot of ground, placing work within a Christian worldview. He talks about how humans were given work immediately upon their creation, thus work is not a result of sin. All people, created in God's image, work. This universality of God's image explains why any and all people can do great work. On the other hand, the universality of sin comes out in the fact that we often find ...more
Leslie
May 09, 2013 Leslie rated it really liked it
Strangely enough, this is the first Tim Keller book that I've read; it's probably an odd one to start with. I enjoy Keller's style of writing -- bringing in the theological with the practical. This book focuses on God's design for work in our lives. I never realized it before, but Adam and Eve were designed to WORK in the Garden of Eden BEFORE they fell into the temptation of sin. God designed us to work. So often I think that work was a punishment for our sin, but that is not the case when you ...more
Amy Edwards
Feb 06, 2015 Amy Edwards rated it really liked it
Excellent. Four and a half stars. So many of us consider that living as a Christian means only that we have a strong focus on individual evangelism in our workplace or work. And while Tim Keller affirms the importance of sharing Christ with others, he blows open that box and shows us how being a Christian ought to reach further into every aspect of our work (and lives). This book takes classic Christian teaching about work and vocation and brings it to the contemporary reader who likely has neve ...more
Paul Mullen
Mar 06, 2016 Paul Mullen rated it liked it
Shelves: faith-vocation
Generally, I'll ready anything Timothy Keller writes. He's a graduate of my alma mater! ;-)

But I thought that what Keller writes here was somewhat obvious on the face of things. If you're struggling with whether your work matters, this book will help to shape a Biblically sound reaffirmation that almost all work is God-honoring.

But beyond the basics of work is good, don't cheat on your financial statements, don't take unfair advantage of others, and don't sleep with your co-worker, I worry that
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Luke Brown
Feb 12, 2013 Luke Brown rated it it was amazing
I have read several books on vocation - on integrating faith and work - and this is one of the good ones. I like it that Keller looks at work and vocation from different theological viewpoints. Even though he is Reformed, he also presents Luther's viewpoint in an accurate way. This is such an interesting and important topic and one I think people are hungry to know more about. How do we put our faith into practice? Does what we do for an hour on Sunday morning touch what we do the rest of the we ...more
Brent Jones
Jan 19, 2016 Brent Jones rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2016, library
I really respect and admire Tim Keller and line up with him a lot theologically, but I started reading this book because a buddy and I were both in the midst of some transition vocationally and we'd been asking questions about the subtitle to the book. And Keller was spot on, driving home how all work is worthy, so who are we to question where God has us. The first couple chapters, along all of Part 3 were deeply challenging and convicting for me. If you feel like work is meaningless, or you dre ...more
Todd Miles
Jan 20, 2015 Todd Miles rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Books on a Christian view of work are very popular right now. This is probably the best that I have read, and it is no surprise that it comes from the able pen of Tim Keller. The Biblical theology is top shelf. I would expect nothing less. What sets this book apart is the innovative ideas for the local church. It is one thing to talk rightly about the gospel. Once that is done, we need to think about faithful implications of the gospel. Keller and Alsdorf do that.
Danny Yang
Jun 07, 2013 Danny Yang rated it liked it
"It is possible to imagine you are 'serving the community' because what you do is popular—at least for a time. However, you may no longer be serving the community—you may be using it for the way its approval makes you feel. But if you do your work so well that by God's grace it helps others who can never thank you, or it helps those who come after you to do it better, then you know you are 'serving the work,' and truly loving your neighbor."
Brian
Jul 06, 2015 Brian rated it it was amazing
I came about this book in an unconventional way. I saw it recommended by a notoriously aggressive person in the Financial Services industry. By virtue of the fact that this character was touting it as a must read, I was curious.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. As a professional and a worker it helped me make sense of both in the context of my faith. Work is not designed by the creator to be a drudgery, and the opposite (leisure) should not necessarily be our goal. This notion is completely foreig
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Elizabeth
Feb 13, 2013 Elizabeth rated it liked it
A great resource for anyone curious about a Christian theology of work. Those who have read other works by Keller will find many helpful reminders, but this would also be a great introduction to the gospel as applied to more than individual salvation. Chapter eight in particular is an excellent introduction for anyone curious about the modern/postmodern distinction and how each of us are influenced by these vast trends.
James Bunyan
Oct 21, 2015 James Bunyan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Brilliant, particularly in the first 2 thirds, which are well reasoned, winsomely written and genuinely excite me about work. Especially strong on the idea of Common Grace and how everyone benefits from God giving gifts to all people, on how work is not as fruitful as it should be, on how there is real capacity for good in serving your profession and on how work will show you what you really live for.
If you struggle with the idea that the only really productive thing for a Christian to do is wor
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Barnabas Piper
Jan 26, 2013 Barnabas Piper rated it it was amazing
Just as Keller's book on marriage was the most beneficial I have read on that subject this book is the best I've read on work. Keller is a master at getting to the root of an issue and not getting distracted by the subsidiary issues. This book is encouraging, thought provoking, and well worth anyone's time who has a job or might want one some day.
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Goodreads Librari...: Add book cover please 3 21 May 01, 2015 06:48AM  
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

Timothy Keller is the founding pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan, which he started in 1989 with his wife, Kathy, and three young sons. For over twenty years he has led a diverse congregation of young professionals that has grown to a weekly attendance of over 5,000.

He is also Chairman of Redeem
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More about Timothy Keller...

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“A job is a vocation only if someone else calls you to do it for them rather than for yourself. And so our work can be a calling only if it is reimagined as a mission of service to something beyond merely our own interests. Thinking of work mainly as a means of self-fulfillment and self-realization slowly crushes a person.” 18 likes
“Everyone will be forgotten, nothing we do will make any difference, and all good endeavours, even the best, will come to naught.

Unless there is God. If the God of the Bible exists, and there is a True Reality beneath and behind this one, and this life is not the only life, then every good endeavour, even the simplest ones, pursued in response to God's calling, can matter forever.”
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