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

4.29  ·  Rating details ·  9,040 ratings  ·  808 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
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published November 13th 2012 by Viking (first published November 1st 2012)
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Tim There's a decent guide/summary for chapters 3 and 4 here:…more
There's a decent guide/summary for chapters 3 and 4 here:

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Minyoung Lee
Jan 31, 2013 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
Mar 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: leadership
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 (
Kelsey Gould
Apr 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is a game-changer. I started reading it because I had an inkling that my theology on work was lacking, and that inkling was immediately confirmed. "Lacking" was an understatement. I had no idea the good and holy things God has for us in work- *all kinds* of work. Getting to digest and discuss these ideas has changed the way I view the world and my place in it! There is not one person for whom these truths are irrelevant. ...more
Jul 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Great book to get my brain jogging about the proper ways to serve God through my work. Sometimes the obvious ways of bringing Christ to work are talking to people about Jesus, or setting up a Bible study. But this book is not about this. It's about how God designed us for work, and how we are receiving that calling. Am I living out my true calling in my work. In addition we need to view our work through the Gospel worldview and benefit as many people as possible through the work we do. ...more
Philip Hazelip
Jan 08, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Well, this book lived up to the hype. It is fortified with scripture throughout, both achieving and going beyond what I expected from the subtitle “connecting your work to God’s plan for the world.” I would love to read a whole book expounding on solely chapter 10.
I’m certain this is one I will be revisiting.
I read pp. 9–16 (the section on Tolkien's "Leaf by Niggle") on Jan. 22, 2019. It's one of the most encouraging pieces on work I've ever read. For more on "Leaf," see Tom Shippey's J. R. R. Tolkien: Author of the Century (266–77).

Review at Comment.
Katie Gibbs
Jan 19, 2021 rated it it was ok
Positives: asks some good questions, makes some good points - how does the doctrine of common grace impact work? (Ch10) What does it mean to 'work with all your heart as to the Lord, not men?' Kellar is correct that we cannot believe that the only place God is active is the church, creating again the "spiritual estate" of Christian work verses the second-tier Christianity everyone else is engaged in (p68). I think there is a right criticism of how 'narrow' over-intellectualised doctrine creates ...more
Dec 30, 2012 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
Ben Cook
Dec 05, 2020 rated it it was ok
There are some real pros to the way this book conceptualises work.
In particular Keller outlines how our society has fallen into seeing the value of work purely through the lens of status or renumeration, which leads to snobbery and elitism. This is definitely wrong, and a real problem in Conservative evangelical circles.

It also points out excellent implications of the fall to our work, that it will be futile and frustrating, and that without a concept of heaven and eternity, our work is ultimate
Chase Chandler
Jul 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have long been very intimidated of all things Tim Keller, so I put off reading this for as long as possible. Not only did this book completely change my perspectives on Keller (he is quite easy to understand and follow), it mainly reframed how I view work and the role I play in it.

I strongly recommend this book to anyone entering any sort of job as it ties our role as Christians in the workplace together with scripture with masterful arguments.

It may have taken me 2 months to finish, but it
Andrew Wolgemuth
I stalled out in my first attempt to read this book a while back, and I'm glad I gave it another go.

It's classic Keller: down-to-earth and real, bathed in solid theology and biblical perspective, and helpful in real-life. I imagine I'll return to it throughout my life, and I have a list of people I plan to recommend it to.
Jarrett DeLozier
As someone in college ministry, this is THE book I’d recommend to every student. Instead of “Oh the Places You’ll Go,” high school graduates should be given this book. Such a rich, yet accessible, look into the liberating Christian doctrine of vocation.
David West
Aug 25, 2018 rated it liked it
There are many helpful things in this book, but I expected more Biblical exposition. Keller quotes many times from philosphers, authors, thinkers, and leaders both past and present. This is interesting and helps to see how others through time, geography, and differing circumstances have viewed work, but I want to know what Scripture says about work.

I did appreciate Keller's take on common grace. He argues that an unbeliever can be gifted by God (through common grace) in business, the arts, and a
Sarah Dodson
May 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
TK did what he does best: comprehensively addressing a cultural pillar through a sound gospel lens, helping readers "grow legs" for what we believe and how it relates to our actual living... and in this case, working.

My favorite new food for thought piece is the concept of not just serving other people through work, but seeking to "serve the work" itself. I.e. - cultivating a field of work to be more just, more enriching, more beneficial to more people. Basically, going beyond "working to the gl
John Funderburg
Mar 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Why do we work? How should we work? How should we THINK about our work, in light of the Gospel? Keller has a way of putting ideas and concepts down so that they take root. While I didn't find the every page of this book to be rapturously engaging, there are brilliant portions throughout that make the journey very much worthwhile. One of the ideas that I was familiar with, but hit me profoundly through this book, was the concept of Common Grace in our (and others') lives. Keep your eyes open for ...more
Isaac Arnold
May 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
So good. So relevant.

Will be re-reading immediately. Taking time to meditate, study, learn, and implement.
Jun 01, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Splendid. I can't believe how much of this really is just common-sense applying the gospel to vocation, but it just needed someone like Keller to do it well. The book doesn't just fly high in the clouds, but comes down to earth with its plethora of examples. Highly practical. Would recommend to all, especially young adults in popular modern fields like medicine, business, research, etc., though the book addresses other vocations in depth as well, including the arts. ...more
Bogdan Javgurean
May 30, 2021 rated it really liked it
Great for everyone looking to connect their everyday work with the mission of God.
Brian Eshleman
Nov 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: faith, audible
This book was a brilliant mix of biblical exposition, how-to advice, and big picture insights. Though brief and down-to-earth, it is a lens through which one can make sense of the world and not just the world of work. Keller's thoughts on the character of nonbelievers as an expression of God's common grace are particularly helpful in seeking to avoid a judgmental, us versus them attitude in a largely secularized culture. If you are not both challenged and encouraged by this book, I doubt you're ...more
Anthony Locke
Apr 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2011-2013
Every Good Endeavor remains the best book I’ve read so far on vocation and is even better now after reading it back in 2013. Seven years post-college has helped me understand this book more profoundly. I re-read it to prepare for a Sunday School class I’m helping to teach this summer. Perhaps I don’t see as much of the “redeeming the culture” sort of language as others see in this book. I think he’s fair-minded and helps Christians make sense of work as worship but also as a common grace reality ...more
Talia DeBenedictis
Oct 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Great book for a biblical view on faith and work. I think this is essential for especially young people to read to begin to ask themselves hard questions about why they are doing what they are doing. Left me with more questions about my future than answers which to me is a sign of a successfully probing spiritual book. 4 stars because you can probably listen to a few of Tim Keller’s sermons on Faith and Work and get the gist (the book expounds a lot on a few basic important ideas).
Barnabas Piper
Jan 14, 2013 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. ...more
Justin Tapp
Mar 06, 2014 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
David Sarkies
The Theology of Work
15 April 2019

One thing that tends to turn me off pretty quickly is when pastors start talking about work, and how work is supposed to be frustrating and that if we hate our job then we are not alone. Look, that is all well and good, and I am certainly not suggesting that this is not the case, but the thing is that a lot of them usually open their sermon with the phrase ‘I love my job’. Yeah, honestly, you are really going to win a lot of converts, particularly from those who
Martin Beamer
Mar 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book is very, very good. At first, I struggled with the applicability of a book like this because I am a pastor and have been told on numerous occasions I don't work in the 'real world.' However, this book was wonderful. It renewed my love for God by showing a proper theology of work. Work truly is a blessing for our lives. We were made for it.

The most helpful part of the book was found in Part 1, "God's Plan for Work" and Park 3, "The Gospel and Work." Part 1 laid out the beauty of God's d
James Williamson
Mar 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What an excellent and useful book by Tim Keller! Every Good Endeavor abounds with helpful motivation and practical wisdom about how to go about the work assigned to us. The book presents a comprehensive vision of work, from its original creative design, to the effects of corruption and fallen human nature on the institution of work, to the restoration of work's meaning and significance in Christ.

For those raised in a more fundamentalist mindset, you will find the value of work itself as a witnes
Aug 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Starting with the introduction, Tim Keller’s book, “Every Good Endeavor”, captivated and encouraged me on how the Gospel touches not just our work, but every aspect of our lives. His recounting Tolkien’s story “Leaf by Niggle” gave me such a vision of hope for all my work even though in this world it is hindered by sin, frustration, and set-backs.

An elderly woman lived down the street from me and had the most beautiful garden that blessed me every day I walked past it. Then she passed away and
Carl Jenkins
Feb 21, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Really fantastic book to help us reconsider work from a Christian perspective. Keller does well in guiding us through what work was supposed to be, what it is because of sin, and how Christians can approach work in a fallen world.

I'm sure that this book will be more helpful for people not working in ministry, but even as one in ministry it has been helpful for me to consider a number of things addressed in the book. Nine years old now, it seems even more relevant in the 2021 climate filled with
Haley Petcher Bynum
Apr 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I always enjoy Keller's writing, and this book is no exception. Every Good Endeavor is my favorite of Keller's books that I have read so far. I think it's intelligent, accessible, and full of wisdom.

I teach senior English at a Christian school, and I read this while teaching Pride and Prejudice. Keller's book helped me discuss some of the main characters' relationships with work and how people cultivate the world in different ways. I could tell several of them were interested in how they can do
Mike Riddell
Jul 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Probably the best modern work on constructing a theology of ‘vocation’. I think that in this cultural moment for the West (& other cultures) which champions self-actualisation through work and the accumulation of ‘wealth’ (however one might define that); Every Good Endeavour exegetes a Biblical framework which submits work to the overarching purposes of God and the flourishing of others.

This books makes me hungry to hear more stories of people in different vocations, finding common purpose and m
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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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Secrets between siblings, grandparents with grievances, parents with problems. If you're looking for serious drama, check out these new...
19 likes · 3 comments
“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.” 34 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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