01 Feb 2002
Church on Sunday, Work on MondayTopics:
Church on Sunday, Work on Monday: The Challenge of Fusing Christian
Values with Business Life, Laura Nash and Scotty McLennan
explore the gap that exists between Christian ideals and the realities
of business life at a time when many are searching for guidance
in dealing with the impact of the marketplace on people's
lives. The authors believe there are deep differences of worldview
and language that need to be addressed before church and business
professionals can truly communicate on this problem. "The
church could be one of the strongest resources we have for leading
a balanced and effective business life," they write in the
book's preface. "In most cases, it is not."
In their analysis of this separation between spirituality and
work, Nash, a senior research fellow at HBS, and McLennan, a Unitarian
Universalist minister and former senior lecturer at HBS who is
now dean for religious life at Stanford University, have developed
several new frameworks to help businesspeople and clergy actively
draw on their religious faith to address management problems.
"Our goal is not to convince the church that it should be
the handmaiden of business - in fact, we argue for less,
rather than more, engagement of the institutional church in economics,"
note Nash and McLennan. "But we do argue that the church
should help businesspeople develop a process for personally engaging
their faith in the management arena."
The book is based on confidential interviews with middle and upper-level
managers and with clergy and laypeople from a variety of Christian
denominations; case studies of relevant programs for businesspeople;
a survey of seminarians; a review of existing literature on executive
spiritual development; and material from
one of Nash's previous books, Believers in Business,
which focused on the experiences of 85 Christian CEOs.
American business has experienced enormous change in the last
few decades, which has led to what Nash
and McLennan term "a kind of spiritual schizophrenia"
that is threatening the ability of many in the workplace to sustain
a strong connection to their own soul and the ethics of their
faith. Church on Sunday, Work on Monday offers a path for
churches and congregations to follow as they work together to
enhance the spiritual fulfillment
of Christians in the business world.
by Laura L. Nash and Scotty McLennan