A recent study out of Northwestern University analyzing the productivity of a large tech firm found that employees sitting within 25 feet of a high performer at work improved an employee's performance by 15%. Conversely, sitting within 25 feet of a low performer decreased performance by 30%. This "positive spillover" translated into an estimated $1 million in additional profits annually. The "toxic spillover" of low performers was significantly more costly. Researchers analyzed more than 58,000 hourly service workers at 11 well-known firms, finding that a "toxic worker's" annual negative financial impact comes to $12,800, far exceeding the financial boost from a superstar.
Our appetites aren't just physical, we know this. We have physical appetites for food, yes, but we also have existential appetites for beauty, friendship, love, wisdom, etc. Perhaps the better word to use is desire. We are creatures of desire. In our culture, not many people talk this way. We just assume we are rational beings. We like to think we do what makes most sense. But if we're truly honest with ourselves, we all too often rationalize harmful desires. Desire overrides the brain. We are driven by our desires. Thus, we overeat, over-drink, overspend, overdose.
Tomorrow, we continue our Tough & Tender series by talking about money. If you're new to Christianity, you might find it odd that we're talking about money in church. Why are we talking about money? Because at Mosaic, we talk about what how the Gospel of Jesus Christ impacts real life, and money dominates real life. Especially in Boston.
A few months ago I made a personal goal to grow in my skills as a preacher. Preaching at Mosaic is about as intimidating as following David Ortiz in the batting order. Pastor Jan consistently knocks it out of the park! I’d taken plenty of preaching classes in seminary, but still felt a lot of room for growth, so naturally the next place I turned for advice was the world of stand-up comedy.
How do you discern God's will for your life? What does God want you to do? What are the specific life goals you should be pursuing?
Augustine famously said, “Love God, and do what you will" (In epistulam Ioannis ad Parthos (Tractatus VII, 8). When love for God is the governing principle of our lives, our desires become aligned with His desires, our will with His. Love for God, leading to obedience and faithfulness, shapes our thoughts, desires, and actions.
We'll be continuing our series, "Tough and Tender" by meditating on the power of words to shape our minds and hearts. We live in a society that breeds soft minds and hard hearts. We've jettisoned truth and in turn, lost love. Might there be a connection between truth and love? When I worked for the government, one of my training courses was called "Winning the Battle for Hearts and Minds." How was the battle waged? With words.
I met Richard Mangone in 2013 when he came to a worship service at Mosaic Boston, back when we were meeting in the Regal Movie Theatre in Fenway. He had just finished his 18 year prison sentence, the longest sentence ever given for white-collar crime in Massachusetts. I was immediately moved by his fervent love for the Lord.
Google the term "humble confidence" and you'll get article upon article, blog upon blog, book upon book, about how developing the paradoxical blend of "humble confidence" is one of the greatest secrets to success in life. Though many can tell you that "humble confidence" is important, many are inept at telling you how to develop it. Life-coaches first start with tips on growing in humility, then give you tips on growing in confidence, and by the end, the lists seem to cancel each other out, and you're back to square one of prideful insecurity. Is it even possible to simultaneously grow in both humility and confidence?
In 2017, Rod Dreher, senior editor at The American Conservative, wrote a book entitled The Benedict Option, A Strategy for Christians in a Post-Christian Nation. In the book, Dreher argues that because Christians have been decentered socially, culturally, politically, we can "no longer live business-as-usual lives in America." Because of the onslaught of cultural hostility and internal decay, Dreher calls for a "strategic withdrawal" of traditional Christians, who need to root themselves more deeply in the historic faith. He argues that "If believers don't come out of Babylon and be separate, sometimes metaphorically, sometimes literally, their faith will not survive for another generation or two in this culture of death." The way forward, according to Dreher, is the way "back" to St. Benedict of Nursia, the early medieval monk who retreated to the forest after Rome's fall.
If you haven't heard, I'm sorry to report, Popeyes is out of their brand new chicken sandwich.
If you have, for some reason, missed it, distracted by things more important than social media chicken wars, here's a quick recap of how we got here. On August 12, Popeyes debuted its new fried chicken sandwich, a slab of crunchy fried chicken breast on brioche with pickles and mayonnaise, which can be either spicy or not.