The Gift of Work


I heard a sermon this morning called “Jesus & Your Job” by Nancy Ortberg of Menlo Park Presbyterian Church.

This is a wonderful example of a powerful message delivered in a powerful way. It contains an excellent description of what makes good leaders and how to derive the maximum value from one’s work. I doubt that you can spend twenty minutes in much better ways than listening to or watching this sermon.

By |2015-03-17T09:40:49+00:00March 4th, 2007|Categories: Management, Pitching and Presenting|63 Comments

About the Author:

Guy Kawasaki is the chief evangelist of Canva, an online graphic design tool. Formerly, he was an advisor to the Motorola business unit of Google and chief evangelist of Apple. He is also the author of The Art of Social Media, The Art of the Start, APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur, Enchantment, and nine other books. Kawasaki has a BA from Stanford University and an MBA from UCLA as well as an honorary doctorate from Babson College.


  1. Ryan March 5, 2007 at 12:40 am - Reply

    Thanks for pointing to this, Guy. If you like this talk, you’d probably also like the book Devotional Ventures. It’s a book written by business people for business people about the intersection of faith and work.
    I’m sure you’ll appreciate it’s list of contributors as well.
    Devotional Ventures is available on Amazon (and everywhere else).
    You should consider contributing a piece yourself!
    (Nancy Ortberg was also an advisor for this book project)

  2. Luke March 5, 2007 at 4:30 am - Reply

    Sorry, Guy, but I listened for 2 minutes and shut off. Not that she isn’t a gifted speaker, or lacked ethos, and not that the connection you’re making is a bad one, but religion and spiritualism is personal to me — and, I imagine, most others — and being a non-christian I couldn’t help feel a bit offended that this was posted. Perhaps I am overly sensitive, or perhaps I feel like a line was crossed which shouldn’t be. Just wanted to let you know how at least one of your readers felt.
    You should listen beyond the first two mintues when she gets past the scripture. Trust me.

  3. Trey Tomeny March 5, 2007 at 6:01 am - Reply

    Thanks for the link, Guy. It was a wonderful reminder that the best business practices are completely compatible with God’s design for us.

  4. Brian Mullins March 5, 2007 at 6:02 am - Reply

    I’ve been living/working in the DR for two years now, and needed that shot in the arm. I have been renovating my opinions on faith and life and I’m encouraged by a sermon that isn’t much like a… sermon.
    PS For what it’s worth, you have plenty of material for non-religious people, but you won’t hear me complaining! Wisdom comes from many sources.

  5. Joe Fusco March 5, 2007 at 6:12 am - Reply

    Thank you, Guy.
    Full of truth.

  6. Eva Lang March 5, 2007 at 6:57 am - Reply

    What a wonderful sermon filled with valuable leadership lessons. I plan to share this with folks at my company. I look forward to going back to this site to listen to Nancy’s other sermons. Thank you for posting this and giving me a great start to my week.

  7. Albert Francis March 5, 2007 at 7:36 am - Reply

    Why would I want to waste 20 minutes of my life listening to fictious doctrines invented over 2000 years ago? It’s time to grow up and get over it: There is no santa claus, there is no monster under you bed, and no, there is no God!
    Your time is much better spent listening to this:

    No one is forcing you to read my blog.

  8. Marc Duchesne March 5, 2007 at 7:54 am - Reply

    Hello Guy,
    Thank you for the heads up. So many things to be said on that very subject…
    The one thing which come up to my mind right now is this (how stupid, from a guy – me -who pretends to be an entrepreneur and a manager): maybe we’ve all lost it. Faith. The World is going crazy. All over the Planet, employees are just ID numbers in the corporate’ database. For the sake of the modern goddess : money.
    Perhaps the combat against Global Warming will help us to do a Global Reset : for the first time since centuries, we have to act for the sake of the future generations. That is a religious attitude.
    ps : have you noticed that such a topic raise few comments compared to, say, everything “Apple” (your iPhone post : 16 comments to date, vs. 6 for this one)…

  9. Marc Duchesne March 5, 2007 at 8:03 am - Reply

    to Albert :
    > Why would I want to waste 20 minutes of my life listening to fictious doctrines invented over 2000 years ago?
    Because it’s always good to listen to what other people have to say.
    > Your time is much better spent listening to this:

    Why would I want to waste 20 minutes of my life listening to fictious doctrines invented a couple of years ago ?
    Sans rancunes,

  10. Marc Duchesne March 5, 2007 at 8:36 am - Reply

    Ooops ! I shall never run in multi-tasking mode when posting a comment on Guy Kawasaki’s blog. Please read “For the sake of the modern goddess : money, and her sales rep : the stock market.”

  11. Joe Suh March 5, 2007 at 9:20 am - Reply

    Awesome sermon and outlook on work. Looking at work as meaningful redemption, a nobility in serving, an opp to improve oneself and the world… good reminders regardless of religion.
    Great way to start the week…
    The River Church in San Jose did a very similar series recently. Even used the same clip from Office Space 🙂
    Another good resource on this topic is a book by Pat Gelsinger, former CTO of Intel.

  12. FiberGeneration March 5, 2007 at 9:33 am - Reply

    Thanks God, it’s Monday !

    Sometimes, there is no better way to kick-off the week than to receive a kick in the… you name it. Thanks to Guy Kawasaki, who posted the link on his blog yesterday Sunday, this sermon called “Jesus Your Job” by

  13. Kevin Schiess March 5, 2007 at 9:36 am - Reply

    Thanks for this post! Good for you for not being afraid of sharing some of what has made you successful. People will always have an opinion on religion but I am a firm believer that it should not be left out of conversation and business. On that note, I am posting a link to an excellent PODcast. I hope that you enjoy it. Copy and paste this into your browser.
    It is only 5 minutes long.

  14. aaron March 5, 2007 at 9:56 am - Reply

    as a recovering ex-religious type, I listened to this with some trepidation. (christianeese gives me hives)
    To Guy’s credit – he nailed it. The universal truths are about leadership and the value of work. (christianity is just their particular api)
    I don’t have to agree with all of christianity to appreciate universal truths presented. Challenge yourself and listen for the wisdom beyond the framework of the faith.
    (zen baptist)

  15. Andrea Baker March 5, 2007 at 10:21 am - Reply

    Thank you. It was great to listen to and really energized my day.

  16. Benson March 5, 2007 at 10:54 am - Reply

    If you’re having trouble finding the sermon on the site, here is a direct link:

  17. Don Ettore March 5, 2007 at 11:45 am - Reply

    Thanks for posting the link from Jeff Benedict. As Marc pointed out, it will be interesting to get another perspective.
    Guy – Thanks for the post. We all need to be reminded periodically that there work can be a blessing, even if the job isn’t.

  18. Leslie March 5, 2007 at 11:56 am - Reply

    Kudos on The Gift of Work post. We can attest to the fact that there are plenty of busines professionals whose need to stay spiritually focused doesn’t stop at the office door.
    Thanks for your continued support of In the Company of Prayer ( Our inclusion in your “BlogScratching” has lead many readers to us for such simple, daily reminders.
    Thanks and many prayers,

  19. Bil Corry March 5, 2007 at 12:09 pm - Reply

    It appears they have pulled the video offline. It is now only available for purchase.

  20. Marcin March 5, 2007 at 12:42 pm - Reply

    For some reason the sermon is not available as mp3 now. Any advice? M

  21. dmain March 5, 2007 at 12:46 pm - Reply

    Yes, I wish they would have been willing to continue giving this great sermon away. I think it would have been a very powerful testamony.

  22. Elsbeth March 5, 2007 at 12:57 pm - Reply

    Cool and dandy but you have to pay for it ! very church like don’t you think?

  23. Brian Mullins March 5, 2007 at 1:09 pm - Reply

    I’d be interested in knowing how many hits they had on their site today, thanks to you, Guy. Probably crashed their server!

  24. Decio March 5, 2007 at 1:20 pm - Reply

    After the “digg effect” and words as *slashdotted* and *farked*: their site was “Guy’d”.
    I hope to see the video back online in few days.

  25. Epic Living March 5, 2007 at 1:30 pm - Reply

    What Work Could Be

    Found this post (The Gift of Work) today from Guy Kawasaki. The link he provides is wonderful. Whether you’re a follower of Christ or something else, you’ll gain tremendous insight from Nancy Ortberg. I appreciated, especially, her references to creating

  26. Russ N. March 5, 2007 at 1:37 pm - Reply

    Thanks for taking the risk in sharing this today. (I listened to the entire message and did hear her talk about venture capitalists…)
    Great way to start the week and has challenged me in several areas as I head to work tomorrow.

  27. courtney March 5, 2007 at 2:14 pm - Reply

    I need to know about Jesus and my job. Guy, please use your influence to convince them that Jesus can reach us through this medium. Please make the video available for free, for the love of the sweet baby Jesus.

  28. Alister Cameron, Blog Coach March 5, 2007 at 2:59 pm - Reply

    Thanks for this guy.
    I think you’ve overloaded their server!
    I am amazed at the prickly reaction of some to your post here.
    You can talk about anything you like but the minute you talk about something faith-related there are some who want to accuse you of all kinds of nonsense.
    Proves there’s gotta be something in it!!
    BTW, if you want (what I think is) a brilliant example of faith-meets-marketplace-of-ideas blogging, then maybe take a look at Bill is prolific as all get-out, and a compelling apologist.
    Disclaimer: I’m his blog coach.
    – Alister

  29. dave March 5, 2007 at 4:40 pm - Reply

    wow, this is *exactly* what’s wrong with internet blogging and soi-disant social commentary and journalism…as a non-christian i was not actually offended by the mention of jesus at all (though clever to hide it from your blog title guy! that would have pissed off way more people)…what upsets me is that most days you are writing on topic, and then you go off the deep end with a spiritual agenda of some kind….
    please, stick to the subjects and themes that are relevant to your readership and spare us the “i know what’s best for you in all vicissitudes of life” thing…in return, i won’t tell you to how to take of your family and all of that…
    Did you watch the video?

  30. Adam March 5, 2007 at 5:14 pm - Reply

    Guy, thanks. People often forget that for Christians our faith is an integral part of our lives. I can see how this sermon touched you and how you can relate it to what you do.
    This is a subject that I have been thinking about a lot lately. I thought her point of job satisfaction was very interesting. I don’t know many people who are satisfied with their jobs, which is sad.
    Keep up the good work and always be willing to discuss how your faith interacts with your day job.

  31. Owen March 5, 2007 at 7:03 pm - Reply

    Looks like to save bandwidth the site removed the link.
    I also tried this URL that was posted, and they took the main files down as well:
    Anyone have a cached version they could post to YouTube or another place we could get this? It is very possible I am blind and missed where else to get it.

  32. Bert Decker March 5, 2007 at 11:19 pm - Reply

    Way to go Guy! And you just illustrated another great way to use video.

  33. Marc Duchesne March 6, 2007 at 12:41 am - Reply

    To Dave : You wrote : ” please, stick to the subjects and themes that are relevant to your readership “. You may want to take a look at the name of Guy’s blog : ” How to Change the World “. Changing the World also go through considering important / critical issues from a spiritual perspective – which include religion(s), no matter the religion per se (for instance, I believe in The Force 😉
    However, the sermon subject of this thread can be heard/watched/read at different levels. For instance, you can listen to it as a great marketing pitch. Which is one of the core topics of Guy’s blog, right ?

  34. Brian Yamabe March 6, 2007 at 2:29 am - Reply

    I’m waiting for the “sermon” to come back online, so I’m commenting in the dark, but from the previous comments I felt I needed to respond. If the points you take away from a sermon are on leadership and marketing then the sermon is an utter failure. Christianity is not about “rules for better living” or “how to live so you won’t go to hell” and it’s certainly not about marketing or leadership. It’s about our corruption/sin and the Savior’s death at the cross.
    I’m sure that offended almost everyone and others are thinking that this is not appropriate for a non-religious blog, but that’s what you get when you mix God’s word and the culture; Confusion and misunderstanding of the purpose and meaning of Christianity. It is true from Genesis that work is a gift from God (Adams job was to name the animals), but a good sermon is unlikely make it to a blog primarily about marketing and leadership.

  35. Paul Ding March 6, 2007 at 4:58 am - Reply

    Christianity is not about “rules for better living” or “how to live so you won’t go to hell” and it’s certainly not about marketing or leadership. It’s about our corruption/sin and the Savior’s death at the cross.

    You’re confused, sir. Christianity is about following Christ. And what did Jesus do? He followed the Commandments. God is still speaking and the message hasn’t changed, no matter how much hate-filled fundamentalists try to pervert it.

    It is true from Genesis that work is a gift from God

    Genesis is, like much of the bible, a history – it’s descriptive, not prescriptive. God’s gave us work in Exodus 20:9 and Deuteronomy 5:13: the ten commandments.
    God is the only one allowed to define sin, and he did it in the commandments. The rest of the Bible was written by man, not God.
    Inspired by God? Sure, but all books are. The rest of the bible is like the IRS manual or the Joy of Cooking: if you violate the rules, you may end up with a frozen bank account or a fallen merangue, but not eternal damnation.
    Jesus marketed God. We should, too.

  36. Sam Nguyen March 6, 2007 at 3:19 pm - Reply

    Great link, Guy! As I move into a position of more leadership in my company, those principles are going to come in handy.
    I really love what she said about faith at work being more than lunchtime Bible studies and evangelizing co-workers. I grew up thinking that was the full expression of faith + work.
    As recent college graduate, I have been fortunate to find a job with a company that helps people think about how to integrate Biblical values into their whole lives, especially in business. Check us out at

  37. GerardM March 6, 2007 at 3:52 pm - Reply

    Religion may be a hot button issue for some, for me it is a big turn off. If there is a God, why is it that people can not agree to what he said, to what book it is that provides the “Truth”. Why are there so many THE truths?
    Really religion, is like adverts, you are only interested when you are buying.
    Did you watch the video?

  38. Fredrik Pettersson March 6, 2007 at 6:38 pm - Reply

    That was great.

  39. Peggy Andrews March 6, 2007 at 7:58 pm - Reply

    Guy –
    Thanks for posting this. My husband and I listened together and were both encouraged – what a great message. I like her point that “meaning” is something we create for ourselves and others in our work. More on that here:

  40. March 6, 2007 at 8:38 pm - Reply

    Jesus and your job

    Ive mirrored the sermon here to share the load (bandwidth load) Guy Kawasaki (formerly the Mac evangelist, now a Top 50 Technorati blogger and venture capitalist) recommended a sermon this past weekend on his blog that usually sticks to …

  41. Kevin March 6, 2007 at 9:34 pm - Reply

    Guy – Thanks for posting this, and I agree 100% with what Nancy is saying. It’s always a great reminder that as Christians are not called to lead, but to serve. I was lucky enough to work for the first 6 years of my career for someone like the doctor that she talks about…he knew the entire company by name and made sure to thank them for their hard work. As I’m guessing you have 1001 books that you are recommended, consider this 1002. If you haven’t read it already, you should read “In the Name of Jesus” by Henri Nouwen. Henri tends to be a less well known author, but his books hit home hard. It’s an easy read, can be done in a day…or a sitting if you want an afternoon at your local favorite coffee shop. I’ve committed to read it at least one per year becuase it keeps me honest. I think the big thought of the book is fighting the desire to be relevant in the eye of the world, and to instead focus on serving others. He talks about how in today’s world, leaders are supposed to lead, servants are supposed to server, and how we make sure to not get the two mixed up.
    Anyway thanks for this. I needed it, as I just today had a situation where I could have been more encouraging.

  42. Vincent Wright March 6, 2007 at 10:33 pm - Reply

    Sharing good things is how to change the world for the good. So, I applaud you for having the strength to share such good material on such a volatile subject.
    Detractors may say what they will but, I say, “Thank you!”
    “Job well done, good and faithful servant.”

  43. dave March 7, 2007 at 9:02 am - Reply

    okay marc, good point, the title of the blog sort of justifies the posting…
    so how about simple accomodation: add a category for “religious/spiritual” (or a tag) so that posts might be easily sorted that way…?

  44. College Marketing 4.0 March 7, 2007 at 1:46 pm - Reply

    Somebody Please Build a Christian Sermon Digg

    Ok, so this would be tough, and definitely a not-for-profit type venture, but I would love to see a type site for Christian sermons/blogs. This idea started from a post by Guy Kawasaki, on the sermon ‘Jesus and your

  45. Wes March 7, 2007 at 2:43 pm - Reply

    Nice one Guy! I applaud you for this post. I continue to search for my voice and purpose as a leader, and this sermon reaffirmed things that I know, and enables me to go even deeper in such a simple way. Thanks for sharing.

  46. Steve March 7, 2007 at 7:08 pm - Reply

    The Value of Work#2

    A couple of weeks ago, I posted a comment about the Value of Work. To my surprise, it has become the most popular post on my blog to date, despite the fact or perhaps because of the fact that it contains no original content on my part….

  47. Yorkali March 7, 2007 at 10:05 pm - Reply

    It’s obvious this will be one of your most commented on posts Guy. Although there is a remnant that was a wee bit put off by the “spiritual api” be heartened that the many, including your’s truly, THOROUGHLY enjoyed this sermon and immediately zipped it off like Christmas joy to my contact list.

  48. Gideon Strauss March 8, 2007 at 5:48 am - Reply

    Brian Yamabe writes “that’s what you get when you mix God’s word and the culture; Confusion and misunderstanding of the purpose and meaning of Christianity.” I must gently disagree: since culture in this sense probably means “everything human beings do,” there is no separating it from the deepest beliefs of human beings – what Christians believe cannot somehow be separated from the rest of their lives. If Christians believe “God’s word,” they are kind of obliged to consider its significance for all areas of their lives, including work, including in particular business, and including even more particularly, marketing. The best we can hope for is that Christians try and communicate the connections they see between God’s word and the various aspects of culture with a generous spirit, a civil manner, and with the common good of all their neighbours (Christian and non-Christian) in mind. From what I have seen on this blog, Guy Kawasaki embodies such generosity, civility, and public-mindedness.

  49. Ryan March 8, 2007 at 9:35 am - Reply

    Great sermon, Guy – thanks for highlighting her message! It brought to mind the recent movie I just saw – Amazing Grace. The film provides a beautiful portrait of William Wilberforce, who managed to pull off this connection between faith and work to the benefit of his country.

  50. James March 8, 2007 at 11:35 am - Reply

    Speaking on behalf of Menlo Park Presbyterian Church, I wanted to thank all of you for your patience these past couple of days as we re-uploaded the sermon. The issue was not bandwidth (though it is one of our fastest downloaded/viewed sermons ever) but a certain movie clip which would have violated copyright had we continued to host that version of the sermon. The new version of the sermon is legal, and will hopefully continue to create great thoughtfulness, debate, and insightful conversation.

  51. Steve March 8, 2007 at 4:27 pm - Reply

    As a senior manager responsible for 140 employees, I thought the message was truly outstanding. I will be humbled as I try to apply these principles at work.
    I can understand people’s concern over faith as it relates to their relationship with God, but I don’t understand people’s concerns with this message as it relates to our relationships with our fellow men/women. If we truly applied Nancy’s message to our work, we would change the world in a remarkable way.
    Keep changing the world.
    (Your Badger Hockey Buddy)
    Thanks! Glad that you liked it. Some people commented about it before they watched it. This was the root cause of most of the negative comments.

  52. Dave Platter March 8, 2007 at 7:56 pm - Reply

    Thanks for the post, Guy. The video seemed like an inspirational leadership talk. But, perhaps for brevity, she completely overlooked something. That something is more important than being a good leader and communicator at work. That’s because it can twist those values to unfortunate ends.
    That thing she overlooked is of course, ensuring your job is ethically or morally positive.
    In Good to great, the author talks about executives at Philip Morris having a “love affair” with their jobs. Inspiring and supporting one another as they helped manipulate kids and others to become addicted to a deadly habit.
    Great leadership, terrible goals.
    I think it’s important to first make sure your job is indeed valuable, before you feel too good about it.

  53. GerardM March 9, 2007 at 1:39 pm - Reply

    You asked if I had seen the clip. I started watching but the terminology, the code was more foreign to me than French is.
    This language and culture is very foreign, it requires study to understand it and as such it was watching in wonder.
    Did you only watch the first few minutes? Please try watching the whole thing and then judge it.

  54. InsideWork March 9, 2007 at 4:31 pm - Reply

    Jesus & Your Job

    Guy Kawasaki blogged the Menlo Park Presbyterian Church sermon, Jesus & Your Job by Nancy Ortberg, delivered just this past Sunday. The sermon goes right along with the things we like to discuss here at InsideWork.

  55. Leading Questions March 11, 2007 at 7:34 pm - Reply

    Work is the creation of value

    Guy Kawasaki links to a sermon by Nancy Ortberg of the Menlo Park Presbyterian Church on the nature of leadership and work. Go to the MPPC website and look for March 4, Jesus Your Job, by Nancy Ortberg and click

  56. Ed Brenegar March 11, 2007 at 7:50 pm - Reply

    Religion is easy to accept or reject. It is just like politics and allegiance to a sports team. What is difficult is to take the leadership ethic that Nancy Ortberg presents and live it out. This topic would make a good 360 evaluation. Does the leader of your organization know your name and the names of your children? Is he or she a servant who lends dignity to each employee? Do you feel appreciated and appropriately recognized for the work you do? These kind of questions reveal not only the character of the person as a leader, but also whether their religious faith or lack of makes a difference in how they live . I doubt many people are up to this level of scrutiny. However, I suggest, this is what she is pointing us to see.
    Thanks for posting this Guy.

  57. Adam Pearson March 13, 2007 at 11:37 am - Reply

    Guy, thanks for this link. It is so easy to become a curmudgeon at work. I see believers do it all the time, and yet they claim to have joy. Good thoughts to remember. I am linking to the sermon from my blog as well. Thanks again.

  58. pireland March 15, 2007 at 12:53 pm - Reply

    Great post Guy!
    People forget that Jesus was a man who lived and breathed. Whether you believe in his divine nature has little to do with acknowledging the model he portrays of a servant leader. He is the greatest example of a “leader” we have; he lived a life worth imitating.

  59. The Simple Guy... March 17, 2007 at 11:12 am - Reply

    Jesus and your Job

    Work. A “four letter” word for some. The tasks that define who we are for others. But no matter what we do for “work”, for many of us, the “work” we do tends to be the main effort for our lives. If you add it up most of us spend anywhere from 1/3 to 1/…

  60. Easterangel March 20, 2007 at 8:21 am - Reply

    Thanks Guy and thanks to Nancy Ortberg and the Menlo Park Presbyterian Church!
    I’ve been meaning to listen this message for over a week now but just kept it aside for days onwards.
    This message is such a blessing!

  61. serious June 11, 2007 at 1:26 am - Reply

    I must gently disagree: since culture in this sense probably means “everything human beings do,” there is no separating it from the deepest beliefs of human beings – what Christians believe cannot somehow be separated from the rest of their lives. If Christians believe “God’s word,” they are kind of obliged to consider its significance for all areas of their lives, including work, including in particular business, and including even more particularly, marketing.
    Keep up the good work and always be willing to discuss how your faith interacts with your day job.
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  62. Darren July 17, 2007 at 12:40 pm - Reply

    Along these same thoughts, Pastor Francis Chan presents an even more convicting message on this. Check out “A New Attitude Towards Authority, part 3” – the core of the message begins about 12 minutes in. in the media section.

  63. gifts August 11, 2007 at 3:15 am - Reply

    Hi Guy,
    Thanks for the link– although it does appear that it is no longer working (or directing straight to the sermon.)
    I also wanted to thank you for your holistic approach to business and entrepreneurship. What I mean is, that you’re not wanting to dichotomize between who you are, what the world is, and what it is you do and business does. I’m going to start a blog, soon, that talks about the POINT of business – ie, what is business there for? To make money? Or to change the world? The answer, I believe, is to make money TO change the world. The social responsibility of business is not to give to charity… but to stop charities by helping people make money for themselves. THAT’s the point. Charities should become a thing of the past, if we all recognised what business could actually do in this world…
    Well, I’m going off on a tangent. But thanks, once again, for your holistic approach. I personally believe that Christ came to teach us how to change the world (something he called “Kingdom”) and not just how to be better people and avoid hell… I can really appreciate it when people have the guts not to dichotomize between spirituality and business, and the world around us, but to simply be who they are.

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