“Compassionate achievers challenge the notion that you have to look out for number one in order to be number one.” – Christopher L. Kukk
What is the Theology?
Partnership between the science and the theology behind compassion may be found in how both methods critique commonplace strategies for getting ahead at work, such as ruthlessness, self-interest, and hyper-competitiveness. Surely Christians should seek advancement and success at work. Yet, they do so in a way that embodies (Zech 7:9; Col. 3:12) the compassion demonstrated by the Father (Exod 33:19; Isa 49:15; Ho 11:8 and Son (Matt 9:36; Mark 6:34). Preachers may therefore appeal to this science in partnership with Christian virtues in order to empower Christian workers toward compassionate success.
What to Consider
- How does this research compare to commonplace assumptions about succeeding in the workplace? Does this research support or challenge how you currently seek success in your work?
- How have you seen compassion contribute to success in your work? How have you seen workplace ruthlessness stun the success of you or your colleagues?
- Where might Kukk’s four practices overlap with best practices in pastoral care and counseling?
- How can you begin to implement Kukk’s four compassion practices in your work?
How to go Deeper
- Help your church develop a theology of vocation by preaching and teaching on how theology and science can inform the Christian’s work. Explore questions such as: “How does the Sunday morning connect to Monday-Friday workweek?”
- Train your church staff and volunteers to model practices of compassion in their ministries. How can you create a culture of compassion in your church?
- Ask parishioners to share stories about how they have witnessed the effects of compassion—or a lack thereof—in the workplace.