Working from the Inside Out: A Brief Guide to Inner Work That Transforms Our Outer World, By Jeff Haanen
Working from the Inside Out
  • Length: 160 pages
  • Dimensions: 5.5 × 8.5 in
  • Published: December 12, 2023
  • Imprint: IVP
  • Item Code: A0331
  • ISBN: 9781514003312

*affiliate partner

Many today are experiencing social isolation, deep anxieties about the future, and various difficulties in the workplace. For too many of us, work seems tedious, painful, or meaningless. And we don't know what to do about it.

Working from the Inside Out pulls back the veil on the deep emotional and vocational challenges faced by the majority of workers and shows how work can become a way to love God, serve our neighbors, and demonstrate the gospel to the world. Bringing together emotional, relational, vocational, intellectual, and civic health through the seamless thread of vocation, Jeff Haanen offers a way out of the disintegration of our culture and toward a reintegrated life lived in response to God's voice.

The inner work of transformation leads to external transformation of our relationships and our work, and that good work influences our cities and the culture around us. Living from the inside out can change our work and heal our world.

"Jeff Haanen invites both an elevated imagination and a grounded application of a practical theology for work and the human condition. Whether you are an educator or an executive, the invitation is to renew your mind on work, engage a deep calling, and spend more days fully alive. I wish I had read this twenty years ago!"

Mike Sharrow, CEO of C12 Business Forums

"In this thoughtful, inspiring, and practical book, we are reminded that the perilous Sunday-to-Monday gap is not only about doing work differently but also about becoming a different kind of person. The matter of who we are becoming is of the greatest importance. We love, serve, and lead others in the world out of the overflow of our inner world. For anyone who desires to experience a more seamless life of integral faith in their Monday world, Jeff Haanen is a wise and seasoned guide. Working from the Inside Out is a welcome and needed voice in the broader faith and work movement. I highly recommend it."

Tom Nelson, president of Made to Flourish and author of The Economics of Neighborly Love

"Working from the Inside Out provides a much-needed foundation and framework for the integration of spiritual and cultural renewal. It calls us to a vision of costly discipleship through pursuing spiritual vibrancy, sacrificial relationships, and good work for the betterment of society. This book leaves the reader inspired to live for the kingdom in every square inch of creation. Followers of Jesus—read this book."

Billy Waters, lead pastor of Wellspring Anglican Church

"Jeff Haanen is one of the foremost thought leaders of this generation on the topic of faith and work. In Working from the Inside Out, Jeff provides anecdotal and prescriptive insights that will inspire and move you to action. Jeff's wisdom and perception are profound in helping readers bridge the sacred/secular divide. This book helps you understand how your work can serve as the most valuable tool Christians have to make a difference in the world. However, we must change internally before we can change the external world."

David Stidham, vice president of business affairs and general counsel for The Chosen

"Working from the Inside Out is a book I will recommend to a broad range of people without caveats. It's accessible and profound at the same time, as Jeff Haanen puts flesh on theory, pairing his insights about spiritual formation and our need for wholeness with real-life narratives. It's also theologically astute while keeping a foot on the ground—as Haanen is clear-eyed about the varied realities and challenges that different kinds of workers face. It moved me and reminded me of my own longings for greater wholeness. I'm confident it will do the same for you."

Matt Rusten, executive director of Made to Flourish

"In Jeff Haanen's latest work, the reorienting message of the gospel is placed at the center of what it means to live out one's vocation in daily work. Based on insights from one of the nation's leading thought leaders in the faith and work movement, this book will be a great resource for anyone who wants a flourishing, purpose-driven life."

D. Michael Lindsay, president of Taylor University and author of Hinge Moments: Making the Most of Life's Transitions

"You don't need this book—if you love your job, live a balanced life, can't wait to get up in the morning, and feel content in your relationships with people and God. If not, consider this collection of deep wisdom from an expert in the crucial, but often ignored, intersection of faith and work."

Philip Yancey, author of Fearfully and Wonderfully and Where the Light Fell

"In Working from the Inside Out, Jeff Haanen takes on what takes us on. Navigating who we are becoming as we navigate the complexities of how we work is a unique challenge in the cultural moment where we find ourselves. For followers of Jesus, reckoning with our work offers us the great opportunity to discover our Creator's vision for a healthy relationship with work."

Chris Horst, chief advancement officer at HOPE International and coauthor of Mission Drift

"Jeff Haanen has long been a pacesetter in the faith and work movement, and here he's doing it again. Through a deft mix of theological and personal reflection, he shows that the integration of the gospel and our work first takes place inside us before it makes a difference in the world. His focus on the inward journey, not just activity and productivity, models wisdom for Christians who want to bring together their public and private worlds."

Hunter Beaumont, lead pastor of Fellowship Denver Church

"I can't wait to give this book to some important people in my life! As the title suggests, Jeff Haanen's most valuable contribution is his focus on our inner spiritual life and the promise that a life attuned to the hope, love, and grace of the gospel changes us. Work is a crucible; it forms and shapes us—for better or for worse. Jeff's five guiding principles (seek deep spiritual health, think theologically, embrace relationships, create good work, and serve others), developed and tested during his decade with Denver Institute for Faith & Work, offer a way toward work forming us 'for better.' Read with friends; take this journey together."

Katherine Leary Alsdorf, founding director of Redeemer Presbyterian Church's Center for Faith and Work

Read an Excerpt


Part I: Disintegration
1. Fragmented Lives, Fractured Culture
2. From the Inside Out

Part II: Reintegration
3. Seek Deep Spiritual Health
4. Think Theologically
5. Embrace Relationships
6. Create Good Work
7. Serve Others Sacrificially

Part III: Change
8. How to Change
9. Translating Your Convictions
10. A Life of Love



You May Also Like

Jeff Haanen

Jeff Haanen is a writer and entrepreneur. He founded Denver Institute for Faith and Work, a community of conveners, teachers, and learners offering experiences and educational resources on the gospel, work, and community renewal. He writes on faith, finance, work, business, and culture. Jeff writes for Christianity Today and Comment magazine, and is the author of An Uncommon Guide to Retirement: Finding God's Purpose for the Next Season of Life