Faith and Work

What's the Story Behind NIFW's Refreshed Look?


What lies behind a refresh?

For the Nashville Institute for Faith and Work it marked a moment in time for the Institute to double-down on its vision—set in place in January 2015 through our sending church, Christ Presbyterian Church—to equip, connect, and mobilize individuals and organizations to ingegrate their faith into their vocational work.

Our logo, that now features the letters "F" and "W" crossing, symbolizes our desire to help foster the overlap between an individual's Christian faith and their day-to-day work.

Our move to new offsite offices (located off 8th Avenue) symbolizes our desire to both be in and for the city, in an effort to bring flourishing to every corner of Nashville.

Our refreshed website and refined monthly communications systems reflect our desire to equip Nashvillians with a place to be inspired and mobilized to shine light on the dark areas of their vocational spehres.

These enhancements have brought excitement to the NIFW offices, and our team is eager to equip and connect you with others to see the role your work plays in God's unfolding story.

You can expect continued communication from NIFW in your inboxes this fall. The NIFW team is anticipating connecting with many of you at one of our events this fall.

Bono: 'By its very nature art is revelatory'


Last year U2’s renowned frontman Bono sat down with Fuller Studio and Eugene Peterson to unpack his thoughts on the Psalms, Christianity, and art in the 21st century.

After wrapping up the interview with Peterson in his Montana home, Bono traveled back to New York to sit down with Fuller Texas professor David Taylor for an interview on Christianity, the Psalms, and role of the artist today.

Bono goes so far as to say art itself is “revelatory” in nature.

“If the job of the prophet is to describe the state of the soul — the soul of the city — and you really want to know what’s going on outside the AC here that keeps us from the 100 degree heat, then you really need to go look at the art, go look at the graffiti, and go listen to the hip hop coming off the ghetto buses. Some of it is strong stuff, but it’s honest.”

Watch one of the full interviews below or view each of them here:

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Having a Head (and Heart) for the City


What is the end of innovation?

Earlier this year the Nashville Institute for Faith and Work welcomed New City Commons’ Greg Thompson in for our Redemption Through Innovation event at Houston Station in Nashville, Tennessee.

Thompson’s talk focused on themes like social justice, collateral effects of innovation, and how Christians might reengage the city.

“It is my experience,” Thompson said, “that Christians have a heart for for the city but not a head for the city.”

Watch the full excerpt from Greg’s talk below:

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Helping Hands: Using Healthcare to Affirm Dignity in Nashville’s Aging, Special Needs


It started with painting fingernails.

Every two weeks in high school Gretchen Napier showed up to a local nursing home by recommendation from a fellow church member.

“I began to look forward to my visits because I felt so useful,” Napier says. “When I would walk into their room their eyes would light up.”

Napier was awakening to the impact something as seemingly simple as a touch could have on another person’s spirit.

She was playing a role in calling out the dignity (Genesis 1:27) in each of her newfound friends.

“Most nursing home residents are only touched to be cleaned or fed or turned,” Napier says. “So my work of taking off their nail polish, rubbing lotion on their hands and arms, trimming their nails and then painting them, was often the most caring touch they received.”

Holistic patient care, down to the detail of a personal touch, is at the core of how Napier’s faith inspires her work today as CEO and Owner of LifeLinks, an organization in Nashville, Tennessee, and Raleigh, North Carolina, armed with a client-centered approach to caring for older adults and others facing ongoing health challenges.

Napier’s team consists of a handful of passionate registered nurses, psychologists, physical therapists, hospital administrators, and social workers with more than a decade of highly-personalized professional aging life care services.

“Instead of warehousing the elderly and disabled, we are seeking to meet their holistic needs to promote as much quality of life and independence as is safely possible,” Napier says. “We are seeking to reconcile families.”


A Career in care


The passion to serve those with ongoing health challenges first stirred within Napier as a teenager.

Although Vanderbilt University did not offer any classes in gerontology (the study of the aging process) at the time, she was able to use the practicum hours in her Human and Organizational Development degree to tease out the calling with the help of a few local nonprofits — specifically FiftyForward.

After spending a summer in Washington, D.C. working on the House Select Committee on Aging’s Subcommittee for Retirement Income and Housing Napier earned her Master’s in Health Services Administration (MHSA) with a certificate in Gerontology from the University of Alabama-Birmingham.

She transitioned into running independent and assisted living facilities while publishing a resource guide for seniors before being recruited by the LifeLinks team. Napier joined the team in 2009 and became CEO and sole proprietor in 2012.

“Our team is a reflection of the body and the vine,” Napier says. “We all bring different gifts, skills and perspectives to the aid of the client’s we serve.

“The excellence we strive for and love we give to our clients, are given first to us by God.”



Working with broken people, broken families and broken healthcare systems provides lots of opportunity for Napier's team to show God's love, mercy and grace.

Sometimes they are advocating for the often overlooked older adult and others they are helping families build bridges to one another during the difficult final human season.

Isaiah 1 calls to mind the call to advocacy of your neighbor—specifically those in distress—that LifeLinks puts to practice.

“Learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow's cause..” — Isaiah 1:17 (ESV)

While healthcare is traditionally fragmented, with the right hand not knowing what the left hand is doing, Napier and her team serve as a hub for information and communication, simplifying the big picture in ways the family can process, understand and act upon.

But the work is rewarding.

“Healthcare in general is very broken,” Napier says. “It has a difficult time seeing people as complicated individuals with a variety of facets.

“We can’t just treat the body because the mind and spirit have a profound impact on our body.”

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