I was chatting with someone recently about business as mission, when about half way through the conversation something occurred to me. In general, we were talking about the same thing, but our perspective was quite different because of our underlying assumptions. You see, they assumed lives would be impacted spiritually by default because Christians were involved, so they tended to focus on business metrics and performance. On the other hand, I kept asking questions to understand specifically how the Kingdom was advanced through their business because I was taking for granted that the business fundamentals were the “given” part. I know this is an oversimplification, and some will accuse me of sacred vs secular thinking, but these assumptions play out to very different results in practice. And, if you are like me, you’ve probably seen this sort of thing happen in other areas of life. Our underlying assumptions usually put us on a vector towards a certain end. The question is, “is that end really where God wants us to go?” As you think about how God is drawing you towards intentional integration of faith and work, what are your underlying assumptions? How well do your assumptions align with what’s really happening? What is God telling you to pay more attention to, or to be more intentional about?
As the United States was preparing to celebrate Independence Day this year, I was listening to our pastor share from Luke 11:1-13, where Jesus taught His disciples how to pray. Weeks later, I’m still challenged by several statements he made. The pastor’s line of thought was something like this: Your prayer life is an indicator of your dependency on God. Your dependency on God is a primary factor in what God does in your life. Dependency, expressed through prayer and obedience, is a key ingredient in the fruitfulness of true disciples.
Does this challenge you as much as it challenges me? What would the Lord’s Prayer look like if we prayed it with the workplace in mind? How might God use a greater awareness of your dependency on Him to make you more fruitful?
Have you ever thought about the biblical basis of the word ‘economics”, its relationship to responsible stewardship of time, family, and resources, and what that means for you personally? Well, now you can. Check out the video below from Stephen Grabill, part of the Leadership Lecture Series at Biola University.
A friend recently shared with me about how he had engaged in spiritual conversations with college students back when he was working for a public university. God set up the opportunities, and he took advantage of them. But as fruitful as many of those talks were, my friend felt that making disciples was something different. He said, “Since then, I have concluded discipling is serious and deliberate. It seems to be distinct from sharing in a moment. Both we must do. But, discipling seems to be more intimate, local and longer term.” This speaks of intentionality, or purposeful investment, of life-on-life transformation. The opportunities are many, but so are the obstacles we place in the way. Are you ready to be “serious and deliberate” about making disciples among those around you?
Prayer is an essential ingredient in the life of a disciple-making Believer. Are you looking for a practical tool to help strengthen and grow your prayer life? The following “prayer wheel” model will help you pray through a series of five-minute prayers. Try it out, then let us know what you think.
Here’s another tool from the folks over at honorshame.com. It’s called The Culture Test, and it’s a free, 5 minute assessment tool for learning your primary cultural type. Think of it as a personality assessment for your cultural. You might ask, “Why is this important?” Well, it’s widely recognized that an awareness of basic culture types is essential for success in today’s globalized world. And, this is even more true when thinking about how to communicate the Gospel in the most effective, relevant way. The test is simple, can be used with groups, and there’s even a Group Discussion Guide you can download.
Have you wrestled with the question “What are the implications of how I live out my faith at work?” Do you ever think that, without faith, your work might destroy you, bore you, corrupt you, or master you? Pastor Tim Keller address these questions and more in the sermon below. I know it’s a bit long, but grab a cup of coffee, invest half an hour, and see how God speaks to you as Keller encourages us to Redefine Work.
After watching the video associated with Day 9, one participant had this to say: “The video captures an idea that’s time is overdue here. The church needs to go out, as Jesus said. We are an ‘if we build it, they will come’ Christianity. But, we are to go. This idea, ‘going out’ will be the essence of revival in America.”
Wow! This is so very true, and not just for America! Do we really yearn for a revival in the Church today, both around the block and around the world? Are we praying for it? Are we acting towards it? Ask God to show you a practical action you can take that would lead to more ‘going out’, and ultimately a global revival.
Ever wonder why people don’t make disciples? David Platt has an answer that might shock you … and motivate you. Watch this challenging word David delivered at a Verge Conference.
Someone recently shared with me a podcast by Aaron Atwood with Summit Ministries’ Christian Worldview Thinking series (June 11, 2015). In it, Atwood chats with Warren Smith about his book “Restoring All Things”, which was co-authored with John Stonestreet. The book highlights how God is in the “re” business, working to redeem, renew, and restore the world through the faithful acts of everyday people. Clearly God has called us to join Him in His work. He also wants us to remember not to give up. We need to be asking, “What is missing that I can contribute to? What is evil that I can stop ? What is broken that I can restore?” Listen to the podcast (especially from about 24:30 to the end) and let us know what you think.