Day 3 of the Antioch Journey addresses the idea of our primary and secondary calling. Check out this video from Eternity Bible College, which elaborates on our primary vocation (calling), and what it means to put God’s character on display through our work … especially by creating, redeeming, and sustaining.
Have you seen the “Trader” video by Brian Mosley from RightNow.org? It introduces a new kind of missionary, a trader, but it’s not what you might be thinking. Check out the video below and see if it challenges some area of your life. Beyond today, beyond the “dream”, and into a life with eternal impact?
Over the years I’ve come to realize that the phrase Business As Missions (BAM) means a lot of things to a lot of people. You are in a conversation and think you’re talking about the same thing, using the same words, when suddenly you realize that’s not the case at all.
So, how do we cut through the fog and find some clarity on what BAM is and what our personal place in the movement is? As I coach people through the process of exploring their calling in the marketplace, I find it helpful to ask 3 simple questions. You can remember them by the acronym BAM … Best, Aim, Motivation.
- What does your BEST look like? Or, put differently, what would need to happen in order for you to give God your best in this area? This question speaks to the issue of preparation. What training, experiences or coaching do you need to be truly fruitful in a marketplace context? Don’t just randomly jump in and expect success. Get ready. 2Timothy 2:15
- What is your AIM? Another way to ask this is “how do you define a win?” At the end of the day, how do you measure fruitful impact? Is your end goal job creation, addressing practical needs or social injustices, sharing the gospel, multiplying disciples, etc. etc.? Knowing what you are shooting for, and periodically evaluating yourself against that, is vitally important. Philippians 3:13-14
- What is your MOTIVATION? People get into BAM for a variety of reasons. For you, is BAM about how to access a “closed” country? Are you attracted to BAM as an alternative to traditional faith support models for financing? Are you seeking significance by serving the Great Commission through your occupation? There are numerous reasons, and many combinations as well, but one’s inner motivation will ultimately play itself out in the choices you make and approaches you take. 2Corinthians 5:14-15
These questions, although not exhaustive in nature, can serve as a great starting point as you begin the process of discerning your calling in the marketplace. Do you want to dig deeper? How can we help you?
I recently read a devotional from WorkLife.org that reminded me of the value of an integrated lifestyle instead of just creating more margin in our lives. Have a look below, and listen for what God has to say to you personally.
“Jesus Christ…is lord of all.” (Acts 10:36)
Whether we’re in the marketplace or not, many of us are desperately seeking to balance our lives. We’re conflicted between the different obligations and priorities in our lives, and there never seems to be enough time to get it all done. The often less demanding compartments characterized by love (family life, spiritual life) compete with the more demanding work life compartment. Trying to keep all the balls in the air, we’re in a constant state of fatigue. We’re running in overdrive.
Sensing that our work is infringing too heavily on our personal and spiritual obligations, we’re looking for ways to free up more time to “do more important stuff.” I think all of us in the marketplace have felt at one point or another that our jobs have gotten in the way of things we really value, from attending Johnny’s soccer game to serving in a church ministry to deepening relationships with friends and neighbors.
Indeed, many of us would do well to find a different allocation of our limited time. We need to make sure our lives are balanced—that we’re committing the proper amount of time to each aspect of our lives in which God has called us to serve. But balance alone isn’t enough. A balanced life can still be very compartmentalized.
We also need to make sure our lives are integrated—that we’re thinking of and practicing each aspect of our lives, whether at home, church, or work, as a ministry of serving others to the glory of God. In fact, the key to redeeming more of our time is to integrate, so that all spheres of our life move in the same direction, glorify the same God, and operate under the same values.
Of course, there’s no trade-off between balance and integration. Balance without integration leaves us compartmentalized, while integration without balance leaves us without a sense of priority. We need both.
I came across a devotional by Os Hillman in his “Today God Is First” series, and I thought it was worth passing along here. It speaks to the role the church and marketplace play, together, in transforming our communities. Enjoy.
“While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was greatly distressed to see that the city was full of idols. So he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and the God-fearing Greeks, as well as in the marketplace day by day with those who happened to be there” (Acts 17:16-18).
In order to transform a city or nation, it must take place in two areas; the marketplace and the local church. Paul was burdened for Athens when he saw all of the idols in his city. So, he began a strategy to win back his city by preaching in both the synagogue to the religious leaders and Jews and also in the marketplace every day.
The Old Testament records reveal that even at the time of the temple construction it was clear that foundations must be built through the marketplace and the synagogue. “He erected the pillars in the front of the temple, one to the south and one to the north. The one to the south he named Jakin and the one to the north Boaz” (Chron 3:15-17). Jakin was a priest of the Lord that represented the spiritual foundation of the Church. Boaz represented the strength of the marketplace and its role to have impact on the society through workplace ministers, or kings.
God is moving today in cities across the world through collaborative coalitions made up of priests, kings and intercessors. This is a city transformation trinity that the Holy Spirit is forming to rid our cities of idols and to restore the spiritual foundations.
When we begin to equip and release those in the workplace to fulfill their godly roles in business, government, media, arts/entertainment, and education we will begin to see the idols in our cities removed. Pray that God raises up Godly workplace leaders who will lead with a biblical worldview.