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Day 03

Secondary Vocations

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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 secondary vocation (calling), the contexts through which we live out our primary calling. How are you doing at keeping the primary and secondary vocations in their proper alignment? Take some time to work through the questions asked in the video, and let God speak to you through the process.

Primary Vocations

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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.

Are You A Trader?

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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?

3 Questions

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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?

God Before Gold

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Someone recently forwarded me an item from Christianity Today titled “Meet the Rio Olympians Who Put God Before Gold”.  The article covered interviews with 2016 Olympic Team USA Christian athletes. I was struck by the variety of people and stories they had, as well as the perspective many of them held even though they were the very best of the best in their professions.  As they speak, let God speak to you too.

 

Shawn Johnson (gymnast) –  even if I won “12 more Olympic gold medals…it’s not my purpose in life, and He will always be my greatest reward.”

Madeline (Maya) DiRado  (swimmer) – “I think God cares about my soul and whether I’m bringing his love and mercy into the world. Can I be a loving, supportive teammate, and can I bless others around me in the same way God has been so generous with me?”

Michelle Carter (track and field) –  “People notice how I am living out my faith. Sometimes it takes me by surprise how much they notice. Even when no one is looking, the way I act is important because it is a reflection of how I walk with Christ.”

Gwen Jorgensen (triathlon) –  “I really think you just have to keep God as your focal point and know that he is always number one. When you do that, it will help you to gain perspective on everything in life—not just endurance sports.”

Jordan Burroughs (wrestling) –  “I’ve been blessed with tremendous gifts, and it’s my job to use those gifts to inspire others. As a man of faith, I take great responsibility in being a good steward of my talent. God has created unique … avenues to allow me to glorify him.”

David Smith (volleyball) –  “It’s been a big thing for me to understand that my joy and my peace do not revolve around my performance or how I do compared to other people. My joy comes from the fact that I am playing a game I love and that He created me to play.”

 

As you reflect on these quotes, check out more from Shawn Johnson in the video below.

Calling = Being ?

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Today I’d like to share with you a blog post from Dr. Bob Snyder with IHS Global. It’s about calling, but also about being. Bob wrote:

At times on my journey with Jesus it has been difficult to discern what God is calling me to do. Actually the call of God is quite simple. Jesus most often expressed it in two words, ‘Follow me’.

“To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.”             1 Peter 2:21 NIV

His desire for me is to be more and more like Him in my inner being and reflect Him in all that I do. Jesus’ call for my life is not about vocation or geography but rather to BE more like Him in absolutely every area of my life.

However, whenever I prioritize DOING for Jesus over BEING like Him, I can find it easy to justify un-Christ-like behavior in the name of DOING good.

The call of Jesus is to be more like Him each day. That must start deep inside of me. (Matthew 5:3-10)

Significance

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One of the places I follow is WorkLife.org. They have a number of resources, including  an email that contains a devotional thought and questions to use in small groups.  I wanted to pass along one recent post they shared relating to significance and calling. Enjoy!

 

“Many of us begin our careers with the goal of achieving success. If we haven’t entered our work as a result of God’s calling, we will eventually face a chasm of deep frustration and emptiness. Success flatters but does not provide a lasting sense of purpose and fulfillment. So often we enter careers with wrong motives – money, prestige, and even pressure from parents or peers. Failing to match our work with our giftedness and calling is like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. If that happens over an extended period, a person crashes.

At this time, many make another mistake. Workplace believers think that beginning a new career in “full-time Christian work” will fill the emptiness they feel. However, this only exacerbates the problem because they are again trying to put another square peg into a round hole. The problem is not whether we should be in “Christian work” or “secular work,” but rather what work is inspired by gifts and calling. If there is one phrase I wish I could remove from the English language it is “full-time Christian work.” If you are a Christian, you are in full-time Christian work, whether you are driving nails or preaching the gospel. The question must be: are you achieving the God-given calling for your life? God has called people into workplaces to fulfill His purposes just as much as He has called people to be pastors or missionaries.

It is time for workplace believers to stop feeling like second-class citizens for being in working jobs. It is time workplace believers stop working toward financial independence so that they can concentrate on their “true spiritual calling.” This is the great deception for those called to the workplace.

Significance comes from fulfilling the God-given purpose for which you were made. Ask Him to confirm this in your own life.”

Restoring All Things

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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.

God’s Work in Me

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Here’s a note I received from one of the Antioch Journey participants after she completed Day 3.  Maybe you can relate to it, or perhaps God will speak to you as you read what she shared:

“Today I am struck by the concept of God’s concern with His workmanship and how this the foundation for the good works of His people. We are, before all, made in the image of God. While we rightly imagine that God desires us to be beautifully industrious, we sometimes forget that HE was the first laborer on earth. The Holy Spirit hovered over the waters, poised to create, long before we were given our creative abilities! In Ephesians 2:10, our labor for God sequentially follows His initial work in us. This is the great rhythm of life – to reflect back to God the things He has placed in us and to walk in the ways He has already marked out before us.”

“This truth invites me to rest in God. Even as I take a break from my email to meditate on this challenge, God is working. He is always doing something, forming my heart and hands to be like His. To know what good works are integral to my secondary calling, I must look to God’s initial work in me. This is not an empty ‘naval gazing’ activity, as I have heard it called. Instead, it is looking inward to God’s spiritual workmanship which gives me the ability to look outward to the works He has prepared. One of the most productive things I can do is take good stock of God’s activity in my life.”

“Tomorrow, I have a personal retreat planned. My agenda was to present my calendar and plans before God. I realize that, before doing this, I must spend time looking upward, inward and backward. I must see and worship God, considering how He has been moving in the world and my life. A confident pursuit of works is derived from understanding God’s unique workmanship in my life.”