The other day I was reading Matthew chapter 14. Right after Jesus hears the news about John the Baptist being killed, we see Him feed the 5000 as well as take a walk on the water. It struck me that, in both of these accounts, Jesus directly involved his followers in the miracle. He invited them into the miraculous. Despite their fears, questions, doubts, abilities, past, resources, or any other perceived hindrances, Jesus offered His followers an opportunity to be part of the amazing work He was doing in the world. And, His invitation was simple. Come. Today I encourage you to read Matthew 14 and ask yourself these simple questions: What is God inviting me to today? What step of obedience can I take in light of this? Who can I share this with?
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.
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?
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.
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)
Check out this article from the Verge Network about faith in the public square. It’s a quick look at a book by Christopher Wright that includes 4 key questions that every marketplace leader should ask. Curious about how you’d answer? See the article at the following page: Four Questions Every Marketplace Leader Should Ask
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.”
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.