Ever wonder how ordinary people, using ordinary resources, can have an extraordinary impact for God’s Kingdom? That’s the heart behind Zume (Greek word for leaven), a new disciple making / training movement that launched February 14th. To learn more, go to their website at www.zumeproject.com and also check out the video below. Zume will change your life, and the world.
What if we all started to view time as a precious commodity, something to be carefully stewarded and wisely managed? What difference would it make for God’s Kingdom if His people recognized that every second … matters? Watch this video.
While watching some videos from the 2015 Finishing The Task conference (a meeting focused on how we can take the Gospel to the remaining unreached people groups of the world), I was struck by what Francis Chan shared at the start of his talk. It was a confession of sorts, and in it I heard my own voice as well. Listen to this clip, and ask God to reveal to you what attitudes or actions might need to change in your life.
Not long ago a friend shared with me about the “spiritual economy”. He phrased it this way: “There’s a kind of spiritual or heavenly economy involved in this. It’s like we are breathing in, from God, receiving from Him and then obeying, internalizing what He has given us, making sure we embrace it. We make it part of who we are, then we exhale to the world around us, sharing what we have received. The idea is — receive, obey, then share, which is very tied to the dual accountability of obedience and teaching others to obey which help us know it even better, as it goes from head to heart and hands. Whatever we get, we give away. It’s just the opposite of the world — which tries to keep what they get and charge others to give it to them.
So — We are blessed so we can bless. The question is — who, then, should we bless ?
First and foremost, God has placed us in relationship with many people.
We are responsible to steward these relationships.
He will hold us accountable for these relationships.
How can we be a blessing to them?
What can we do to empower them to take the next step in their faith journey with God?”
He summed it up very well, and I agree. Check out the video below, where Curtis Sergeant shares some similar thinking.
I recently read a blog post from worklife.org about working wholeheartedly, and one paragraph in particular really struck me. I keep playing the words over in my mind:
Godly success involves a partnership between you and God. Success in God’s economy means achieving the purpose for which God made you. That purpose can never be discovered without seeking Him with a whole heart. You may achieve great things without seeking God, but you will never achieve the things God set out for you to achieve unless you seek Him. If you do not seek Him, you may find yourself one day climbing to the top of the ladder only to find it leaning against the wrong wall.
As I reflected on those words, God brought to mind Matthew 6:33, where Jesus said “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” So much easier to read, than to do.
When I first started the journey to connect my faith and work, I was at a conference and heard a talk by Ruth Siemens. Ruth had started a tentmaker organization called Global Opportunities (www.globalopps.org), and had authored several papers and books.
One paper that Ruth had written was about workplace evangelism and how to fish out seekers. I still vividly remember her comparison of a fisherman’s strategy to that of a hunter-gatherer! Some things may have changed since the article was first penned in 1997, but you will still find many of the principles both relevant and important. The full article is about 25 pages long, but I think it’s well worth the read. It might spark some new ways of thinking for you, just as it did for me those many years ago.
As we seek to integrate our faith and work in a way that advances the Great Commission, the task can feel overwhelming at times. Do you ever experience the fear of failure? As you seek to become more intentional about your prayers and conversations in the arena God has placed you, I hope you are encouraged by this video from Curtis Sergeant.
It’s interesting how the term “bottom line” has evolved over the years. At first, it simply referred to the financial profitability, the final total or account balance. But, it’s also come to be used to mean the ultimate outcome or end result. Whether as a performance measure or a summary goal, the term itself has grown as well. With the rise of corporate social responsibility, people started talking about a “triple bottom line”, which included people, profit, and planet (the social, economic and environmental measures of a company’s success). This has now expanded to a “quadruple” bottom line: people, profit, planet and purpose.
In the business as mission community, I usually hear the quadruple bottom line described as the way our work positively impacts society, provides fair wages and economic opportunities for growth, stewards God’s creation, and addresses the underlying spiritual condition of the people we serve. On one hand, I really like how this concept of a quadruple bottom line helps us to think more holistically about how the Gospel transforms people and societies, especially among the poorest of the poor and least evangelized of the world. But, there’s something about the term that makes me uncomfortable. You see, in practice, I’ve never met anyone who can perfectly balance all four elements and see real fruit across the board. The desire may be there, but reality sets in and things get difficult. There are competing interests, the outcomes may stand in direct conflict with each other, and sometimes they’re even mutually exclusive. So, while it’s good to keep all four in mind, I find that when the pressure is on usually one of the four wins out. As a business coach, the quadruple bottom line is useful to start a conversation or help people consider areas where they may be neglecting or ignoring what is important to God. And, I really wish they could all be true at the same time. But, I find that ultimately people must decide in advance what one factor really drives them. The bottom line is that there’s really only one bottom line. What’s yours?
Having you been trying to become more serious about being a disciple who makes disciples, but feeling a bit overwhelmed? Well, today is your lucky day! In the video below, Caesar Kalinowski shares six simple ways you can make disciples without adding anything new to your schedule … a great way to change your thinking from additional to intentional.
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?