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Day 17

Spiritual Leadership

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One of the best books on leadership, especially how faith and work intersect, is “Spiritual Leadership: Moving People on to God’s Agenda” by Henry & Richard Blackaby. The book shares truths applicable to both business and church leaders alike. One common thread is the difference between vision and revelation, and which one should drive our thinking and action.  For example, here are three quotes:

“There is a significant difference between revelation and vision. Vision is something people produce; revelation is something people receive.”

“The world functions by vision; God’s people live by revelation.”

“Every time leaders choose to develop their own vision for their people instead of seeking God’s will, they are giving their people their best thinking instead of God’s. That is a poor exchange indeed.”

Which of these represents how you tend to view your work?  Which way is closer to how you do “strategic planning”?  Anything you need to change?

 

 

Crucial Conversations

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As part of a new approach to discipleship my church is embracing, we’ve been reading through a book by Dan Grider called “Crucial Conversations: Bridging the Awkward Spiritual Gap”.  On the back cover, the author explains how this book gives you the tools to bridge the awkward chasm and initiate conversations crucial to helping people take an initial step of faith.  Jesus initiated vibrant, crucial conversations with a broad range of people who thought differently than He did. (In the book) we study how He did it to help you engage in honest, open, crucial conversations without awkwardness. The Father will use these new skills you master to transform the relationships in your life (and the world around you).

I am enjoying the blend of theory (rethinking traditional church paradigms and ideas of “evangelism”) and practical help (through the use of simple illustrations, tips and sample questions) which leads to deeper dialogue with people God has placed in your life. If you ever struggle with how to get beyond superficial chitchat without turning the conversation into a sermon,  you should give this one a read.

 

 

 

Share It

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In today’s blog, I wanted to share a post from the folks over at ScatterGlobal.com. It’s an article about how to share your faith at work, and it references an excerpt from Traeger & Gilbert’s book about the Gospel at Work.  Read on:

 

If you’re not being intentional here, how can you be intentional there? 

I think we’ve all heard this statement when it comes to evangelism in our daily lives and looking to make disciples in another part of the world. We think it is safe to say that we can all improve in the area of being “intentional” to share the gospel where we honestly, spend most of our time: work.

But what does that mean? And how do we share the gospel without creating awkward exchanges and forcing the message?

The Gospel Coalition shares an article by Sebastian Traeger and Greg Gilbert from their book, The Gospel at Work: How Working for King Jesus Gives Purpose and Meaning to Our LivesThis article gives you 5 practical suggestions to help you share the gospel at work.

Read the full excerpt by clicking the link to the full article below. 

https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/how-to-share-your-faith-at-work/

 

 

Coming To A Point

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Lately I’ve been reading a book titled “That Hideous Strength” by C.S. Lewis. In it you’ll find the following conversation between a husband and a wife:

“Have you ever noticed,” said Dimble,” that the universe, and every little bit of the universe, is always hardening and narrowing and coming to a point?”
His wife waited as those wait who know by long experience the mental processes of the person who is talking to them.
“I mean this,” said Dimble, answering the question she had not asked. “If you dip into any college, or school, or parish, or family—anything you like—at a given point in its history, you always find that there was a time before that point when there was more elbow room and contrasts weren’t quite so sharp; and that there’s going to be a time after that point when there is even less room for indecision and choices are even more momentous. Good is always getting better and bad is always getting worse: the possibilities of even apparent neutrality are always diminishing.”

Although penned in 1945, I think these words still ring so very true today.  In light of our present world and the urgency of the Gospel, what might this say to us about our role as marketplace Christians?

 

 

Run In Such A Way

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Nehemiah

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I asked a long time BAM practitioner in Southeast Asia what lessons he had learned over the years. He said that Nehemiah has always served as a great example that he tries to pattern his work after. Nehemiah held a position outside of the religious hierarchy, but was motivated by his faith and sensitive to God’s leading. He learned of a need, then dropped to his knees. He prayed and planned. He assessed the situation and acted in practical ways. He persevered through adversity, and God’s presence was ultimately manifested once again because of what Nehemiah accomplished.  As I reflected on what he shared, I wondered how many of us are like Nehemiah, and are we seeking out other Nehemiah’s around us?

Faith

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I was reading through a You Version Bible devotional and encountered this entry on Faith. May reading this impact yours.

“The Lord expects his people to trust in him at all times. How clearly this is seen in the record of his earthly life. Faith to him was “natural” and he marveled at unbelief. He expects the royal official to trust his word as he walks the lonely road back to Capernaum (John 4:50). Even in the face of death he looks for faith. So he says to Martha, “He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?“ (John 11:25,26). The burden of his prayer for Peter is that his “faith may not fail” (Luke 22:32).

The nature of faith makes trust in the Lord a possibility at all times. For faith is not feeling, or sight, or mere human understanding. Faith is the helpless cast upon the Mighty, the weak leaning upon the Strong (S of S. 8:5). It is the obedience of those “called to belong to Jesus Christ” (Rom. 1:5-6), the confession of “Jesus as Lord” (Ps. 10:9).

Trusting the Lord at all times is not a cold, indifferent exercise but the pouring out of the heart before him.”

Just A Florist

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As I watched the video below from Right Now Media, I wondered how many people feel like she does. Everyday folks who say to themselves, “I’m just a ______ .”  I bet millions do.

What if we were to look at our work as God’s place for us to live, breathe, and speak the Gospel? To make the Kingdom come alive in that place? What if we were placed there to be more than “just a florist”, but rather as God’s instrument of grace and redemption? It might take boldness, intentionality, creativity, mercy, patience, or other gifts ….  but it could change the world.

The Builder

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What if God gave you a platform from which millions might listen to you?  What would you say?  How would you talk about God? In the video below, actor and comedian Tim Allen talks to ABC’s 20/20, about his past and about his relationship with “The Builder”?  What would you say if you were in his shoes? ( …. what you’d really say, not what you think you should or might say, but what you’d really say.)

The Killer Angels

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I’m currently going through Michael Shaara’s book The Killer Angels, an engaging account of the United States Civil War Battle of Gettysburg from the point of view of several commanding officers.  As the book’s foreword describes, Shaara’s one goal above all others was to leave something behind, something to be remembered for.  Unfortunately, the book had only a lukewarm reception, and even after winning the 1975 Pulitzer Price for Fiction it simply didn’t sell. This was a crushing disappointment for him, and Shaara died in 1988 believing he had failed.  But you have to hear the rest of the story.  In 1993 the movie Gettysburg was released, which was based on his book.  The momentum from the movie propelled The Killer Angels to the top of the New York Times Best Seller List, and it is regarded by many as the finest Civil War novel ever written.

As I reflected on this, it made me think how similar this is to our everyday reality. We long to leave a legacy of significance, to do something great for ourselves or for God’s Kingdom. But often, we don’t see the fruit we expected, or things don’t turn out anything like what we had hoped for. We feel like failures. If only we could read the last chapter, because the story isn’t over. God is not finished yet. Our part is to be faithful in obedience, and the outcome is up to Him. The next time you start feeling the discouragement Michael Shaara experienced, remember Galatians 6:9  …. “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.”