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Multi-ethnic pile of handsBut we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord. 2Corinthians 3:18

God is the Great Orchestrator of our lives. If He has placed you in a position of leadership, it is highly likely that you have been through at least one season of transformation; where He used the trial, affliction and/or tribulation in your life to transform you more into the image of the glory of Jesus Christ.

Most of us look back on these seasons with mixed emotions. We would rather not go through it again, but we are grateful for the work the Holy Spirit accomplished though the tough season. He did not waste our pain.

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28

It encourages us to know that God works all things to the good of those that love Him. He uses our seasons of transformation to make us more like His Son. Incredibly, it doesn’t stop there.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.  For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ.  Now if we are afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effective for enduring the same sufferings which we also suffer. Or if we are comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation.  And our hope for you is steadfast, because we know that as you are partakers of the sufferings, so also you will partake of the consolation. 2Corinthians 1:3-7

God uses our seasons of transformation to equip us as disciple makers, to help others prosper through the trials in their life. As we disciple others, they in turn are prepared to do the same.

Beware: The world will say, “Don’t get involved in your employees’ lives.” This is the way of man, not God. There are no coincidences with His children. We must trust Him if we are to become transformational leaders.

Workplace Ministry Tip: It is an honor to suffer for the kingdom of God. God trusts us to use that season as preparation for helping others. This is true disciple making. To maximize our pain, in our positions of leadership, we much help others become more of the image of the glory of our Lord. It is the gift that keeps on giving.

Let me know how I can help you in this regard; and let me know what you are hearing from the LORD. You can reach me at rob@inlightconsulting.com.

Humbly yours and forever His,

CompassHaving learned that God’s purposes for ministry in the Workplace are about Him, it should come as no surprise that He has His own ways for accomplishing those purposes. If we hope to have His presence and grace in our Workplace Ministry endeavors, we had best do things His way. This lesson explores the ways God has prescribed for participating in His work, maturing Workplace Leaders, establishing His kingdom, and glorifying Himself. Read the rest of this entry »

Doubled chaos by PokornyI have been thinking about Change Theory quite a bit lately. Surprisingly, it has a lot to do with our spiritual state – our relationship with the LORD. I learned Change Theory as an Enterprise Architect. Since beginning this ministry, God has used it to help me understand and communicate the spiritual concepts of transformation and disciple making. I believe He would have me share a part of that theory with you.

As a management philosophy, Change Theory seeks to explain how systems, individuals and groups are motivated and managed from one state to another. In my vocation, that included the implementation of new technology, new technology development processes and new business processes (all in the banking industry). In a more general sense, Change Theory applies to every part of our lives: Adding quality controls in manufacturing, moving to a new town, changing church fellowships, becoming a married person, etc.

It shouldn’t surprise you that Change Theory also applies to our spiritual lives. Read 2Corinthians 3:18 and you will understand what I mean. The normal Christian life is a life filled with change; at least it should be. Moving from one state of “the glory of the Lord” to the next is God’s way for our maturing in Jesus Christ. Read the rest of this entry »

Bible with Cross ShadowOur God is a process oriented problem solver. All of His creation operates in process: From birth to death, from dead in sin to alive in Christ, from glory to glory, etc. Give Him a problem and He will give you a process to solve it. The Bible is His story – the grand process that He is orchestrating to get back what was lost to Him and mankind in the Garden of Eden.

Most of the major topics of Scripture are process oriented. We are to continue and grow in some of them (e.g., faith, hope and love). Others are processes that God uses to mature us (e.g., tribulation, sanctification, transformation, and disciple-making). Even our salvation is a process; not a singular event.

Regrettably, we have become an event-focused people. “If it isn’t happening now, it just isn’t happening” is our motto. “What have you done for me today?” has become our measure.

This degraded perspective has affected our doctrine and our discipline. For example, we are more concerned with the event of a lost soul making a decision than with the processes of sanctification and discipleship. We give more attention to what we can squeeze out of God in 30-minute devotion events than we give to the life He wants to live in and through us every moment of the day.

Recognizing that God operates “in process” will dramatically change our perspective of the way we are to live in Christ. It will impact our relationship with God and with all of His creation. Read the rest of this entry »

CompassIn Starting a Ministry to Marketplace Leaders, I promised to provide the curriculum for discipling the Workplace Ministry Leadership Team. What follows will make more sense if you read that article first.

Now that the lesson outlines have been completed, I can offer you the Curriculum Overview. The lessons will soon follow.  NOTE:  While the following is written with the local church setting in mind, this curriculum is also impactful for ministry leadership development in the workplace and community.

Introduction

God is moving in the Workplace. There are hundreds of Workplace Ministries moving with Him. Regrettably, the vast majority of these are operating outside the local church (e.g., peer-to-peer groups, business chaplains). A few are attempting to minister in the local church setting, but success has been elusive.

It is our conviction that, while the reasons for our lack of success are many, the solution is quite simple. To successfully launch a Workplace Ministry in the local church setting, the local church must establish and maintain a Ministry Leadership Team with the same intentionality it would have for any other ministry. It must provide its leaders with the spiritual and practical tools necessary to be successful.

No serious local church would try to start a Children’s Ministry by purchasing a bunch of Children’s Ministry programs. They would first select and inculcate the leadership team with the church leadership’s vision and mission for Children’s Ministry. Then they would send them to ministry leadership training. The same is true for every ministry in a local church; including the Workplace Ministry.

With this critical success factor in mind (i.e., preparing the Workplace Ministry Leadership Team), we offer the following curriculum. As you will discover, this curriculum (and any follow-up coaching we provide) is based on a very simple premise: Whenever possible, establish and maintain the Ministry with God’s purposes at the forefront, in the way God prescribes, and with God’s power. Read the rest of this entry »

CompassIf the Lord has encouraged you to start a ministry to the Marketplace Leaders in your fellowship, workplace or community, then the following letter is for you. It was sent to Felipe Bernal, a business owner and leader of Marketplace Ministry at his church in Bogota, Colombia. Felipe is using The Map Maker to encourage, edify and equip the church staff and a core group of business leaders in disciple making and community transformation.

My hope is that you will use the following to explore, with God, the plan He has for you to lead leaders into a great adventure. I can assure you that the end of the journey is joyful, Spirit-filled ministry. Please let me know if you desire my help; and please allow me a few clarifying points before you begin the letter:

  1. Marketplace Ministry is more than ministry in the business arena. The Marketplace is defined as the place where people work;
  2. Leaders in the Marketplace include everyone that has a sphere of influence: From School Superintendents to Teachers, from Business Owners to Frontline Managers, from Sheriffs to Deputies, etc.
  3. There are a number of different approaches to Marketplace Ministry. Let the Lord lead you to the right one; let me know if I can help.

Now for the letter.

Read the rest of this entry »

iStock_000014731095SmallLet’s say you are a draftsman, and an aspiring architect. Let’s say an established and highly respected architect asks you to join his team; that he has seen your work and would like to train you to take over his firm. Without hesitation, you drop what you are doing and follow him; for this is your heart’s desire.

Time goes by. You spend three and one-half years with him, being made into the architect that he desire you to be. Then the day arrives for his retirement. With the authority vested in him as the owner of said firm, he commissions you to carry on his good work; work that he has promised will be greater than anything you have seen to date. What do you do next?

Do you go back to being a draftsman? Do you limit yourself to drawing preliminary or conceptual plans? Do you start creating paintings of buildings?

Do you do anything but the work he has trained, and commissioned, you to do?

Do you settle for less because it’s easier being something less than an architect?

To some, these questions will seem silly; even a waste of time. I wish they were. I wish they were not relevant to our current situation. I wish the Western church had not settled for less. I wish we knew what it meant to be fishers of men; and were about doing the business to which we had been commissioned.

Regrettably, we (leaders of the Western church) have altered the definitions to make being a disciple easier on everyone.
Read the rest of this entry »

205790488_b590fe6fc4_m.jpgGod is interested in every aspect of our lives. Consequently, planning God’s way includes the spiritual, personal/family and vocation portions of our lives. This is sometimes called whole life planning, or balanced life planning.

Furthermore, for Kingdom people, planning God’s way must be done in the context of His ultimate purposes. These are the restoration of His reign, habitation and intimacy with His children. This is all review to make the following point.

As we look back on the accomplishments and disappointments of 2014, it is important to review what has happened in the same holistic way that we planned. It would be easy to focus on one area or another. The squeaky wheel gets the grease, as they say.

For many of us, failure and disappointment tend to get an inordinate amount of our attention. If we are not intentional, we may miss what God has done and the opportunity to praise Him for it. We may become trapped in regret and sorrow, failing to see how God has positioned us for the future.

God works all things to the good of those that love Him, to those that are called to His purpose. The activities of our past, and God’s involvement in them, help us discern the path He desires for the coming season. Even when He is doing an entirely new thing, our perspective of the past can either blind us to the possibilities of the future, or encourage, edify and equip us for the adventure of a new year.

Marketplace Ministry Tip: I hope and pray that you consider all that God has allowed in your life in 2014 – the good and the bad; and that you will consider it in the context of His eternal purposes for your whole life, and for those in your spheres of influence. Be intentional to involve God and others in your review. He speaks in community.

Humbly yours and forever His,

 

The LORD's FoundationThe church in America is in a mess. I don’t mean to judge. I am not qualified. But I know I am not the only one that feels this way. It’s very frustrating. Honestly, I feel like a victim. However, having been positioned by God to lead (some), I have stronger feelings about my responsibility to be His instrument for transformation.

Admittedly, the church in America is doing a lot of good things: Establishing houses of prayer; addressing slave trafficking; writing great books; creating wonderful videos; running effective ministries and churches; etc. It is easy to hold these things up as evidence of health and growth. For those walking in God’s good works, I am sure joyful, Spirit-filled ministry is a regular experience.

So why am I, and many I know, frustrated and concerned about the health of the church in America? The Scriptures are clear that few will find the narrow way, and few of those will enter in. Few of the few; how many is that? How many in my spheres of influence will endure to the end? How many will fall away? What am I to do for those whom I have been given some responsibility; that they would strive to enter through the narrow gate  (Luke 13:24)? Read the rest of this entry »

Old Watch MechanismThose that find the will of God in good works walk in the empowering grace of God – the supernatural power and resources of the kingdom of heaven. They experience the God glorifying work of Matthew 5:16; and the “more than” works of John 14:12. In good works, the signs and wonders of the kingdom bear witness to the gospel of His grace (Acts 14:3).

This is the normal Christian life; for every child of God, and for those called to lead them. It is a tragedy that so many have chosen to settle for less. The purpose of this series is to encourage, edify and equip Marketplace Leaders (and those in their spheres of influence) to search out, discover and walk in such an adventure.

In Part 1, we learned that the “good” of good works is far more important that the “works” themselves. In Part 2, we began searching out the Scriptures that describe good works and the challenges we face in our attempts to walk in them. Here in Part 3, we will conclude with an exploration of God’s provision, our preparation, and His ultimate intention for good works.

God’s Provision for Good Works

Have you ever considered that Jesus could have died, been buried and rose again in less than a week? That is all the time it would have taken for Him to accomplish what many believe to be His only mission. So why was He about the Father’s business for more than three years? It is simple: Because death, burial and resurrection was not His only mission. Read the rest of this entry »

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