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CompassAll followers of Jesus Christ eventually recognize that there is a fierce battle being waged for the kingdom of God. It is the responsibility of Leaders in the Workplace to wade into the battle with truth, faith and courage; while encouraging others to do the same. God has promised to go before them, and be their rear guard.

The Scriptures hold great encouragement in regards to the battle preparations that have already been made, as well as the weapons that have been provided for our participation. There is nothing to fear. Those that answer the call to war will discover that David’s Mighty Men are but a shadow of what God has empowered us to be as His Mighty Men, Women and Children.

This lesson explores the Bible’s great encouragements for those engaged in the battle, and God’s way for fighting our enemies. Read the rest of this entry »

Bible with Cross ShadowEvery time a large following would gather around Jesus, He would share something that would drive most of them away (e.g., eat my flesh, drink my blood). Did He do this because He hated large crowds? Did He desire that only a few be saved? Why did He share such difficult things so early in His ministry? Is this a pattern worth imitating?

Based on current church growth programs, the answer is: Apparently not. Not only have we failed to help potential converts count the cost, but we have hidden the cost from them. We will get them in the door, get them committed, and then explain the sacrifice that is required. Sounds like bait-and-switch to me.

Forgive my brutal honesty for a moment: In some streams it has gotten so bad, seeker friendly has become seeker deceptive. The truth of the difficult way is never shared. You know what I mean. You may not believe it happens in your church, but you know it happens somewhere.

Jesus shared the hard truth, because it was the truth. He was not interested in recruiting volunteers that would desert Him when the going got tough. He was – He is – recruiting an army.

He is recruiting you; and those in your spheres of influence. He has not hidden the cost. He has been brutally honest about the way that leads to life. Read the rest of this entry »

I live less than a mile from Dog River. Do you ever wonder what the people who name things are thinking? Rivers aren’t shaped like dogs. Was there a dog in the river? Given the terrain in this part of the county, it could be that coming up the hills from Dog River make you sweat like a dog, and they make you dog tired.

Now, don’t get me wrong. We are not talking about riding in the Colorado Rockies, but for a 54 year old man the hills around here can be quite the challenge. To give you an idea, I can’t ride four miles from my house without having to make at least four substantial (for a 54 year old) climbs. Usually, my 18 to 20 mile rides come with six or eight challenging segments.

I must admit there have been days since I broke my hip when I wished we lived closer to the Silver Comet Trail (built on a train track bed, it is nice and flat). But, that was then, and this is now. Now, my mind has been changed. God gave me an attitude adjustment about those hills, just the other day.

He said, “The hills are not your enemy.” That’s right; that’s what He said. Here’s the rest: Read the rest of this entry »

Military Salute from iStockAs we have said many times, some of the greatest hope for the church can be found in the Marketplace. This is perhaps most true in regards to the issue of sectarianism – one of the greatest blights of the church, all over the world. James Fenimore Cooper said it well in The American Democrat (1838):

“In America the taint of sectarianism lies broad upon the land. Not content with acknowledging the supremacy as the Diety, and with erecting temples in his honor, where all can bow down with reverence, the pride and vanity of human reason enter into and pollute our worship, and the houses that should be of God and for God, alone, where he is to be honored with submissive faith, are too often merely schools of metaphysical and useless distinctions. The nation is sectarian, rather than Christian.”

Wow! Is that a shot across the bow, or what?  Just what is this sectarianism, of which we are being accused?

Sectarianism: Bigotry, discrimination, or hatred arising from attaching importance to perceived differences between subdivisions within a group, such as between different denominations of a religion. http://www.wikepedia.org

Pretty strong language? Too strong? Let see what Paul had to say.

1 And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ. I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able; for you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men? 1Corinthians 3:1-3

For Paul, sectarianism was carnal – of the flesh. In other words, a sin; even a sin worth including with idolatry, sorcery and murder:

19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. Galatians 5:19-21

“…those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” More strong language; language not easily dismissed.

Why did Paul speak so strongly again sectarianism? Because he knew – he even witnessed, as we do – the damage it can cause. He knew that the enemy would use it to thwart God’s purposes and plans. Paul knew that sectarianism could be deadly. Read the rest of this entry »

Old Watch MechanismNot everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts. Albert Einstein

Have you thought about measurement, lately? Successful companies measure themselves. Without measurement, there would be no controls; without controls, there would be no improvement. Generally speaking, measuring business success factors is a good thing. But let me warn you, measuring is not always good.

  1. When we hold on to measures too long and they no longer match our goals and objectives, our employees and partners will become confused about what’s important.
  2. When we misrepresent our measures to make ourselves and others more comfortable or impressed, we expose a lack of integrity – jeopardizing our company’s viability in the marketplace.
  3. When we over-focus on one area (or measure the wrong thing) to the detriment of others, we lose sight of all that is important and risk becoming imbalanced in our company performance and production.
  4. When our measures become our motivators and we lose what got us in the business in the first place, we risk losing the very life of our company.

This last item is the most damaging and should be avoided at all cost. Like the athlete that pushes too hard for just one more hundredth of a second, pulls a hamstring and misses the big race, companies (and people) can become unhealthy if measures take precedent over the desire to create value in a God honoring way. Vision and mission will always be more powerful motivators than measurements. Let’s use our tools wisely.

Marketplace Ministry Tip: Evaluate the measures you are using for your company, your personal/family life and your spiritual journey. Evaluate the purpose of your measures. Are they to motivate, or measure progress? Make the necessary adjustments. Contact me for more information at rob@inlightconsulting.com.

Your servant and His forever,

Stormy WeatherWhat would you do if you knew a storm was coming? Would you stick your head in the sand? Would you run? Be honest with yourself: What is your tendency when trial and tribulation are clear to see on the horizon?

Now, let me ask you: What do you hope your response will be? Again, be honest with yourself; and write down your answer. Seriously, write it down.

I recently met with a young entrepreneur who has his eye on the horizon – with understanding of the coming storm. It surprised me to learn that he was in the midst of a new business startup. So I asked him, “How do you find the energy and optimism required to build a successful business in these troubling times?” His answer is the inspiration for our next two preemptive responses (you can find the first two in part one of this series).

Preemptive Response #3: Reckon it to be true that nothing in this world can prevent God from accomplishing what He has planned for the one that has surrendered to His purposes. Psalm 37:4 promises that God will give us the desires of our heart, if we are soft toward Him. Job recognized that no purpose of God shall be denied Him (v. 42:2). Romans 8:28 tells us that all things work together for the good of those who love Him and are called to His purpose. Reckoning is a powerful practice. It is accounting what God says is true to be true for us. This is not a positive reinforcement technique. It is more than the power of positive thinking… because the power is not in our thinking, but in the thing we are thinking about: The truth of God.

Preemptive Response #4: Live for eternity like you are dying soon. My young entrepreneur friend is also the father of two young boys. As much as he wants to leave a financial legacy for them, he is much more interested and focused on leaving them a spiritual legacy. He has found more joy and peace in the adventure, by focusing on God’s bigger plan. He has discovered how to have more impact for God’s kingdom by living each day with purpose, as if it were his last. This is a mindset that we must fight to obtain and protect.

Let me know if you are interested in learning more about renewing the mind through reckoning and living out of God’s greater purpose. It would be a blessing to supply you with the resources God has so graciously provided our ministry.

Humbly yours and His forever,

Rob Streetman; President, inLight Consulting, Inc.

Distant RainstormWhat would you do if you knew a storm was coming? Would you stick your head in the sand? Would you run? Be honest with yourself: What is your tendency when trial and tribulation are clear to see on the horizon?

Now, let me ask you: What do you hope your response will be? Again, be honest with yourself; and write down your answer. Seriously, write it down.

Let me suggest two things right off the bat: First, there is more to do than we are doing (the urgent superseding the important); and, second, we have in us the Power to get it done. God is working in us to will and do to His good pleasure. He is the Power Who is capable of exceedingly abundantly more than we can think or imagine.

In this, and my next couple of posts, I want to suggest a few ways God would have us respond. But first, I want us to consider the storm that is coming. You don’t have to be a prophet to know that things are going to get worse before they get better. Only those desiring to be deceived could miss the chaos that now exists in our society; and because it has become a subculture to that society, the church in America is also suffering major chaos. There are statistics to back this up; let me know if you need to see them.

For those of you that prefer to think the best about our future, let me suggest that it will not hurt to hope for the best, but plan for the worst. This is, in fact, good and accepted business practice. Billions of dollars are spent annually on contingency planning. Read the rest of this entry »

Adult Youth GalaxyIn Return to Glory in 2014, I asked the questions: How do we, the church of Jesus Christ, become the glory again? How does the church in America become the light it was intended to be? What must we do for the glory to return?

My Answer: Our greatest hope for the return of God’s glory to the church in America is the hope that God will move on the hearts of men and women in the Marketplace; to encourage, edify and equip them to discover His ways, and to do them.

I truly believe this is God’s word for the church in America – particularly for Marketplace Leaders; and I hope and pray that God has moved on your heart to discover His ways; and that He has given you the courage and grace to do His work, His way. This is the greatest hope for the church in America. However, there is more to the answer. I (unintentionally) left something out. Let me explain.

Read the rest of this entry »

When this country was first founded, some in the church believed it to be the New Promised Land. They soon discovered that it was a wilderness – a place of exploration, challenge and training in the ways of God. By His grace, many remained true to the call of God – to make disciples, as transformation agents of their true King. And this country became, for a time, a light on a hill.

These believers, in the world but not of the world, participated in the creation of a government – “We the people… ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” Why? Because they were led “to form a more perfect Union”. It is important to note here that, based on the history we have, they never confused their earthly government with the kingdom of their God – the One True King.

Furthermore, they realized – as we must – that this government was not intended to replace God’s government on this earth. God’s government on this earth is a kingdom, reigned over by a King – the Son of God. However, and this is important, the government of the United States was created by God for the people of God. It was to be His hedge of protection for the work He had determined they should walk in.

Later, on November 19, 1863, this government was prophetically characterized, by the 16th President of the United States, as “… that government of the people, by the people, for the people…” Why not “of God, by God, for God”? Because it had become something else; something had subtly – and dangerously – changed. The poison of the independent spirit had begun to take effect.

Not coincidentally, the church in America grew tired of God’s wilderness experience and provision. They looked around, saw the life offered in Egypt, and began longing to return there; and Satan was ready – he is ever ready – to deceive God’s people.

Now we can see, looking back from the 21st century, that the church in America, confusing the government of America for the “Promised Land”, got turned around (to put it lightly), and began the slow march back to Egypt. The consequences have been astounding (let me know if you care to see the statistics; but I warn you, they are disheartening). What is clear to the naked eye is that something has gone wrong – very wrong.

The hedge God established for the church in America has now become her god.

Read the rest of this entry »

Christian leaders in the Marketplace have lost their identity. Don’t believe me? When was the last time you saw the royal priesthood in action? How about a temple of God being, well, a temple of God? Smelled the aroma of Christ lately? Where are the “greater than” works that Christ promised for those who believe?

We have been deceived about our identity in God’s story. Like the man in James epistle, we have forgotten who we are. This is particularly important for Marketplace Leaders, for without a true sense of identity, we are additionally deceived about our authority and influence. Consequently, we are inadequately prepared to lead the implementation of God’s plans in the Marketplace.

Sadly, most Christians have allowed the world to define their identity. From well-intentioned parents, teachers and pastors, to mean-spirited oppressors, controllers and bullies, we have heard and accepted an identity that is much lower than our Creator intends. Of course, Satan is behind much of this. He is conspiring with our carnal nature, suggesting that we settle for less.

Finding and keeping our identity is one of the most challenging and critical battles we will face. Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy had no idea of their importance in the battle for Narnia until they discovered that they were the kings and queens. Like them, it is time we discovered who we are – not for ourselves, but for God’s glory and the advancement of His kingdom in the Marketplace. His plan is dependent on our participation in the full identity and influence we have been given.

Marketplace Ministry Tip: Ask yourself, “From whom am I drawing my identity?” Set aside (at least for a moment) the titles and positions this world has given you. Now, recognizing that you are a citizen of another kingdom, ask your King to identify you. Search the Bible for the common and special identities given to the children of the King (e.g., disciple, bondservant, ambassador, king, priest, teacher, and evangelist). Consider their meaning in relation to your leadership in the Marketplace. Surrender to the Lord making you the Marketplace Leader He intends. For help, check out Identity and Influence.

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