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The church once owned the concept of servant leadership. When I say owned, I mean the church defined and demonstrated what it meant to be a servant leader. Throughout its history, the church transformed societies by leading as servants. We are now witnessing a reversal of this trend.

For its part, the world has done what the world does. As it has with so many Christian concepts, it has pirated and twisted the meaning and application of servant leadership. Make no mistake about it, the world’s definition and demonstration differ greatly from that of the Bible.

The purpose of this article is not to prove that point, but I will offer one example. In the kingdom of God, the ultimate leader genuinely humbled Himself unto death (Philippians 2:8). He subsequently commanded His followers to do the same (John 20:21). In the world, all things are ultimately motivated and constrained by the potential for greater profit.

The contrast between the world’s ways and those of God’s kingdom should not surprise us. Jesus came to establish a kingdom contrary to the world in every way. He is building His church as a counter-culture (i.e., not sub-culture) to the kingdoms of this world. Jesus Christ’s church is His catalyst for transformation.

So, what has happened to us?

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The kingdom of heaven is like a mighty river that flows through our lives – the Kingdom River. There are people that visit the river on special occasions to temporarily enjoy its beauty and refreshing water. There are others that regularly go down to the river – bringing along their ski, pontoon, or fishing boat (and the occasional friend) for the various forms of entertainment these devices and the river might provide to them.

Some people enjoy the Kingdom River so much, they have built houses on its banks. As folks back home say, “they have a ‘place’ on the river.” They go to the river almost every weekend – to get away from the hustle and bustle of the world. Some of them even live in yachts and houseboats, floating right on top of the mighty river.

None of these people are river people. Most of them don’t even know that river people exist. Those who know a little something about the river people consider them quite odd and, if they will admit it, scary. Like the mysterious water people Elwin Ransom encountered in Perelandra, the true river people live in – AND BREATHE!! – the Kingdom River.

The river people are very much unlike everyone else. They do not have roots on land. They do not visit the mighty river on special occasions, or for regular entertainment. For them, the river is not a place to get away from the world.

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Bible with Cross ShadowThe sayings of Jesus challenge our subjection to His reign. Are we wholly His bondservants? Are we willing to obey regardless of the discomfort and cost? Are there ever excuses for ignoring His instructions?

The fact that self-professed Christians are divorcing at the same rate as the world suggests something is wrong in the church. Clearly, she has not been up to the challenge of this saying:

Furthermore it has been said, “Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.” But I say to you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery. Matthew 5:31-32

I lean heavily toward literal interpretation of the Scriptures when I am searching out a matter. I believe it is much more preferable to allow the word of God to shatter my paradigms, than to force His word into my way of thinking. Twisting the truth to fit my situation is a risk I am not willing to take.

Consequently, I believe this passage to be one of the most compromised in all of the Holy Bible; and, just to be clear, I mean compromised in the church.

At the risk of sounding harsh, most divorce in the church happens because the children of God do not seriously consider this passage before and during their marriage. Many do not believe going in, during, or in deciding to get out, that the consequences of divorce are so severe. How severe? Read the rest of this entry »

bulb-in-handGood sound business practice does not always work well when applied to life. As businesses grow and become more dynamic and complicated, it is good practice to establish departments with specialized responsibilities and dedicated resources. Regrettably, most people try to apply this principle to their lives, only to find it is not God’s way.

God did not intend for us to live compartmentalized lives, where work, family, ministry, etc. are separated slices of a pie (or pieces of a puzzle). Life just doesn’t work that way. It is too dynamic to operate like a business.

Compartments lead to compromise. When work and family are separated, one of them will suffer; and we know which one generally loses. Proactive integration creates a synergy that empowers them both. Keep in mind that practice is preceded by desire and intention.

The same is true with work and ministry. Jesus does not divide Himself to fit into the separate compartments of our life. He must have it all to fill it all. Integrating ministry into the workplace may be difficult and frightening. However, it is God’ desire to own the whole pie and operate in every piece.

Workplace Ministry Tip: Ask the LORD to show you His desires and plans for the integration of your life. How might your family participate in your work (e.g., prayer for meetings)? How does your work support your family – beyond your paycheck? How would God use you as salt and light in the workplace? Lay hold of these desires, and share them with others in your spheres of influence. Look for the blessings of the Lord as He de-compartmentalizes your life.

Contact me, at rob@inlightconsulting.com, if I can be of assistance.

Humbly yours and His forever,

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