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As Christian leaders it is easy to become overwhelmed with the busyness of life. There’s not enough time in a day to accomplish every task. Not enough space in one lifetime to complete the Great Commission. As a Christian, I often feel overcome by the pressures of trying to reveal Christ’s character to the world on a daily basis. Am I fulfilling my call? And do I balance being truly present in the lives of my family members on a consistent basis? How do I accomplish all of my tasks before the 5pm deadline? These thoughts bombard my mind constantly, increasing my anxiety. Most days, time feels like a commodity that constantly eludes my grasp. Yet in the midst of this calamity, I often hear a still small voice that says, “Be still”. When I am feeling pushed to take more action, join more movements, or pursue more ideals, I hear again the quiet whisper to “Be still”.
I am an extremely busy man. If you’re like me, the concept of balance proves elusive, seeming only to last a week at best. There are always demands on our time, not to mention the requirement to be emotionally present in every area of life. As I have wrestled with this concept of living a balanced life, I must say, with all transparency, that I have begun to rethink my perspective on balance.
I would however like to offer a different perspective on the main goal of marketplace ministry. Could it be that God’s plan is to simply provide irrefutable evidence in the most public spaces of his Sovereignty, which would give every person and system the ability to clearly choose or reject his Lordship?
As marketplace ministers and leaders, we have the distinct privilege of knowing the God of the boardroom. This powerful God knows how to manifest his kingdom in the most unexpected places and seasons. God has never needed our witty ideas, our professional context, or even our schemes that compel men to acknowledge him. All he needs are obedient vessels who are willing to take God outside of the box of religious and traditional limitations that we have placed him in.
Like Moses, we must all assess the various ministry tools at our disposal. Are you a wordsmith, who uses the tools of communication? Perhaps you are an athlete, actor, writer, lawyer, doctor, politician, engineer, or artist. No matter what the tools, when you function in these roles as a way to glorify God, you are a marketplace minister.
Whom or what do you serve? What is the person or thing that has the strongest influence in the decisions of your life? This is a tough introspective question that every Christian must answer, and definitely everyone called to the marketplace. The reality is that this contemplation gets right to the concept of motives. It exposes our heart’s thoughts…
As Christians, we know that the earth and everything in it belongs to the Lord (Psalm 24:1). We confidently understand that God created all things by, through, and for Christ Jesus (Colossians 1:16). These two scriptures alone build the context that we need in order to realize that there is no sacred vs. secular for the believer. God is God in every facet of this earth, and we are to exist as his children in every space of our lives. This includes our work. Under this context, we are able to understand that God will indeed use us, not just in the church, but also in our jobs, our daily work.
God reminded me that Adam and Eve never knew the concept of sacred vs. secular. These premier human beings just existed in perfect harmony before the God that created them. Every action that they took was worship unto their King.
Proverbs 13 states that a good person leaves an inheritance to his children’s children. While this literally focuses on family in the biological sense, I believe that we can also extrapolate general lessons for leadership.
All too often, prayer has been utilized as a time where we drop off our wish list to God and quickly exit stage left. To be clear, we do have the privilege of taking our burdens and requests to our God, who is always attentive to our cry. However, prayer is a dialogue where we talk and listen. Just as we desire God’s ear, God also desires to be heard. The key to hearing God’s voice is to learn how to be an active listener.
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