The Lord has certainly done an amazing and unimaginable work in this organization. For those of us who have had front row seats over the years, we struggle to find the words to describe the journey. In an attempt to do so, however, we produced a short documentary several years ago that chronicles a bit of the history. If you haven’t seen it yet, I highly recommend taking 18 minutes to do so. (click here)
God has indeed given us an amazing story, and we have been privileged to share it with countless people over the past several years. From workshops in Dallas, to Kingdom Business Conferences in Europe, to one-on-one fellowship with other business owners from all over the country, our platform has continued to expand.
As joyful as it is to watch God inspire others through this story, it isn’t uncommon to witness some become frozen with regard to next-steps. Yes, inspiration is an amazing emotion that sparks wonderful seasons in the journey of a believer, but inspiration alone will not bring about lasting fruit. We must ACT on that inspiration, and advance to some other place, or the inspiration will simply evaporate and be as though it never was.
The purpose of this blog isn’t as much to help you discover HOW to do business as it is to help you discover WHY to do business. If you don’t deeply understand WHY, you won’t uncover the appropriate HOW. Furthermore, when you DO uncover a deep understanding of WHY, we believe that the HOW will fall into place. Kingdom fruit flows more from an accurate identity and an abiding relationship with Jesus than any initiatives we can put our energy into.
WHAT DOES THAT MEAN FOR ME?
From a young age, we’re taught to put our nose to the grindstone and grit it out. In the marketplace especially, we are paid to PRODUCE! Time is money…. Get out there and make it happen! While hard work is noble and biblical, I think it warrants pointing out that in the Kingdom, Jesus called us to be bearers NOT producers. If we are to live fruitful lives in the Kingdom, we MUST develop a deep understanding of this concept. Jesus gives us this picture to help illustrate, “I am the vine and you are the branches. Abide in me and I will abide in you, and streams of living water will flow from you… but apart from me you can do nothing.”
Whether you hold an entry level position or you’re the CEO of a Fortune 100 company, let me be very frank…YOU ARE NOT A VINE in the Kingdom!!! As much as you might think you are or pretend you are, you’re just fooling yourself. Some of us, especially owners and executives, look at ourselves as Atlas… holding up our little world. Not only do we see ourselves in this way, but often others encourage it as well. I think back to the Israelites who demanded a King! Sometimes people look to other people to be their provider and to give them hope of a future. If you have fallen into this trap, then I encourage you to find your way out of it! You are playing a role that you were not built to play.
In the Kingdom, there is one vine dresser, the Father, and one vine, the Son. Everyone else who desires to operate in the Kingdom must assume the role of branch. EVERYONE!!! I’m not bringing this up to humble you, though there might be some who need to be. I’m pointing this out to release you. Stop pretending to be Atlas. Lay that little world at the feet of Jesus, and relax a little. Spend the next season of your life diving into the difference between PRODUCING and BEARING. Both will require work and perseverance. For some silly reason, to simply “abide” has been one of the most challenging things in life I’ve set my mind to do. I want to build! I got this! To wait and trust and yield and be pruned and be patient is at times painful on many levels, but it’s right…and it’s the only way…and it’s in this place that we find more than we could ask or imagine! With that, if you are feeling a tug at your heart to seek greater purpose in your day-to-day life, here are a few ideas for how to move forward.
NOW WHAT DO I DO?
1. Just Take the Next Step
Our journey began the same way. It has been painful and ugly at times. We’ve gone left when we should have gone right. There have been many moments we just wanted to throw in the towel. But, praise be to God, we kept coming back. Sometimes you don’t have much more vision than what can be done TODAY. God is a provider of daily bread. Remember, if you try to gather too much bread at one time the excess will spoil. Just focus on what you need to do today. Seek Him and He will lead you. Make a renewed decision to SURRENDER your life to His leadership and lordship. Choose to SUBMIT yourself to Him in every way! If this is new to you, we would love to walk with you in this process. Amazing journeys are full of small, at times seemingly insignificant steps. Commit to being okay with this. Just get up and start walking! Fall more in love with HIM than in what He wants you to DO. Find peace, much like Jesus did when He was asleep in the back of the boat. The stakes were high, the storm was daunting, and the people were freaking out, but He chose to rest in the sovereignty and sufficiency of His Father.
2. Read Some Good Books
There are many books out there that have been written on this subject. I could list several, but the four that immediately come to mind are:
- Holy Ambition by Chip Ingram. This book will challenge you to seek a holy purpose for living and will spur you to dream great dreams. It is very inspirational, and was instrumental in setting a new course in my personal journey.
- Convergence by Brett Johnson. Convergence is the season when seemingly separate life-threads are woven together for your ultimate purpose. At this juncture in your life, you can have cause to say: “Yes! This is me; this is what my life is for.” Convergence happens when individuals discover their unique blend of Career, Community, Creativity and Call.
- Every Good Endeavor by Tim Keller. This book will help you develop a biblical view of work and how the marketplace can be a great mission field to live out the call of the believer.
- The True Vine by Andrew Murray. Upon becoming a true believer and developing a Holy Ambition, it is our hope to live fruitful lives. Therefore, it is extremely important to gain a deeper understanding of the difference between PRODUCING fruit and BEARING fruit. Again, In HIM we can bear much fruit, but apart from Him we can do nothing!
3. Surround Yourself with Wise Counsel
Find others who you see that have some experience walking this out, and sit at their feet. Surround yourself with Spirit filled, purposeful individuals who desire to live out Jesus’ call to GO… who aren’t content to simply sit on a pew somewhere and wait on rapture! Connecting to these people regularly will provide assistance in developing a plan, and will spur you on to greater works!
4. Research and Utilize Existing Resources and Networks
There are many who are now attempting to make much of Him in the marketplace. You are NOT alone! If you are a business owner or hold a position in senior management, consider networking with others who will help encourage and strengthen you in your Kingdom business journey. One option is the C12 Group. This is a national organization dedicated to help Christian business leaders achieve excellence in the marketplace from an eternal perspective.
Another helpful tool could be for you to attend some conferences with a Kingdom business focus. Two in particular with whom we have experience are the Work as Worship conference, and the Global Leadership Summit. Both of these offer valuable encouragement and practical application.
Additionally, our team is working to develop ongoing opportunities for collaboration across the U.S. and abroad. If you are interested in helping us pioneer these new developments, please contact us and let us know. Other network communities and resources are in existence as well, and more develop each year. Kingdom business has indeed become a large movement!
5. Stay Accountable
Just like any commitment, accountability can help keep us on the path when doubt, distraction and procrastination creep in. Find some close friends or a life coach to confide in, tell them of your plans, and schedule regular checkups to update progress. You might even consider forming a personal Board of Advisors who is willing to lovingly add some critical accountability at this juncture in your life.
6. Dig into This Blog
The Kingdom at Work Blog contains a collection of great testimony, practical ideas, etc. We will continue to attempt to chronicle our journey here. Subscribe for future updates.
7. Reach Out to Us
If you can’t figure out what to do next or feel alone in your walk, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We have senior staff that have carved out time in their schedules for this purpose. If you would like to visit sometime, you can reach us by clicking on the Contact Us link. We would count it a privilege to get to know you.
God’s plans for you will be more than you can imagine. If you can think it…it isn’t big enough! You have been created in His image, and as a believer you carry His spirit with you wherever you go. By His grace and His merit, you are a BIG DEAL! You are royalty. You can do amazing things through Him who has already sent you. Believe this. Seek Him with all your might. Pray for a broken heart and a clear vision. Begin living today like the son or daughter of a King that you are, and prepare to witness amazing things.
To Him be the glory forever and ever!!!