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Military Salute from iStockWhat do you think when you hear someone say, “He’s a leader in the church”? Do you assume that person is a pastor, elder, deacon, or administrative board chair – someone that has a position of leadership in a local congregation? That’s the way most of us think… and it is wrong.

The church that Jesus Christ is building is not an organization; it is an organism, a body with a head; and that head is Jesus. Wherever two or three are gathered in His name, He is there with them. The church is mobile; and the church is certainly where most followers of Jesus spend most of their waking hours – in the Marketplace.

I realize that this is old news to many of you. God’s most recent move in the Marketplace has been going on for at least 15 years now. There are hundreds, maybe even thousands, of Marketplace Ministries in the United States and around the world. I expect you have been touched by at least one of them.

But there is something about this reality that you may not have considered; something God has encouraged me to share with you: 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 iStockOur Great Commission is to make disciples. It is the way God has given us to join Him in His story – the story of restoration and redemption. It is the main assignment Jesus Christ left us to complete. If we are not making disciples then we are not one.

For most, making disciples in the Marketplace is an intimidating proposition. What if someone gets offended? I might lose a key account if I shared with my clients. That employee that needs to know Jesus might sue my company if I share God’s good news with them. My peers might persecute me; or abandon me. The list goes on and on.

First, let me suggest to you that it shouldn’t matter how hard or uncomfortable it is to share the good news of God’s kingdom. Jesus Christ, our King, has commanded it. We love Him, right? Why wouldn’t we be intentional about following Him in making disciples?

Second, let’s remember that our Heavenly Father loves us. He has not given His children – weak as we are – something that is too hard to do. Would any loving father do that?

It may be that some who call themselves Christian just don’t love Jesus enough to obey His command to make disciples. That may be true (for some), and those folks would be wise to search their hearts for the love that should be there. However, I think most Christians love Jesus Christ and truly want to obey the Great Commission. So, what’s the problem? Read the rest of this entry »

Old Watch MechanismHave you ever thought, “I don’t have time to manage my time?” You are not alone. It is ironic how little time people invest in making sure they are making good use of their time. Worst still, the busier we are, the less time we invest to make sure our busy-ness is worthwhile and profitable. I recognize this is not news; just consider it a reminder that time is the one thing we cannot get back, or produce. If you began the year with a strategic plan, and you are like most business owners and executives, you are already feeling the pressure of falling behind. Perhaps you are reconsidering your aggressive schedule; even thinking of ejecting a few projects that are less likely to impact the bottom line. Before you do that, consider these three time management tactics:

  1. Establish your calendar before the chaos begins – daily, weekly, monthly, etc. If the Lord is your CEO, then lay your calendar out before Him (as an offering). Allow Him to manage your time in His supernatural ways.
  2. Put to-do items on your calendar. Treat them like meetings with important clients. Don’t allow interruptions. Stay focused. You have been given the gift of self-control. Use it.
  3. Don’t let your cell phone manage you. Set your attention towards God’s voice, rather than that of men. Return phone calls when you cannot do anything else (e.g., driving). If necessary, allocate 30 minutes in the middle and at the end of your day to return calls.

Marketplace Ministry Tip: Remember, business and spiritual growth are processes. Be patient with yourself and those in your spheres of influence. Also, decisions are more important than actions. Setting aside time to make good decisions is one of the most profitable things you can do. Contact me, at rob@inlightconsulting.com, if you desire assistance with your ministry in the Marketplace.

Your servant and His forever,

After putting three screws in my hip, the doctor told me how to take care of it. He said if I did the necessary work, I would get 95-98% of my functionality and strength back. For six long weeks I had to use a walker to avoid putting weight on that leg. Using that walker was painful, aggravating and inhibiting.

Six weeks after my surgery, the doctor told me to start using crutches, and begin seeing a physical therapist. Three weeks later, the physical therapist told me to start bearing weight on the injured leg; beginning with 50%, and increasing gradually over the next six weeks. He also told me about the stretches and exercises I could do at home to strengthen my hip and the atrophied supporting muscles. Eventually, he told me to put the crutches down and walk normally.

Now, what do you think would have happened if I had been a hearer of what the doctor and physical therapist said, but not a doer? According to the doctor, it would have been absolutely disastrous. If I had, in my aggravation, tried to walk too soon, I would have broken the hip again – resulting in another surgery to replace it entirely. If I had not started walking, stretching and exercising when I was told, my muscles would have atrophied further and I would have gotten necrosis of the bone in my hip (and hip replacement surgery). 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,

Woman Praising Against a Blue SkyThen Joshua said to the people, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you.” Joshua 3:5

I have been working with a ministry that provides resources for Business Leaders, through a program called Christian Roundtable Groups. As you might expect, the lesson for January encouraged the Roundtable members to create a list of goals for 2014. What is unique about this ministry is their attention to developing Big Hairy Audacious (God-sized) Goals, or BHAGs. The foundational verse – Joshua 3:5 – got me to thinking about the way all of us (not just business leaders) should discern God’s goals for vocation, family and ministry. I pray the following encourages you for the coming year. Read the rest of this entry »

Shining Light (Biblical concept-Hiding your light under a bushelBefore I begin, let me say that I am convinced that Christ has commissioned His followers into every segment of society. There are Christians called into politics. I know a few of them and admire their courage and sacrifice. They have been on my mind lately. I believe God would have them consider this encouragement.

14 You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:14-16

The command of this verse is not to do good works, but to let your light shine. John 1:4 tells us that our light is the Life of Christ. If you are trying to hide your light, that you might somehow do good works, then you are missing the mark (a good definition for sin).

As we know from Ephesians 2:10, you have been created for good works that you should walk in them. Notice it does not say “that you should do them”. It is God’s work; for He will receive the glory for it. If it is your work, then you will receive the glory – and be very frustrated. Read the rest of this entry »

Doubled chaos by PokornyHello, again! I hope you have taken the time to discover the desire God has given you for this season of your life (last month’s tip). That desire can be found where God has hidden it – in your heart. Surrender to God, and that desire will become a purpose that will not be denied (Job 42:2).

That desire will become your next assignment for His kingdom. Like the addition of a new product line, service or geographic area, your assignment will be an adventure. For me, it was a whole new career!!

Like most new business adventures, there will be training and transition; there will be challenge and… don’t run… CHAOS. Like many of you, I have experienced trial and tribulation and watched many go through it. This economy has given every business owner a taste of chaos.

The Bible calls these times in our lives transformation (1Corinthians 3:18). And it is here that we find the good news: Chaos is normal, and it is intended for our good. It is in chaos that we find faith and are separated from the character flaws that would dishonor God in our new assignment. It is during the transformation that we are trained and transitioned for the next adventure.

Marketplace Ministry Tip: Here are 10 keys to persevering through the chaos:

  1. Intentionally recognize the sovereignty of God; all He allows works to our good (Romans 8:28).
  2. Praise Him for His faithfulness (1 Peter 4:19).
  3. Come to terms with the ending of the old status quo; grieve if necessary (Isaiah 43:18).
  4. Recognize this is as much about your transformation as it is about your impending assignment (2 Corinthians 3:18).
  5. Stay focused on Him; distractions are your enemies (Luke 9:62).
  6. Choose daily to surrender, sacrifice and submit (Luke 9:23).
  7. Exercise your faith (Psalm 34:7-19).
  8. Get more relational with the Lord (Hebrews 4:16).
  9. Go with others (Psalm 133).
  10. Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might (Ephesians 6:10).

Your servant and His forever,

Rob

As ambassadors of the kingdom of Heaven, Marketplace Leaders are commissioned to “make disciples of all the nations”. This begins in the home, extends to neighborhoods and church fellowships, and may include a mission trip or two. It also includes the place where Marketplace Leaders spend most of their waking hours – in the Marketplace.

There are no coincidences for God’s children. He has given His ambassadors spheres of influence for His kingdom – a kingdom that is suffering violence, waiting on the violent to take it by force (Matthew 11:12). The Lord has invested much into the lives of His Marketplace Leaders – much more than we can think or imagine (Ephesians 3:20). The times are growing desperate and the “the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God” (Romans 8:19).

To this end, God is encouraging, edifying and equipping Marketplace Leaders to accept the challenges of making disciples and transforming their spheres of influence. In this series, we have previously discussed two challenges: The Systems of Man and The Deception and Oppression of the enemy. In this installment, we will consider the trust and obedience that is required to walk in the mysterious ways of God. Read the rest of this entry »

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