At home and in church, we should realize that teaching small children is both an opportunity and a responsibility.
Don’t be surprised when people misunderstand criticize, and even try to hurt you because of what you believe and how you live. Don’t give up. Continue to live as you know you should. God is the only one you need to please.
Fight for the truth, especially to protect younger Christians. But we must not allow out society to distort or crowd out God’s eternal truth. Spend time each day reflecting on the foundation of your Christian faith found in God’s word, the great truths that build up your life.
Scripture is completely trustworthy because God was in control of the writing. It’s words are entirely authoritative for our faith and lives. The Bible is “God-breathed,” read it, and use it’s teachings to guide your control. At the same time, faith in Christ makes the whole Bible intelligible.
We should read it and apply it to our lives. The Bible is our standard for testing everything else that claims to be true God wants to show you what is true and equip you to live for him. We should study the Bible so that we will know how to do Christ’s work in the world. Our knowledge of God’s World is not useful unless it strengthens our faith and leads us to do good.
Half the people who have ever lived are alive today, and most of them do not know Christ. Be prepared for courageous in, and sensitive to God – given opportunities to tell the Good News.
“Be prepared in season and out of season” means to always be ready to serve God in any situation whether or not it is convenient. Be sensitive to the opportunities God gives you. But no matter how much the truth hurts, we must be willing to listen to it so we can more fully obey God.
To keep cool when you are jarred and jolted by people or circumstances, don’t react quickly. In any work of ministry that you undertake, keeping your head makes you morally alert to temptation, resistant to pressure, and vigilant when facing heavy responsibility.
Is your life preparing you for death. When we are with Jesus Christ, we will discover that it was all worth it. Whatever we may face – discouragement, persecution, or death – we know our reward is with Christ in heaven.
Do you love the world as it could be if justice were done, the hungry were fed, and people loved one another? Or do you love what the world has to offer-wealth, power, pleasure- even if gaining it means hurting people and neglecting the work God has given you to do.
God always gives us the strength to do what he has commanded. That strength may not be evident, however until we step out in faith and actually begin doing the task.
Anyone facing a life and death struggle can be comforted, knowing that God will bring each believer safely through death to his heavenly Kingdom.
Too often, we rush through our days, barely touching anyone’s life. Like Paul take time to weave your life into others through deep relationships.
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith, – 2 Timothy 4:7
I read a humorous story about a bloodhound. He started chasin a deer but a fox crossed his path, so he started chasing the fox instead. After a while, a rabbit crossed his path and the hound chased the mouse into a hole. The hound, which had begun his hunt on the trail of a magnificent deer, ended up watching a mouse hole!
Most of us will laugh at the bloodhound. But ifwe stop and think, we’ll realize that often we too are easily distracted. Aat times we may even be sidetracked from following Christ. It is so easy to start well but then run after things that cross our paths.
We need to take to heart the words of the apostle Paul. He told Timothy to focus on the purpose of his life and ministry (2 Timothy 1:6-13; 2:1-2, 22-26; 3:14-17). He urged him to tell others about Christ and to warn them not to turn aside (4:1-5).
The values of this world can easily influence us, tempting us to despise “sound doctrine” and accept what is false (4:3-4). So we need to know and proclaim God’s Word, persevere through hardships, and keep the faith (vv. 2, 5, 7).
Yes, with God’s help, we can keep our eyes on Christ, stay close to Him, and finish well. You can’t turn your back on Christ if you keep your eyes on Him.
Let me walk with You, dear Savior, side by side and hand in hand; keep me clean and pure and faithful till I reach the heavenly land.
Thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. – II Timothy 3:15
Give Bibles to people in your town and in places all around the world. And with each gift, pray:
Lord, open the hearts of all who open the Bible so that they may receive Your words of life.
Watch thou in all things…. II Timothy 4:5
There is a Watcher Who helps you keep your life in focus. God our Father has told us over and over that He’s watching over us, and that a great reason to try to become a better person every day.
Watch over me Lord. Help me be a better person.
What legacy will you leave behind?
Whom are you training to carry on your work?
It is our responsibility to do all we can do to keep the gospel message alive for the next generation.
What barriers to faithful living do you encounter?
Since the Bible is central to Christian living, how will you build it into your life?
How do you intend to guard the gospel that has been entrusted to you? What will you pass along – to whom, in what manner, and by when?
Leadership is the art of getting or inspiring people to do something. Leaders need to focus on the individual.
Look at the needs and strengths of the individual.
Everyone should have the maximum opportunity to develop and utilize his/her talents and strengths,
Provide a “climate” in which members will be allowed to grow and accomplish the things of which they are capable.
Provide every opportunity for members to identify their interests and abilities.
Accept a refusal. Forcing members into tasks for which they have no enthusiasm will lead to frustration and disappointment for all.
Specify clearly your expectation of your members and listen to their expectations of you and your organization.
Functions of a Leader
Initiating – defining a problem, suggesting procedures for problem solving, making a proposal.
Seeking Information or Opinions – requesting background data, generating suggestions and ideas, gathering facts.
Giving Information or Opinions-offering facts or relevant information, stating beliefs, sharing new ideas or suggestions
Clarifying or Elaborating – interpreting others’ ideas, clearing up confusion, pointing out alternatives
Summarizing-pulling related ideas together, establishing where the group is and what has been covered.
Testing Agreement – checking to see if the group has come to a consensus, or has reached an understanding.
Encouraging-being responsive to and accepting of others, listening and trying to understand
Expressing Group Feelings – being sensitive to how the group feels and being aware of inter-personal relationships within the group
Harmonizing-attempting to reconcile opposing points of view. Tension must be reduced before group members can explore their differences objectively.
Compromising – admitting error if you make one, disciplining yourself to help maintain the group, offering to compromise your own position to help the group.
Gate keeping – keeping the discussion a group active participation
Setting Standards – code of operation adopted by the group.
People in groups need…
1. They need a Sense of Belonging
a, A feeling that no one objects to their presence
b. A feeling that they are sincerely welcome
c. A feeling that they are honestly needed for themselves, not just for their help, their money, or to make the group larger.
2. They need to have a Share in Planning the Group Goals.
Their needs will be satisfied only when they feel that their ideas have had a fair hearing.
3. They need to feel that the Goals are within reach and that they make sense.
4. They need to feel that what they are doing has Meaning – that it’s value extends beyond the group itself.
5. They need to share in Planning the Programs
7. They need to have Responsibilities that Challenge that are within range of their abilities, and that contribute toward reaching their own goals.
8. They need to See that Progress is Being Made toward the goal they have set and that they are making progress toward reaching their own goals.
9. They need to be Kept Informed. What they are not up on, they may be down on.
10. They need to have Confidence in Their Leaders and Officers.
To enjoy feeling useful
To use their special skills and talents
To have the opportunity to serve
To experience personal growth and intellectual activity.
Do not dominate
Keep group relating well
Promote team work
Focus on task
Assign tasks only to those qualified
Make assignments clear
Provide needed resources
People are more important to situations than things.
People rise to a challenge, if it is given
A person’s loyalty is a function of how well they feel appreciated.
Volunteers work for good feelings
Volunteers are more committed to tasks they have helped develop
People get jobs done, so they need most of your effort
Cultivate a positive attitude, and positive results will more often happen.
Creative ideas flourish in a free and open environment.
Time invested in planning pays off in the end.
Keep developtee’s thoroughly posted on plans and progress
Teach developtee to develop solutions
Encourage developtee to develop solutions
Place responsibility gradually.
Build us sense of responsibility.
Hold developtee accountable for responsibility
make them free to ask for new responsibility
Give your support publicly, Criticize privately.
Teach to admit mistakes promptly.
Help them learn to take criticism constructively.
At this point, you may already know yourself well enough to say, “Yes, I want my life to center on God’s mission. Yes, I am willing to base my career choices on godly values.” Hopefully, when it comes to integrating the three dimensions of life the question is not, “Will I or won’t I,” but “HOW can I integrate expression, provision, and mission in a way that respects all three dimensions and, thereby, serves God?” We have already mentioned that mission is the first priority for any Christian who wants to evaluate his or her work as a means to fulfill God’s agenda on earth. Beyond this single guideline, their is no hard and fast Scriptural basis for prioritizing all three dimensions, except to say that each is significant, therefore none should be excluded. But that’s not what happens to a lot of Christians. The goal is a healthy integration of all three dimensions of life. But, too often, an undesirable imbalances is the unfortunate result. Here are some of the common imbalances that Christians experience in the working world. As you look at these examples, ask yourself, “Which of these tendencies is most like me?”
Mission Without Expression or Provision
Steve was a young seminary graduate stepping into his first pastorate. He was energetic. He was committed to serving his congregation “at all costs.” Steve was also young, and it showed.
His sense of mission was so strong that, while the members of his church experienced great spiritual and personal growth, Steve’s family suffered. He sacrificed his modest salary to fund church programs. Steve even neglected nurturing his natural ability to preach in order to keep up with the multitude of endless tasks he though the church expected of him.
The result? Within two years, Steve was out of breath. His family was out of money. And he and his wife were out of patience wondering “What do we do now?” All because this young, energetic minister emphasized mission to the exclusion of expression and provision.
Steve is like a lot of well-meaning Christians. They become so “totally dedicated to doing God’s work” that they “burn out.” It is neither godly nor beneficial to give yourself to mission if it means you ignore your responsibilities to your family. Provision, as we saw earlier, is not limited to finances. Steve’s failure to provide for his family meant giving up time he would normally spend with his wife and children in order to attend another weekly church meeting. If you choose to marry and have a family, you should expect to integrate the need for provision into your life in such a way that allows you to meet your responsibilities at home.
Expression Without Mission and Provision
Unfortunately, talent, when divorced from a Biblical integration with mission and provision, can never be the basis for a healthy life. No Christian with this tendency can hope to please a God who wants to show the Christian how his or her talent can bring great personal joy when it is expressed with His mission in mind.
Provision Without Expression and Mission
Most Americans invest their life, talents, and ultimate hopes of happiness in a job that pays the most. To bad it’s often a job that they end up it’s often a job that they end up enjoying the least. Christians are not immune from suffering this fate, especially when their desire to see their own need for self-expression never grows. A career that’s heavy in salary but light in both expression and mission is a career that’s drastically unbalanced. The only way to achieve a healthy integration of expression, provision, and mission is to ask yourself questions like these:
“Do I want my work to have a Mission for God in a way that’ll enable me to express who I am and provide for my true needs at the same time?”
“Do I want my work to truly express who I am, even if it results in adequate and not extravagant provision?”
“Do I take the responsibility to provide for the things I (and my family) need through work that fulfills God’s mission and expresses my talents?”
God wants you to find a balance in expression, provision, and mission. And He wants you to start by discovering your mission.
Models for Mission and Occupation
Since you probably provide for your financial needs through an occupation, you’re probably asking, “How can I seek mission first and still make ends meet?” Here are three common models:
1. Mission as Occupation.
The most straightforward way to dedicate yourself fully to mission and still earn a living is through finding occupational work in an organization dedicated to meeting God’s agenda on earth.
Ministries and missions of all kinds are seeking personnel: Schools, Christian radio, television, publications, health care facilities, camps, counseling centers, international relief and development organizations, youth ministries, orphanages, senior citizen communities, and more.
The opportunities for you to express your talents and provide for your needs while being involved fully in mission are greater than you can imagine.
As an example: I work full-time as a nursing home worker. I have become aware of the growing need for direct care workers in the nursing homes of our country. I researched. I prayed. After several months of considering the idea, I had started a organization called “Quality of Life Ministries.” This organization provides direct care workers (CNA’s, etc.) to nursing homes; which provides a “Good Samaritan” ministry.
2. Occupation to support your mission.
Paul was called to be an apostle, but he didn’t want to be a financial burden to the church. So Paul learned a trade – tent-making. Paul was able to provide for his needs by making tents and still fulfill his mission of teaching and preaching.
“Tent-making” is a term being used today to describe an important strategy in world evangelism. Thousands of Christians are working in secular jobs oversees in order to fulfill their mission as cross-cultural witnesses for Christ. These secular jobs provide needed financial support pluss, in over 60 countries worldwide, they provide the person a visa unavailable to “full-time missionaries.”
Tent-making works as a strategy in North America, too! You can limit your occupation to meeting your financial needs (provision), in order to support mission as your primary work. As an example; my work in the health care industry covered above allows me to express myself to internet ministries-Quality of Life Ministries (A internet Christian Support Site) and Quality of Life Ministry ( A Quality of Life training program).
Using an occupation to support mission requires that you carefully define your mission before securing actual work. Why? Because all too often, if you select an occupation first, your mission will be forced into whatever time is “left over.” As an example by working in the evening I can have the morning for my internet ministries; on the job, I am allowed to work on course development when their is no direct care required; and by limiting my hours of work to 40 hours, I can have time to still be a husband.
3. Mission in your occupation.
You may work in a company that isn’t dedicated to accomplishing God’s objectives, but because of your strategic position in the company, you’re able to accomplish mission on the job.
This happened with Joseph and David in the Old Testament. Both rose in government service to positions that allowed them strategic opportunities for influencing world events. In both cases, each man’s primary occupational competence, when combined with his desire to achieve God’s agenda on earth, allowed mission on the job.
There are geographical people groups that haven’t been reached. But there are also occupational people groups who are un-reached. Right here in North America there’s a stratum of society that isn’t being penetrated with the gospel. Your occupation may take you to these “un-reached peoples” in North America. But in order to reach them, you need to be aware of your strategic opportunity and use it for Christ right where you are. As an example: on my direct care job I am allowed to counsel hurting staff, residents and families as long as it is: when they need it, it is done with a light touch, and it doesn’t interfere with my job (e.g. breaks).
Whichever path you follow, it’s critical that you seek your mission first, then order your occupational life around mission.
Whole Life Stewardship
In the early church when a person decided to follow Christ it always impacted their values, their priorities, their use of time, and their use of resources. They frequently quit their jobs, left their homes, and they always seemed to put their ministry at the center of their lives. What seems to be going on in the New Testament is “whole-life stewardship.” Tom Sine
Making Major Changes
As you’ve just seen, mission opportunities can happen right in your own place of work. They can grow out of opportunities created by Christians who are willing to make major changes in their careers.
Just ordinary people,
God uses ordinary people
He choose people
Just like me and you
Who are willing
To do as he Commands
God uses people
That will give him all
No matter how small your all
May seem to you
Because little becomes much
As you place it
In the Master’s Hand.
Putting It All Together
You will not find it easy to integrate all three Biblical dimensions of life around the central focus of mission. Among other things, you will risk career stability, financial security, and the possibility of being rejected by friends – all because you KNOW that God wants you to transform your respective work, and your life, for His purpose. You need to follow God’s leading. You need to listen. You need to pray. You need to obey. For this you will struggle. Ultimately, if you persevere, you will act on the mission and career opportunities that God puts before you. And taking this step, in His name, will make all the difference in your life.
Christians who want to integrate their expression, provision, and mission are bound to face two temptations. These are common tendencies that you may not recognize unless you see just how they can obscure your best intentions. The first temptation to avoid is “compartmentalization,” This is the tendency to make crystal-clear distinctions between the three dimensions of work, then label and assign each their respective slot in the schedule.
Mission, expression and provision aren’t three compartments that can be assigned time slots on your calendar. They are dynamic ways you invest your talents in work.
The second temptation for the Christian who seeks integration is “standardization.” This is the tendency to want everybody to follow your format in life, believing that what is right for you is right for everyone else as well.
Alexander the Great
Great military leaders have understood that there are times when they must lead their troops by example rather than by command. When Alexander the Great was advancing upon a city,, his troops grew fatigued and became reluctant to scale the walls of the enemy city. So Allexander chose to lead by example. When he leaped over the wall and began fending off enemy soldiers, his embarrassed troops frantically scaled the wall to save their overzealous king. An enemy arrow seriously wounded Alexander, but his troops won another decisive victory. While his actions were not necessarily conventional for a commanding general, Alexander knew the power of motivating by example, and such leadership inspired his troops to follow him in conquering the known world.
O Lord, I want to learn to enjoy life as fully as I can. Open my eyes to see anew, with the eyes of your divine Love. Through your wisdom I can hope to come to know the fullness of life and beauty of your creation. I praise you in your greatness, O Father. Amen.
Think of a person you know who’s able to integrate the three dimensions of life around mission. What things inspire, challenge, and/or encourage you about his or her creative approach to work?
How would you describe the imbalance of your current life? What would it take to correct the imbalances? What might keep you from taking these steps?
In what ways would your present work situation change if you were to make mission your number one priority? Give examples of how your work responsibilities, time management, and overall attitude would possibly be different.
Write a story about yourself by imagining how you could integrate your needs for expression, provision, and mission around your specific career interest. Be as creative as you want. Remember, there is no limit to how far you can dream.
Set an “action goal” that’ll help you apply the principle of integration. Make it measurable and specific. Example: “I’m going to keep a daily record of all my work activities for a month. I’ll describe the activity, how much time I spent on it, and where I did it. At the end of the month, I’ll total the hours. Then, I’ll evaluate how much time was spent in expression, provision, and mission. Finally, I’ll set a goal to assure that there is balance. And I’ll start with mission as my top priority.”
By now you should be in some leadership position, (e.g. parent). Answer the following questions. What goals have you set for your group. Have a “mission statement?”
Are your current activities consistent with the goals?
What is the degree of membership involvement in your goals?
Are your activities in keeping with needs?
Is your present organization structure effective?