Archive for the ‘Work’ Category

Giving You the Best That I’ve Got

Monday, April 19th, 2010

The one thing I desire in ministry and in life is to give God the best that I’ve. I don’t always succeed, but I aspire to give him my best. How can we be sure that we are giving God the best we’ve got? Here are three very important questions that can help us to achieve maximum effectiveness in ministry and life.

Question #1: What is the motive of  your ministry? Service? Life?
Answer: Always choose the approval of God over the praise of people.

Question #2: How are you mastering your ministry? Service? Life?
Answer: Always choose excellence over mediocrity.

Question #3: What is the measure of your ministry? Service? Life?
Answer: Always choose the eternal over the temporary.

Which question(s) and answer(s) spoke to you the most? Which will you choose focus on over the next seven days?

Popularity: 6% [?]

Leftovers

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

leftovers 300x201 Leftovers

I love my leftovers. Chinese, Thanksgiving dinner, Ribs, and Pizza are a few of my favorites. Whereas I love leftovers, I am certain that God doesn’t enjoy them. Yet, there are times when we find ourselves offering our Great King stuff we have already devoured. It is easy for us to cut corners and offer God and others “leftovers,” “just enough” and shoddy service, isn’t it?

I think we get careless and reckless in our worship and service because we begin to question and doubt his love for us, we forget that he is the great King of Universe, and we become too familiar with handling holy things.

Man, I don’t want to be like the priests and people in Malachi (1:6-14), guilty of the evil crime of offering God sacrifices that a human superior would not accept. He is insulted when we just go through the motions, or when our devotion is turned into duty.

I have decided to live in this book for the next several weeks and let Malachi’s words wash over my heart. Join me in asking the following questions of the sacrifices of your body (Romans 12:1-2), your money (Philippians 4:14-18), your praise (Hebrews 13:15), your good works (Hebrews 13:16), and your witnessing to people who are far from God:

1. Am I giving my best?

2. Am I giving to God first?

3. Is my giving to God costing me anything?

I believe God is calling me to a conscientious spirituality – one that thinks about and changes the attitude and motives of my sacrifice and one that thinks about and increases the quality and cost of my sacrifice.

What other areas of sacrifice can you add to the list? When are you most tempted to offer God leftovers? Which of the five areas above do you need to evaluate and offer God a better sacrifice?

Popularity: 8% [?]

The Letter

Monday, November 23rd, 2009

Here is the letter I tried to share with our congregation yesterday. This was probably one of the hardest letters I have ever written.

My entire life and ministry have been about God’s call on my life

At 13 years old God called me out of darkness and into the light of his kingdom through his Son. At 20 years old, God called me into ministry.

Then God did something strange. Sixteen years ago God called me from cosmopolitan Chicago to a very different place called Grand Rapids, Michigan to serve at New Hope Baptist Church, alongside the late Donnell Smith.

Then God did something even stranger; he called me from a predominantly black church to serve at Calvary (a predominantly white church), alongside Ed Dobson. I believe that call set the tone in my life for helping to break down the racial and cultural barriers that had exist in churches today. My entire life has been about God calling me and me responding to that call.

Seven years ago, God called me to two men, Artie Lindsay and Kizombo Kalumbula, to plant a disciple-making church that looked like heaven. When I look around this morning, we see a church that, seven years ago, was just an idea. God made a crazy idea reality. In serving a Tabernacle, I have realized another call on my life – a calling as a bridge – a walkway between various cultures.

My entire life and ministry has been about God’s call on my life.

Several months ago, elders from Trinity Church, in Lansing, Michigan approached me to see if I would consider praying about serving as their next Senior Teaching Pastor (I did not initiate the conversations, send out resumes, and neither was I looking for new assignments. I believe God opened this door). So, Tonia and I began praying about it, and with our elders’ knowledge and blessing, we agreed to enter and go through the process to see if God was leading us to join him in Lansing, Michigan. After going through a lengthy process and interview, on Tuesday, November 17th, the elders of Trinity Church agreed to recommend me to their congregation as the candidate for their next Senior Teaching Pastor. My family and I sense God calling and leading in our lives, and we want to remain open to his leading and direction.

Because we love you and desire to honor you, we are asking you to pray with us, as we remain open to God’s will for our lives. Here are some dates that we invite to pray for us.

On December 12th and 13th, the Trinity congregation will vote whether to call me as their next senior teaching pastor.

Thank you for your prayers and support during this time in our lives.

What are your reactions to the letter? To what do you think God is calling you? How open are to his call on your life?

Popularity: 24% [?]

When Work Isn’t Working Out

Tuesday, December 16th, 2008

 When Work Isnt Working Out

Welcome back! All right, you have been trying to respect and obey TJOTY (the jerk of the year) because you know it makes God look good, you believe it can save your job, you understand it is the best way to get ahead and you know it is what God tells you to do. Moreover, you have not taken advantage of the relationship you have with your boss who is a believer. However, it seems like most days you leave work and go home unhappy – about the work you do, where you work and for whom you work. Soul Man, what do I do when work isn't working out for me? Can I just press the escape button and leave? There are two key questions you should ask before you escape:

1. Am I being asked to do something unethical? You would be surprised (or maybe not) at the number of employers who ask their employees to do unethical and even illegal things. Some employees feel they must obey for fear of losing their jobs. Are you being asked to do something unethical?

  • If yes: then obey God, not man, and be ready to accept the consequences. In cases where you are being asked to do something unethical, your greater responsibility is to God and his values. Now, you might very well lose your job over standing up for what is right, but I am convinced that God will provide for you and your family. The material reward for living right and standing up for truth may not come immediately, but it will come. The immediate reward is obedience to God. 
  • If no: then obey your boss. If your boss has not asked you to do something unethical, just stupid, then obey your boss. Now, if you have a better idea or a more efficient way of doing the job, then lobby passionately and respectfully for it. Otherwise, respect and obey your boss.  

2. Can I quit? The natural question to ask, if you are unhappy in your job, is can I afford to quit and/or should I quit?   

  • If yes: then you should probably move on. If you can afford to quit your present job, then you are free to move on and find another or better job. Before you become more bitter, too divisive and a liability to the company, it may be better if you resigned your position and began praying and searching for a different job. 
  • If no: then you need to make the most of it. If you cannot afford to quit because this is the best possible job you can find right now, or you need the money and the insurance, or you are too close to retirement or you are a few years away from being fully vested or you simply can't afford to relocate, then it is wise that you stay in your present position and make the most of it, with a good attitude (Unless God has given you clear direction to make a move). This will challenge many of you – if you cannot quit because this is the best possible job you can find right now, then you should thank God, and send your employer and boss a "thank you" letter for letting you remain with the company, especially in a struggling economy. 

The goal is that every employer would want to hire a Jesus follower because of his/her good and godly character and impeccable work ethic. As you continue to do your job, do all you do as if Jesus is your boss. 

Popularity: 7% [?]

My Boss is a Jerk – Part Two

Monday, December 15th, 2008

All right, it is Monday morning and some of you are excited about your job and many more are feeling like this man in the picture. You know, sometimes when we are overworked and unappreciated (I include those who work hard inside the home as well) we have a tendency to, out of frustration and anger, respond in ways that are less than appropriate toward our jobs, bosses, managers, supervisors or family members. Last week I challenged you to remember a couple of things if you are working for TJOTY (the jerk of the year). 

If your boss is a jerk, you still have a responsibility to respect and obey because… 

  • It makes God look good  
  • It can save your job
     
    Today I want to give you two more reasons:
     
    3. It is the best way to get ahead. Solomon, one of the wisest men to ever live, said this: “He who tends the fig tree will eat its fruit. And he who cares for his master (boss) will be honored.” (Proverbs 27:18) What does this mean? Just as nurturing and cultivating a fig tree are necessary if a farmer is to have a good crop of sweet figs, generally, an employee who attends to the needs of his employer will be honored with public affirmation, raises, promotions, and prestigious projects. Now, he is not referring to brown-nosing or kissing up. He means working hard and working well at one’s job will generally bring favorable results. Solomon draws a close connection between economic prosperity and the way you treat others, particularly your bosses. There is nothing more affirming to a boss than to have one of his employees genuinely make him look good in front of his peers and superiors.  
     

    4. It is what God says to do. Need I say more? The Bible can say it much better than I can. See Proverbs 3:5-6; 16:25; 1 Timothy 6:1; 1 Peter 2:18-21

    If your boss is a fellow believer . . . 

    1. Never take advantage of the relationship by showing less respect and always looking for “hook-ups and breaks.”  See 1 Timothy 6:2 (this is a great verse if you work for a fellow believer)

    If you do not work outside the home (stay at home mother or father)

    1. I want to celebrate you for your hard work. Your work is as important, if not more important, than those who work outside the home. I know it gets frustrating, tiring, and even lonely and you are not honored enough for your unconditional love and undying sacrifice for your family. So, I celebrate and honor you today. When you do your work (playing taxi, teacher, housekeeper, chef, and COO) with joy, commitment and as unto God, you honor God, your spouse and your family. May our God richly bless you!     

    Tomorrow’s Post: When Work Isn’t Working Out 


  • Popularity: 7% [?]

    My Boss is a Jerk!

    Friday, December 12th, 2008

    How many times is a week have you felt like this woman in the picture – doing a job and working for a boss that sucked? Things don’t always work according to the plan, do they? Some of you are working for bosses or you know someone who is working for a boss, who is a real jerk (and you have heard other expletives too, I imagine). Some of you are just one nerve away from ‘losing your mind and acting a fool up in here, up in here!’ Before you go off and lay your religion down, remember your work is part of your worship and service to God. Soul Man, then what do I do if I am working for TJOTY (the jerk of the year)?

    If your boss is a jerk, you still have a responsibility to respect and obey because… 

    1. It makes God look good. When your boss is acting like a jerk, making you come in early, stay late, work weekends and holidays, piling on loads of work, not commending you for good work or recommending you for a better job or more money, don’t start: stealing from the company (I deserve this), becoming argumentative and bitter, coming in late, taking “looooong” lunch breaks, leaving early, and being a mediocre employee. This only makes you look bad and it gives unbelievers a reason to speak against God and your faith. Despite your boss being a jerk, continue to produce your best work, with a good attitude. When you do this, you make God and your faith attractive to others. Don’t forget, you are an ambassador, in your workplace, for the King.  
        
    2. It will save your job. When your boss is acting like a jerk, it is so easy and even satisfying to give her a piece of your unholy mind or to make life hard for her. The wise employee, however, understands, to do this, is to invite the terror and wrath of her boss on herself (The only thing worse than a woman scorned, is a boss scorned and humiliated by a subordinate). This could lead to you forfeiting your livelihood (you can forget that raise or that bonus), your future with the company or even a great recommendation if you decide to leave the company. I know God will provide, but we need to be wise.


    Tomorrow’s post: Two More Reasons and When Work is not Working for Me

       

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