Christian Business

Stay The Course

2020 has been quite the year.

And that’s an understatement if ever there was one.

Many have given up on this year and are doing whatever they can to hang on and survive the months left. While I understand the sentiment, I don’t agree with it. I can’t afford to because doing so would be tantamount to throwing away something none of us may get back – time and chance.  

Most of us started the year with anticipation of the opportunities it would bring. We had plans for our careers and businesses. While we may have had some inclination of certain challenges that could come our way, a global pandemic that ground life to a halt wasn’t quite what we were thinking about.

Yet, while this was a surprise to the world, it wasn’t a surprise to God. And to some degree it shouldn’t have surprised us as believers. The Bible is clear about the signs of the end times such as what Jesus outlined in Matthew 24. In addition, different ministers from across the Body of Christ gave timely prophetic words about major economic challenges before the year began.

We may not have had the entire picture but the Church had fragments of revelation of what was coming. We also had wisdom prescribed by God because He didn’t just point out the problems we’d face; He gave us strategies to surmount them.

Thing is, we often assume that having things easy is a sign that we’re on the right path. We think that the absence of challenges is an indicator that we truly heard God.

But the opposite actually holds true. Think of anyone in the Bible who was called by God and there’s not a single one who didn’t have to contend with perilous times. In our church, we like to say that it’s during times of crisis when we manifest as true believers.

If God told you to do something in 2020, He’d factored in everything that has happened and will happen this year. You need to stay the course. If you veered off it for whatever reason, you need to get back on it.

For some of us, staying the course means making small or significant changes to how we operate in the marketplace. Our purpose hasn’t changed but our expression of it needs to adjust to the time and season we’re in. Much like a house built on sand, there are structures in our careers and businesses that have been washed away by the circumstances of this year. The loss could range from uncomfortable to debilitating but whichever side of the spectrum you’re on, it still counts as invitation to build afresh on solid rock this time round. Trust God to give you a better blueprint for the present age. If He already has, trust Him to see you through as you execute it.

Staying the course doesn’t mean we fail to acknowledge the hardships we’re facing. Neither does it mean that we don’t make time to rest and recharge. God is as much there for us in the lament and the Sabbath as He is in the rejoicing and the labour. Our lives are not one-dimensional and neither is our God.

Stay on your course. It’s easy to meander into someone else’s business or career lane because they look like they’re doing better than you are. It’s easy to get on a bandwagon that seems to be working in the present moment. But good isn’t always beneficial. It takes divine wisdom to know what’s right for you, when it’s right and how to execute it right. Don’t abandon the Ark God gave you in the stillness for what the world is calling a lifeboat in the storm. He wasn’t out of His mind when He set you on the path you’re on.

If there’s one thing 2020 has proven, it’s how quickly life as we know it can come to an end – literally and figuratively. Remember, though, that the inverse is also true. Life can just as quickly begin.

We still have 4 months left in the year. The possibilities of what God can do in you, for you and through you are endless.

Don’t give up on 2020.

God’s not done with the year.

And He certainly isn’t done with you.

Christian Business

Speak A Blessing

Thy kingdom come

Thy will be done

On earth,

As it is in heaven.

Matthew 6:10

God created the universe with His words. He would speak, and it would be.

As His children made in His image and likeness, we have that same power. To speak, and have things become.

You don’t need to look far to see the power that words carry. Think back to the last time someone praised or encouraged you and how that made you feel. Think back to the last time someone was curt with you and how that made you feel. That’s the power of the tongue. Is it a wonder that life and death dwell in it?

Every day we’re at the impact of words. Words we choose for ourselves. Words others choose for us. Words spoken to us. Written about us.

Words are the distance between life and death.

Pause. Think about that.

Words are the distance between life and death.

The power that words carry is resident not in the words themselves but in the spirit behind them. This is why the spirit who waylaid the man in the Gerasenes tombs panicked at the mere presence of Jesus; while another scoffed at the feeble attempts of the sons of Sceva to cast it out.

It’s not merely the utterance of words that gives them power. The nature of the person behind the words makes all the difference. Our words are merely the vehicle that carries life or death. Out of the abundance of our hearts, our mouths indeed speak. We could be saying one thing with our mouths while our hearts refute it louder still.

Parroting the words of Christ and fellow believers we revere simply isn’t enough. We must own those words. Believe in them. Wrestle with them. Have a revelation of them. See the Lordship of God exalted through them.

Our words must first richly dwell in our hearts before they can come alive through our mouths. It takes intent. Of the mind and of the heart. To consume the right thing. To meditate on the right thing. To utter the right thing at the right time.

In this season, perhaps more than ever before, when all around us seems so bleak, we must pay attention to the words we speak. To the meditations of our hearts and minds that give rise to them.

We must learn to see what God sees and create with Him anew. We must be bold in declaring a blessing when it seems utter foolishness to do so.

Speak His blessing over you on earth as it is in heaven.

And let it be unto you according to His word.

P.S. If you’re not sure where to start, declaring Scripture will get you on track.

Christian Business


We believe in the transition of seasons. This means that we continually review what season we’re in and God requires of us.

For this season, we need to dig a few depths in silence. So we won’t have regular posts for a while here.

However, we will be responding to any queries that may come our way during this time. We also encourage you to spend some time in our blog archives (bottom right of the page). Take a second look at all the posts we’ve put up in the past year and a half as you consider how much you’ve applied and what further steps of growth you need to take.  

See you on the other side of this season.

God bless you and the work of your hands.

Christian Business

By Your Name

Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals.

Genesis 2:19-20 NIV

Names are a powerful thing. They denote identity and function. Part of Adam’s assignment in Eden was to name the living creatures. We know from Genesis 1 that Adam also named Eve.

But who named Adam?

The only person around at the time who could have done so was God.

It was because God named Adam that Adam was able to name the creatures. Since Adam had received the revelation of who he was from God, he was able to function in his identity and call out the identity and function of the creatures.

Who has named you in the marketplace? Who has defined who you are, and who you’re not?

Whoever names you in the marketplace, defines your identity and function in the marketplace.

If your education system, background or culture name you in the marketplace, then they determine your identity and function in the marketplace.

If your loved ones or those you look up to name you in the marketplace, then they determine your identity and function in the marketplace.

If your boss or colleagues name you in the marketplace, then they determine your identity and function in the marketplace.

If the state of the economy names you in the marketplace, then it determines your identity and function in the marketplace.

If you name yourself, then your identity and function in the marketplace is limited to your ability.

If God names you in the marketplace, then your identity and function is defined solely by Him.

Adam wasn’t there when these creatures were made by God, so how was he to know what they were (and what they were created for)? It doesn’t say that God told Adam what to call them. If anything, He took a step back to see what Adam would do.

God could afford to be this carefree because He knew that Adam’s identity and function was so centred in Him, that Adam was able to access the unknown revelation of the creatures in God and call it forth by naming them.

As believers, God has positioned us in the marketplace to do the same. To name that which is found in the Edens He has given us authority over. That which we rightly name, we rightly position for divine function. That which we position, we must tend and keep in a suitable setting for divine purpose to be manifested.

We are not to passively join the rat race and scamper for dear life till we retire someday.

Each one of us is called to do incredible exploits for the Lord that far exceed our greatest imagination and ambition.

But before we can do so, three things must happen.

We must allow God to name us in the marketplace.

This means laying down every crown of achievement and self-sufficiency that we hold dear.

We must embrace the name He has given us.

This means letting go of our “right” to decide what our professional lives and careers should look like.

We must boldly step forward and function based on the name He has given us.

This means acknowledging that we are people on assignment – sent by He who has named us, the One who bears the name that is above every other name, the One to whose name all others must bow.

Do you know your God-given name in the marketplace?

It is only by that name that you can function as authentically and wholesomely as He desires you to.

Action Challenge:

Does your current function in the marketplace live up to the name God has given you? If so, what can you do to sustain the momentum and build on it? If not, what do you need to do to get back on track?

Christian Business

City On A Hill

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

Matthew 5:14-16 ESV

You don’t need to stand on top of your office desk and preach a sermon to your workmates to be a light in the workplace.

I’ve regularly shared my belief that changing the world looks like influencing/affecting one person at a time for the better with the ordinary things we do every day.

Something as simple as giving someone a ride from point A to B so they don’t have to worry about their commute that day. Saying please and thank you. Being considerate in how you handle someone. These are things we can all do if we so choose.

Today I want to focus on a significant part of making that choice.

Work culture predominantly comes about as a snowball effect.

Person A takes out their anger/frustration/disappointment/etc on person B. Person B takes it in and adds a bit of their own mix of feelings and passes it on to person C. Person C takes it in, runs into you and you bear the brunt of everything Person A, B and C were carrying.

At this point, you have a choice you can make. One that we make all the time without even thinking about it.

You can choose to continue the vicious cycle and throw a fit at the next person who has the misfortune of crossing your path.

Or you can choose to take everything thrown at you and lay it at the feet of Jesus. And instead, let His love take deeper root in your life and find expression through you to the next person who comes your way.

It’s one thing for us to speak about the unfairness and injustices that exist in the workplace. But what role have we played as believers in encouraging, enforcing and participating in the very things we’re called to stand against?

Dealing with the person who’s mishandled you will require wisdom in different shapes and forms. Being Christian doesn’t make you a doormat that deserves to be treated any which way. Yet, ours needs to be a Spirit-led response not an emotion-driven reaction.

If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink; For in doing so, you will heap coals of fire upon his head, and the Lord will reward you.

Proverbs 25:21-22 AMPC

We belong to a kingdom that handles things very differently from the world around us. So much so that it often seems like foolishness to follow God’s lead. Yet, we cannot claim to be the Church – the Body of Christ – if we cannot trust and follow the direction given to us by the Head of the Body – Jesus.

A dark room doesn’t need more darkness. It needs light.

The dark spaces of your workplace and in your workmates’ lives don’t need more darkness. They need the light of Christ to illuminate their lives and their hearts. They need to experience the unconditional love of Christ all the more when they least deserve it. You didn’t just happen to be there and in their lives. God has positioned you like a lamp on a stand. But He cannot force to function as a light.

Are you willing to lay down your pride, look foolish and allow God to use you in unorthodox ways? To love the unlovable and do the unthinkable in His name?

May we be the reason people run towards Christ and not away from Him.

Take The Challenge:

Be intentional in leaving people better than you found them this week. Whether you’re interacting with them through a phone call, written messages on email or text, or in person.

Christian Business

Called To Witness

Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!

Psalm 34:8 ESV

Testimonies and thanksgiving are regular themes in my writing because they’re regular themes in my life. I’ve found that the simplest truths are often the most profound and impactful. These two have been especially so.

As Christians in the marketplace we have many mandates. Perhaps one of the most spoken about and overlooked in equal measure is that we are called to witness.

There are two sides to this. The first is to take note of what God is doing in our workplaces. The very essence of being a witness is having knowledge about something. In the flurry of our daily activities, it’s incredibly easy to lose sight of the hand of God working in and through our lives.

Natural sight may come automatically to us but spiritual sight doesn’t. It’s something we have to learn and grow in over the course of our spiritual lives. In order to perceive what God is doing, we need to know how God works. This is because God rarely does what is obvious to us as human beings. He’s operating as one who has knowledge of past, present and future about everything. We tend to be limited in understanding to what’s in front of us. Our call as witnesses is in fact an invitation to come up higher and see things from God’s perspective.

The second side of being a witness is to express what we’ve seen. The value of a witness rests in their credibility. People aren’t blind or stupid. You won’t get away with being a wine drinker who preaches water. How we speak to our colleagues matters. How we treat them matters. Our excellence in our work matters. How we handle ourselves when we don’t think anyone’s watching matters. You can’t have spiritual authority in your workplace without spiritual credibility.

The value of a witness also lies in their ability to authentically relay the information they have. To be frank, a silent witness is useless. You don’t have to stand on top of your desk and give your colleagues a sermon. Your life will convey the message better than any words you speak.

But if you do get a chance to say something, don’t cower. I’ve had far more candid conversations about Jesus in the workplace than jokes told at my expense. Far, far more. You’d be surprised how many people are hungry for truth and in need of someone brave enough to journey with them to find it.

One of the greatest vantage points we can get in life is the ability to see God’s goodness in a world that seems to contradict it at every turn. Unlike us, God isn’t particularly concerned about having a bad reputation. Our doubts and questions neither startle nor threaten Him. He remains God whether we believe it or not, whether we like Him or not. His stoic nature is all the more reason why we shouldn’t fear being vulnerable with Him when we struggle to see His goodness. He is always ready and willing to elevate our sight to where it needs to be.

You will always find what you’re looking for. If you’re constantly looking for the bad and the negative in your workplace you will find it. If you intentionally look for the good and the positive, you will find it. Where is your gaze pointed?

Take Action:

Have you been a good witness in your workplace? What steps can you take to become a better one?

Christian Business, Leaders' Foundry

Leaders Pray

No lengthy post this month.

Just as importantly, if not more so, is a call to prayer as follows by the leading of the Holy Spirit:


New Leaders Foundry Post has been sent out. Sign up here to follow our conversations on Christian leadership in the marketplace:

Christian Business

Divine Promotions

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

Matthew 6:33 ESV

Worldly promotions and divine promotions are often night and day to each other. If we don’t understand the differences between the two as believers, we can end up trying to apply divine principles on worldly terms. It’s the equivalent of trying to apply the laws of your country as a foreigner in a different country.

So how do they stack up against each other?

Positioned by man vs. Positioned by God

Human wisdom will insist that the only way to get ahead in the corporate world is to position yourself to be seen and picked by others. It’s not enough to do the work – you need to make a show of it. You must make your presence known to the people who matter. And the only people who matter are the ones who can get you ahead.

For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.

Matthew 23:12 NIV

But God’s wisdom? God’s wisdom is the epitome of foolishness in the eyes of the world.

David was in the fields tending his father’s sheep and minding his business when Samuel came calling. Samuel, a powerful prophet in his own right, thought for sure one of David’s elder brothers, who were present in their home and far more presentable, would be the future king he was supposed to anoint.

God wasn’t having it. When no one else did, He remembered David. When no one else did, He saw David. Not just as a little shepherd boy but as a formidable king whose lineage would eventually birth the Messiah. No one, not even David, would have thought to position him for that.

If you strive to position yourself/have other’s position you, you will have to continue striving to keep that position and to get a new one. If you allow God to position you on His terms, He will sustain you against all odds and steadily move you up the ranks per time and season.

Heart Check: Are you struggling to position yourself for the bread crumbs the corporate world has to offer? Will you allow God to position you for your eternal destiny?

Justifying your worth vs. Resting in your worth

The world requires you to prove why you deserve a promotion, then prove over and over again why you got it, and eventually prove all the more why you should get another. All while fighting off everyone who will stop at nothing to get your seat. It’s an endless loop of justifying your worth.

Your worth is never in question in the Kingdom of God. God created you. Before you even took your first breath, you were valuable to Him. Regardless of what you may or may not have done thus far in your life, you remain valuable to Him. Your worth is never in question in His eyes.

Wherever God’s love finds you, it will not leave you there. He will continually push you to fully live the life He created you for, one that may look nothing like what the world thinks it should. But is everything beautiful He desires you to have.

There are two extremes we need to consider as believers. One is trying to earn our worth in the eyes of the God. If you were raised in an environment (home, school, even church) where you were expected to prove your worth, you may be subconsciously doing life with God in the same way. This leaves you constantly trying to demonstrate to God why you should get a particular position or why you deserve to have an opportunity He’s given you.

The other extreme is where believers who start off understanding how grace works get caught up in the realm of works without realizing. A subtle expectation creeps in where we feel we deserve certain things because of what we’ve done for God and He “owes” us. Rather than standing on the righteousness of God, they begin to stand on the righteousness of self.

Heart Check: If your greatest achievements to date are taken off the table, do you still think highly of yourself? What does your worth stand on? God’s love or your abilities and achievements?

Impressing man vs. Pleasing God

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

1 Samuel 16: 7 NIV

Human beings are wowed by what they see on the surface. That’s why CVs, resumes, portfolios, reels, etc are all the rage. That’s also why we’re constantly told to fake it until we make it.

God, on the other hand, not so much. He cares more about what’s in your heart. This means that even if you do the right thing but for the wrong reason, He’ll call you out on it. In any given moment, the state of your heart matters more to Him than how impressive you look.

Because a fundamental part of our lives is spent on the earthly realm, we can end up ignorant or forgetful of the existence of the spiritual realm.

The spiritual realm is not as fickle as the earthly realm. A demon will not take off running just because you yelled the name of Jesus a few times and managed to sound somewhat convincing. This realm recognizes   principles and operates on them.

The divine standard of promotion as seen in the Parable of the Talents is based on ability (what God has put in your hand) and stewardship (multiplication grace given to you by God). Just like the servants in these parable, no two individuals can be fairly judged on the exact same qualifiers because they are not given the same talents or multiplication grace to start with.

Yes, by this account, many of the corporate models of vetting for promotions, even those of some Christian businesses, are completely off. The way things typically work, the servant with five talents would be considered better than the one with two and be the only one praised. Yet they were both given their reward because in the Master’s eyes they had each attained the standard He set for them. That’s what Kingdom looks like.

Heart Check: What has God put in your hand? What level of multiplication is He expecting from you based on the grace He’s given to you this season?

Sacrifice vs. Obedience

Worldly promotions demand sacrifice. Of everything from sleep to sanity. It’s no wonder that many of them stand on the ruins of health (mental, emotional and physical), relationships, marriages, families, friendships. It’s ironic, then, how we glorify levels of sacrifice that are honestly inhumane. A culture of 16-18-hour work days, 5-6 days a week, all year round is nothing to be proud of.

I’m thankful for a season when I benefitted from a leader who believed that if you’re in the office when everyone arrives and still there when everyone leaves, you’re either not a good steward of time or there’s a problem with work management in the department.

Kingdom promotions demand obedience. Obedience means you’re willing to exalt God’s heart and mind above your own desires. It can also be considered a form of sacrifice but the difference here is the outcome for all.

Anything God calls you to do comes with the requisite grace and wisdom to do it in a way that will be beneficial to you, those in your life and those around you. If we get the call wrong, then we end up struggling to achieve that which God never intended us to, that which no grace exists for us to. If we get the call right, but the how wrong, we also end up struggling because we’ve positioning ourselves outside of the parameters of grace.

In obeying God, we need to get the what and the how right. Yes, we’re called to be living sacrifices that glorify God. But we’re not called to do so foolishly.

Heart Check: Are there any areas of your work life where your obedience is lacking? Are you working within the parameters of grace and wisdom God has given you?

Less work vs. More responsibility

One of the fallacies, even in the world, is that being promoted means less work. There’s a utopian picture painted for many of us growing up that getting to a certain level of success means you get to coast through the rest of your life.

Yet, if you’ve spent any amount of time with managers and CEOs then you know that couldn’t be further from the truth. They’re typically up way before the crack of dawn and often have to work late into the night just to keep track of the demands placed on them.

Divine promotions aka blessings have also not escaped utopian myths. They’ve popularly been presented as the end of all suffering where everything in your life just works out fine.

Here’s a much needed reality check. A divine promotion = more responsibility = more challenges to tackle. As you are faithful with the little entrusted to you, you are given more to steward (re: Parable of the Talents). All the while, God continually prunes you to ensure maximum fruitfulness.

If you’re not a fan of hard work and taking on more responsibility, then I wish you luck dodging every form of divine promotion you can.

Grace doesn’t disqualify us from work. It doesn’t mean that we sit in our offices and do nothing but praise Jesus. Excellence is a hallmark of the Divine. Laziness and shoddiness is not. 

We must put in the work. And as we do, remember: we work to glorify God not to qualify ourselves.

Heart Check: Are you willing to embrace the additional demands of stewardship that come with divine promotion?

Man’s reward vs. God’s reward

Some years back, I came to the realization that there were seasons in my work life where I would not be fairly compensated for the work I was doing. At the onset of one particular job, what I was being offered was a joke (and my prospective employer knew it), but God told me to take the job and not negotiate for a penny more. I wasn’t happy about it but I obeyed.

Out of anguish, I began to cry out to God to give me what no human being could give me. My limited options provoked me to unknowingly (at the time) seek a treasure worth far more than what everyone around me was chasing after. It turned out to be way better than what a few extra coins would have gotten me.

There are grand things that fellow human beings can give you – better jobs, better pay, cars, opportunities, etc. But there are things that only God can bring your way – health, joy, contentment, peace, divine wisdom, divine favour etc. Sure, people may argue that money can get you some semblance of these things. But that’s just it. It’s a semblance – an imitation – of the real deal. Once you’ve had a taste of what’s real in God, you’ll be hard pressed to settle for anything less.

It’s unfortunate when believers walk in the reward of the Lord but are so caught up by their desire for man’s reward they don’t even realize their lives are overflowing with eternal treasure. Yet when the cost of having the world is losing your soul, you quickly realize that the world may not be all it’s cracked up to be in value. You could be at the top of the world but painfully crumbling within. Is it really worth it?

Heart Check: Do you feel “cheated” by some aspect of your current work life? What does the Lord’s reward for you in this season look like? What does it look like for you to pursue His reward and not man’s?

Corner offices vs. Kingdom authority

Worldly promotions tend to thrust one into some form of visibility – whether in one’s company, industry or even in the nation(s) – depending on one’s role. While there are a few who will shy away from the spotlight for their own personal reasons, a vast majority will seek to amplify their time in the spotlight for personal validation and whatever profit they can get out of it.

The proverbial corner office is one of the symbols used in the workplace to show that someone has “arrived” in their career. It represents dominion in the corporate world.

Dominion in the Kingdom of God isn’t as blatantly obvious to our physical eyes. Like I mentioned in last month’s Leaders’ Foundry post, a janitor can have more spiritual authority than the CEO of the company they work for.

It takes discernment to perceive the level of spiritual authority a person carries in the workplace as well as what spirit (whether of God or of the devil) that authority carries. Not every show of power is from God. But the power of Jesus trumps every other out there.

Divine promotions, like earthly ones, come with an increase in divine power and authority. Sometimes this will manifest in the earthly realm through some form of recognition. But sometimes it may be a subtle shift that only the spiritually astute take note of.

Heart Check: Does your expectation of promotion include being acknowledged and validated by others? Are you willing to embrace the dominion God wants to give you regardless of whether it comes with a spotlight?

Personal gain vs. Kingdom gain

The bottom line in worldly promotions is personal gain. Sure, you’re likely being promoted because of the benefit you can give your company. But the reason a person will take or reject a promotion usually comes down to the benefits they receive as an individual.

Promotions in the Kingdom come down to Kingdom gain. The beauty of how God works is that He can bless an individual and a multitude in one go.

Consider what it means to be part of Body of Christ as we are as Christians. It wouldn’t make sense to grab hold of poison in your hand that may not be harmful to your skin but will be detrimental to your whole body if you put it in your mouth and swallow it.

Accepting or rejecting a promotion should therefore boil down to where God would have you positioned in a particular season in light of your role in the Body of Christ. This will mean sometimes passing by a promotion that looks like the opportunity of a lifetime or even accepting a role that seems like a demotion.

Kingdom gain may delay personal gain if the situation calls for it. It may even deny you of what you thought your personal gain should be. But it will never rob you of God’s intended reward for you. If anything, it will only serve to multiply it a hundredfold.

It’s easy to call ourselves Christians and sing how surrendered our lives are to God every Sunday. But when push comes to shove, are we truly willing to pay the price of what it means to follow Jesus?

Heart Check: Are the promotions you are seeking for personal gain or for kingdom gain? What adjustment do you need to make in your pursuit?

Exiles in the Corporate World

Much like Joseph in Egypt and Daniel in Babylon, we are exiles in the modern corporate world. We are called to be in it but we are certainly not of it. Our mandate is to transform this world and not conform to it.

Living on God’s terms in the corporate world will mean that your life will often not make sense to those around you. Neither will you. They may ignore you, pass you over or even ridicule you. But you need to decide whether your reputation matters more to you than your relationship with God.

One of the outstanding purposes time serves is to vindicate truth. In the end, it didn’t matter that Joseph and Daniel were slaves in their land of function. The work of God in them and through them not only exalted them as individuals but brought nations to the Lord.

Entire nations.

That’s what is truly at stake.

Will you allow God to use you as He did them?

Will you trust Him not to lead you astray no matter how uncertain the path ahead of you may seem?

Will you pay the price for His glory to be made manifest through you?

“It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”

C.S. Lewis (The Weight of Glory, and Other Addresses)

Recommended Resources:

Anointing vs. Gifting – Christine Caine

Just Been Promoted? Now Stop Dealing With Excuses – Sunny Bindra

Christian Business

Marketplace Ministry

Before Jesus called each of his disciples to join Him in full-time ministry, they all had professions they were active in.

Peter, Andrew, James and John were fishermen.

Matthew was a tax collector.

Luke was a doctor.

And though not all of them have their occupations referenced in Scripture, we can presume that they were certainly engaged in some activity to sustain their livelihood.  

The first disciples called were Peter and Andrew, followed by James and John.

Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee. He saw two brothers. They were Simon (his other name was Peter) and Andrew, his brother. They were putting a net into the sea for they were fishermen. Jesus said to them, “Follow Me. I will make you fish for men!” At once they left their nets and followed Him.

Going from there, Jesus saw two other brothers. They were James and John, the sons of Zebedee. They were sitting in a boat with their father, mending their nets. Jesus called them. At once they left the boat and their father and followed Jesus.

~ Matthew 4:18-22 NLV

The disciples literally had to leave their occupations (and life as they knew it) behind in order to follow Christ. When it comes to present day ministry, there are those who are called to full time ministry. For some, they never go through the marketplace and their path from the word go leads them into full-time ministry. For others, they may be trained in a particular professional field and even practice in it for some time, before the nature of their calling requires them to cease actively practicing their profession.

Why God would allow someone to start a career only to have them quit it down the road varies. Sometimes it could be that they weren’t believers (or serious in their faith) when they started and when they do get closer to God, He redirects them. It could serve as part of their preparation process for ministry. It could also be that He intends to use the skills and experiences they gain during their time in the marketplace as they do ministry. Whatever the case, God isn’t going to waste the time spent in the marketplace when the transition into ministry finally happens. So should you find yourself in this position, please heed the call of God. There’s nothing worse than trying to function in a place when the grace of God has lifted from you.

The second category of present day ministry is where a vast majority of people fall – and it’s one that’s far less understood. It’s what I call marketplace ministry. We talk about evangelism in the workplace a lot. But what does it actually mean for what you do in the marketplace to simultaneously be your ministry?

We must let go of our nets.

When Jesus called Peter and Andrew, they had to let go of their nets to follow Him. As fishermen, their nets were their tools of trade. Arguably the most important ones.

When Jesus called Peter and Andrew, they had to let go of their nets to follow Him. As fishermen, their nets were their tools of trade. Arguably the most important ones.

In the context of marketplace ministry, what we need to let go of are the mindsets and expectations we have of our careers. This is all the more so because for many of us, our education in preparation for our professions gave us a worldly view of our fields, not a Godly one. It’s why we struggle so much trying to figure out where God fits into our careers. We were never trained to have Him there to begin with.

We must leave people (and their expectations of us) behind.

John and James didn’t just leave their boat behind, they also left their father. Theirs was a family venture and it’s likely that their father expected his sons to grow the business with him. Their implications of their choice could not have been easy for father or sons.

Careers are largely driven by expectation – what we and others think they should look like. Others could be those close to us like family, friends and colleagues. They could also be complete strangers who we’re trying to impress because we’ve been brought up to believe that we must have “a name” in society, and in our professional field.

Surrendering your profession to God for ministry will not look like what anyone – even you – expects. This is a reality we need to continually make peace with especially when He requires us to say and do things that go against the grain of what others expect of us.

We must follow Jesus.

It’s not enough for us to get to the door of salvation and then camp there for the rest of our lives. We need to enter into the life God purposed for us to have in salvation. There is an active, daily pursuit of Christ we require. It means getting out of what we’re comfortable with and following Him into the unknowns of life, and in this case, the marketplace.

Following Jesus will mean doing things very differently from the world around us. A classic Biblical example is that of Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah who were given the names Belteshazzar, Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego.

These four Israelite men were in exile in Babylon and Babylon wasted no time trying to conform them into Babylonians. Names denote identity. In the same way Babylon tried to define these men by giving them new names, worldly marketplace systems will try to conform us to what they stand for by telling us who we should be. But you need to realize that before you stepped a foot into that office, and even before your first day of school for that course, God had already given you a name in so far as your profession is concerned.

Following Jesus isn’t about getting an identity that isn’t in existence yet. It’s a journey of discovery to who He has already called us to be.

The Babylonians also tried to feed the four men special food and drink which they declined and instead chose a diet that left them healthier and better nourished than everyone else. What we consume in the marketplace and about the marketplace will make or break us. If you take time to read Scripture with the Holy Spirit, you’ll be shocked just how much the Bible has to say about the marketplace. The testimonies are there just waiting to be discovered.

Additionally, there are things in and about the marketplace that are good but not necessarily beneficial for us and we shouldn’t spend too much time on them, if any at all.

There is no one-diet-suits-all for the marketplace. If anything, there are seasons of our work life that will require a change in diet. As an individual, you need to journey with God consistently to know what you need to consume in every season.

How do you know if you’re on the right path?

It shows. Here’s how.

We must become “fishers of men”.

Jesus sets standards for us that become the new nets with which we can catch men so to speak. Our standards cannot be the same as those of unbelievers. Neither can our fruit or results.

Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah were found to be 10 times better than anyone in the king’s service in the entire kingdom. It wasn’t what they said of themselves – it’s what the king himself found to be true about them. The days of Christians being known for their empty talk and mediocre work need to end. We are called to excellence that is far beyond even what the world considers success.

I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Jesus rephrased what Peter and Andrew did for a living (fishermen) to describe what He wanted them to become (fishers of men). God takes the professional tools at our disposal and shows us how to use them for His glory.

“God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.”

~ John Piper

I’m yet to meet one person in the marketplace who isn’t looking for some level of satisfaction. So much so, that we’re driven to take all sorts of steps and make all forms of sacrifice for the possibility of satisfaction. Ironically, the marketplace has become synonymous with having to do much more for much less.

Following Jesus in the marketplace means denying ourselves of fleeting pleasures so that we can find a much deeper satisfaction that is guaranteed. One that isn’t upended by the volatility of life. Know that anything you strive to gain in the marketplace, you will have to strive to keep. But anything you receive from God, He will sustain on your behalf. Therein, lies the rest we find in leaving our nets behind.

Much later on, Jesus would have another significant encounter with Peter; where He asks Peter who he considers Him to be. Peter’s response is his revelation of Christ – as the Anointed One who is the Son of God. On this revelation, Jesus stated, He would build His church.

The church was to be built on a revelation described by a fisherman who had become a fisher of men. I believe God is still in the business of using “fishermen” who know who He is to build His church by becoming “fishers of men”.

Question is – will you follow Him?

Christian Business

Challenge Yourself

“It is inbred in us that we have to exceptional things for God: but we have not. We have to be exceptional in the ordinary things, to be holy in the mean streets, among mean people, and this is not learned in five minutes.”

– Oswald Chambers

As we’ve begun this year this is one of the challenges my spiritual father has given our community – challenge yourself.

It’s struck a chord with me because 2019 hasn’t heralded any uppity new year excitement for me. There’s just a quiet resolve to get things done. Perhaps it’s the season of life I’m in where execution matters more than merely being enthralled by things.

So this month, I want to extend the challenge to you as you go about your work, business or both.

Challenge yourself to be kinder. To everyone. From the watchman and the tea lady in your office to the client who may be micromanaging your every move. Be the reason someone has an easier day. You’d be surprised how much you can make this world a better place simply by being kind to everyone you meet.

Challenge yourself to be faithful. Not just in the big things that everyone can see, but especially in the small things that are easy to overlook. In a world that thrives on the bare minimum, work as unto God not as unto men. When the tally is eventually done, it’ll be between you and Him not everyone else.

Challenge yourself to grow. In your core profession and in the secondary skills that support it. In an area of passion that may not even be related to your profession but fills you with joy. Stretch yourself to try what you’re not good at. We don’t start at excellence we learn our way to it. There are a ton of free and affordable online resources for everything under the sun.

Find someone who can teach you what you need to know. It’s easy to complain that no one is willing to go out of their way to mentor you; but why not try a different approach? Go out of your way to help them do what they need to do and in so doing learn what they do. Anyone who’s truly hungry for something will never be found seated just waiting for someone to bring it to them.

Challenge yourself not to make excuses. This world owes you nothing. NOTHING. If anything, as a believer, you owe the world your manifestation as a child of God. Take responsibility for your work ethic and career/business. When you look at your life, and have someone or something to blame for whatever isn’t working, realize that the common denominator for everything is you. Your life isn’t theirs, it’s yours. Live like it.

Challenge yourself to see things through. For some people, starting something isn’t the issue; getting to the finish line is. Whatever you start to do this year, commit to getting to the end regardless of what barriers you find along the way. Rather than being quick to find a way out, look to God for a way through. Discipline is what will keep you going when the rush of excitement has long died down. And the truth that’s hardly ever spoken about achieving dreams, is that they’re built on discipline not feelings.

Challenge yourself to make time for what matters by cutting down on what doesn’t. The biggest culprit for time wasted is our phones. Here’s a challenge for you. Use the screen time/digital wellbeing function on your phone to track how much cumulative time you spend on different things like social media. A few minutes spent scrolling here and there doesn’t seem like much until you see a weekly tally of the hours that flew by. Then consider all the more productive things you could have done in that time but didn’t because “you didn’t have time”.

Challenge yourself to be yourself. The value of who God created you to be is not in question or in contention. He knew what He was doing when He made you everything you are and everything you’re not. Trust God to give you a revelation of that value because you can only express that which you’re aware of. Give the people in your work and business circles, the gift of you.

Take Action:

Challenges mean moving away from business as usual and doing things differently. What are the things you are committing to doing differently in the first quarter of the year?