BETA

Facts of the Matter

A weekly letter of encouragement and challenge to business and professional men and women
Wednesday, October 6, 2004
Dear Colleagues,

WHERE IS THE PRIMARY FOCUS OF YOUR MINISTRY?

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Where is the primary focus of your ministry?

Inside the walls of the church? In your neighborhood? At the fitness center?

Think about it

: If you sleep 8 hours a night and work a 45 hour week, 40% of your waking hours is spent on the job. Who else is better positioned, access-wise to overcome the barriers, understand the culture, and reach into the hearts of the people in your work environment than you? Could your pastor do it? Doubtful. So, by natural affinity and sheer opportunity, this could well be your primary God-appointed mission field. Pray about it.

The challenge is not to shout the Gospel at your fellow workers. Rather, it is to live out the implications of the Gospel in such a compelling manner that you literally create thirst by your saltiness (Matthew 5:13), and dispel darkness with the light of your life. (Matthew 5:16). My guess is that if you authentically model the life of Jesus by reflecting the Beatitudes (Matthew 57), some of your associates will be induced to enquire as to why you are so wonderfully different. (See Philip. 2:14-16)

Here are a few simple suggestions on how to begin a ministry in the marketplace with your lost friends and associates:

Make a list of several people in your work environment who need Christ, and then begin praying daily for them by name. Confess to God that frankly, their lost condition is, for the most part, immaterial to you. Ask God to supernaturally give you Christs compassion for them. My guess is that in time, they will begin to sense your new found concern and will be drawn toward you. (See Matt. 9:36-38; I Sam. 12:23)

Ask God to impress upon you his timing as to who on the list you should single out first say for lunch, or golf, or whatever. Look for those whom God seems to softening and preparing. (See Colossians 4:5,6)

Earn the right to be heard. During your time together focus on them, their family concerns, etc. Listen carefully to their heart. Pick up the tab (use your tithe money, if you need to). Be sure there is no hidden agenda (getting them to your church or into your Bible study, etc. The cultural shock of entering your "religious" world too early may prove too much of an adjustment). Look for ways to quietly serve them: A book, networking, helping them clean out their garage, etc. Whatever you do, dont bonk them over the head with the Gospel. Go slowly. Wait a few weeks and then do it again. (See 2 Corinthians 4:5)

When the time seems right, ask them if they would like to "explore" the Scriptures in order to determine who Jesus is, and whether he has any relevancy to their lives today. Set up only one or two sessions at a time so they will not feel they are being trapped. Add more sessions as they respond. Create an environment of grace that invites the Holy Spirit to do his work. "Think lost." That is, see life through their lens. Be real. Put as few barriers between them and the Gospel as possible. Discuss small bite size passages from the book of Mark or John that specifically reveal the Person of Christ. Keep each session short and simple. Leave them hungry. Dont preach. Ask questions and listen carefully. Admit it when you dont have the answer(s). View evangelism as a process, rather than an event. (See 2 Tim. 2:23-26)

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