An Unexpected Journey
It started out as a mission to bring together leaders in the city. It eventually lead to a path I never could have imagined, and ultimately lead to the creation of this online magazine.
You see, my passion was to see the Christian leaders in my city come together to create solutions to the church’s problems, such as
- “Why aren’t we reaching this culture?”,
- “Why are our people leaving in droves?”, and
- “Why don’t we have enough solid leadership rising up from our own ranks?”.
I wanted to bring together a group of leaders who could problem-solve, as well as mobilize the church to be all it was meant to be. Something kinda like the Church Councils of old – but on a city-wide level.
I set up meeting after meeting to gauge how people felt about an idea like this. More than that, I wanted to see what the other leaders perceived as the real problems in the city.
What I got instead was a completely new level of insight into the hearts of the men and women of God in my community.
Some leaders wanted to create better small groups. Others felt that if our focus is not on the homeless, we’re failing. One guy believed he needed to make the biggest mega-church in the land. There was a ton of diversity in the visions for our city.
But there were also a few very surprising similarities.
Everybody Wants to Engage in the Lives of Professionals
In my meetings with the leaders, I kept hearing things like, “We need to be a larger part of the discussion in the business world” or “I want to train up business men to be able to train other people to provide for their families”.
Clearly, entrepreneurs who can run businesses must have a lot to offer in the way of leadership, people-skills, organization, etc. But more importantly, the men I met with seemed to believe that the church had dropped the ball in training them to use those gifts effectively in the cause of the gospel.
And that is only the entrepreneurs – the other 95% of people in the church are everyday people with jobs. They spend a great portion of their lives at work. They do the daily grind because they know it is necessary to eat and feed their families.
There is a clear desire to meet these people where they are, and foster their spiritual lives in the work that they do…
But Nobody Knows How to Do It
By their own admission, the leaders I met with don’t know how to do this effectively with a new generation of Millennials moving into the workforce. And I’m right alongside them: the task of training people to be successful in integrating their faith and work is hard. It’s hard conceptually, let alone making it practical.
The real problem is that we’ve been taught to believe that the extent of our ministry at work is meagerly trying to bring up conversations that later on could potentially lead to other talks that might, hopefully, lead to a conversation about Christ… one day … if the person seems receptive.
But that can’t be all there is.
We don’t just want to help people evangelize to their friends at work, even though it is part of what we must do. We want to make people successful in shaping their fields positively for the gospel.
The church in Jerusalem in Acts 2:47 were working men and women, and we can follow their model. They gained favor with the people through their upstanding character, good works, love for one another, and devotion to God.
It is through these things that Christian Doctors will be able to shape healthcare to be less bureaucratic, and more altruistic. Lawyers can fight against the over-litigiousness of our society. Social workers can get through the red-tape in order to truly help people.
As we see individuals change in bold ways for Christ, and they impact their work communities, we’ll see changes in entire fields, and finally in all of society.
But it can’t be done without the power of Christ, and the openness of the church to follow His lead in this generation.
After My Meetings
In the end, I had to create this online magazine. It is more than just giving practical advice.
Imagine a word is on the tip of your tongue, but you just can’t figure out how to express yourself. That’s where we are as the church in America. We know we have to engage the business community, but we can’t quite figure out how to do it.
This online magazine is meant to be a creative experience between author and reader to design new definitions for reaching the hard-working Americans that sit next to us in the pew today.