Discussing ministry in the workplace – “Whatever your passion is, that’s your vision”

1 Peter 4:10: Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.

I was sharing with a friend how my husband and I are settling in to the church near our new home. We weren’t sure we’d actually shift churches when we moved house but we’ve since decided that it’s the best thing for us.  As we grow older, the need for ‘local’ community becomes stronger and also, because of our new location (bushfire region) it’s important that we have local contacts and can gain local knowledge.  I’ve been going to this church on and off since May and my husband has begun coming to services too.  So we’re still very new there and getting to know people.

I told our friend that I am now looking after the (new) church website as it seemed to me they needed help in that area. And I could see other things I can become involved in as time goes by.  I was telling him I couldn’t help it – I like being involved and if I have the skills and knowledge for something, then I want to use them.  I guess I was sounding kind of apologetic for it.

His response startled me a bit as I hadn’t seen what had taken place in the same way he did.  I get worried that I might be too pushy or anxious to belong and get involved.  But that’s not how our friend saw it. He said I had a servant heart and that will always mean I’ll be involved in the Lord’s work.

Let’s look at that verse again.  1 Peter 4:10: Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.

This is indeed what I have been doing. Simply using my gifts to help others where I see the help is needed.   If this means I have a servant heart, then so be it.   Do you use your gifts to help where needed?

A servant heart. What does that mean to you?

Off the beaten track

My husband had to be at church early last weekend and as it was the most beautiful cool crisp and clear winter’s day, with the sun shining, I asked my husband to drop me off at a park nearby so I could go in search of a Flame Robin I’d seen there a year before.  My plan was to walk to the church after about a half hour or so of photography.

I was not only rewarded with seeing the robin and his new family but also some sacred ibis in flight and a swan and its mate and their three cygnets.  Plus beautiful views in the park throughout.

I trod along the paths that were set there for everyone to walk on, but I only got to see most of the ‘treats’ by treading off the beaten path.  I thought about that as I walked along and felt that God was speaking to me once again.  It was almost like I could hear His voice in my head telling me that it was ok to go ‘off the beaten track’.

Often when we talk about going off the beaten track it can mean people going astray or as we say ‘going off track’ but in this case I believe God meant that by not following the world, but by following Him we are moving ‘off the beaten track’. There are times when we will do things that seem averse to the way of the world and what is commonly accepted practice.  As Christians we are expected to shine a light and be aware that our actions are always on display.  Instead of travelling on ‘the beaten track’ we are to follow the path that Jesus led which was very much off the beaten track.

As I walked off the beaten track last Sunday in the park I was delighted with things I would not have seen had I stayed on the track. Two of those items are pictured below.

Are you travelling the path that God would have you travel or are you travelling the one that the world would have you travel?
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This Flame Robin could not be seen from the path I was walking on, it wasn’t until after I’d left the path and ventured towards a fence that I saw the robin on the ground beyond the fence.

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This family of swans were hiding in the reeds and it wasn’t until I drew closer to the water that they moved out so I could see them.  Had I stayed on the path up the hill I would not have seen them at all – or only specks in the distance.

Isaiah 42:16 … along unfamiliar paths I will guide them, I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth.

In August 2008 I shared how a blogpost I’d written for another blog I owned had spoken to a lady who really needed to read that message. I’d responded to an inner prompting I’d had to write that post.

In that same year I’d been approached about a new business that was reaching Australia from the US.  I’d been approached many times by many people for all sorts of business opportunities and I was actually quite sick of people seeing me as a prospecting machine to help build their businesses.  I really should have felt flattered I guess – they see me as having great potential.  However my feelings coloured my view of any business and I neglected to view it properly.

Move forward two years and I’ve since decided to set up an account with that business ‘Send Out Cards‘ as I recognise it is a great marriage with a service I already provide – database and customer relationship management. And one of the things I love about this program is that it was built on that ‘inner prompting’.  The founder of the company missed an opportunity to speak to his brother before his brother’s untimely death and he decided he wanted to not only take notice of those inner promptings but teach others to do so as well.  There have been times when I’ve missed, or rather ignored, those inner promptings too and it’s also led to similar outcomes.  Once was a best friend when I was only 21 years old and another more recently, one of my daughters. Of course there have been other times too when I’ve simply missed opportunities and the moment passes and the meaning would no longer be there.

How often does someone you know cross your mind but you do nothing about it because you’re busy at the time?  If you’re like me and at the computer a lot it doesn’t always cross your mind to go down to the shops, pick out a card, write in it and then head off to the post office. But that is all it takes to let someone know you’re thinking of them.  And with a card it’s something they can keep for a long time.  A phone call can be replayed in your head but a card you can pick up and read over and over again a long time after it was received.

I’m beginning to realise that the ministry through business I’ve been running can be added to through the sending of cards to people who cross my mind.  There are times when it’s appropriate to pick up the phone and speak with them but other times when a card is far more suitable.

When I first began some months ago I struggled to think of a reason or a person on a daily basis.  But today I write names down as people cross my mind and it’s not unusual to send 3 or 4 cards a day. And the cost of those cards isn’t great – it’s cheaper than going down to the shops and purchasing individual cards as well as the time involved.

If you feel you have a ministry through your workplace of encouraging people then why not consider that Send Out Cards could be an ideal way to act on those inner promptings.  Prayer should always be taking place anyway but if you want to make that action more visible to the person you’re thinking of, then a card will definitely suit. There are over 12,000 templates or you can design your own, so there will always be something to suit the occasion.

Proverbs 11:25 A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.

Updates at this blog

My apologies to all my regular readers and those who have left comments and waiting for responses.  My life has changed dramatically over the past almost two years and for a long time I haven’t really felt like writing. That is changing and the writing is coming back as new things begin to inspire me.

I don’t want to labour why I haven’t been here. We had a loss in the family which really rocked us to the core and while life hasn’t returned to the normalcy we knew, it has taken on a new kind of ‘normal’ and we have begun to move forward again. I hope to start writing here again regularly and would also welcome guest contributors on this topic.

I’d always felt it was important to set goals and write them down. Something ‘magical’ happens when you take them from your mind and begin to visualise them in words and images.

This devotion from The Word For Today again emphasises the importance of goal setting and bringing them to fruition – with God involved in that process.

Eight principles to live by
Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity…
Proverbs 21:5 NLT

People who set goals accomplish much more than people of equal education and ability who don’t. With that in mind, build these eight principles into your life.
(1) Decide what you want. But first consult God. “Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails” (Pr 19:21 NIV). (2) Think on paper. Writing your goals down gives them a sense of permanency, plus it energises you. “Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity…” Wishy-washy objectives won’t get you where you want to go. (3) Establish a deadline. Without a definite beginning and ending it’s easy to procrastinate and get nowhere. (4) Make a list of what you need to do to. Keep it before you at all times; it’ll give you a track to run on. (5) Convert your list to a plan. Decide what you need to do first and what you can do later. An organised plan is always better than trying to carry stuff around in your head. (6) Act immediately. “Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity…” (Eph 5:15-16 NIV). Do something! A mediocre plan that’s implemented beats a brilliant one that’s not. (7) Do something every day to move you forward. Build it into your schedule. For example, read systematically through your Bible, call a specific number of clients, engage in physical activity for a given time. (8) Have a goal you’re willing to devote your life to. And keep your eye on that goal at all times. “Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom” (Ps 90:12 NIV).

Soulfood Bible Readings
(Pentecost) Lev 23:15-22, Acts 2:1-18
 

About Author

John 5:17
Jesus said to them, "My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I, too, am working."

My name is Kathie and I live in Melbourne, Australia. I grew up always knowing that God was with me and formally accepted Christ as my Saviour when I was 14 years old. I have had many experiences where God has been involved at my places of work and amongst my work colleagues.

A few years ago I heard the founder of Australian Christian TV speak - I don't remember a lot of his talk but I do remember one particular phrase that has stuck with me ever since. He said "Whatever your passion is, that's your vision" . It struck a chord with me and I realised that the very things that made me passionate are the same things that I do daily in my business, and through those things I know I touch many lives. I believe I am where our Lord wants me to be.

 

I've recently been reading Faith & Work: Do They Mix? by Os Hillman. Excellent book and it was whilst reading it, I got the idea for this blog - and was pleasantly surprised that this domain was waiting for me to purchase. I will be sharing what I've been learning through reading and research in the hope that it will also provide answers to your searches and prayers. Would love to hear from you. Bless you, KMT