Welcome to Season 1, Episode 1 of the Convene Podcast. On today’s episode, we have Bob Shank, CEO of The Master’s Program talking with us about how to release your greatest resource for maximum impact.
You wake up in the morning hoping your actions will have purpose. You want the work you do during the day to be affirmed, to be directed towards a meaningful end, and to have an impact on the lives of those around you.
You want to lie down at night and feel satisfied, content that the work you did was your very best and made a difference in the grand scheme of things.
You want the peace of mind, the satisfaction that comes with living out your purpose in the world.
You want fulfillment.
And you know what? You can find it. Everyone can.
Each person is created in God’s image, and like him, has the desire – and the ability – to be creative and find fulfillment using their God-given talents.
You can find fulfillment in many ways, by knowing your place and purpose in your community, your family, your church, and especially in work.
You can find fulfillment by living into who God created you to be, and doing what he created you to do.
In short, you find fulfillment when you discover and carry out your calling. This fulfillment finds expression in many ways – in serving your community, church, and family. In these places, you can make contributions that have eternal significance.
Work especially is an area where you can find fulfillment. Your daily work provides you with the challenges and opportunities to serve God and others. In fact, it’s the best way to serve others. And service is key – ultimately, work isn’t just about your personal fulfillment. It’s about serving your neighbors and even complete strangers by using your God-given gifts, talents, and resources to help meet their needs. Your service gives people a glimpse of how things will be when Christ returns and restores creation in full.
There are, of course, times when work may be difficult. Some days you feel the “thorns and thistles,” the stress, the burden of your responsibilities more than others. Through it all, work remains a formative activity for finding fulfillment by teaching us about God and ourselves.
Fulfillment can be found in whatever work God places in front of you, regardless of whether it’s your dream job or not. When we work hard everyday at the work God has given us, it’s pleasing to him and way more fulfilling for us.
Ultimately, fulfillment is not found in our circumstances, but in the actions – and attitudes we take towards our work, family, church, and community each and everyday. It’s found in working diligently to glorify God, serve the common good, and advance the kingdom of God in all that we do.
Originally published by the Institute for Faith, Work & Economics (IFWE). ©Institute for Faith, Work & Economics 2015. Used by permission.
We don’t have a personal life and a professional life; we have ONE life and we have to make it count!
Are you doing what you love for a living? Do your professional endeavors and entrepreneurial ventures reflect God’s purpose for your life? How do the mission and vision for your business align with God’s mission and vision for your life?
In the Western world, we spend most of our time at work. Our careers consume over half of our lives! We spend too much time at work not to enjoy it. So, it’s critical that what we spend most of our waking hours doing, for most of our lives, is also spiritually edifying.
But, most of us have heard the unfortunate results of studies from Harvard Business School, SMU Cox, The Gallup Poll, and other leading research organizations, reporting that Americans are consistently dissatisfied with their jobs and careers. The Gallup Poll’s 2013 State of the American Workplace study found that 70 percent of those who participated described themselves as “disengaged” from their work. This is unacceptable - - particularly for those of us who are ambassadors for Christ.
We don’t have a personal life and a professional life; we have ONE life and we have to make it count. So, how do we make our lives count through our entrepreneurial pursuits? As always, the answer is found in the Word of God. The Bible says “where there is no revelation, the people perish” (Proverbs 29:18; AMP). One revelation is the importance of having a Biblical foundation for your commercial endeavors.
Business people don’t plan to fail;
they simply fail to follow God’s Plan
I am a planner at heart. I grew up in Dayton, Ohio in a Christian household and in my uncle’s church. I also grew up hearing the mantra of “Go to school to get a good job.” And, so I began developing and executing my educational pursuits and career plan. My plans. I have had the pleasure of serving in leadership roles with Fortune 500 companies and esteemed academic institutions and I am also blessed to be an entrepreneur. I have often served in a strategic planning capacity in my career and my consulting firm specializes in strategic business planning. Business Plans. But, along the way, God has taught me that my professional endeavors are not about me; they are all about Him and His sovereign Kingdom Agenda. His Plans.
Part of my journey involves Him calling me out of my comfortable position in corporate America, with my six-figure income, company stock, expense account, company vehicle, etc., to trust Him by resigning from the company and taking a sabbatical to start my business and write the book, Revelations in Business, that He had placed in my heart - - all during one of the most horrendous times in the history of the U.S. from an economic perspective – the years 2007 to 2009. Definitely not my plan.
But guess what? I obeyed God and it all worked out! I wouldn’t change my journey for anything. It continues to be a blessing. The Bible says that He knows the plans He has for us (Jeremiah 29:11, NIV) and that when we commit our work to the Lord, then our plans will succeed (Proverbs 16:3,NLT). I am a living testimony that His Word does not return void (Isaiah 55:11, NKJV). Now, you might be saying: Well, Shelette, that all sounds good, but I’m not even sure of what my purpose is, let alone, how to align it with my profession! Good point. Read on for a few ways to uncover your God-given purpose and connect it with your profession.
Steps for Connecting
Your Profession With Your Purpose
You are never too young, nor too old, to identify and pursue your God-given purpose. Following are a few practical suggestion and pragmatic ways to uncover your purpose and align it with your profession:
- Begin from Within: Pray to the God who created us and ask Him to reveal His purpose for you; and He will (James 1:5). But, you must be sincere, diligent, and intentional in doing so.
- Recognize the Clues: The Bible says that we are all blessed with gifts (Romans 12:4-8) and that we are to stir up the gifts that are within us (2 Timothy 1:6)! What is it that you do so well that you are always getting complimented on? What are your passions? What are those hobbies that when you are immersed in, time just seems to fly by? The goal is to make sure that you are incorporating your natural skill sets, talents, abilities, interests, and passions into your entrepreneurial ventures. This is the proverbial sweet spot when you feel as if you are being compensated for a hobby!
- Quench Your Thirst: Jesus says: If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink (John 7:37, NKJV). What do you thirst for spiritually? Intellectually? Creatively? That thirst, that yearning, that calling, that desire, is there for a reason. It’s not to be ignored. Often times it’s the Holy Spirit leading us into our next season. Identify your areas of thirst and make sure that you are quenching them through your business endeavors.
- Leave a Positive Lasting Legacy: Corrie ten Boom, the late Christian Holocaust survivor, said: The measure of a life is not its duration, but its donation. Aligning your profession with your purpose positions you to leave a positive lasting donation, or legacy, in your family, in the community, and in the world. You are positioned to enrich the lives of others and you have a level of peace that comes only from God because He is in control (Romans 5:1). You no longer have to worry about the economy, competitive threats, and corporate downsizing. You are transcending the world’s boundaries of temporary success and positioning yourself for eternal blessings and salvation. Success and significance. Now, my friend, go forth and connect your profession with your purpose and enjoy the journey!