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On how a business can be a venue for transformation

July 10, 2012

 

Thanks to what happened at Pentecost, the Holy Spirit enables the Gospel to go forth in spite of opposition, feeble messengers, and sin. We know we’re a business, but we also believe that a business can be a venue for the proclamation of the Gospel (the Wind blows wherever It wishes- even into the doors of retail spaces and shops here in a mall in Wheaton, Illinois).

Among the many things our staff is passionate about is our local community (did you see us marching in the 100+ degree heat at the Glen Ellyn Independence Day parade?), and especially this: the local church.

And of course, those two things are connected. I hope you see your church as God’s channel to reach our local community with the transforming message of the Kingdom of Jesus. There are plenty of people in DuPage County who have yet to encounter the resurrected, living Jesus, and to surrender their lives to him.

In order to more fully live out our vision of equipping the church, we’re lining up a series of authors in August to deliver some insights (for free) to any and all who would wish to join us as we brainstorm how to better serve in our churches. You saw me rave about John Walton’s book earlier this summer, and Michael Williams’ before that. You haven’t yet heard me talk about Ruth Haley Barton’s Pursuing God’s Will Together, but be assured that this book is important, valuable, and that the organization that Ruth started, The Transforming Center, is quietly and powerfully positioning leaders in DuPage County and around the world to be deeply transformed by the power of the Gospel (yes: another local author to burst our buttons about- and a good customer, too!).

There have been many eloquent and helpful reviews on Pursuing God’s Will Together. I’ll just say a few words on it: if you ever feel like working behind the scenes at your church is like watching sausage being made, you would appreciate the value of this book.

Through her experiences in researching and counseling ministry leadership groups, Haley Barton has come to recognize that leading the church is unlike leading anything else. Churches are empowered by the Holy Spirit and are motivated by Kingdom purposes. When those key distinguishing factors about the church are forgotten, leaders of ministries go the way of the world- they are inclined to pursue worldly (instead of godly) agendas (and seriously- aren’t we all?). Maybe those agendas are masked with a veneer of Christian sensibilities, but underneath, they are, at their core, agendas of personal grandeur or financial gain.

However, when leadership groups submit themselves to the transforming power of the Spirit and immerse themselves in Scripture, when they commit, together, to discern God’s will apart from their own agendas and desires, and when they detach themselves from the outcome, willing instead to do whatever God wants them to do, they start to sail in the wind of God’s Spirit. They start to go where he leads, and this can actually be an enjoyable experience.

Skeptical about that? So burned out from the pettiness of committee meetings and e-mail convos that you want to toss in the towel on church leadership? Show up to our Ministry Development Series. You might be surprised at what you find.

Feel free to download pdfs of these and share them with the staff and volunteers at your churches: mindevelseriespdfmindevelwoodcutpdf . We’ll see you in August!

 

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