Do you go to work each day? Are you the boss or in a cubicle? Do you have a certain level of responsibility and maybe a team to manage? You have what I call a marketplace ministry. God has placed you into an area of influence whether a worker, a manager, or an owner. So, why do you feel that you are only experiencing your spiritual side when you are plugged into or serving in a church sponsored activity?
Our priorities (especially for women) are God, Family, and Work. I look at it as a three tiered fountain. Imagine with me the top, the smallest cup in the fountain. This is where water bubbles forth from the center; Christ filling us. Once it fills this small cup the water glides over the edges and begins to fill the second cup; this is our family and our closest friends. Then ever so slowly that level of the fountain fills so that now the largest part begins to fill; these are those in your church, those you meet with for business or socially. Do you see the succession?
Now, I know family is important to you. After your relationship with God, it should be. AND, you have to work. So where is the balance of family and church volunteering? I know, many women act as if they are ‘wonder woman’, doing it all. But really they are burnt out and making it look good on the outside when inside they are running on Spiritual fumes. So, where is the balance?
Let’s start with the top cup in the fountain. The most important relationship in your life is the one you have with Christ. You must always be growing in your relationship with Him. By being connected to His super-abundance in a manner that speaks directly to how you were created is the key. I can help you with that process by using assessments that tell me how God created you to relate to Him. No more guessing if going to the next outreach event will be fulfilling or not. You will be filled with Him as you practice activities designed to fit your specific makeup.
The next tier in the fountain is family and close friends. I know you have little time for doing things that don’t bring your family closer. And, you know that serving is one of those spiritual disciplines that you ‘should’ do. So, you look for ways that you AND your family can serve under the church umbrella. For example, maybe last Christmas there was an opportunity for your family to serve by handing out sandwiches, hot chocolate and gifts at the local homeless shelter only to have your kids whisked away to the ‘children’s program’ while the adults passed things out in a different area. That’s not serving together.
Have you ever thought about serving others through hospitality? This can be done as a family. Having guests over to your home allows you to model Christ’s love for your guests and for your children. It teaches them (your children) how to value people. Hospitality is really about how you make others feel by giving them your full attention and by being present. It is not about being plugged into the next outreach at the church; it may be just inviting a co-worker’s family over for dinner. It is about loving God and loving people. That’s freeing to me.
Do you know your Spiritual Gifts? Find an assessment online and take it. This is a straightforward way to see how God has specifically designed you to help others. These ‘talents’ are gifts from God. At our jobs we learn many things, but how God created us to be stands alone. By discovering these ‘talents’, we are able to work in our God-given strengths in our work life, in our family life, and in our church life.
As a person who must fill up the third tier of the fountain with work, there must be a real way to equip yourself for this battlefield each day. You must be filled up with Him. It must be an intentional filling of God in your life each day so that you will be able to go into your job, your marketplace, and thrive as you show others who you are in Christ. This is your ‘Mission’ field. God hasn’t called the stay-at-home mom to this. He hasn’t called the Missionary to this. He has called you. And, while it is not about starting a Bible study at work; it IS about demonstrating the love of God to those around you. That means working without complaining, working with integrity, and working by doing your best in every situation.
That is a huge job. Billy Graham was quoted as saying that the next big area for revival is in the Marketplace. You are on the front lines. Are you equipped? Are you studying the Bible, praying, and cultivating your relationship with Christ in the best way for you, for how you operate? Fill up the small cup first and you will be ready to do whatever God calls you to do in your job each day. Begin by connecting to God in a way that speaks to you and fills that cup quickly and efficiently. Do it every day. Grow that number one relationship first and He has promised to add everything else to it that you need.
By assessing your multiple intelligences, your learning style, your personality, and even your Spiritual preferences I can give you the best ways to fill up your cup so you are equipped for your mission. By developing your Personalized Faith Plan (PFP) you will know exactly what type of activities connect you to God through service. You will also be given activities to incorporate into your spiritual life that will make a real difference in your faith. No more speculation, these activities are designed to grow your relationship with Christ in a manner true to how He has created you.
I know how busy you are. I know that you want to make the most of each moment in your day. So, Wise Woman, you plan. And, Wise Woman, you also know that your day goes much better when God has filled you up. And you, Wise Woman, want to overflow into all the other parts of your life in a way that is good and serves others. Only by connecting to God, to His super-abundance, in a way that speaks to your heart will you satisfy that desire to know Him better.
1 Peter 4:10 (NLT) says, God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. This is not only for serving in the church but it is for serving humanity. You ARE serving in your marketplace each day when you go there determined to be Christ’s ambassador in your place of work.