Too many Christians have the mindset that ministry is one dimensional and can only be expressed on Sunday, or in a religious setting. They tend to under-appreciate God’s interest in using the talents and skills, He gave us, to pursue His kingdom in a variety of ways.
More than ever before, there is a need for the use of your gift, calling and ministry, to impact the workplace and the current culture in which we live.
You are needed!
You are needed!
With this in mind, I thought it fitting to remind us of a parable Jesus shared with the disciples, in Luke 16:1-9. This parable gives five tips from Jesus that you can use to expand your opportunities and enlarge your territory no matter what your ministry and calling might be.
Here is a story about a man who was about to be fired, and the steps that he took to secure friends, contacts, as well as people he could go to for help, once he was let go. Jesus described him as a shrewd and wise steward.
Notice how effectively he used his talents, skills, and interests so that needs were met and problems solved.
- He was astute. He understood that if he didn't do something quick, he would be out of a job. He was not going to be fired and not have something, someone or some job to go to.
Notice in verse 3, he began to think of a plan beforehand. What's your plan?
Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety. Proverbs 11:14 ESV
- He was clever. He came up with an ingenious idea. He created opportunity not only for himself, but for others as well.
Notice how the "shrewd and wise steward" planned for the worst by setting aside some options for himself.
"Ah, I know how to ensure that I'll have plenty of friends who will give me a home when I am fired." (Verse 4) NLT.
What are your options? The opportunity to choose what's in the best interest of you and those you lead and serve.
- He was sharp. Not only because he put his plans into action, but how he put his plans in to action.
"So he invited each person who owed money to his employer to come and discuss the situation. He asked the first one, 'How much do you owe him?' The man replied, 'I owe him 800 gallons of olive oil.' So the manager told him, 'Take the bill and quickly change it to 400 gallons. And how much do you owe my employer? he asked the next man. 'I owe him 1,000 bushels of wheat,' was the reply. 'Here, the manager said, 'take the bill and change it to 800 bushels."
In this current culture, the people of God must learn to think like the wise and shrewd steward. Think! Use some wisdom. Establish some friends, some contacts.
The bible says that he who wants friends must show himself friendly. In other words, start networking. Get to know new people and old acquaintances even better.
Want to change the culture? Engaged it. This is salt, and this is light.
- He Took Action. The shrewd manager didn't wait to be fired to do something about his situation.
Too many times we misunderstand the phrase, 'wait on God.' This phrase does not mean sitting down and twiddling our thumbs. It certainly doesn't mean you can't be looking and inquiring and doing things until God opens a door. As a matter of fact, the only way you'll know that a door has been opened, is you've got to be out and about looking.
James tells us in James 2:26, "Faith without works is dead."
You’re still waiting for God to provide the resources? He just might be waiting for you to ask the right people.
A mentor of mine with a great mind for business, wrote an article entitled "It Must Not Hurt That Bad". In a nut shell, his message was, if you can do something about your situation, then do it. Stop making excuses, stop procrastinating, and do it!
- He Gave. Jesus stated in Luke 16:9, "Here's the lesson: Use your worldly resources to benefit others and make friends. Then, when your earthly possessions are gone, they will welcome you to an eternal home." (KJV)
In other words, "Give, and it will come back to you."
The shrewd steward used his resources, not only to help himself, but to help the two men who owed his boss. By doing so, he effectively used his talents, skills, and interests to meet the need and solved the problem.