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Category Archives: Workplace

For two years I sold pretzels for a living.  Really.  I had three partners and we owned and operated eight Auntie Anne’s Soft Pretzel stores.  It was my baptism in the workplace.  Up until that time I had earned my living as a minister, working on church staffs and running a counseling ministry.  But for those two years I learned what running a business was all about.  And quite frankly, I was bad at it.  But I persevered and at the end of those two years I went back to what I do best; ministering to the needs of people.  But after learning a little about the business world and how hard it is to make a living, I find that I am better at nearly everything I do.  I would not take anything for the experience.  It was so valuable!

Not everyone has the opportunity to do what they want and what they enjoy.  But if one has any control over the direction in one’s career, then that direction should include what one enjoys.  Pursuing a career at which one excels and enjoys may mean sacrifice in some way.  Perhaps not as much money can be made or one’s location is not ideal.  But the benefit of finding great success and meaning in one’s work and career will be worth it.

God says, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men” (Colossians 3:23).  Whatever direction your career takes you, your focus should be to please God with your work.  The more you can please him, the more you will be pleased with yourself.  Work for yourself and for God and do not worry about everyone else’s work.  Do what you know you do best!

“Why do something today when you can put it off until tomorrow?”  Sound familiar?  Are you a procrastinator?  Procrastination is the avoidance of doing a task which needs to be accomplished.  Procrastination can lead to feelings of guilt, inadequacy, depression, and self-doubt.  It carries a high potential for painful consequences.

 Why do you procrastinate?  What causes any of us to put off things that need to be done?  First, thinking that you absolutely have to do something is a major reason for procrastination.  Feeling like you have to do something can automatically make you defensive and resentful.  You need to realize that you never have to do something.  Of course, the consequences might be pretty severe, but the decision to do something is ultimately yours.

Second, thinking of a task as something huge that you have to get completed can ensure that you put it off.  Rather than focusing on finishing a task, change your focus to doing it, step by step, until it is completed.  If you say to yourself, “I’ve got to do my taxes today,” or “I must complete this report,” you are very likely to feel overwhelmed and end up putting off the task.  Start one small piece of the task instead of thinking that you must finish the whole thing.  Focus on what you know you can get done right now.  If you do this enough, you will eventually complete the whole task!

Other ways to battle the challenge of procrastination include:

  • Recognize personal issues such as fear, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, poor time management, indecisiveness, and perfectionism
  • Identify your goals, strengths and weaknesses, values and priorities
  • Determine if your values are consistent with your actions
  • Discipline your use of time.  Find ways to organize
  • If you can, work in small blocks of time, gradually increasing the length of each time block
  • Motivate yourself to work.  Dwell on success, not failure.
  • Work with others.  Be accountable for each task
  • Set realistic goals

 

Finally, do not take pride in your procrastination by joking about it all the time.  It is a significant problem that needs to be dealt with in a positive way.  Ask for help if you need it!

Several months ago, our friend Michael Smith (Oxygen For Organizations) helped my partner and me go through the process of determining what values we held as a business (www.corporatecareok.com).  It was a wonderful experience and the end result was perfect.  I am excited to share them with you!

Our work grows out of our meaningful relationships.  Our business grows as a result of our attention to and care of these relationships.

Our work reflects the character of God and attracts others with the aroma of Christ in all that we do.

Our business focuses on equipping others, giving them what they need to find their place.

Our financial success blesses others and honors God and his Word.

Before we determined our values and put them on paper, I struggled with not having a corporate identity.  But these four value statements define all that is important to me as a person who is called by God to make a difference in the lives of others while wandering through the workplace of my chaplaincy clients.  I try to review these statements often and even pray them back to God, who I believe gave them to us in the first place. 

If you wish, you may steal them.  Better still, shoot Michael an email (michael@intendtolead.com) and ask him to help you create your own.

May, 2007.  As long as I can remember I have heard preachers, evangelists, and missionaries stand before congregations and challenge them to do their part in winning the world for Christ!  Actually it always sounded like something that could be accomplished if each of us would just do our part. 

 

For the last twelve years I have tried to gain what I have called a Kingdom mentality.  I have worked at viewing God’s Kingdom as something beyond the walls of a local church, any particular denomination or other organization.  For someone like me who has grown up on the inside of church life gaining such a view has been a challenge. 

 

I have not traveled extensively, but I have traveled more than most people.  God has used time in England, Viet Nam, Thailand, India, Mexico and the Philippines to initiate in my heart and mind the beginning of a global mindset.  Without international travel I am not sure it is possible for a person to accurately view the world globally. 

 

Recently, during a two week stay in India God showed me that actually seeing the world come to Christ is something only God can accomplish.  It is ridiculously far beyond the ability of Christian mankind.  Visiting a nation of a billion people where 82 percent of the population is Hindu, 14 percent is Muslim, and only four percent is Christian, drives home the fact that winning even India is God’s project.  However, his method is to use each of us to accomplish the task.

 

To think we can accomplish such a task in our own strength is absurd.  Even trying to consider the task through God’s strength is beyond my ability to grasp.  Yet God always seems to take me back to the value of relationships.  Everywhere I go I seem to meet people who understand that Jesus is best shared through relationships.

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Christiaan Bosman is a South African businessman living in New Delhi buying, selling, and exporting fabric.  He influences Hindu and Muslim relationships by quietly reflecting the character of God and putting off that sweet fragrance of Jesus (2 Cor 2:14-16) so those around him can feel at ease beside this gentle Christian businessman.  Christiaan does what all of us should do; he reaches out gently representing Jesus to those who do not know him.  He does not judge.  He does not rant and rave.  He loves others as Jesus loves them.  I think that is how God intends to win the world!