Spirituality & The Professionals
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Spirituality & The Professionals

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This presentation argues that your "WORK" can be holy for lay professionals. We need to stop separating the sacred and the secular.

This presentation argues that your "WORK" can be holy for lay professionals. We need to stop separating the sacred and the secular.

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  • 1. “...educate & empower professionals to disciple a nation...” Spirituality & the Professionals
  • 2. Spirituality & the Professionals “...educating & empowering professionals.” Hearty, heroic, compassionate, fearless martyrs must the men and women be who take hold of and shape a generation for God. If they be timid time servers, place seekers, if they be men pleasers or men fearers, if their faith has a weak hold on God or his Word, if their denial be broken by any phase of self or the world, they cannot take hold of the Church nor the world for God. E.M. Bounds, “Men of Prayer Needed,” p. 1 “...educate and empower professionals to activate people of peace, engage in the global conversation, disciple their profession and turn their world right-side-up.” Executive Summary Assisting professionals in the market-space and market-place who are called by God to not only disciple but also transform their own organization will shape the 21st century as God’s “laborers” move from the “ordained to the ordinary.” We are also collecting fact based research rather than just anecdotal research on the affects of intercessory prayer on policies, practices, values and new product development in various work domains. This essay has several themes: • Intercessory prayer affects patient health: We have some evidence that prayer can significantly affect surgical success rates and reduces recovery times for patients. • Intercessory prayer can affect and transform organizations: If intercessory prayer can affect patient health, could intercessory prayer also affect organizational health in market-spaces and market-places including commerce? • Work is Holy: Work in Genesis chapter 1 is defined as “...multiply, fill, subdue and rule...” the world that God gave to them (mankind). This was not only mankind’s holy work but God gave them the talents, gifting and resources to accomplish this mission. We call it the “Original Commission.” It was never withdrawn and the “Great Commission” complements it with its charge to “...disciple the nations...” • Professionals as nation builders: If intercessory prayer can transform our professional work and market-space setting, could God also expect us to transform 21st century nations much as God transformed Western Europe. God is resourcing a few to disciple the nations. • Global Conversation and neutral platforms: Christians have often been adversarial in their relationships. We propose creating neutral platforms in the market-space and market-place as well as engaging people in the emerging global conversation about “...how best to live life on planet earth.”
  • 3. Intercessory Prayer Affects Patient Health The Templeton Foundation funded ICIHS (International Center for Integration of Health & Spirituality) in the 1990’s. Dr. David Larson, formerly a researcher with the National Institutes of Heath, led the effort to integrate “Spirituality and Medicine” into the American scene. From 1998-2000, Dr. Bill Wilkie engaged Dr. Larson in a series of conversations regarding the underlying principles that Dr. Larson and the Templeton Foundation relied upon to achieve their goal of “integration.” Integration into the medical education scene has been partly achieved by the creation of a course on “Spirituality & Medicine” in many top 25 medical schools. Medical research shows that prayer made a difference in surgical success rates and rate of recovery. * Dr. David Larson was successful in introducing this perspective into the general public awareness through articles in various local, regional and national publications. What can we learn from their success with patients that we could apply to broader aspects of the medical profession including medical partnerships, hospitals and the health care system? What were the underlying principles that brought about integration? How might they be applied to “Spirituality & Medical Practices?” • Established fact based research, • Published research findings on the impact of prayer in small cities first, • Published research finding in prestigious medical publications later, • Created neutral platforms rather than adversarial platforms in major medical schools and • Believed that fact based truth would ultimately win out. First, we need cases studies and fact based research that demonstrates the effects of prayer on both patient as well as medical organizations. Are there Biblical operating principles which if applied produce new value added services that are superior and increase the number and type of patients in a practice or partnership? Can prayer produce value added services to meet patient’s needs and still support superior wages and benefits for all partners and employees? Communities have “intercessors” who meet periodically to prayer for various needs. In the tradition of Rees Howells ** in Wales from 1930 to 1950, could a segment of these intercessors be called by God to intercede for surgical success rates and patient recovery short term. Later, they could be asked to pray for a medical practice including its systems, values and policies directed toward patients, employees and the partners. _______________________________ * Faith, Medicine and Science: A Festchift in Honor of Dr. David B. Larson, by Jeff Levin (editor) and Harold Koenig (editor), Harworth Pastor Press, 2005 ** Rees Howells: Intercessor, Norman Grubb, Christian Literature Crusade, 1952. Review written by Bill Wilkie at www.spiritual-benchmarks.com/pdf/intercessor.pdf 0H
  • 4. Intercessory prayer can affect & transform organizations We know that prayer influences patient health, but can prayer also influence the values, policies and practices of other professions and organizations in measurable ways? For example: • Commerce: Could intercessory prayer increase the percentage of value added products that were successfully introduced by a corporation and allow it to pay fair wages and benefits? • Education: Could intercessory prayer influence the number of Christian teens deciding to go into science, engineering and design to disciple these professions? • Arts: Could intercessory prayer affect the number, quality and success of children’s books written by Christian writers for the general public? • Government: Could intercessory prayer make a measurable difference in bringing justice though new laws to disenfranchised groups in American or international settings? • Religion: Could intercessory prayer increase the number of churches that empower their professionals to fulfill God’s vision for discipling the workplace? Or do we have to admit our spiritual impotency and settle for cost cutting tactics that we see demonstrated in many organizations today? It is time for the Body of Christ to recognize its role in supporting the professions to accomplish God’s original commission to “...multiple, fill, subdue and rule?” If this is God’s work for the professionals, then it is truly holy work that demands intentional and powerful support through prayer for professionals in the work place. Clearly, we can play a partial role to “...educate and empower professionals to activate people of peace, engage in the global conversation, disciple their profession and turn their world right-side- up.” Professionals have three assets in fulfilling this mission. • A critical mass of professionals in public life • Creative energy of professionals when operating out of their spiritual passion and • The experiences and wisdom of a select group from a previous generation. Critical Mass: According to Everett Rogers’ research we only need 20% of the professionals in a field to buy into innovative thinking. The rest will then follow the “opinion leaders.” Creative Energy: The most creative time of life is between the ages of 12 to 25. Many young professionals can be major contributors in developing new structures and paradigms. Previous Generation: The postmodern generation has often marginalized the people over 60 as being “out-of-it.” The issue is not age but content that is laced with experience and wisdom. Let’s find those individuals who have knowledge and wisdom that transcends generations. Professional are increasingly interested in wisdom. This is the most valuable attribute of a mentor’s experience and bears heavily on the application of knowledge in the market-place and market-space. In the decision making processes that exist in every profession, wisdom based upon experience is sought, valued and paid for by organizations. We have learned from the internet that it is all about “...content, content, content.” But there are those observers of the web, who also argue that the successful sites move quickly from offering just data or information to wisdom. Internet revenue streams are now being generated based on
  • 5. “interaction” that imparts wisdom rather than “transactions” that just provide data or information. Knowledge on the internet is now given away but one must pay for wisdom. • Data • Information • Wisdom Organizations have found the following model useful in thinking about how one discovers the unperceived needs of their constituents. • Build long term trust relationships • That allows constituents to value their unperceived needs as well as the perceived needs • Meeting both needs often leads to programs, structures, professions and movements that sustain distinctiveness over a longer than normal life cycle. Meeting perceived needs of your constituency is very important. However, to become distinctive and remain a leader within an organization, a professional must learn to identify the unperceived needs of their constituents and educate that constituency over time. That is leadership. Examples might include the effective missionary who really is helping a culture realize their unperceived need for Christ. No one perceived that they had a need for a laptop computer or e-mail twenty five years ago. To make this discussion tangible but not necessarily complete, I would like to suggest several broad themes that professionals might consider. These ideas may really be the catalyst or springboard to better alternatives championed by your constituents. “All Work is Holy—”...the kingdom of God is at hand.” Labor, not work, was the penalty for sin. The work of mankind (them), according to Genesis 1, was to “...multiple, fill, subdue and rule.” We have not found evidence that the commission nor the resources to accomplish this mission were ever withdrawn. But the Original Commission was about authority and power. Professionals need their expertise but they also need spiritual authority and power. The tower of Babel, one of the most interesting passages in the Bible for me, reinforces the power and authority given to mankind after the FALL. God states in Genesis 11:6. The LORD said, quot;If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them.” (NIV) “One people” after the Fall still have such power and authority that God concludes, “...nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them.” WOW! But believers today should also be encouraged. If this kind of power was given to people after the FALL, what might we conclude regarding restored believers today? Christ outlines the authority given to restored believers in His final conversation with the disciples in John chapters 12-17. In the following five statements by Christ himself, there is disagreement over whether
  • 6. these statements were directed at just His disciples or all future believers. I believe that it is written for future believers which include you and me. Christ empowers all disciples by stating in John 14, quot;Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves. Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father. John 14:11-12 NASB In four additional verses, Christ instructs them regarding their authority. quot;Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it. If you love Me, you will keep My commandments. I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you. quot; John 14:14-17 NASB quot;If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples. quot; John 15:7-8 NASB quot;You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you.quot; John 15:16 NASB quot;In that day you will not question Me about anything. Truly, truly, I say to you, if you ask the Father for anything in My name, He will give it to you. Until now you have asked for nothing in My name; ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be made full. quot; John 16:23-24 NASB Bonhoeffer & Luther quote from “Life Together” “It is not simply to be taken for granted that the Christian has the privilege of living among other Christians. Jesus Christ lived in the midst of his enemies. At the end all his disciples deserted him. On the Cross he was utterly alone, surrounded by evildoers and mockers. For this cause he had come, to bring peace to the enemies of God. So the Christian, too, belongs not in the seclusion of a cloistered life but in the thick of foes. There is his commission, his work.” (Luther quote) quot;The Kingdom is to be in the midst of your enemies. And he who will not suffer this does not want to be of the Kingdom of Christ; he wants to be among friends, to sit among roses and lilies, not with the bad people but the devout people. O you blasphemers and betrayers of Christ! If Christ had done what you are doing who would ever have been spared?quot;
  • 7. “Global Conversation” & neutral platforms The beginning of the 21st century may have shattered the post-modern scenario. People are discovering that 13 year olds have a radically different set of core values than many former post modern teens. Could the MOSAICs’ be a transitional generation? How should professionals create neutral platforms to engage the next generation where we argue for truth founded on God’s unchanging Word but in a powerful environment of self discovery about oneself and the world? How do we communicate historic Christianity’s positive impact on various societies over the last 2000 years? Thom Wolf, former Senior Pastor of the Church on Brady in East Los Angeles from 1969-1994, has developed ProCore 8.0 curricula around the “Global Conversation.” He contends that two of the three major life questions of the 20th century have been answered. • What is the best political system? With the fall of the Berlin Wall and Tiananmen Square, nations in general have concluded that ‘democratic’ governance must be included at least in part to facilitate participation and ownership within a nation. • What is the best economic system? The success of ‘free market’ economies in raising the standard of living for their people has generally motivated many nations to move in whole or in part toward free markets. • How best to live life on planet earth? This is the remaining unanswered question around which the global conversation will revolve in the early 21st century. It is about world-view and its application. It plays right into a professional’s strengths. Since professionals may well be a primary vehicle for carrying out God’s intended mission globally in the 21st century, professionals in cross cultural settings require new methodologies and content. _____________________________________ * Arts & Media, Commerce, Religion, Education, Government, Health Care, Science and Technology.
  • 8. “Professionals as Nation Builders” The Great Commission to “...disciple the nations...” in Matthew 28 (NIV) complements God’s Original Commission in Genesis 1 to “...multiple, fill, subdue and rule.” America is oriented toward the short term and the individual psychological perspective. The Bible reflects God’s interests in tribes and nations. It is about community as well as the individual. Are some professionals called to be nation builders? Could the following model be useful in thinking about how professionals fulfill the Original Commission as well as the Great Commission but looking out one hundred years instead of ten years? • Discipling individuals: transforming attitudes and behavior. • Discipling institutions: re-purposing values, practices and policies. • Discipling nations: creating new institutions with appropriate values, practices, policies and structures when necessary when the old institutions no longer work. Is a nation just the sum of the citizens and/or institutions? Or does a nation have values and an existence that transcends the individuals that make up the culture? When you disciple a nation, you have to disciple individuals and institutions; nevertheless, there comes a time historically when the existing institutions cannot change enough to meet new needs. Then Christianity has sometimes stepped in and created new institutions, e.g., public education in America for literacy and hospitals. We can be the greatest creators and risk takers of the 21st century. We have a God who has provided all the resources necessary to accomplish His purposes through us and in collaboration with other segments of the Body of Christ. How can we empower professionals to “...disciple the nations...” as well as “...subdue and rule? The following statements reflect one vision based upon my experience and passion. • Nation Builders embody a refreshing dynamic, which restores and unifies the sacred and secular, by living out their professional calling in the market-space. • Nation Builders labor invisibly while taking delight in the success of others. • Nation Builders respect and nurture the local culture by grafting—rather than transplanting—technology and management expertise. • Nation Builders actively pursue opportunities, utilizing their God given talents and gifts to promote renewal, hope and reconciliation though the investment of themselves. • Nation Builders seek to establish, encourage, and enhance local professionals by bringing together people who have the experience, expertise and wisdom to solve problems and create solutions effectively.
  • 9. Young Professionals “...interface between two dynamic forces.” As you consider alternative futures, there are five questions that need to be answered. The first question relates to the emerging global society. The second question relates to the characteristics of the “next generation.” The third question deals with he Body of Christ as the interface between these two often conflicting forces. The fourth question reflects an emerging emphasis of successful niche companies. The fifth question is driven by organizations such as Google. “...which global society will we embrace?” The CIA through the National Intelligence Council (NIC) recently published it latest prognostication for 2020 called “Mapping the Global Future.” www.cia.gov/nic 1H It is a document worth reading because of the breath of talent that had input into its creation. That does not make it right. However, it can provide an outline of the issues/assumptions that you must discuss and decide regarding the future global community. The implicit or explicit assumptions you make will drive your future. However, recent financial and liquidity events in the U.S.A. are reshaping American society in ways never anticipated. You need new assumptions. “...which next generation segment will we educate and empower?” George Barna, who recently reduced his company from 80+ employees to 8 employees, still resides in Ventura, California. He is one source of data on the “next generation” of consumers. Each generation can be segmented into several subcategories. You must understand each of these categories and make a choice regarding who you will serve and empower. “...what is the most effective way to serve as an interface between these two dynamic forces and empower the next generation of young professionals to disciple nations?” Biblical Christianity is about creating and shaping the future not just reacting to a future created by someone else. Although the relationship between us and the education system has been fragile and fragmented at best, we can shape to some degree the character of its prospective students as well as empowering young professionals to shape the future. “...what is the most effective way to become intimate with your customer?” The retired CEO of Young & Rubicon has indicated that their most successful clients are committed to becoming intimate with each customer. However, he does not explain how a
  • 10. client should accomplish this feat beyond typical segmentation processes. Some suggestions might include: Level 1: Start with this simple question to a small group of customers, “What can I do for you this week that will make your week?” Level 2. Talk to a leader who is a customer about their passion/interests not just their job. Once having identified a viable passion, identify ways in which you could help them in their passion. You can start by attending events, reading materials, etc. Since in many, if not most cases, this person will be a woman it may present particular problems for organizations with Executive Directors who are men. Level 3: Use my network and bring together experts in similar fields to my customer’s passion and connect them with resources. Level 4: If they are Christian, ask them whether their secular work is HOLY. Help them see the value and implications of God’s original commission to “multiple, fill, subdue, and rule…” Genesis 1:28 Level 5: After making sure that their HOLY work is where God wants them, apply the same questions and add one stage: a. How can I make your week at work? b. How can I become more knowledgeable about your work? Can I attend a meeting, conference, spend a day with you, etc.? c. Who can I bring from my network that is also an expert in their field? d. What major problems are you working on now? How can I use my network to find a “LEAD USER” in an unrelated field who is working on an analogous issue but has an even greater need to solve the problem or has already solved the problem? www.leaduser.com 2H e. Intercessory prayer: can we create a small group for you that prays for new customers, new products/services, etc., as well as appropriate policies, practices and values. Level 6: Now go to organizational intimacy as contrasted with personal intimacy by finding a free service or referral that you can provide to your customer that gets you inside their organization and meets a perceived need. Level 7: Identify and structure an ongoing relationship with your customer that involves a feedback loop to the decision processes but involves the design of new programs and/or infrastructures to meet unperceived needs. It may take you 1-3 years to educate and change their values, practices and policies around this new need. The most valuable subcontractors are those that add value by providing solutions that meet the unperceived need of a customer that the customer might never have seen or responded to. This is real organizational intimacy. “...what is the most effective way to encourage, motivate and reward creative efforts of employees and volunteers?” Google CEO has noted that their product development staff is assigned projects by their Executive Committee. They spend four days a week on these projects. The fifth day each week is allocated to a project of the staff that is chosen by the staff and reflects a passion. All the new successful product/service innovations from within Google have come from the one day a week projects.
  • 11. Personal World-View Template • God, Christ & the Holy Spirit exist and are active. • The Bible is God’s inspired “WORD” that provides absolutes & principles for life. • Dignity of Mankind—made in the image of God. Genesis 1:27 • A problem existed before the Fall in Genesis 2:18 when God said, “...it is not good for man to be alone...” Problems are not a penalty for sin. • Mankind’s Holy Work—God charged to “them” in Genesis 1:28 to “...multiply, fill, subdue and rule...” It is God’s “Original Commission.” Colossians 3:16-25 is summarized when Paul says, “...Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, • The Implications of the Fall—Death. The consequences of the Fall in Genesis 3:14-19 do not include the withdrawal of the Original Commission nor the authority to achieve this Commission as reflected in the Tower of Babel narrative in Genesis 11:6. • God’s commitment to nation building by providing principles and resources for the professional domains of life in the Old Testament & New Testament is also reflected in the Great Commission of Matthew 28 to “...disciple the nations...” • Restoration: One with the Father & eternal life—In His final conversation with the Disciples in John chapters 12-17, Christ describes His role as Savior & Lord, His purpose in mentoring the disciples into a relationship with His Father and what a relationship with the Father implies if we choose to be “...a kernel of wheat.” John 12:44-50 • Intercessory Prayer—Christ’s statements on prayer bring us hope and authority. John 14:11-14, John 15:7-8, John 15:16 and John 16:23-24 • Mystery of the Ages—“...Christ in you, the hope of glory.” Colossians 1:25-27 • Guide—The Apostle Paul gives us a guide for daily living in Colossians chapters 3-4. • “...impart to you not only the gospel of God but also our own lives...” 1 Thessalonians 2:8 • Overcomers who “...keep my deeds...” Revelation 2:26-27—Overcomers in Revelation who fulfill Christ’s “deeds” receive the following promise. Could “deeds” include fulfilling the “Original Commission” as well as the “Great Commission?” “He who overcomes, and he who keeps My deeds until the end, TO HIM I WILL GIVE AUTHORITY OVER THE NATIONS... as I also have received authority from My Father...” Rev 2:26-27 NASB
  • 12. Spirituality & the Professionals © 4/15/2006 William R. Wilkie 471 West Long Lake Drive Harrison, Michigan 48625 989.339.4998 wwilkie@netscope.com