Kingdom Professionals – An Old Idea In New Wineskinsby Gary Ginter
We are all professionals these days. We train extensively, formally and on-the job. Learning is continuous, lifelong and intense.
Our work is specialized. Jack-of-all-trades or renaissance workers who work for themselves are now as rare as successful start-up companies. Most of us are employees of one of the organizations in which we are all born, schooled, churched, employed and buried. We may not wear gray flannel suits, but we are all organization people.
Organizations make up one strand of the fabric of our lives; our God-given giftedness is the other. That’s why we are specialized — because God made us specially gifted to do some things better than others. It is the intersection of this organizational warp with the woof of our personal giftedness from which we weave the fabric of our lives. Add in an awareness of what God is doing in our time and you have the potential of weaving a beautiful tapestry.
The year 2001 was a pivotal point in the history of God’s reaching out to the people of His earth. Mission will never be the same. Our Muslim brothers and sisters are on our radar screen now! Shame on us that because of our neglect of dialog, compassion and justice, it took such dire consequences to awaken our over-stuffed spirits to God’s heart for all peoples. We are now offered an unprecedented opportunity to use our professional skills in redemptive engagement with those peoples that too many of us for too long have chosen to ignore.
How can you respond appropriately to the twin facts that you are a Christian professional and that September 11th has happened? A good first step is to commit yourself to being a Kingdom Professional.
Kingdom Professionals do not define success in terms of money, job or status. They do not seek to maximize their income or their security or their status or to advance their careers. Instead they seek to maximize their impact on the people and places to which God has called them. They measure success by their contribution to what God is up to in their neck of His woods. They see themselves as successful to the extent they are doing what God has called them to do, in the place to which He has led them, in such a manner that their giftedness can be well utilized.
Nothing less will suffice; not the shallowness of status, not the ephemeral illusions of wealth, not the corrosive effects of power. What matters to Kingdom professionals is that there is congruence between their daily lives and the further in-breaking of God’s Kingdom where they live and work. They measure success one day at a time. They see success as always being mediated by the occasion presented by the person immediately in front of them. For Kingdom Professionals, that person right now is their neighbor, the one for whom they hold some responsibility. They may be the only fragrance of Christ that person encounters that day.
To the Kingdom Professional, therefore, the moments of life are sacred. Happenstance meetings aren’t that. Instead, they are God-designed, Spirit-graced moments to relate who they are and what God has enabled them to learn. They are about their Father’s business 24 x 7. They’re not driven; they are called. They’re not fearless; they are faithful. They’re not gentle; they are terrors to the watching demons. They may not be pretty, but they are most certainly beautiful. At least their feet are, for Isaiah wrote, “How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news.”
Today God has turned our world upside down. He has offered all of us the unprecedented opportunity to engage peoples long beyond the reach of traditional missionaries. Today Afghanistan is open! Afghanistan needs the dedicated service of every kind of professional, from engineers to educators, from plumbers to philosophers, from health workers to housewives. If you are a Christian professional, then seek to live more fully into the calling of God to become a Kingdom Professional. As you continue that lifelong journey, seek His will in terms of where in His world you should practice being a Kingdom Professional.
Afghanistan is open. You are gifted in special ways. Do those two facts suggest anything to you?
From Paraclete Perspective, No. 1, Vol. 2, Spring 2002, www.paraclete.net. Gary Ginter is a board member and one of the founders of Paraclete Mission Group. He is Chairman/CEO of VAST Power Systems, Inc., and a Principal/Member in three other commercial companies. He also chairs the non-profit boards of Intent and DevCorps.
Paraclete offers possibly the best experiential, cross-cultural, mentored, missions training program right in Los Angeles. Go to: www.paraclete.net/LAMI/Why_LAMI_/why_lami_.html for info.