Divine Appointments

 (Originally written in October, 2007)

Every one of us as leaders has challenges.  When you are a leader in the workplace, then you will face problems that seem never ending.  God loves to use difficult circumstances to mold our character. Last week was one of those tough ones for me which included issues of sales, delayed receivables, employee issues, and team building.  In the midst of it all God continued to give me divine appointments and special relationships.  As you go through your week as a leader are you on the outlook for people in whom God wants you to invest a few minutes?  You may say that I am an exception because I happen to lead a marketplace ministry.  However, I am also involved in three businesses and have the same business issues as you have as I lead a non-profit ministry.  Yet, nearly every opportunity that I had last week with special people was due to God’s provision and my availability, not my position.

The prior weekend I had spoken at a conference for business leaders from across the U.S. in Santa Rosa, Ca.  A few days before I left for the conference, I had received an email from my friend Pat that stated that a friend of his was moving to our city.  Enrique was from Mexico Cityand was a leader in a workplace ministry there.  I did not have time to call him to welcome him to our city but planned to do so later.  When I arrived at the conference, I met Enrique the first night. God chose to have us meet 1500 miles away from our city at a place I had been scheduled to speak at for eight months.  When Enrique returned to our city, he set up an appointment for us to meet with the president of a Christian university to discuss using our materials in their business, ministry, and international study classes.  As a ministry we have needed translations into Spanish because of an exploding ministry among business leaders in Latin America, and he may help us to get that done while accomplishing his duties at the university.  The president sees an opportunity to get hundreds of thousands of dollars of videos and materials free for his students for only the cost of a secular business textbook for each of them.

Every year I speak at a large secular university nearby to a group of students involved in a Christian ministry.  This year I spoke on “Making Disciples in the Marketplace”.  I do not get to do this because I lead a ministry, but because I am a business leader.  And the more gray hair that I have the more the students seem to listen. I took along my coworker Brad who was greatly encouraged by the evening, and he wanted his son to become a part of the group next school year.  Many of the students gave me a prayer card and received free materials.  Several of them will have lunch with me at different times next month to discuss how they can live out their faith as they go into the workplace.  Several were interested how they can work as professionals and go into closed countries and live out Christ where there are no churches.  The enthusiasm of this generation encouraged me that we have many new leaders for the next generation.  Each of us needs to use our positions as business leaders to align with the student groups and business schools near our home.  These future leaders need us as mentors and as models.

One day I had a particularly tough day with a personnel issue.  The next morning I received an email from a friend in another city that I had not talked to in months.  He had been told by God in his quiet time that morning to pray specifically for me and to give me two words from the Lord.  They were exactly what I needed, and he could have only gotten them from the Lord because he did not know what I was going through. That same morning I got an email from a co worker in our business with a copy of her devotional for that exact date, and it exactly met my need.  I got two other emails from out of state and fromLatin Americathat we written by God just for me. That day I had lunch with another business leader who encouraged me. When God tells you to visit, call, email, or send a card to a friend, then do NOT delay.

There were many other situations that week, but God was not finished yet.  I was to leave the office an hour early on Friday to leave town with my wife. But, Enrique my new friend called and needed fifteen minutes of my time to meet a business leader from another city in our state. This leader, Michael, was discouraged because he knew God was at work in his life and the workplace, but only recently had begin to understand what God was doing all over the world.  He thought that he was all alone.  He saw little help in his city except religious groups that did not seem to relate to business leaders. Within ten minutes of our meeting, I felt like that I had met my twin.  We were mutually encouraged and would pray how that we could co labor together as business leaders in the changing workplace that God in at work in.

We do not have divine appointments because we are in a church, or a Christian organization, or have a position in the community.  We have divine appointments because we are a child of God and are constantly looking around us for where God is at work (as Henry Blackaby says) in the lives of co workers, customers, or vendors, or even competitors.  Ministry is NOT about organizations or programs, but it is about relationships. Two thousand years ago some business leaders met Jesus and just got excited and naturally shared their joy with others.  Have we made ministry too difficult?  It is simply sharing Jesus with a friend and encouraging them to not give up as they walk through life.

 “One of the two who heard John speak and followed Him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother.  He found first his own brother Simon and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which translated means Christ).  He brought him to Jesus…

 And He found Philip. And Jesus said to him, “Follow Me.”   Now Philip was from Bethsaida, of the city of Andrew and Peter.  Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found Him of whom Moses in the Law and also the Prophets wrote — Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”  Nathanael said to him, “Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” (John 1:40-46)

Andrew shared the good news with Simon.  Phillip shared it with Nathanael.  Be alert with which co workers or new friends in the workplace that you can share with this week.  Jesus chose to find his disciples in the workplace.  We have the opportunity to do the same through relationships and divine appointments.

Being Alert,

Kent Humphreys

 

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About kenthumphreys
Kent Humphreys has been a business leader for over forty years. He also served as CEO of FCCI/Christ@Work for six years and now serves as their worldwide ambassador, speaking, writing, and mentoring young leaders. He continues to be active in distribution, private equities, and real estate. Kent and his wife Davidene have written six books together. They have three children and eight grand-children.

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