Guilt vs. dream motivation – I want to offer a simple premise about motivation. Guilt can be a good short-term motivation to stop doing the wrong thing. However, guilt can’t be used as a motivator to do the right thing. It just doesn’t last. People who do reach their goals in life carry in their hearts a dream about the future that provides a basis for their optimism and motivation. So, when we think about making disciples, we should lay a foundation in the basics of spiritual maturity, but the real basis for graduation is, “Have you found your dream?” Our real goal, personally, and in the church, is helping people touch the place where their dream, their vocation, and their Kingdom calling intersect.
Now, if we have a job (nearly all of us do), we don’t at first connect our vocation with our ministry. We see our vocation as a secular necessity, and exercising our gifts as spiritual ministry. This dual mindset is OK for a phase in our growth, but it doesn’t define marketplace or Kingdom ministry. Here’s why – Each of us has a dream planted in our hearts by God. When we touch that dream, it will include our vocation. For the first time our gifts, ministry, and vocation line up as the will of God. That starts a fire that turns introverts like me and you into zealots with the passion of Kings.
Traditional Discipleship – The church is rightfully a place where we are trained to adopt the character, anointing and ministry of Jesus.
Nine Fruits of the Spirit (character) – Gal 5:22-23
love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control
Nine Gifts of the Spirit (anointing) – 1 Cor 12:8-10
Wisdom, knowledge, faith, gifts of healings, miracles, prophecy, discerning of spirits, tongues, interpretation of tongues.
Nine Motivational Gifts (ministry) – Rom 12:6-8, Eph 4:11-12, 1Cor 12:29-30
prophet, servant, pastor/teacher, exhorter, giver, ruler, mercy, apostle, evangelist
The problem comes when we adopt an obedience motivation to reach these goals. Obedience will never carry you through a lifetime of Kingdom work into your destiny. The message new disciples get is that I’m supposed to obtain the list above, come to church every Sunday, read my Bible, pray, tithe, give, save the lost, heal the sick, help the poor and do it all with a smile… I get tired just thinking about it. What really happens to disciples is that they will stick with the program for several years until they reach some level of proficiency in spiritual maturity, and then we lose them. Churches highlight all the newcomers and growth, but we’re silent on those who go out the back door because they lost the motivation to keep going. Sermons on a lifetime of obedience and service were not the answer. Tapping into our heart’s desire is the motivational basis for a lifetime of victories in the Kingdom.
Real Motivation – Obedience has a place. There is nothing wrong with telling the new disciples to simply “do it this way” and see the result. Spiritual maturity is the appropriate discipleship goal of the church – we’re equipping saints with all the tools for ministry (Eph 4:11-12). However, spiritual maturity can’t be the ultimate goal for anyone. Spiritual maturity is not a goal; it’s just a tool to use toward the real goal. What’s the real goal? It’s your dream: that place where your vocation, destiny, gifts, character, ministry, wealth, heart’s desire, and God’s purpose start working together… as tools to help you reach your real destiny!
“Workplace Ministry” at a “gift focused” level of maturity retains a distinction between my vocation and my ministry. I go out from the church (after work) and use my gifts to “minister” (street evangelism, interpreting dreams in a mall, community service, lunch time bible studies, prayer at the flag pole, etc.). It’s very good training, but it’s not the best, because it doesn’t touch your personal dream. You will eventually quit.
But I’m a chemical engineer! – As a freshman in college, I chose a curriculum by a very simple process. I wasn’t good in the arts, and gravitated toward math and science. Engineering was all that was left, so I picked the one that paid the highest salary. After I got in touch with my spiritual gifting, I couldn’t find a connection between my vocation and my destiny. Most of us are there. My response was to redirect my life and choose “pastoral ministry” (religious people make this mistake frequently), so we planted two churches over a 14 year period. That didn’t turn out to be the answer for me. I really didn’t want to be a full time pastor, once I got a taste of what it was really like. I loved the people, the leadership team, the worship, the conferences, but I was not content to just shepherd God’s people in a church. You can read the rest of my personal story on the interview page. There is a raging fire burning in this heart to ordain Kings into marketplace ministry to impact our culture – that reformation is my dream. People touched by the concept of Releasing Kings still want to call me “pastor” – a term that I now politely refuse. I’m a King. I can do the work of the ministry gifts and offices (use the tools), but I don’t have, or want, the titles. I thank God for, and honor, pastors who faithfully serve in their local churches to make disciples and release Kings.
What’s it like to be a King? Marketplace ministry at this level sees my vocation and my ministry calling intertwined. My vocation is a tool, like my gifts that take me toward my calling. Both are central parts of my heart’s desire, my dream. This opens up a whole new world.
- I know what mountain I belong in; I can see my role in the Kingdom and I understand the boundaries on my sphere of influence (I am super, but not superman).
- I can feel the wind at my back. Divine appointments, the sense of God’s timing.
- I feel a sense of ownership over the work I do – It touches my God-given dream and gifting.
- I’m experiencing creativity, initiative, boldness – I’m courageous in my area.
- My 40 hour work week is all one big church service – an opportunity to minister and co-labor with Christ.
- I gave up my “offering mentality.” I am a source of wealth. Prosperity is part of my Kingly ministry.
- I’m allowing myself to receive promotion, recognition, and glory (I see myself as a steward of God’s glory).
- I’m having fun, making money and loving people.
Give yourself permission – Allow the Lord to unveil the oneness of your vocation, your dream, your ministry gifts, and God’s purpose for your life. You’ll be amazed at the blessing that flows from a heart integrated in those four areas. The ensuing passion is highly contagious. The work of the ministry that impacts our culture is in the marketplace; it’s the saints who take up the mantle of “Kings” who will carry the great commission into the entire world. The good news is: We serve a God who calls us “friend” and meets with us in our heart’s desire and leads us to an abundant life. We’re going to take that abundance and bless all nations.
“I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you;
I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.
I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse;
and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” Gen 12:2-3 NIV
But I’m Stuck in a job I don’t like and can’t afford to quit!!! – I know the feeling. So did Daniel when he was in Pharaoh’s prison, and David when he was tending sheep, and Job when he was sitting on the ash heap, and Jesus when he worked in the carpenter’s shop, and Paul when he spent 14 years in obscurity after his salvation. God has the power to use our history process as a learning center. Step 0 is having a sense of the purpose in our past and present and being thankful for it and growing where you’re planted. What character or skill set can be redeemed from your station in life?
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Rom 8:28-29 NIV
Here’s where to start.
1. Your heart has to know why. The Kingly transition starts when you give yourself permission to pursue your heart’s desires. You have to have the answer regarding why God would grant those desires. We wrote Releasing Kings to answer that question.
2. Once you settle the “Why?” question and have a good / God answer for your own heart, then “what to do” is answered in a seven-step process described in Desire to Destiny.
Both of these books are very helpful and personal… they are my own story from, “this might be possible” to “here’s how it happened.”
Note: Creating wealth is a spiritual discipline that funds our ministry. We can’t be ashamed of it. Many dreams and ministries shipwreck because the financial foundation is not in place; the spiritual disciple of making money was absent from the plan. No one else is going to fund your life or dream. If you will take responsibility for the financial side, opportunities will start to appear for both finances and ministry.