Note from Joel: For several years, I’ve been collecting quotes on the topic of Kingdom Life in the marketplace. Also, at various times, God has shown me things in the scriptures that I’ve written about in my journal that have helped me take new ground in ministry outside the four walls of institutional christianity. I hope this collection of insights encourages and inspires you as you shine today in every area of your daily life and work.
To focus more on the physical and natural aspects of our daily work, reveals a lack of vision for the eternal value of our work in the Kingdom of God.
There are seven mountains (realms or systems of influence) in every nation on planet earth:
- Arts/Entertainment (including sports)
- Business/Commerce (including science, medicine and technology)
Unfortunately, the people of God are not engaged in all seven of these mountains because we’re operating from a flawed strategy, with a flawed worldview, which believes in what many have called a…
“Though the Reformers of The Middle Ages are celebrated for their theological return to a purity of faith separate from religious works for salvation – there was an equally important concept they introduced as an engine propelling the emergence of our modern western world. That concept was the sacredness of all labor, versus the elevation of religious vocation as the singular ‘call of God.’
“For all that the modern evangelical church embraced from The Reformation, many leaders today are casting aside its most significant contribution in bringing societal transformation – the idea that every believer’s work is sacred. This truth, that we are all called and gifted to use our God given talents IN the world to make it a better place for all people helped birth the modern western world.
“Now, instead of championing this powerful and necessary foundation many pastors and teachers are promoting an artificial and damning duality, mobilizing many to ‘organized church activities’ but weakening their resolve to live, love, and serve the world we occupy. The long-term impact of this will be the exact opposite of what emerged from The Reformation unless it is understood and addressed.” Steve Thompson
“We have a split-gospel, between the ‘secular’ (all that is in/on the seven mountains) and the ‘spiritual’ (the Kingdom). We’ve bifurcated Christianity from culture, but God wants to place us as a bridge between the two for the sake of transforming culture. This split-gospel splits our vision, where we focus mostly on the next life rather than on this life, focusing more on eternity than on this world.” Lance Wallnau
The origin of this secular/sacred dichotomy — which bifurcates the Christian life into two categories: the spiritual and the non-spiritual — is pagan by nature and found its way into the Christian consciousness and community in the third century. (Note: The clergy/laity class distinction grew out of this very distinction, elevating specially trained clerics above the masses.)
“The false dichotomy led to the profoundly mistaken idea that there are sacred professions (a call to ‘the ministry’) and ordinary professions (a call to a worldly vocation). Historian Philip Schaff rightly describes these factors as creating ‘the secularization of the church’ where the ‘pure stream of Christianity’ had become polluted. Take note that this mistaken dichotomy still lives in the minds of many believers today. But the concept is pagan, not Christian. It ruptures the New Testament reality that everyday life is sanctified by God.” Source: Pages 122-123 of “Pagan Christianity” by Frank Viola and George Barna
One of the footnotes to the quote above adds that God “…has sanctified the mundane (1 Corinthians 10:31). The false dichotomy between the sacred and the profane has been forever abolished in Christ. Such thinking belongs to both paganism and ancient Judaism. For the Christians, ‘nothing is unclean in itself,’ and ‘what God has made clean, do not call common’ (Romans 14:14, NASB; Acts 10:15, ESV).”
Here’s an example of a result of Christians having this split-gospel worldview:
“Dallas Texas is the most Christianized city in America based on the number of people who are going to church. Out of the top ten cities, it’s number ten in terms of transformation. So, the question is, how can the most Christianized city in America be the least transformed?” Lance Wallnau
In First Kings 19:16, God tells Elijah to anoint Jehu as king over Israel and Elisha as prophet (to replace Elijah). Now, notice three things:
- There wasn’t a different anointing on the prophet (a “spiritual” role) than there was on the king (a secular, governmental job). It was the same anointing. The anointing on a preacher in a pulpit is the same anointing that can be on the carpenter in the workshop. The anointing on the singer or evangelist is the same anointing that can be on the business owner, the vice president, the sales representative, the insurance adjuster, the brain surgeon, the school teacher, the stay at home mom, etc.
- The king needs the anointing as much as the prophet does.
- Just as the preacher or pastor has to prepare to minister for God each Sunday, we have to prepare to minister for God in the marketplace Monday through Friday.
Questions to ponder:
- How are you bringing the kingdom into your profession?
- What sets you apart from your associates?
- What sets your company apart from your competitors?
- Are you about your business or our Father’s business?
- Does your mouth or your whole life speak as a witness for you?
“Your work is your own private megaphone to tell the world what you believe.” Simon Sinek
“If we devote ourselves to sacredness and nobility in our vocations, the world will rise to meet us.” Joel Salatin (American Farmer, Lecturer, Author)
“When your work speaks for itself, don’t interrupt.” Henry J. Kaiser
“For heaven’s sake — there are 168 hours in a week. Are you really going to say that the one or two you spend at church are more important to God than the other 166? That’s religious spirit stuff. The spiritual life is meant to be lived in everyday life.” From “Beautiful Outlaw: Experiencing the Playful, Disruptive, Extravagant Personality of Jesus” by John Eldridge
“There is no such thing as secular employment for the believer. Once we are born again, everything about us is redeemed for Kingdom purposes. It is all spiritual.” Bill Johnson
Jesus likened the Kingdom to leaven (Matt 13:33). As leaven or yeast influences the dough it is “worked into,” so also we can influence all the systems and realms of this world that we are worked into. As we display His life, goodness and power, through selfless, prophetic service (prophetic in that we notice and act upon His gentle impressions, whisperings and nudgings throughout each day as He gives us supernatural wisdom, knowledge, and discernment for how to do our work and relate to others as He would), the benefits and values of the Kingdom are disclosed as His government and peace expands.
Actualization (a.k.a. Convergence)
As Rick Joyner has often said, the four purposes of man were (and still are)…
- to have fellowship with God [Genesis 3:8-9],
- to cultivate the garden [Genesis 2:15],
- to be fruitful and multiply, [Genesis 1:28] and
- to rule over the earth and all that is in it. [Genesis 1:26-28; see also Psalm 8:4-8 (echoed in Hebrews 2:6-9) and Psalm 115:16]
Note: To dig further into these four purposes, click here.
Those who walk-out these four purposes will be actualized!
“Few have experienced actualization, when you’re 100% alive, doing what you were called and destined to do, using up all your gifts in a cause that has transcendent meaning. This is called ‘abundant life.’ Actualized believers go to the top of one or all of the seven mountains, affecting kings and priests, as kings and priests.” Lance Wallnau
“If we’re not in career convergence — where our work and ministry are one and the same — we’re not doing the work we were created to do, fulfilling our divine assignment and experiencing 100% utilization. On the other hand, if we’re in career convergence so that our work and ministry is married, we will experience the glory of God and enjoy what we’re doing for His glory.
“We need to abolish the whole concept that there’s a separation between work and the Kingdom of God, between the natural and the spiritual, between secular and sacred. Understand, wherever you and Jesus are, there is GLORY! So, if God has an assignment for you in the political realm in the middle of Washington, DC, guess where the Glory Cloud is for you? If you are working in a hospital or a law office or a sub shop or a bank or flooring store, guess where the Glory Cloud is for you?
“Listen, you could go to where there’s a revival and not have one-tenth the experience you could have if you were where you’re supposed to be.
“Sadly, most of us associate our work with the sweat of your brow, as if to say, ‘This is what you have to do to make money. Ever since Adam fell, we’ve had to get up on Monday and go to work.’ But here’s the reality: Adam had his job before he fell. What happened is that the fall affected his supernatural work ability. The ground became unproductive. Since he rebelled against God, the ground began to rebel against him and sweat, thorns, thistles, briars, pain and little fruit to show for much effort took over.
“But when you enter convergence, you go back to what Adam had before the fall. You don’t work another day in your life. You prosper without sweat. You may perspire but you won’t sweat. Sweat was a part of the curse on the earth. But when Jesus’ redemptive blood mixed with His (Adamic) sweat, as he voluntarily labored in intercession in the garden (where Adam disobeyed), the mixture fell into the cursed ground and broke the curse off the earth. Now, what the earth is waiting for is for those who will line up with their assignment so that the earth can co-operate with them… Convergence is when you enter into 100% alignment with what you’re designed to do, doing the assignment you were called to do, so that you go back to what God intended in the garden which is work without sweat, which leads to getting glorious results no one else can get.” Lance Wallnau
“I’ve met great people who ‘go to church’ but I seldom meet people who ‘come from church.’ What I’ve learned is that religion tends to reduce you. It doesn’t tend to empower you… In Australia, there’s a common cultural practice called the Tall Poppy Syndrome where people cut down anyone who’s tall, anyone who’s big; it’s a cultural core value where they reduce people who are great. And I think that’s what the church does; it takes big people and makes them little. But, people who come in little should leave big and amazing. (If you read Isaiah 61:1-4, you’ll notice that those who are restored in verses 1-3 are then released in verse 4 to restore desolations, cities, nations, and generations, but they had to first be restored and empowered before they could then restore and empower others.)
“Too often, Christian business leaders believe their purpose is to make money to give to the important ministry work done in the church they attend or a ministry they support. And too often pastors see business people as those who makes lots of money that can then be tithed to them. And many think that the real Kingdom work is done on Sunday and that everyone else who is outside the Kingdom (who works outside the church building) should live to support the ‘Kingdom.’ But that’s a bunch of crap! Not everything that’s Kingdom is in the church buildings. The goal of life is to extend the Kingdom wherever we are and wherever we go, not to give to a church — we ARE the Church!!!
“I love worship! But we perverted worship when we started teaching/preaching that worship happens when the music starts. We created this bi-polar relationship with God where we engage with God on a higher level when the music starts, but then, when it stops, we go to a lower level with Him. This creates a dualistic culture where we anticipate God on Sunday morning, where we go into the ‘Worship Service,’ but this completely contradicts the words of Romans 12:1 where Paul tells us that our WHOLE LIFE is to be an expression of worship when he tells us to ‘make a decisive dedication of your bodies [presenting ALL your members and faculties] as a living sacrifice, holy (devoted, consecrated) and well pleasing to God, which is your reasonable (rational, intelligent) service and spiritual worship.’ In other words, we have as much access to God when there’s no music as when there is. Worship is NOT music. The atmosphere in your business may not have music but it can ALWAYS have worship as long as you’re there, because worship is an expression of the heart. The Kingdom and all it contains doesn’t require music to be playing for it to function. The Kingdom is INSIDE YOU, wherever you go, no matter what day of the week it is.
“Some read ‘Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness’ to mean that we should have a list of priorities where we (1) seek first the Kingdom and His righteousness by serving Him, and then (2) serve our family and so on and so forth. But, actually, there’s only ‘Seek first the Kingdom.’ There is no second. In other words, if it’s not in and of the Kingdom, I shouldn’t be doing it. All we are called to is the Kingdom. So, when I’m taking care of my kids, I’m doing the Kingdom. And when I’m on a date with my wife, I’m doing the Kingdom. Wherever I go, whatever I am doing, is the Kingdom because the Kingdom is IN ME and I am an open heaven. Therefore, I bring the Kingdom wherever I go, regardless of what I’m doing, which means that if I’m working on cars, that is just as important as any other Kingdom work. And while a ‘worship leader’ has a guitar as their tool, the Kingdom-minded mechanic has a wrench, and because they’ve dedicated their wrench to God’s Kingdom, there’s no such thing as secular in their world. Because they are dedicate to the Lord, everything they do is sacred. Those who live this way do not have a ‘Christian business’ but a Kingdom business. A Christian business is where a Christian owns the business but lives by two different value systems — when they go to work, they run their business their way, not God’s way. But when you become a Kingdom-minded business leader, you understand who you are as a Kingdom ambassador who represents the King to your suppliers, your employees, your competitors, etc. As a Kingdom leader, when you negotiate, you don’t manipulate or control or look for a ‘win’ at any cost; instead you only negotiate for win/wins, where everyone wins. In this way, you bless others as God has blessed you.” Kris Vallotton
The following quote from Bill Johnson repeats a portion of the previous quote but with a slight twist…
“Anytime ministry becomes too intentional, we are prone to hype. So I make it a lifestyle. My approach to life isn’t that God is #1, my family is #2, ministry is #3. That is not how I approach life. This is how I approach life: God is #1 and there is no #2. In my service to God, is contained my love for my family, my love for rest, my love for ministry, for life — it’s all in one package.”
Love in the Marketplace
“A culture is strong when people work with each other for each other.” Simon Sinek
“The leader is the one who takes responsibility for the culture. For any leader who complains about their environment, it starts by looking in the mirror.” Simon Sinek
Consider the following questions and think about them seriously before you answer:
- Do you love — really love — each and every person you work with? Or do you just like them?
- Are you a “pastor” in your workplace? Do you shepherd, tend, feed and protect those around you with humility and selfless service?
- Many of our resources have been spent building buildings, building numbers, building programs, building projects, building ministries, but, in the end, have we built people?
- Are you an empathetic listener or are you focused on what you think and have to say?
- How often do you pray for each and every one of your associates? (Check out this great article on “Intercessory Prayer in the Workplace“)
- Has your work become more about getting paid than about the person in front of you at any given moment of the day?
- Are you so bogged down with the details and processes of your work that you’ve lost sight of the people around you? Are you so focused on management that you’ve dropped the ball on being a leader who sees the big picture of WHY you are there? What is your Kingdom vision for your work and workplace?
Most Christians serve others for something in return. But those who are Kingdom-minded serve people for the people themselves. “This is where the respect and the love and the devotion come in, that we give it and we do it to God, to Christ, and that’s why we try to do it as beautifully as possible.” (Mother Teresa, from “Something Beautiful for God” by Malcolm Muggeridge)
Leaders choose to take responsibility for the lives around them. Leadership isn’t about being ‘in charge.’ It’s about taking care of those who are in your charge. Leadership isn’t about having a rank, a title, or having authority. Of course, we may do what our leaders say because they’re ‘in charge’ but we will never follow them. On the other hand, there are people who have no rank or title or authority but because they care about the guy to their left and right, they have earned the trust of those people who will follow them anywhere.
In a really healthy work environment, we constantly help one another because we care about each other, not just because it’s our job.
When we dislike or disagree with someone’s idea(s), we tend to make it personal by assigning ill motives, intentions or agendas to that person rather than keeping our focus on their idea(s) itself. As a result, we feed a culture within this company that dissolves the essence of teamwork, family, good will, etc., thereby fostering an antagonistic environment.
“Someone once asked Nelson Mandela (someone universally regarded as a great leader) how he became a great leader. His response was, ‘When I was young, I attended tribal meetings with my father and I remember two things: the leaders always sat in a circle and my father was always the last one to speak.’ True leaders don’t tell the team what they think and then ask the team to share their thoughts; at that point, it’s too late to receive real insight from the team. Leaders listen; they take time to genuinely hear (and not just to hear those they agree with). There’s a difference between listening and waiting for your turn to speak. It’s important to hear with the intent to understand without giving any clue as to your opinion. That way, everyone gets to feel heard.” Simon Sinek
“In the Marines, leaders (officers) are the last ones to eat, the last person to enter a vehicle/building, the last person to exit and the one who always marches at the tip of the spear (where the fire is the hottest).” Simon Sinek
“We all prefer to work in an environment that we would feel safe enough to tell our colleagues or to tell our bosses, ‘I’m struggling’ or ‘I made a mistake’ or ‘I feel unqualified in the job you’ve given me. I need more training’ or ‘I’m scared.’ We all prefer working for companies that offer this circle of safety, that offer us that environment in which we feel trusted and trusting, where we can express ourselves honestly. Most of us are lying, hiding and faking every day on our jobs, pretending we’re smarter than we are, pretending our skill sets are higher than they are, pretending we’re more valuable than we actually feel, pretending we trust the organization we work for when we don’t; healthy working relationships cannot be fostered in this type of environment (the same holds true to our marriages, friendships and family relationships). Vulnerability – being open and honest – is essential to any real relationship. To the degree that we are protectionist, relationship cannot exist.” Simon Sinek
Work As Worship
The work of a pastor, a Beethoven or a janitor becomes eternally significant on precisely the same condition, that of being done to the glory of Christ.
In John 17:4 (AMP), during His High Priestly prayer, Jesus said, “I have glorified You down here on the earth by completing the work that You gave Me to do.” What is “the work” you have been given to glorify our Father “here on the earth”? What if your job, your profession, is one of the main ways you can glorify our Father “here on the earth.”
“If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as a Michaelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, ‘Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
“Do what you do so well that they will want to see it again and bring their friends.” Walt Disney
“Let us practice the fine art of making every work a priestly ministration. Let us believe that God is in all our simple deeds and learn to find Him there.” A.W. Tozer
One day, the disciples urged Jesus to eat something, to which He responded, “I have food (nourishment) to eat of which you know nothing and have no idea.” (John 4:31-32 AMPC)
Of course, this confused them, causing them to wonder if someone else had brought Him some food. But Jesus explained what He meant when He said, “My food (nourishment) is to do the will (pleasure) of Him Who sent Me and to accomplish and completely finish His work.” (John 4:33-34 AMPC)
I love this last statement by Jesus. Pleasing our Father nourished Jesus. Doing our Father’s work was his food.
“Everything we do should be worship with all of our heart for the King.” Rick Joyner
What if we applied this to our daily work? What if we stopped working merely for a pay check or merely for the sake of the work itself and started doing His work, where everything we did every day was for Him and not men, with supernatural integrity, insight, and strength? What if we stopped being about ourbusiness and started being about our Father’s business, as Jesus was? What if we were light, salt and leaven for the Kingdom in our workplaces, disinfecting, illuminating, flavoring, preserving, influencing and expanding everything around us with the nature, glory and life of Christ in us? Would our Monday-to-Friday life not be transformed? Would our home life not be utterly transfigured?
Every hour of every day would be saturated with Heaven flooding the earth of our daily lives, saturating everyone and everything in its wake.
First Corinthians 15:58 affirms this…
“…Be firm (steadfast), immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord [always being superior, excelling, doing more than enough in the service of the Lord], knowing and being continually aware that your labor in the Lord is not futile [it is never wasted or to no purpose].” Amplified Bible, Classic Edition
“…Be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the work of the Lord [always doing your best and doing more than is needed], being continually aware that your labor [even to the point of exhaustion] in the Lord is not futile nor wasted [it is never without purpose].” Amplified Bible
“…Throw yourselves into the work of the Master, confident that nothing you do for him is a waste of time or effort.” The Message
“…Let nothing move you as you busy yourselves in the Lord’s work. Be sure that nothing you do for him is ever lost or ever wasted.” J.B. Phillips
“…Do many good works in the name of God, and know that all your labor is not for nothing when it is for God.” The Voice
“…Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.” New Living Translation
“…The hard work you do for the Lord is not pointless.” Names of God Bible
What if our work stopped being for our customers and bosses and started being for the Lord? What if we stopped working in the name of the company we work for and started working “in the name of God”? What if stopped laboring for a raise or a promotion or a big contract and started laboring for the Kingdom of our Lord? Would we not become more enthusiastic, knowing it’s all for Him? Would our work not become much more meaningful, useful, and eternal? Would we not excel far beyond our peers as a result of making His pleasure our highest aim?
“One of the ways that we will be changed into His image will be by entering His rest, ceasing from our own works to rest in His.” Rick Joyner
“Personal transformation from encountering God is priceless, but that which often happens within the four walls of your local church is not always transferable to the shopping mall or to Cosco or to Starbucks or to the business office or the lawyers office or the politicians office or the school room. And we know the stories of supernatural healings, deliverances, miracles and the like in the grocery stores and shopping centers, but those things in those public places are not sustainable as a move of God; eventually this has to translate into something else. Why? Because the shopping malls have to sell products that families need and to help support the families that work at those shopping malls. For these people to sell and purchase products for their ongoing benefit — the ability to ‘get wealth’ — is as much a part of God’s plan as the supernatural encounters. If the revival atmosphere fostered by the miracles, signs and wonders continued, eventually the shopping malls, the grocery stores and other businesses in which these events take place would have to shut down, which would harm people’s ability to make money, pay the bills, purchase necessary products and resources, etc., which would, in turn, negatively impact their communities. It’s wonderful to pray for politicians so that they experience divine encounter, but, at some point, they have to pass laws in the public arena as servants.
“So, how do you translate the power encounters in revival into daily life? Some think we should transfer revival into our cities by walking down the street while having our shadow heal everyone every day as we walk. But that kind of thing isn’t sustainable, because it undermines the purposes for the existence of the law, which isn’t secular or carnal but serves a divine purpose. God wants the businesses and the laws and the governments to succeed and serve their divine purpose and enrich their communities, but they can’t do that if everyone in them is laid out under the power of God. So, at some point, we have to stop taking our model for revival that we experience inside the church walls and transferring them into the outside world and, instead, find out what God was working in us within the environment of revival within the church walls and transfer it to the environment we live in everyday.” Bill Johnson
Book: “God With You at Work (Heaven in Business)(Vol. 1)” by Andy Mason
Book: “The 9 to 5 Window” by Os Hillman
Website: The Rainmaker Project / Steve Thompson
Website: Heaven in Business / Andy Mason