Do you ever find yourself quoting Bible verses to someone, only to stop and think if you really believe what you are quoting? In those moments, we are faced with the question of whether or not we believe what we know.
Here is one of those verses for me:
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10
I can quote this verse, and probably counsel people because of the truth in this verse. But do I – and do you – really believe what this verse says?
A little over a month ago I announced publicly that I would be leaving the ministry that I have been with for the past 15 years. It is a great, effective ministry. There is no good reason to leave, other than my wife and I sensed that God had prepared some different works for us to walk into.
Needless to say, we have been busy this past month talking to different ministries, trying to prayerfully discern that next place that God has for us.
Last week I had the great opportunity to sit down and have lunch with Dennis Rainey, the President of Family Life. Over lunch, he commented that he had shared his philosophy of “forks” with many people over the years as they were looking to make a career change. Always curious, I asked if he could share it with me.
He began to talk about four basic “forks in the road” when it comes to making a decision about where you might work. They are:
1. Vocational ministry or minister in the business world? Do you sense a strong calling “out of ministry” in the business world, and more into an “equipping ministry” like being part of a ministry staff somewhere? This is a simple enough question, but once that decision is made, it helps narrow your options.
2. One on one, or one to many? Do you love spending time with people one on one, or do you enjoy setting the strategy and influencing the leaders or groups of people? I think this one brings up a great point. There are many people who love one on one ministry, but find themselves “stuck” behind the scenes removed from all the action.
3. Part of a team, or doing your own thing? God has raised up some people to start ministries, and others to come into existing ministries and bring them into the future. Which type are you? Would you rather join a team, or start something from scratch?
4. What are your skills, gifts and abilities? This is where most people would begin considering what job they might take next. I’ve written about the importance of knowing yourself, but I didn’t think about the fact this might be considered last, after you’ve addressed the earlier forks in the road.
The questions seem easy enough, but I think if answered prayerfully and thoughtfully, they help to bring clarity from confusion.
See, if we truly believe Ephesians 2:10, then we believe God has hand-crafted us. As well, he hand-crafted us to be able to perform the works that he has already set in front of us. He strongly urges us to walk into them, but will not force us to.
As Steph and I are seeking God to find that next place he has for us, we are addressing these questions above.
What other questions should someone ask when considering a job change?