1 Peter 2:9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His own possession, that you may proclaim the excellency of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.
What a powerful verse! Peter challenges us how to live and to live with purpose. In a sense Peter gives us our job description. How are we doing? Do we live like we are chosen, royal, and holy? Do we reflect the character of God? When God was delivering His people from Egypt the Scriptures say, “He made a distinction between Israel and Egypt.”
I am presently reading THE SMALL B!G: Small Changes That Spark Big Influence by Steve Martin, Noah Goldstein, Robert Cialdini. One of their chapters deals with the question, “What small Big should you add to your recipe for employee productivity? In studies conducted by Adam Grant, a Wharton School of Business professor, he found that workers failed to live up to their potential due to one fundamental ingredient. “They’ve lost track of the significance and meaningfulness of their job.” Those studies revealed that when people connect significance to their jobs their productivity is more than doubled. One of the chief ways to achieve these results is for workers to hear stories, testimonials or reports of how their work has benefitted others. Let me relate one such story to you.
Last night at our Board meeting a friend of mine shared his personal story of how God used this Ministry in his life – Ken Simon. He shared his experience of moving from Washington to Birmingham and how YBL connected him to others. He got involved in a small group and learned the foundations of his faith. He also became a champion for racial reconciliation.
At one point he shared about becoming involved in the Birmingham Emmaus Walk. This walk was to draw people closer to Christ and to promote racial reconciliation. Because Ken was involved in that movement over 1000 individuals have taken that Emmaus Walk. I would say Ken is fulfilling his job description.
Could we have a greater challenge than representing Jesus Christ to the marketplace, our country, our families? Do people see a distinction in our lives, like Pharaoh did between Egypt and Israel? Am I recognized as a person that proclaims the excellences of Him who called me out of darkness into His marvelous light? I trust this is so.
We are fully engaged in the New Year. Our next banquet will be with James Ryle, author of the book Released. He literally went to the same prison that his father, also a prisoner, built. His father welded the bars on the prison in which James was imprisoned. It is a powerful story. That breakfast will be March 13th and, our Sporting Clays will be that same month March 27th (earlier this year).
While we are planning these events, the real life change is taking place in small groups. We have had 12 new groups start since late 2013. Our many discipleship leaders are taking their job descriptions seriously- growing and sending men out into their communities as men of faith . Plus WBL, our women’s ministry is growing and actively pursuing a Director.
I want to thank each of you for your graciousness toward our ministry. We had a very strong end of the year in 2014. That enables us to launch new initiatives and support new staff for 2015. I am humbled and grateful for your prayers, your participation, your talents and your gifts. I am blessed!
Let’s track back to THE SMALL B!G! At the end of that chapter the authors say, “Maybe that’s the smallest change of all for a manager to make – to simply say ‘well done’ to an employee who has made a difference.” Isn’t that what we want to hear when we meet the Author and Finisher of our faith? We long to hear “Well Done”.
Blessed to serve with you,