Focus on the internship

| June 13, 2011 | 1 Comment

PREPARATION

Remember the nameless, rich young leader who asked Jesus, “What should I do now?” It seems that he had reached a level of uneventful comfort. Life had settled into a pattern of predictability. But, deep inside there was a haunting suspicion: Could there be more to all this than simply not doing anything wrong and keeping account of all the right things done?

Why do so many believers focus on their failings and frustrations rather than their opportunities and adventures?

Jesus had a simple answer to the young man’s question: An offer! Follow me! Get rid of your security blanket and step into the adventure of a lifetime. High demand, right?

Yes, but don’t miss the point. For years I saw only demand (the sacrifice, the cost of discipleship) in this passage, while missing the offer Jesus put on the table. If you just look at the demand, it can seem like a sentence or burden.

Hear this: focus on the offer, the adventure of following. It’s a calling, a profound opportunity. Jesus is offering an internship with the Son of God.

Today, I’m convinced that many turn down the offer, not because of the demands, they simply don’t want adventure. It’s too unpredictable. They choose to stay in the comfort zone surrounded by ordinary expectations.

How about you? What have you chosen? Are you still surrounded by comfort and security (trying to get God to serve your purposes), or have you chosen an Internship filled with mystery and challenge and adventure (finding new ways to serve HIS purposes)?

INSPIRATION

God had been clear from the beginning. He called me by name to this Internet outreach. It’s His vision. He wants this ministry to tap the potential of the Internet for his purposes, as we find innovative and effective ways to encourage and inspire faith outside the walls of church. He has used Faith Notes to push believers out of the huddle and into the game.

We have stories to tell, because He is still leaving his fingerprints in the lives of people all around us. It’s His story and the chapters keep coming. Radio spots and word-of-mouth recommendations have pointed people to the website even as the website takes on a life of it’s own. We are preparing for a viral surprise.

From the beginning, I have felt that God called me to make this my second-half kingdom ministry. And so it will continue. But, like Paul, there are circumstances when, in order for the ministry to continue, some time must be spent in “tent making.” It seems that moment has arrived!

Since the first of the year donations to Faith Coaching Network have dropped 75%. It’s been tough. Yes, at times I have felt God abandoned us. I laughed as I told Lyn, “Well, get ready for it…summer is always the worst.” I identified strongly with the disciples in the boat when they cried out, “Master don’t you care…?”

Out of the blue a friend called. “How are things going,” he asked?

He caught me at a vulnerable moment, “Ministry is going well, but I’m behind on all my bills,” I responded.

“That’s great!” he said.

“Wait, did you hear me, I’m looking for a job. My donors are tapped-out and God has been consistently quiet about salary security. For the first time, those occasional moments of doubt care clouding my faith and depleting my joy.”

“Here’s the word,” he spoke with firmness and clarity, “In the next few weeks, God’s going to open doors that you need to be ready to walk through, and a few of those doors will take you into employment adventures that will bless you and the faith team ministry. Look for God, not the salary. Get your shoes on; it’s time to quit praying and start kicking doors down.”

WOW! I needed that.

Oh and he reminded me, “You know you are in the faith business… You are leading a faith team, act like it.”

Got a friend like that?

As of today, bills are paid. The ministry income is still 25% of last year, but unforeseen doors have opened. I’ve designed logos, developed websites, collaborated of social network strategies, helped a transformed businessman chronicle his story in book form, and become a creative consultant for three new businesses. These ventures have taken up the slack, helped clarify and reshape the Faith Team mission, and profoundly strengthened my faith.

It wasn’t what I expected, but what I needed. Adventures always have challenges and threats…expect your faith internship to be no different.

MOTIVATION

Here’s the word: Quit focusing on what you’ve given up, focus on the adventure ahead.

Perhaps this is your week to get past the list of demands that keep you grounded and caged; accept the Internship.

I also could be your week to be God’s voice to a friend.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Category: Faith Notes

Comments (1)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Jim Cooper says:

    Ron,

    You are so correct. An offer is on the table. Opportunity is ours, BUT (now it rears its ugly head) we cannot accept it, we will not “seize the moment.” It is not humility that holds us back, nor is it a lack of ability or skill, but it is a lack of faith, prue and simple. Before us is a great task that NEEDS doing and a God who wants us to step up. What’s wrong? Instead of looking at Him, we look at ourselves. We see pitiful us. We see weak-knees and wishy-washy. We see tongue-tied, and forgetful.

    If we had faith in Him and if we kept looking at Him, at His perfection, His power, and His everything, we would dive into the frey. BUT alas, we, like Peter, look down and we remember that we cannot walk on water, in spite of the fact that we are. We fear, despite His command to the contrary, we dispair because all we see is us and all our limitations, not Him and all his power, then, like Peter, we begin to sink. If, in that moment, we could only hear Him say, “Lift up your eyes…” Perhaps we would see not only the fields that are white unto harvest, but catch a glimpse in His face of His power and glory, and be eternally blessed by allowing Him to USE us for His glory.

    It is waiting to happen. He is waiting to USE us.

Leave a Reply