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  • Restorative Readings: The Old Testament, Ethics, and Human Dignity
    Restorative Readings: The Old Testament, Ethics, and Human Dignity
    Pickwick Publications

    Foreword by Walter Brueggemann, my chapter is entitled 'In conversation: The Old Testament, Ethics and Human Dignity'. A superb resource edited by Julie Claassens and Bruce Birch

  • What are we thinking? Reflections on Church and Society from Southern African Methodists.
    What are we thinking? Reflections on Church and Society from Southern African Methodists.
    by Dion A Forster, Wessel Bentley
  • Methodism in Southern Africa: A celebration of Wesleyan Mission
    Methodism in Southern Africa: A celebration of Wesleyan Mission
    by Dion A Forster, Wessel Bentley
  • Christ at the centre - Discovering the Cosmic Christ in the spirituality of Bede Griffiths
    Christ at the centre - Discovering the Cosmic Christ in the spirituality of Bede Griffiths
    by Dion A Forster
  • An uncommon spiritual path - the quest to find Jesus beyond conventional Christianity
    An uncommon spiritual path - the quest to find Jesus beyond conventional Christianity
    by Dion A Forster
Transform your work life: Turn your ordinary day into an extraordinary calling. by Dion Forster and Graham Power.
Download a few chapters of the book here.

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Saturday
May222010

The launch of my new book - Transform your work life

Yesterday we launched 'Transform your work life' at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) as part of the Global Day of Prayer 2010 conference. We were in the main ballroom and had about 400 people attending. It was so fantastic to have Megan, Courtney and Liam there! Megie's parents also attended the launch. Ed Silvoso, Brett Johnson, Al Caperna, Steve Johnstone, Graham Power, Anja Morkel and I spoke at the event.

The book has already been selling well! I am humbled and grateful! I believe that we sold over 500 copies during the week (it certainly felt like I signed 500 copies!!!)

It also launches in Malaysia on Sunday! And will soon be available in Hong Kong, Singapore, China, Taiwan, and Indonesia - it is being translated into Indonesian, Chinese and Portogeuse. We are concluding the deals for the US and Brazil. How cool is that!? Thanks so much to everyone who has played a part in this special project please be praying with us!

Look here for the Malaysian copy:

http://canaanland.com.my/index.php?act=viewProd&productId=27449

And here for South Africa:

http://bit.ly/transformwork

God bless, and please keep praying that the message and testimony encourage and help many Christians to find blessing and be a blessing their workplace and their work life!

Friday
May142010

Transform your workplace and your work life!

In one of the early George Otis DVD's on Transformation (simply called Transformation) there is a challenging statement made by a pastor in one of the segments.  The pastor says something along the lines of 'One day when I stand before God at my life's end God is not going to ask me how I pastored my Church.  No, God is going to ask me how I pastored my community'.

Of course that is entirely true!  Christians have responsibility not only for the Church and for other Christians, we are sent as salt and light into the world!  

Our responsibility is to bring the love and blessing of Christ to bear on every situation, particularly those most difficult situations of all - bringing Jesus into your work place!  I frequently hear Christians saying that they are afraid, embarrassed, or ill equipped to bring Jesus into their work life and their workplace in a creative and effective manner.  This is not surprising!  So much of what we model about ministry is pointed towards ministry in the Church or through the Church (and of course that has to do with the Church building, its structures and groups). However, one day when you stand before the Lord He will ask you how you loved, cared for and transformed the people and structures that you faced for most of your waking hours each day!  

If you're looking for some fresh and creative ideas with which to carefully and sensitively engage difficult people, challenging situations, or uninterested colleauges then chapter 8 of our book 'Transform your work life:  Turn your ordinary day into an extraordinary calling' is just what you're looking for! In that chapter Graham and I share a practical, effective, means of reaching your colleagues, clients, and of course the company and structures of your work life for Christ and His Kingdom.  The method that we share is simple enough for any person to apply (without needing to have an incredible knowledge of the Bible, Christian theology, or being able to counsel others!)  We share a few testimonies about how people have applied this method to reach individuals and even a whole industry!

Copies of 'Transform your work life:  Turn your ordinary day into an extraordinary calling' are now available online at www.christianrepublic.co.za

Order you copy today and discover how you can transform your ordinary day into an extraordinary calling!

Once you've ordered your copy of 'Transform your work life' pleasevisit our facebook page and share your testimony of how God is using you in your work life. Your story could encourage others to discover the joy and blessing of being used by God in the 9-5 window! Also feel free to share any requests for prayer or help, or interact with the authors.

God bless! Dion

Thursday
May062010

Spotted in the wild! Sharing some personal excitement (and fun).

Forgive me for one more post about my new book 'Transform your work life:  Turn your ordinary day into an extraordinary calling'.  

I just wanted to share a little piece of personal excitement (and family fun) with you!

Before today I had not seen a copy of the book in print!  Yup, that's the truth!  Naturally I had seen the digital proofs, but I had not seen a 'hard cover' copy of the book before today.

I had a meeting with a friend with whom I do some coaching - after the meeting I was walking past Wordsworth bookshop in the Somerset Mall when I thought 'I wonder if they have copies of my book on the shelf'.  So, I walked up to the sales assistant and asked her.  She had a look in her catalogue and sure as you know it, they had a few copies that had arrived just this morning!

So, I picked one up.  I was grinning from ear to ear as she rung up my purchase.  I was looking over the cover, checking the print quality (which is very good by the way!  The book has a hard cover with a gloss colour printed interior!) I handed her my credit card and her eye caught my name, she looked at the book's cover and then asked 'Do you know the author?'  I just smiled and said, 'yup, I've met him before'!  ha ha!  It was very cool.

Well, this evening Megie, Courtney, Liam and I went out for a burger to celebrate the new book and so we stopped in at another book shop (Exclusive Books in the Somerset Mall).  I walked over to the Christian Books section and there it was!  'Transform your work life' spotted in the wild!  So I quickly asked Courtney and Liam to stand in front of the shelf and I snuck a photo with my iPhone.  Another cool memory - take a look at the blue cover just above Courtney's head in the attached photo.

Lastly, I wanted to mention that if you order a copy of the book from Christian Republic you will receive a free leather bound journal!  I'm not sure how long this promotion lasts, so don't miss out!  The price is the same (R109.00, plus R20 counter to counter overnight shipping).

Once you've bought your copy please leave me some feedback on the book.  You can either do so on the discussion section on this blog, or you can join the 'Transform your work life' facebook page.

God bless you!  Please join me in praying that this book will offer encouragement, inspiration and fresh perspectives to Christians in their work life.

 

Tuesday
May042010

Transform your work life is for sale at Christian Republic!

Copies of 'Transform your work life:  Turn your ordinary day into an extraordinary calling' are now available online at www.christianrepublic.co.za

Order you copy today and discover how you can transform your ordinary day into an extraordinary calling!

Once you've ordered your copy of 'Transform your work life' please visit our facebook page and share your testimony of how God is using you in your work life.

Your story could encourage others to discover the joy and blessing of being used by God in the 9-5 window!  

Also feel free to share any requests for prayer or help, or interact with the authors.

God bless! Dion

Sunday
Apr252010

Living a more intentional life

Yesterday morning a cycling friend said something that I hear just about every week; "Dion, I need to do something more significant with my life! I'm longing for something that will bring me greater fulfillment. I want to know that I'm making a difference in the world.  I'm simply not satisfied working for a salary".

Of course we discussed the reality that everyone has to face some parts of life that are mundane, not glamorous or filled with social recognition and easy access to the peace that comes from being 'on purpose'.  However, I did also speak to him about a simple little lesson that I have learnt from Bob Buford's book Half Time.

To find true significance you don't necessarily need to change what you're doing.  Rather, you might just need to change how you do what you're doing.

In other words, you don't need to give up your job, or go and live in a monastery, or become a missionary or social activist in order to make a difference and feel that your life and work are worthwhile to society!  You might be able to make a huge, tangible, difference right where you are!


I don't know about you, but life gets so busy, I am faced with some many pressures, demands, expectations and simple daily tasks that I often don't get the opportunity to live life on a deeper level.  My good intentions simply pass me by and I end up living with a measure of guilt and frustration.  Sometimes I need support, sometimes it's understanding, sometimes wisdom, and at other times I need accountability.  I have many friends, but very few deep and significant relationships that can offer me these forms of support and challenge.  There are very few people, and places, where I can be entirely vulnerable about my challenges, fears, expectations and hopes without worrying that I will be judged, or betrayed.  This group of 8 guys has allowed me to live life with greater blessing.  We've been meeting for the past year (4 hours, once a month).  Watch the video below for more details about the concept, structure and content of our meetings.

Well, I have found that the simple structure of Forum, that myself and friend, Dr Vonnie Mostert (a clinical psychologist), set up has been invaluable.  You can read more about the concept here at the Network of Christian Forums website.  There are already more than a dozen such groups of women and men across South Africa and the world.

If you're inetersted in more information about the Network, perhaps for yourself, or perhaps as a structure to support Christians in your Church or business then please drop us a line.

The video below was recorded by my friend Steve Johnstone the international coordinator of the Unashamedly Ethical campaign.  He uses it as a promotional video for forums in the Unashamedly Ethical community.

I'd love to hear of any other tools or structures that you use to live life with greater meaning and intention.

Lastly, if you're interested in some reading material on living life with greater intention, purpose and blessing, please check out my new book 'Transform your work life:  Turn your ordinary day into an extraordinary calling'.

 

Thursday
Apr152010

Maximizing your work life - blessing in the 9 - 5 window.

I’m sure that you may have heard about the ‘least reached’ portion of the world called the 10/40 window?  This is a geographical region where there are no Christians, or very few Christians.  For many years churches and Christian ministries have focussed their energy and attention on getting missionaries into those areas to spread the Gospel of Christ.
 
You may be surprised to discover that there is a region much closer to where you are every day that is also classified as an ‘unreached’ group for the Gospel!  I call it the 9 to 5 window!  Of course I am referring to the place where you work each day – the reality is that the work place is one of the least reached and transformed regions of the world.
 
Of course there are many reasons for this.  Some people have come to believe that Christianity is something that belongs to a particular building (your church) or a particular time (Sunday morning).  However, what do you think Jesus meant when he prayed ‘…let your Kingdom come, let your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven’ (Matthew 6:10)?  Of course Jesus wasn’t just praying that God’s Kingdom would be established in a particular place, or at particular times!  Jesus longs to be Lord of both the Church and the Marketplace!
 
So, the question is, who takes responsibility for the establishment of God’s Kingdom where you spend most of your day?  Who is God calling to transform your work place to reflect the values of His Kingdom?
 
Part of the answer can be found in the following verse: ‘go and make disciples of all nations…’ (Matthew 28:20).  Being a disciple of Jesus means that one is disciplined in the ways of Jesus.  Believing in Jesus as saviour is only the beginning (sure it is the most important start that any person could ever make, however it is just the beginning of what God longs for!)  You know I read this verse for many years and never realised that Jesus commands his disciples, and also commands you and me, to go and make disciples of all nations.
 
I was a Pastor of various Churches for almost 17 years.  As I think back on the teaching, preaching, and courses that I ran in those churches I came to realise that we spent quite a lot of time trying to help people to become disciples of Jesus.  However, we spent very little time trying to disciple those elements that make up a nation!
 
Have you ever considered that God may be calling you to be a minister in the marketplace?  It may just be that God has placed you in the office where you work, among the people that you encounter (co-workers, clients etc.) in order to disciple them, and the systems within which you work, in order to establish His Kingdom on that little bit of earth!
 
If you were to think about the people and things that you face regularly during your work week, what would God want to change?  Perhaps there is a particular policy in your company that is unethical.  Maybe there is some relationship between your boss and another co-worker that does not reflect Christ’s love.  Maybe there are some decisions that are being made that are unlawful, or hurtful, to your community.  I think God may be calling you to take responsibility for establishing His Kingdom in that place!
 
Doing this may not be as difficult as you imagine.  In the company where I serve, the Power Group of Companies, transformation began when one employee (a lady named Eleanor) decided to start praying for her bosses and her co-workers.  That was all she did!  Then eventually she got some others to join her in prayer, and from there some key influences and decision makers started changing small little things in the company during meetings and gatherings.  They prayed that God would bless and use their company to transform the industry and reach the nation.  This simple act, by a secretary, eventually led to the conversion of the CEO, Graham Power, who went on the start the largest prayer movement in all recorded history – the Global Day of Prayer.
 
Eleanor took responsibility for her work life and her work place, and through her God was able to reach into and transform one of the least reached places on earth, the 9 to 5 window!  Where is God calling you to take responsibility?

 

Please see my new book 'Transform your work life:  Turn your ordinary day into an extraordinary calling' for more information, practical ideas, and inspiring stories, of how people have found blessing - and become a greater blessing, during their work life.

Please join the facebook page for 'Transform your work life' here to interact with other Christians in the workplace and keep up to date with news about the book.

Thursday
Apr082010

Stop! For freedom's sake!

The prophet Isaiah said (40:28-31):

28 Do you not know? 
       Have you not heard? 
       The LORD is the everlasting God, 
       the Creator of the ends of the earth. 
       He will not grow tired or weary, 
       and his understanding no one can fathom.

 29 He gives strength to the weary 
       and increases the power of the weak.

 30 Even youths grow tired and weary, 
       and young men stumble and fall;

 31 but those who hope in the LORD 
       will renew their strength. 
       They will soar on wings like eagles; 
       they will run and not grow weary, 
       they will walk and not be faint.

 

Listen to this wonderful quote:

 

Stop for one whole day every week, and you will remember what it means to be created in the image of God, who rested on the seventh day not from weariness but from complete freedom. The clear promise is that those who rest like God find themselves free like God, no longer slaves to the thousand compulsions that send others rushing toward their graves.
- Barbara Brown Taylor, from her book Leaving Church

Don't you love that line 'those who rest like God find themselves free like God, no longer slaves to the thousand compulsions that send others rushing toward their graves'.  Lovely!  I need rest!

 

Tuesday
Apr062010

Taking Jesus to work... Transform your work life!

Recently I was speaking to a friend about his work.  I could see that he was frustrated and worn out and I had been trying to encourage him to see how God could use him just where he was.  Somewhere along the line of our conversation he said, ‘I live for the weekends! I dread going to work on Monday, and when I’m at work I count the hours until it is Friday.  If I didn’t need the money I would stop working’.  As I was driving back to my office later that morning I thought, ‘how sad that he is wishing away most of his life! Surely there must be something more meaningful to your work-life than just hanging in there for a paycheck!’

I’m sure that there are many people who live for the weekend, and many more who simply work because they need the money!  The good news is that you don’t have to wish most of your life away.  God has a wonderful plan to make what you do from Monday to Friday one of the most fulfilling and exhilarating parts of your week. 

Look at this quote from Ed Silvoso:

Most Christians who on Sundays worship God to the tune of inspiring music fail to see that what they do during the week is also meant by God to be worship’ Ed Silvoso

And then there's this verse:

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. – Colossians 3:23-24

In this episode of my radio program - The Ministry and Me (for Radio Pulpit) I discuss the notion of 'taking Jesus to work with you'.  You can download a copy of the audio from here (10MB MP3).

The recording is actually based on a chapter of a new book that Graham Power and I have written together called ‘Transform your work life:  Turn your ordinary day into an extraordinary calling’ - the whole book is about serving Jesus in your work life and in your work place.  It is currently being printed and will be launched at the Cape Town International Convention Centre on the 21st of May - if you're interested in attending the book launch as part of the Global Day of Prayer conference please drop me a line or leave a comment below.

In this episode we discuss the clear and simple principles of serving Jesus where you are right now, without missing the opportunities that God is giving you.  I share some clear and practical examples (mainly testimony from Graham Power’s life, and also some lessons that we’ve learnt in our company).

As always I'd love to hear your feedback, insights!  Please just leave a comment in the comment section below.

Also, if you'd like to be kept up to date on developments with the new book, or enter into some discussion on the book or the concept of ministry in your work life please join the facebook page for 'Transform your work life'.

 

Wednesday
Mar312010

Work as worship - confronting the powerful, caring for the poor

A regular commentor on my blog (thanks Thomas!) left a comment on my post from yesterday.  Here's Thomas' comment:

Hello Dion, On the one hand, I like the holism of your theology. On the other hand, I feel that it does not do justice to the oppressed, from an existential point of view. It offers hope for the future. Yet (to advance just one aspect of this) statistically, hope across the globe fades in so many ways. That is one of the major stumbling-blocks for me. You ain't where the oppressed is, in this moment. Perhaps you could address this in a post sometime.

If I have understood Thomas' concern it is that an approach to 'work as worship' such as the one I espoused in my previous post tends towards addressing the powerful and rich at the expsense of caring for the poor.  If that was the case I would share Thomas' concern!

However, I contend that my theology does not advocate that at all.  Here are a few thoughts that underly my understanding of using our work life as worship in relation to the wealthy, powerful, and the poor.

1.  I agree wholeheartedly that ministry cannot be responsible unless it addresses the plight of the poor.  However, it is a mistake to think that such an orientation, i.e., and orientation towards the poor, must be at the exclusion of addressing the causes of poverty (most often greed among the powerful and rich).

2.  I would say that it is not realistic that every person should be expected to do ministry in all spheres of society all the time.  Thomas, what you may not know is that I served as a minister in South Africa's townships at various stages of my ministry as a Methodist minister (some of these periods were before 1994).  Moreover, I still continue to seek to address and overcome systemic poverty in the role that I currently hold.  I administer two large charitable trusts that do work, and fund work, in economic empowerment, food security, caring for HIV infected persons, caring for AIDS orphans etc.  This probably takes up about a third of my ministry time each week.

3.  If you agree with point 2 above, i.e., that we can't all be expected to minister in all places with equal intention and intensity; or at all levels of society at all times, then the following point needs to be accepted - namely, those who have significant access to the poor (and the systems that abuse and enslave the poor) must effectively and responsibly operate in that area.  But, that would also assume that those who have access to persons in power and access to systems that are powerful in society must engage those systems powerfully and effectively to work for the establishment of Christ's gracious Kingdom of Justice and love from that perspective.

So, if my daily work puts me in place with the poor directly it is likely that my primary ministry activity will be in that space.  However, if my daily work puts me in touch with society and power at another level then I must engage creatively and intentionally for Christ at that level (of course not exclusively!  We must all seek to address various levels of society at various times and in various ways).

I currently have that privilege (and responsibility) because of the ministry position I hold and possibly because of previous publications, research etc.  So, I think that it would irresponsible for me NOT to address the powerful, and systems of power, when I have a chance to do so!

I address this and a few other issues related to wealth, poverty, and ministry through work (and at work) in my new book 'Transform your work life:  Turn your ordinary day into an extraordinary calling'.

That being said, I hear that persons such as myself must always remember why we engage powerful persons and systems - it is for the sake of establishing God's Kingdom that includes all persons.

I have found the following quote from Henri Nouwen quite encouraging (please see the bit in bold if you don't feel like reading the whole quote):

 

Honest direct confrontation is a true expressionof compassion.  As Christians, we are in the world without being of it.  It is precisely this position that renders confrontation possible and necessary.  The illusion of power must be unmasked, idolatry must be undone, oppression and exploitation must be fought, and all who participate in these evils must be confronted.  This is compassion.  

We cannot suffer with the poor when we are unwilling to confront those persons and systems that cause poverty.  We cannot set the captives free when we do not want to confront those who carry the keys.  We cannot profess our solidarity with those who are opressed when we are unwilling to confront the opressor. Compassion without confrontation fades quickly into fruitless sentimental commiseration.

But if confrontation is to be an expression of patient action, it must be humble. Our constant temptation is to fall into self-righteous revenge or self-serving condemnation.  The danger hers is that our own witness can blind us.  When confrontation is tainted by desire for attention, need for revenge, or greed for power, it can easily become self-serving and cease to be compassionate.  - From Compassion: A reflection on the Christian life by Donald McNeill, Douglas Morrison and Henri Nouwen.

I'd love to hear any feedback, and always appreciate constructive input, words of caution and insights that can help to see the Kingdom of Jesus established at every level of society!

Well, to change tack, I am back in South Africa.  We landed this morning after a great flight from Hong Kong.  I am waiting to board my connecting flight to Cape Town.  I have to do a little work this afternoon, but I'm on leave for the following 5 days with my wonderful family!!  Praise be to God!

Tuesday
Mar162010

Transform your work life

Yesterday I sat in another meeting where a prominent business person asked 'how can I transform my worklife into something more than just a job?' It is a common question!  Some people ask this question because their job is not satisfying, others ask it because they know that life is about more than just waking up, working, going to bed, and starting all over again!

Gretchen Rubin's quote continues to live in my mind:

While the days are long, the years are short! (Gretchen Rubin)

So true!  There must be more to life than just working for a salary (as important as that is).  Most of us grow up longing to do something significant, something that brings great joy, blessing and fulfillment.

This friend shared his frustration about his local church with me - he is a top business analyst with years of training, a wealth of experience, and the kind of skill that most businesses would pay thousands to have access to!

When he asked his pastor to help him to find some ministry through which he could express his love for Christ, and also use his gifts, he was encouraged to join the men's group that does 'parking duty' on a Sunday morning before and after the services. Sure, he may find some companionship and friendship there, but he would not find expression for his gifts and abilities in that setting.  When Graham Power, one of the more prominent business persons in South Africa, came to Christ and was a member of my congregation I was faced with a similar dilemma!  What do you do with someone like this?  My temptation was to get Graham to join my leaders meeting - however, I know now that he may have joined out of a desire to honour Christ.  But, the challenge of helping to run a suburban Church would never have been enough for him!  The small mindedness of members, the unrealistic budgets, and the limited staff would soon have left him frustrated.  Thankfully Graham discovered that his ministry was in his work place; his work life was the time that God wanted to use to transform his business, tranform his industry, touch the nation and eventually the world.

It was clear that my friend's church didn't think that he could have a ministry on Monday!  His pastor suffered from the same problem I had - my members should use their gifts within the ministry of our Church!  If only his minister could realise that he is already gifted, has a network of relationships, significant influence, and great passion and commitment to Christ.  All that he needs is some encouragement, a few good ideas, a few basic tools, and he could impact hundreds, even thousands of people through his work life!

He could certainly help ministries to understand how to manage their finances, or perhaps where they could invest some of their income to generate additional funds to grow their work. He certainly has a keen understanding of economics, policy and working with teams in complex situations.  Moreover, he could be taught to pray, share the Gospel of Christ, understand the basic principles of justice, economics and the values of God's Kingdom.  Through these basic things he could influence choices, help to transform systems and see that God's will is done IN the Church AND in the broader community!  Everybody wins!

How I wished that our new book, 'Transform your work life: Turn your ordinary day into an extraordinary calling' was already in print!

I would gladly have given him two copies - one for his pastor to read to get some understanding of the theology of ministry in the marketplace, and a few ideas for helping his business people to discover and work towards their calling. He could also have read some stories of other business people who have undertaken the journey of seeking to serve Jesus every day of the week, not only on a Sunday!  In doing so they have found joy, blessing and peace through serving Christ where they are every day - in their work place.

I'd love to hear some of what you do as a minister in your work life or your work place. How do you find ways to establish God's Kingdom, to express His love, and to work for healing and transformation from Monday to Saturday? I'd also like to hear from some pastors and ministers who are doing creative things in their Churches that help business people to find and live out their calling.

So here's what I'd like to ask you:

  • What do you think God's plan is for yourworking life?
  • What do you think God would want a working Christian to do (other than do their job well!) in the hours that they're are work?
  • Pastors, have you got any insights on a 'theology of work' that you would be willing to share?

I am often in situations where I get asked to help business people to integrate their faith life and work life - I am fortunate to be part of a Church that takes this form of ministry serioulsy. But, I'd love to get some creative ideas, theological insights, and practical advice to share. So please add a comment below! I'd love to hear from you!!!

Lastly, please keep an eye open for our book (I have included a copy of the cover image below). It will be in stores on the 10th of May 2010.  I met with the marketting team from Struik Christian Media today - they have some incredible stuff planned for the book!  Radio, Video, and Print interviews and marketting.  A great launch (I'll let you know about that - drop me a line if you'd like to be invited.  It will be in May in Cape Town).  If you'd like to pre-order a copy please drop me a line and I'll make sure that we get a copy to you as soon as they are in the stores.

Here are a few endorsements for the book from some friends:

 

Graham Power and Dion Forster have finally brought the role of the marketplace into the prominence it deserves! When you read the Bible, it soon becomes obvious that the focus of the ministry and outreach of Christ was nearly exclusively on the marketplace. If you are looking for the secrets of how to succeed with your faith in your workplace, then ‘Transform your Work Life’ is for you.
– Dr Bruce Wilkinson, author of The Prayer of Jabez
We can never pay enough pastors and missionaries to evangelise the world! It will happen when the rest of us realise the church is not a building to go to, but a vast multitude of people called and commis- sioned by God to take the good news where we ‘spend most of our time and energy’. This book will turn your world upside down and inspire you to believe God for church to happen where you are! You are about to go on a great adventure!
– Floyd McClung, All Nations (Cape Town)
At long last we have a book that affirms our daily workplace as a primary place for us to live out our faith. Few people are better placed and more equipped to show us the way than Dion Forster and Graham Power. I pray that this book will enable many individuals the world over to see their work as a means of dignity, love and provision, both for themselves and their neighbour.
– Rev Trevor Hudson, South African Pastor and Author.
People often ask, “What is my calling?”. The answer is partly simple: the majority of us are called to the marketplace. The interwoven stories of Graham and Dion will encourage you to make your occupation your vocation, your job a ‘beroep’, in the true sense of the word. I highly commend these good friends to you; read their story so that your heart will be en- couraged, your mind renewed, and your spirit emboldened. God, being a lawyer, understands legal precedent, so what he has done for them he can do for you and me if we walk in similar obedience. Make their story a springboard for your story. ‘But, he is successful and if I had his money I could also serve God,’ you may say. Don’t ask for money like Graham – ask for humility like Graham. Don’t ask for a ministry like Dion’s, but minister with all that you have, right where you are. Don’t wait for one great thing to do, but take the next step of obedience. I am delighted that Graham and Dion are challenging us to integrate our work and faith so that we can be a part of the extraordinary company of ordinary marketplace people who are extending the kingdom through daily business.
– Brett Johnson – President, The Institute for Innovation, Integration & Impact, Saratoga, California

 Please join the facebook page for 'Transform your work life' here to interact with other Christians in the workplace and keep up to date with news about the book. 

Wednesday
Feb242010

Transform your work life! The new book is almost ready for print!

Last night Struik Christian Media sent me the 'galleys' (PDF proofs) for the new book that Graham Power and I have written called 'Transform your worklife:  Turn your ordinary day into an extraordinary calling'

I am so pleased with the work that they have done in the layout!  I can reveal to much about the book yet, but all that I can say is that it tells some wonderful stories, and shares some great resources and insights, to help Christians to transform their work life and work place into an opportunity for honouring God, blessing others, and finding great peace, blessing and fulfillment!

The book is a mixture of narrative (stories and testimonies of various people who have done remarkable things for God and those around them during their work day).  It also has some sound theology, a few suggestions and practical points, as well as some questions for group study.  Graham and I sat down and worked through the concept of each chapter, and with the help of people like Ed Silvoso, Brett Johnsonn, Trevor Hudson and some other great friends I wrote up each chapter.

The book is due to be launched in May at the Global Day of Prayer conference!  So, it will either be on the 20th or 21st of May.  Please do keep an eye on this site for more updates.

Can I also ask that you keep this project in your prayers.  As my friend Gareth Killeen said last night:

As you point out in this book, work is such a huge part of people’s lives, but such a small part of the church’s focus, and we should really look to redress that whatever way we could.

I can't share the cover art or any of the contents with you at this stage - all that I can say is that it is exciting!  I'm working through the 'galleys' now and they'll go off to print on the 4th of March to be printed and shipped back to South Africa in time for the launch.  

Thanks for sharing in my excitement!

Monday
Feb082010

21 Ways to Pray at Work

A friend on facebook (H-K-R) shared this great link from beliefnet - 21 ways to pray at work.  

There are some wonderful resources here to add a new level of significance and purpose to your daily work life! Remember that Paul admonished the Colossians saying, “Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.” (Col 3.23).

We spend so much time and energy in our work environment, why not invest that time wisely by taking the hours you spend at work to a deeper level of commitment? 

Here's my input on some of the steps they share:

 

  • The workday doesn’t start when you walk into the office, it starts when you wake up. Start by thanking God for the job you have.
  • Ask God to bless the people among whom you work, and the place in which you work.
  • Pray that God will make you a good steward of your time and resources of your company.  As Christians at work we should offer a clear witness through our commitment to our work.  Mark Twain once commented that you should "live such a good life that when you die even the undertaker will be sorry!"
  • Pray that God will use your communication to communicate God's love and care for the people you interact with (whether that be your manner on the phone, the way you deal with a difficult client, or the tone of an email).
  • A simple exercise is to choose to pray through your 'address book' or phone list. I do this - I take just 10 minutes each day and pray for a few persons on our company phone list.  Amazingly I pray for each of our office staff by name every second week. It changes my interaction with them, and I trust that God uses my prayer to bless and help them.
  • Be willing to pray for those who lead your organisation.  Pray not only for them, but for their family and home lives.  Executives often face great pressure.  God can use you to transform their lives (James 5:16)
  • Before meetings ask God to guide you and give you calm and peace.  Let God guide your thoughts, your words and your interactions.  During the meeting listen for God's guidance through the words and inputs of others.  Be sensitive enough to hear God's voice, and brave enough to speak.  Your voice mayy be the one that God wishes to use to change a situation or bring a solution!
  • It is worthwhile praying that your organisation will be a just and good steward of the resources they have been entrusted with.  Ask God to guide your leadership to make wise and generous choices that will help to transform society.
  • Practice MBWA during your lunch break.  What is MBWA?  It is different from an MBA (Masters in Business Administration), MBWA stands for 'management by walking around'.  Try to connect with as many people as possible in a sincere and significant way during your free time (remember not to steal time from your employer, so use our time wisely!)  Friendships build trust and allow you to offer care, help and prayer to those in need.  I can bet you there are many people in your sphere of influence who are longing for someone to connect with!
  • In God's Kingdom few things happen in isolation - we were made for community.  So, find likeminded colleagues to pray with during the week.
  • When you have to travel for work pray that God will protect your family and give them patience.  Pray that God will protect you and keep you from any form of sin or temptation, returning you quickly and safely to your loved ones.

 If you have any ideas or inputs to share I would love to hear from you!  How do you make the most of your workday as a  Christian?