When you commit something to God, perhaps a hope or plan for the future, progress can seem painfully slow. But then occasionally, things will move so fast that it leaves your head spinning! Those times when, as Mark Batterson of NCC in Washington DC puts it “God likes to show up and show off!”
Since starting up our small workplace prayer group, my mind has been turning to ways in which we could reach out more widely around our organisation.
The company I work for has something like 35,000 employees around the world, 5,000 of which (give or take) are based in the UK. We have an intranet set up that all UK staff can access and which is used a lot for company news and communications. There is also the facility on there for people to set up groups and networks for common areas of interest. Many are work related but by no means all, indeed social groups are allowed and encouraged. I’ve checked numerous times and, despite the large number and diverse nature of the intranet groups, there was nothing faith-related on there at all.
Now, I’ve laid this workplace ministry before God lots of times and asked him to show me the next direction in which to steer it. And I’ve just not been able to shake the feeling that I needed to set something up on the intranet and to use that to connect openly with Christians from around the company. So in an echo of the “email to all” in my local office, but on a much, much larger scale, I set up a Christian Network group and then used a general chat thread to point people towards it. It was definitely a huge step of faith and I honestly wasn’t sure what the response would be. But I have to say it’s been fantastic!
That was only two weeks ago and already there are 35 members of the group spanning 15 different offices! I was hugely encouraged to find that a handful of locations already have regular prayer groups or who meet at local churches for lunchtime prayer and bible study. A couple of other offices have been spurred on to start prayer groups of their own, where previously there were none. There’s even one member based in the United Arab Emirates. I’m not sure how that happened, but maybe I reached out globally without knowing it!
I didn’t get any directly negative responses and quite a number of very encouraging emails. The only slight protest vote was the setting up of an equivalent atheist network within an hour or two of my original post. I think it was just that though – a protest – as the response was somewhat limited. But each to their own and I’d be quite happy to enrage constructively with colleagues of any faith, or none.
But back to the positive stuff. This ministry is still growing and developing in even newer and more exciting (read “scary”!) directions. Definitely more to follow…!
I don’t know why my prayers are being answered so quickly in this area, when the response is so much slower with other aspects of life. I suppose it’s just not my place to know these things – only God’s.
What I do know though, is this: When you commit your life to God daily and treat the place that he’s put you now, in this moment, as your mission field, amazing things happen! Maybe this is just a season in “the waiting room” as Ken Costa, puts it before God calls me to do something else for him. Or maybe this is what God wants to do with my life. Maybe you feel the same about your current place and ministry?
It doesn’t matter though because the only place and time in which you can respond is now! All we can do is make the best use we can of the skills, abilities, contacts and circumstances that we’ve been blessed with.
And seek to make “His Kingdom Come” in whichever corner of the world is ours to look after.