Happy Election Day and be sure to vote today!
The C3 themes over the last few months has been centered around our transformed lives as Christians and how we influence our cities, leadership, and teams. The theme for the month of November is “Transformation is Here,” and addresses how we walk out our transformation as devoted followers of Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit. To walk in transformation, we will identify some common barriers in our journey and make a shift in our thinking that can enable us to positively influence our world, wherever God has placed us.
When I committed my life to Christ, I was a CEO of an engineering company. I walked through the door of my business a transformed man but was unsure how I would walk out my new-found faith in the difficult world of business. I had been raised in a religious environment as a child but had moved away from religion due to bad experiences. My early knowledge of religion created barriers that I was unaware of at the time but were significant in my moving forward in my faith. These barriers are referred to as mental models, which are beliefs that can prohibit us from accomplishing our desired goals. There are many mental models that have been created within Christianity that can be barriers to an intimate relationship with Jesus and the first barrier I experienced was the Christian hierarchical structure that exists for many of us.
There is an assumed Christian hierarchy that views the evangelist, bishop, pope, etc. as the higher order followed by the pastor or priest, missionary, “full-time” ministry leader, then the deacons, lay ministers, leaders, and then those that have regular jobs or stay at home parents at the bottom of the hierarchy. If we believe this unwritten structure as truth, we will miss the opportunities God places before us because of this barrier. The Apostle Peter stated in I Peter 2:9, “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” When we see ourselves as representatives of Jesus whatever environment we find ourselves, whether at home, business, church or the community we can be instruments in His hands to influence and inspire those that are placed in our path. The reality is we are all in “full-time ministry” and Jesus is who we report to no matter where we work.
The second barrier that I experienced and the mental model that had been created was the reality of compartmentalization in my life. Before my commitment to Jesus I had created compartments that allowed me to operate my life differently depending on the environment. I could behave differently in each environment of home, work, church, community. I soon discovered this is how many people operate, whether Christian or non-Christian and is the means we use to cope with various levels of dysfunction. God began to tear down the walls in my life and show me that integrity is knowing who we are in Him and being the same (whole) person, no matter what environment we are in. Living this way provides a great deal of freedom on our transformation journey.
When we allow the Holy Spirit to identify these barriers in our lives and work to remove them, we begin to experience a shift in our thinking that allows us to be instruments in His hand to accomplish the work He has created for us to accomplish. The Apostle Paul stated this in Ephesians 2:10, “We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works that He has prepared in advance for us”. This is not about us doing more, but about us doing what we were created to do and each of us doing our part, which should not be a heavy burden.
A paradigm shift is a fundamental shift in approach based on a change in belief. If we shift our thinking and remove the barriers we have developed we begin to see that transformation is not and event but a process. Each day we have a choice to submit to the process of transformation that the Apostle Paul describes in Romans 12, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” This process begins to remove the secular/sacred divide that identifies some activities as sacred and more common activities as secular. We begin to see that all we do is worship unto Him and we can become instruments of transformation throughout our day, independent of the task we are doing.
Imagine how our world would be transformed if each person identified as a Christian were to remove the barriers described in this blog post and experience the shift in thinking we have described. We would smile more from a grateful heart, we would work harder because our work is now viewed as worship, not just something we do to earn a living. Business owners would work diligently to deliver excellence one customer at a time and create an environment by which all employees can thrive and succeed. Our churches would be working together to equip the saints to do ministry outside of the church and our alliances (non-profits) would work to innovatively to serve and be supported by our communities. This is a beautiful picture of unity and is the vision of C3, “To mobilize the Christian community for city transformation.”
A Call to Action
We have been challenging our C3 members with a call to action to see city transformation as something I am doing in my day-to-day life as I walk out my faith each day. I will repeat our call to action as we each embrace our responsibility to do our part in the pursuit of city transformation and the following call to action is how we can participate:
- Prayer – All movements of God begin and continue with a focus of prayer. Please pray that God gives us a passion to see our city and nation transformed and pray for wisdom, a plan, and resources to accomplish the plan.
- Partner – We are not created to do it alone or act as an instrument of division, but to partner and join together as the Christian community to be instruments of hope and encouragement so that our cities can prosper.
- Participate – We are to do our part within the area of our calling to contribute whether as an alliance, business, church or individual.
We appreciate being on this journey with you and I thank our Heavenly Father for each transformed life He is raising up to accomplish His plans in our lives, families, cities, and nation.
Jamie Jordan is the State Director for the South Carolina Christian Chamber of Commerce (SC-C3). His passion is to see unity and excellence exhibited within the Christian community. Jamie can be reached at email@example.com.