IDC2017: Michael Ramsden – Serving God In The Workplace

I had been very blessed to attend Intentional Discipleship Conference 2017 last Jan 26-28. Too many new learnings from great speakers who champions love for God and intentional discipleship. As part of applying the learnings, I want to write my notes and reflect on them post conference. Here is my initial post on my IDC learnings:

In this second installment of my write-up, Michael Ramsden, from RZIM and one of my favorite Christian apologists, talked about our motivation to work. He started by quoting:

“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.

Matthew 6:24 ESV

Earning money is not evil but Jesus would like us to check our hearts why we go to work. For us Christians, serving God should be the main motivation in everything we do. Wherever God puts us, we should flourish and act according to His purpose, giving glory to His name.

Michael Ramsden continued with this following verses:

Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

Matthew 6:31‭-‬33 ESV

He further explained that work is by means we execute God’s plan. Food, shelter and clothing are by-products of the work we do for God.

As I listened to the talk, I can’t help but to think how I changed my perspective about work when I became a Christian. Before, I must say that I fully rely on myself to get things done, to be a person known to have good work ethics being my primary motivation. Though I performed well, it caused me stress and weariness. But when I started to get to know more about God and how He must be the Lord of the workplace, I began to think that Jesus is my boss. What I do at work is my form of worship to Him. For things that happen at work beyond my control, I don’t have to be so stressed about it but instead shall ask for God’s help and do what I can manage. I remember once I was in a conference call at home and the neighbors’ dogs were barking uncontrollably, I was so worried that when it was my time to talk the dogs would be heard in the call. Usually, I would stressed out about it but I learned to pray to God for everything. So I prayed, “Lord, only You are capable to put the neighbors’ dogs into silence. Please let me honor You at my work by being effective in this call.” And I received God’s favor, the dogs were no longer barking when I got to talked. Indeed no too small prayers for God to answer if it glorifies Him! ❤❤❤

Truly, working never feels so good and fulfilling when You do it for the Lord. Every time I go to work, I always have to say a prayer to ask God for favors at work, for strength, wisdom, patience and that every thing I do will be pleasing to Him. This gives me purpose and completeness that were not there before. While at times that I don’t feel wanting to work, I will just say to myself that Jesus wants me to work for Him and with His grace I can overcome my laziness. This is where He puts me, where He will bless me and where I will be a blessing to those I work with. Since I have this mentality, work has been so light and my soul does not feel polluted with bitterness from the chaos at work. 😇

Finally, at the end of the talk, we were asked to reflect on the following questions:

Soli Deo Gloria!

– Rhia

IDC2017: Sam Chand – Recruiting Discipler

I had been very blessed to attend Intentional Discipleship Conference 2017 last week. Too many new learnings from great speakers who champions love for God and intentional discipleship. As part of applying the learnings, I want to write my notes and reflect on them post conference.

I would like to start with the talk of Dr. Samuel Chand on Recruiting Disciplers. His talk was mainly anchored on a passage in Luke:

​In these days he went out to the mountain to pray, and all night he continued in prayer to God. And when day came, he called his disciples and chose from them twelve, whom he named apostles:

Luke 6:12‭-‬13 ESV

The main thing that struck me was that recruiting discipler effectively is more on choosing the right people intentionally and not just getting all who volunteer. In the passage, Jesus intentionally chose only 12 as His apostles among His many disciples. A discipler is different from a disciple, such that a discipler is a disciple who makes disciple. Jesus elevated the 12 apostles because He knew that after His ascension to heaven, these men would be His workers to spread the gospel to the ends of the earth. He knew that through God’s grace and the Holy Spirit, the apostles would have the following qualities of a discipler:

  • Strong – people who are not afraid of instruction and correction. 
  • Teachable – people who are humble, willing to learn and progresses in learning
  • Attentive – people who listens and observes that is why they learn so quickly
  • Firm – people who are not swayed by manipulative people
  • Faithful – people who defends the Lordship of Jesus no matter what (in Sam Chand’s talk he mentioned being faithful to the pastor as always being ready to defend but Pastor Peter Tan-Chi later qualified to do this ONLY if the pastor does the right thing in the eyes of God and not tolerate wrongdoings)

Dr Chand also discussed the 4 steps undertaken in discipleship:

  • Declaration – acknowledging Christ’s lordship in our lives through our words and action
  • Distress – when we declare Christ in our lives, we experience distress and persecutions or we simple struggle internally to live out the life that Jesus wants for us
  • Development – distress produces development, it is through test and trials that we grow stronger in faith
  • Demonstration – it is while we declare Christ’s work on us, experience and overcome distress we developed Christlikeness, that we demonstrate how to be a discipler

    As a young follower of Christ, I now clearly know the end goal, that is to demonstrate Christlikeness and love for the Lord by being a discipler. Though right now, I’m still a taker (a disciple) who learns about God and discipleship, I have to develop the STAFF qualities as a disciple so that later on I would be an effective disciple maker. I pray that thru God’s grace, I can take these learnings to heart and apply them in any possible situation in my daily life.

    Soli Deo Gloria!

    -Rhia

    PS:

    My boss, who is also a Christian, shared that the way we should run our team should based on Jesus’ management style. In every decision-making, we should always ask ourselves, what would Jesus do? I was able to connect the talk of Sam Chand to what my boss was saying and I must say they relate quite well. Indeed, Jesus’ teachings are applicable in any areas of life, we just need to seek and involve Him.