The Urgency to Press Forward

The Urgency to Press Forward

As a Watchman who is a business person by vocation, it’s been difficult to sort out the urgency I feel to push and to push hard. Unlike my experience and familiarity with being a business person, when it comes to spiritual matters primarily, I have found the sense of vagueness about what to “do” unsettling. What was this sense of urgency I was experiencing and from where did it come? Why was I pushing so hard to form this ministry? What was my actual objective? As a Watchman, it took me some effort and a fair amount of self-examination to sort through what I was feeling and begin to understand its causes. Here are some thoughts along with my journey.

The Calling

As I have shared here, the calling I experienced was real to me. Furthermore, given all that has occurred since stepping out in faith as a Watchman, I often wonder if the individual reading his Bible on that flight (and I say this cautiously) was an Angel whose specific task was to “provoke me into commitment.” What a thought! Angel or not, when you become called as a Watchman, you may have a similar anchoring moment that affirms what the LORD is asking you to do for His Kingdom. We all, and by all I refer to us as members of the Body of Christ, pray that you cooperate with Holy Spirit at that critical inflection point.

It’s imperative to recognize your calling for what it is and not be dismissive, fearful, or flat-out doubt that the LORD wants to use you. If you are a business person, you obviously understand the consequences of missed opportunities: lost revenue, shrinking profit margins, and erosion of employee talent that can adversely affect your business. As a Christ Follower—as someone that is All In—however, the knowledge that each one of us will face Jesus one-on-one at the Bema Seat Judgement is immediately clarifying. What we want is to take our calling seriously and respond in obedience so that our Savior says to us one day: “Well done, my good and faithful servant!” as found in Matthew 25:21.

The Work

In thinking about founding this non-profit ministry, it’s a good thing that the LORD confirms His calling and guides us along the way. In my case, the calling was subtle. But after many events occurred that established the calling, it quickly moved from “Is this happening?” to “okay, let’s roll!” Just like in business, we can improve focus when we cross the boundary of indecision and commit. Frankly, the potential to have any role in making a lasting Kingdom impact is thrilling when those nudges come from Holy Spirit and He makes His will known to you. 

From all of those involved in this ministry, from Watchmen and Watchwomen all over the world, this is our heartfelt longing for you…that at the right time and by His leading, you decide to join us to be All In.

My calling and sense of urgency to finish well led to pressing forward using many of the business skills developed over decades of experience. Are you a business person? Have you ever experienced a strong drive to start a new business?  What about seizing a new potentially ground-breaking product innovation? The work of a Watchman business person parallels this, but notably differs in two significant ways.

  1. Unlike in business, where we push to win profit, influence, and to build career success and status, a Watchman business person realizes it’s about people. Whether we know it or not, it has always been about His people coming to faith—through our collective prayers and many efforts, in our sacrifices and the exercising of our unique giftedness. Additionally, our financial contributions help to support many ministries and initiatives that result in many people coming to faith so they may enjoy Him for all eternity. My wife and I often say: “Invest in people, not things”. Do you see the distinction between business focus and Kingdom focus?
  2. Secondly, in the context of ministry, funding is critical. As I have come to think of it, God uses our business skills and drive to “do what we do best.” What is it that every business person intrinsically knows how to do? How about this one, “remove obstacles that impede the team!” Or this one, “deals well with uncertainty.” 

Most business people are confident that they are operating at their best when they are agile and can change direction quickly. They can be peaceful when an idea or hypothesis doesn’t pan out…because it just allows the team to know where to focus more intensely in another direction. We learn fast! It’s okay to fail, as long as you learn along the way. Business people understand that mistakes cost money, but in a broader context, it is a cost of doing business. Opening doors and closing doors. Business people are supremely good at empowering others. 

That’s why your unique role to support the things God wants to do in and through you is so leveraged. Take just one example – removing obstacles. On our team, there were many occasions when a team member expressed a need which I did not hesitate to address right away. Need a content designer to reformat all our books? We found a qualified person, signed contract for services, allocated budget, got regular status reports. Done. No committees, no budgetary reviews, no board approvals or red tape. In software development, we call that high velocity.

A highly disciplined and entrepreneurial mindset—if used wisely—can be one of your most significant contributions to the team you are called to support. Your involvement and leadership can make a massive impact on the Kingdom—don’t let anyone tell you differently!

The Cost

In Luke 14:28 it says, “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it?” As a Watchman business person, we must count the cost—and just like in business, it will almost always exceed our initial estimates. Count on it. Budgets are helpful, but we found our calling and the funding work the LORD required of us far transcended the standard thinking about tithing requirements.

Our shareholders (all family members) experienced an unexpected, but favorable sale of an asset we held in another company. The deal happened just ten weeks after my calling to become a Watchman. In one of the most providential acts I have ever witnessed in my life as a believer, the LORD went ahead of our need. While I was still trying to get my head around the fact that we owned thirty Watchman-related domain names—all of which were available to purchase—we had sufficient funding for Phase One of our ministry plan if our shareholders were willing to invest in people, not things. Now wasn’t the time to plunk down monetary resources on toys that will ultimately burn. That Range Rover I’ve always wanted—even if it was a used one—pale in significance to the real calling to love and serve others. See my point? Deny myself to take up my cross (Matthew 16:24). In this day and Age that we live in, as we see the Rapture approaching closer (literally every day gets one-day closer), it’s all about Him and all for Him. Whatever the cost, we must pursue our King to the best of our ability.

Ultimately, our expenses have grown way past a classic tithing obligation. As the scope of our ministry efforts expanded, as God gave us new ideas and direction, the cost boundaries we initially set were exceeded month after month.  We had to increase our budget five times. As a Watchman, as the founder of this ministry, I was ALL IN. Incidentally, have you noticed that this is the central call to action on our website? So, at the time of this writing, after reserves to pay for Federal and State taxes, we will have invested nearly all our realized profits.

The Reward

Here’s what I have asked the LORD for…it runs through my mind as a kind of mini-movie. When He has established His Kingdom on Earth during the Millennium and subsequently in the New Jerusalem, I imagine the pure joy of quiet recognition from one Watchman to another. When our eyes lock in Heaven one day, I hope to see instant recognition, to see a subtle nod of acknowledgment, barely perceptible by other saints. That nod means we finished! We were found faithful! I also imagine the many people (from all people groups) we Watchmen and Watchwomen will encounter face to face that were directly or indirectly ministered to through our mutual faithfulness to push and press forward…all with fantastic unity and singular purpose. And so now you know this is what I’ve asked the LORD.  

Will you and I lock eyes one day? Will we give each other a subtle nod of mutual respect? Will we be able to resist the urge to laugh out loud and sing His praises? Will the saints around us laugh and dance in the street with us? Yes! May it be so!

When it says in Psalm 16:11 “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence, there is the fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures always.” Wow! To me, the impact that we make as a Watchman is what the LORD intends for us to feast on for all eternity! What joy to respond to His calling as a Watchmen. What joy to be found working for His purposes in and through our role as business people. How trivial the burden we have in this world compared to being in His presence forever. How satisfying to see that the fire set on our entire stewardship of time, money, and skills survives the Bema Seat Judgement! The rigors of being a Watchman business person will be over and we will finally rest.

Join me. Join all of us Watchmen and Watchwomen. If you are a business person, we urge you to join us and take your place among those called in the Body of Believers as we all seek to finish well. As brothers and sisters, we’re all on this journey together! Man or woman—it makes no difference. Your response to your calling plays a significant role in funding the very mechanisms of His will for such a time as this! 

Maranatha!

 

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