Writing blogs is an interesting assignment. Some weeks I struggle for ideas and other weeks they just roll out.  Last week’s blog, “Hard Work, or Hardly Working?” was one I struggled with and did not feel too excited about, yet, I’ve had more positive comments about it than any blog since writing the series on the Parable of the Sower.

The following are ideas and comments contributed by various coaches of B4T workers discussing last week’s blog.

  • I’ve lifted and integrated their input and ideas to make this article flow. There’s some real wisdom here. Thanks guys for your input!
  • Many on the field think that the hard work is living overseas. They think that the sacrifice is being away from home; not having conveniences and not having Christmas/Thanksgiving with family. I hear some field workers talk longingly of leaving for their time back home in the upcoming months. I would think they should dread it. When I was working back in the USA, I dreaded being away from my business where my co-workers were laboring away. And even now, though a coach yet living on the field, I dread going home leaving others to cast out and pull in the nets alone. Life, work, is about getting our hands dirty, maybe even torn up, unfortunately, by the work. I know workers may get a lot more praise, maybe even love at home but that is short lived. Soldiers are trained to fight, not take vacations. The battlefield is what we are called to, it’s God’s assignment. If people look forward to going home, or prefer speaking to churches back home, then shouldn’t they simply stay there?
  • Hard work, endurance, logging hours, are all core components of success.  Yes, God gives the growth (1 Corinthians 3:6); but He expects us to do the plowing, fertilizing, weeding, watering, sowing – meaning we do the work! Bill Job and I agree that one key to our work was that we simply did not quit.

As one successful coach who has seen 100’s come to faith in India writes…

“Sometimes people have attributed skills, wisdom, intelligence, gifting, special anointing or a myriad of other qualities to me as a result of what they perceive as stories of success that I have somehow been associated with. However, I can think of plenty of times where I wish I would have had all those glowing qualities driving my efforts. In reality, more times than not as I engaged in pioneering initiatives I found myself doing things I’d never done before, nor had anyone I knew. In addition, we didn’t have the internet so there was no one I could ask for counsel and advice. There’s a saying; WORK SMARTER, NOT HARDER. While I’d rather work smarter (and presumably, easier and with fewer mistakes) as the adage recommends, there was no “smarter” way available to me.

To get to “working smarter,” I had to first work “work harder.” And harder didn’t mean “busier”! It was working in ways that required perseverance and discipline and patience and waiting on God and adjusting to doing things that didn’t come naturally or easily to me. Even then, I didn’t always see outward success. Yet, almost always I came away “smarter” for the next time, and hopefully with something worth passing on to others. But even more, whether I was working “harder” or “smarter,” if I did it with Jesus, I came away better acquainted with Him, and hopefully a little more like Him.

If you are B4T worker and do not have a coach, you are missing out! Write me, and I’ll get you connected.



PATRICK LAI and his family have worked in SE Asia for over 37 years. His experience in doing business with Jesus has brought him to understand the meaning of work and worship in the marketplace. He started 14 businesses in four countries, six of which are still operating. Patrick and his wife, May, mentor and coach businesspeople working where there are few or no Christians. Check out Patrick’s latest book, Workship, now available in paperback and e-book.

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