When I was at the University of Oregon, I took Organic Chemistry class. The class required a two hour lab too. The lab consisted of on experiment which if done right, we were told, should take 20 hours. Our assignment was to blend dozens of ingredients precisely together to produce independent solutions and if each solution is right, when they are all mixed together, presto, we’d have the correct compound.
Well yours truly has never been great when it comes to being precise, and a chemist, I am not. After 20 hours I was barely half way through the assignment. Every week I had to recalibrate my solutions to correct minuscule errors I had made. There wasn’t a chem lab that I did not have to recalculate and recalibrate the solutions I was mixing to ensure the percentages of each ingredient was correct. Finally I got all the calibrations done correctly, mixed the solutions together and achieved the desire result – a passing mark! After 30 hours of work, I called my professor to come grade my final product. As he turned the corner into my work station, I reached across the counter to move a Bunsen burner only to bump the beaker containing my final compound – sending it crashing to the floor! Three years later there was still a huge purple mark where that beaker burst.
Life, like chemistry, requires frequent recalibrations. Change is happening all around us requiring us to adjust.
Today, have you thought about what things churches and organizations do that don’t “fit” other segments of our society? How many young people are drawn to some aspects of what we are doing in B4T because they cannot “buy in” to missions because the current styles and strategies just don’t fit them?
Nowadays, young people are longing to serve God but are searching for organizations where there is no centralized leadership, and no centralized office. Young people yearn to be led by relational mentors who seek their welfare above that of an organization or program. They wish to be discipled, not by PhD’s or a methodology, but by men and women they can follow. Titles, methodologies, strategies and programs were never the fit, of the one who said “Come follow Me.” Our leadership and outreach needs to be based on values and standards people can give their lives to.
As I’ve been seeking the Lord on the things we need to prioritize in mobilizing, equipping, and mentoring B4T workers, I’ve been asking Him for a “good fit.” His answer to me has repeatedly been boiled down to four words, or one acronym – RATE. Relationships, Accountability, Transparency, Excellence. Millennials and boomers both desire deep relationships with accountability and excellence. Transparency admittedly is more a millennial value. Over the next two months we will explore these values from both the Biblical and millennial perspective. Personally, I am seeking to build them into who we are and what we do as B4Ters. I hope you’ll join me in sharing your thoughts in this discussion, as we seek His fit for doing His work.
PATRICK LAI and his family have worked in SE Asia for other 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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