Archive for the 'marketplace ministry' Category

The perfect gift for Christmas!

Well, Christmas is just 58 days away!  I hope that you’ve started some of your Christmas shopping already!

I’d like to encourage you to give a truly significant gift that could better the life of your family member or friend. Our book, ‘Transform your work life: Turn your ordinary day into an extraordinary calling‘ is selling at a special price for Christmas.

The profits from the sale of the book go entirely to the Unashamedly Ethical campaign (so there is no personal gain for me or Graham in this!) Although I will confess that I am convinced that the message of this book will inspire, encourage, and bless your husband or wife, your child, parent, sibling or friend. I am passionate about finding more and more women and men who are willing to be inspired to use their existing skills, and sphere of influence to do some of the most amazing things they could ever imagine!

You can download and read the first few chapters of the book here.

The book is for sale online (shipping all over the world) from Christian Republic and Kalahari.net

It costs just R88 (about US$12).

Here’s what a few friends have said about this book.

Graham Power and Dion Forster have finally brought the role of the marketplace into the prominence it deserves! When you read the Bible, it soon becomes obvious that the focus of the ministry and outreach of Christ was nearly exclusively on the marketplace. If you are looking for the secrets of how to succeed with your faith in your workplace, then ‘Transform your Work Life’ is for you.
– Dr Bruce Wilkinson, author of The Prayer of Jabez
We can never pay enough pastors and missionaries to evangelise the world! It will happen when the rest of us realise the church is not a building to go to, but a vast multitude of people called and commis- sioned by God to take the good news where we ‘spend most of our time and energy’. This book will turn your world upside down and inspire you to believe God for church to happen where you are! You are about to go on a great adventure!
– Floyd McClung, All Nations (Cape Town)
At long last we have a book that affirms our daily workplace as a primary place for us to live out our faith. Few people are better placed and more equipped to show us the way than Dion Forster and Graham Power. I pray that this book will enable many individuals the world over to see their work as a means of dignity, love and provision, both for themselves and their neighbour.
– Rev Trevor Hudson, South African Pastor and Author.
People often ask, “What is my calling?”. The answer is partly simple: the majority of us are calledto the marketplace. The interwoven stories of Graham and Dion will encourage you to make your occupation your vocation, your job a ‘beroep’, in the true sense of the word. I highly commend these good friends to you; read their story so that your heart will be en- couraged, your mind renewed, and your spirit emboldened. God, being a lawyer, understands legal precedent, so what he has done for them he can do for you and me if we walk in similar obedience. Make their story a springboard for your story. ‘But, he is successful and if I had his money I could also serve God,’ you may say. Don’t ask for money like Graham – ask for humility like Graham. Don’t ask for a ministry like Dion’s, but minister with all that you have, right where you are. Don’t wait for one great thing to do, but take the next step of obedience. I am delighted that Graham and Dion are challenging us to integrate our work and faith so that we can be a part of the extraordinary company of ordinary marketplace people who are extending the kingdom through daily business.
– Brett Johnson – President, The Institute for Innovation, Integration & Impact, Saratoga, California

I’d love to hear any feedback or thoughts!  Also, if you’d like a signed copy of the book please drop me a note and I’ll make sure that Graham Power and I both sign it and get it sent along to you.

What does the Gospel ‘feel’ like?

In our little book ‘Transform your work life‘ (written by Graham Power and myself) I wrote:

God longs for Christians to get practical and creative about making the ‘good news’ real for the people… We should not be asking ‘what does the good news sound like?’, rather we should ask ‘what does the good news feel like, and what does good news look like?’

What does the Gospel feel like!?  That is quite a challenging question!  It has lingered in my mind for some years now as I have tried to bring an experience of the ‘good news’ of God’s Kingdom to the people that I live with, work with and encounter in my life’s journey.

Worship on Sunday is critical – as John van de Laar rightly points out it is the orientation that should shape the rest of our week.  The exact quote from his great new book ‘The Hour that changes Everything‘ is this: “How you worship defines how you live

The question for this post is, however, what kind of worship does God require for the other 166 hours of the week?

Here’s an excerpt from chapter 3 of ‘Transform your work life‘ –

Did you know that Jesus had a ‘mission statement’ for his ministry on earth? You can read it in Luke 4:16–21. It is interesting to see that all the things that Jesus came to do were practical, tangible expressions of God’s love for the world. I have heard so many sermons on this passage that I sometimes forget just how practical Jesus intended his ministry to be. When Jesus said He had come to bring ‘good news to the poor’ (Luke 4:18) what do you think He meant? Let us approach it from a slightly different perspective: what is good news for a poor person? I have been in need a few times in my life, and I can tell you when you are poor good news is not a sermon! It is good news when you have food and money to pay your bills, it is great news when you get a job that pays you a salary with which you can support your family and yourself.

One of the big failings of the contemporary church, and that means you and me, is that we do not always bless the people around us in tangible and visible ways. When someone is ill we say things like, ‘I’ll pray for you’ – while this is an expression of care, I can assure you that the person would feel so special and loved if you took them a meal! I know that God longs for Christians to get practical and creative about making the ‘good news’ real for the people around them. We should not be asking ‘what does the good news sound like?’ Rather, we should ask ‘what does the good news feel like, and what does good news look like?’ This is Jesus’ way!

As you think about the people among whom you work, what would be truly good news for them? Is there a single mother who is battling to make ends meet? Perhaps you have a co-worker who is struggling to cope with his workload, or maybe someone whose child is ill – what could you do to make the ‘good news’ visible and tangible for these people?

Sometimes it is the simplest things, like a phone call, or a visit, that make people feel loved and cared for. At other times you will need to be a little more creative and sacrificial in what you do.

So, here’s my question – what does the Gospel ‘feel like’ in your context?  What can you do to help the people you love and meet experience the Gospel before you speak to them about it?

 

Business as Mission

It is always humbling to have an article published! I am particularly grateful that my article on Business as Mission was published in the September Lausanne World Pulse!

It deals with a subject that I am passionate about!

I’d be grateful if you’d read it here and encourage others to do the same.

Thanks!

Dion

Making the moments count.

Over the years Graham and I have spoken to many deeply-committed Christians who have never considered that God may actually have some- thing for them to achieve between Monday and Friday. We tend to place our lives into two boxes, a sacred box (everything we do for God), and a secular box (everything else we do). Very often business people think of their ‘God stuff ’ as worship – and worship only happens in certain places (like church buildings) at certain times (like on a Sunday, or on Christmas and Easter). Everything else is simply ‘my stuff ’ and it has very little to do with my worship. So, my work, my friendships, my community relation- ships, my sport – all of these ‘other things’ are outside of the sacred. The reality is that everything that we have, all that we are, and all that we do should be done for God.

From God’s perspective there is no separation between work and worship. I once heard someone explain it in this way – imagine that you have a ‘big worship switch’ on your back. Each time that you enter into worship the switch is flicked on. Do think that God is honoured when your ‘worship switch’ is flicked off? Surely we should never stop worshipping God – even at work.

God has a perfect will for every person, for every situation and every place. When you begin to look at your workplace and the people that you work with from God’s perspective you can see that He may just have an incredible mission for you to perform right where you are from Monday to Friday.

A few points to think about

Please read Colossians 3:23–24.

What is God’s attitude to work and labour?

If Jesus had your job, working among the people you work with, doing
the things you do during your workday, what do you think He would
want to achieve? How different is that from what you are striving for?

Let’s Re-Abolish Slavery!

The sad reality is that slavery exists throughout the world today!

Simply stated there are millions of people across the world who are enslaved to work for others without being paid, or are being forced to work against their will. This is slavery.

Women and men are enslaved throughout the world by unscrupulous people trap them into a form of ‘debt bondage’ – the most common form of slavery in the world. For example a young woman is approached for a great job in a new country. When she arrives she has to hand over her passport to her ’employer’. The employer then tells her that for her to have food and shelter will cost her much more than she will earn by working as a waitress… For example her housing and food will cost her R1000.00 a day, while she may only earn R100.00 a day. Within a matter of days the ammount she owes her emoployer becomes so high that there is no way she can repay it. The ’employer’ refuses to release her passport, or her, until she pays her debt. The only way to pay the debt is to sell her body for sex (at a higher rate of payment). In truth, the debt is seldom paid and the person is enslaved for the rest of their lives!

If you are wondering if there is slavery in your area please visit One of the other amazing, and necessary, areas that the Not For Sale Campaign is working, is to ensure that there is no forced labour within the supply chain.

For example who made the shoes that you’re wearing? Are you and I inadvertently wearing people’s suffering? The way of Christ is a way of freedom for all – as a Christian in the marketplace you can stand with us to transform the structures of society within which God has placed you. Please join the Not For Sale Campaign to help people to have the dignity to be free to live and work without suffering. Please check out http://www.free2work.org to get your company or business rated.

Buying products is not only about cost – it is also about price – we need to ask ourselves Who paid the price for this product? Not only what is the cost?

Yesterday I was truly blessed to meet David Batstone at the Power Group, and today I attended his workshop at the Louis Group. David is an amazing guy who is rallying people for the sake of the Kingdom of God and freedom of all people.

David is an incredible example of Colossians 3:23-24 ‘Whatever your task do it as for the Lord‘. He is truly using his work, influence, network of relationships, and passion for ministry! Please pray for him and the campaign, and together with this join him in re-abolishing slavery!

Courage where it counts most!

We are getting such wonderful feedback from readers of ‘Transform your work life’. A few days ago a reader sent me an email to let me know that they have just started a prayer group at their offices. He indicated that the hardest part was just doing it…

It takes courage to honor God in the workplace. But that is where it counts! His email blessed me and encouraged me to be more bold about my faith!

I was reminded of Karl Barth’s little quite “Courage is fear that has said its prayers”.

What step of courage must you take to establish Christ as Lord of your work life and your work place? Let us know! We’d love to pray for you!

Who do you work for?

Who do you work for?

This may sound like a strange question from someone that you don’t know, but your answer is important!

Paul encourages the Colossians saying ‘Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward’ (Col 3:23-24).

Who we work for not only determines what we do, it also how we do it.

In the Construction company where Graham Power and I work, the Power Group of Companies we have the wonderful blessing of knowing that our purpose as a group is to ‘improve the lives of people in Africa through infrastructure development’. This means that because we know who we work for our work can be ministry! Building roads, building homes… All of these things can be used by God to bless others and achieve God’s will in the world.

That is ministry, and each one of us plays an important role in that task!

When you arrive at work you are a partner in God’s mission for your company – whether you work in an office, or on a site, God can use your job to make people’s lives better.

Jesus commanded Christians to ‘Go into all the world…’ to share the Good News (Matt 28:18-20). The ‘world of work’ is very important in that instruction from the Lord.

In ‘Transform your work life’ Graham and I wrote the following: Each day when you go to work you have an opportunity to ‘go into all the world’ without having to go across the world.

So, let me ask you, what can you do to share God’s blessing among the people you work with? How can you work for Jesus at work by doing your work for His purposes and in order to honour Him? Remember that the rewards will not only bring blessing to you, but they will help to transform the lives of others!

Please can I encourage you to pray for each of the people that you work with on a daily basis?

Remember, work can be worship!

Dion