Leadership in Context Episode 31 Show Notes
Leadership in Context with Keith Tucci
Acts 18:1-3 After these things, he left Athens and went to Corinth. And he found a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, having recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had commanded all the Jews to leave Rome. He came to them, and because he was of the same trade, he stayed with them and they were working, for by trade they were tentmakers.
Paul developed a relationship with Priscilla and Aquila because they were of the same trade. They were tentmakers.
Acts 18:4-5 And he was reasoning in the synagogue every Sabbath and trying to persuade Jews and Greeks.But when Silas and Timothy came down from Macedonia, Paul began devoting himself completely to the word, solemnly testifying to the Jews that Jesus was the Christ.
Here is Paul, making tents and earning his way in ministry. He was bivocational. He was working with Aquila and Priscilla, who were entrepreneurs. When Silas and Timothy came down, it was obvious that Paul stopped working and gave his full attention to the preaching and teaching of the Word. How was he able to do that? It was because Silas and Timothy picked up some of the work that Aquila and Priscilla were suppling by their trade.
In Scripture, occupations are talked about many times. It is not coincidental that Jesus was identified as a carpenter and that His disciples were found casting nets, mending nets, and collecting taxes. Nehemiah was a cupbearer. Amos was a fruit picker. There is a Kingdom connection in Scripture between what a man does for a living and how he impacts the world.
Ephesians 4 talks about equipping the saints for the work of the ministry. We tend to read this passage too narrowly—equip the saints for the work of the ministry that we need done. Instead of equipping them for what God is doing in them, we should build them up, raise them up, and release them in ministry.
Vocational ministry, marketplace ministry, and entrepreneurship are vital Kingdom gifts that God has used historically to impact the Church.There is hardly a church that I know of that has not been impacted by businessmen and entrepreneurs who have been blessed and have chosen to invest that blessing in the work of God.
We need to take it to the next level. If we would recognize these businessmen and businesswomen as being marketplace evangelists and disciple makers and if we would equip them to do the work of their ministry, we might just catch a tiger by the tail.
Several years ago, I had a man in my church who had a fairly good job and several small children at home. The industry he worked in went away, so the job went away. I asked him what he wanted to do. He said he wanted to go into business for himself. He did have a trade, but he didn’t have the business sense and he didn’t have the money to make it happen. I believed the guy had a lot of potential. I certainly didn’t have all of the answers. To make a long story short, I was able to connect him with some people, and we helped him get started in business. Over the course of several years, that man became an outrageous giver. He brought more people into the church than any other person. Today, many years later, his grandson is a staff member of that church. Talk about a generational blessing!
One of the men who really helped disciple me was a businessman. He had been in ministry as a staff pastor (not lead) of a very large and influential church. He walked away from that because he said that he could make a greater impact, touch more people, and multiply himself better in the marketplace than in his particular calling inside the four walls of the church. I think that is pretty phenomenal.
Often, we have people sitting in our church who we are trying to plug into areas of ministry (not that everyone shouldn’t be a servant), not realizing that if we could help empower them to do their ministry, we would see them explode in their calling.
I knew another businessman who went to a church in my area. It was a good church. I knew the pastor. I had even spoken at the church about a dozen times. This man passed away unexpectedly. His family was shocked to find out that his business affairs were in shambles. He was deeply in debt and had been juggling things for quite some time. His family didn’t know it. His employees didn’t know it. He was in his church for several years and had a good relationship with his pastor, and yet there was no one really pastoring him—asking him questions about what was going on in his life and if he needed any help.
What do we do? We don’t have to be business experts. We do have to pastor them and help them pastor their business. Ask them direct questions. Connect them with others who can help them. Help them get help.
Enlarge your definition of ministry. See it as not just the five-fold ministry, but ALL the ministries that be supported and developed from the five-fold.
In Acts 18, we see God taking those temporal skills (tentmaking) and using them as synergy to blast great ministry into that whole region of the world. God worked through their occupations. I believe God wants to use His men today to help men in their occupations.
Join us next week as Keith Tucci continues to put leadership truth in the context of the local church. And as always, please like, share, rate/review, and invite others to listen. See you next week!