Have you ever worked so hard and fast that you were not sure where you were heading? That was ME in July 2013. I did not know it at the time, but I needed to retreat and be alone with God.
Fortunately, my boss and friend, Tim Krauss, recognized my need. He asked me to take a couple of weeks off to consider writing a book to pastors and church leaders about career ministry.
Week 1 was at Ridgecrest Conference Center in Western North Carolina. I pretty much walked in the woods, prayed, ate and slept the first three days. Nothing else!
My strength and clarity started to return. I began praying more, which included a lot of listening and taking notes. I was particularly impressed with two verses:
He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.
He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in him.
Psalm 4:2-3 NIV
The next day God took me on a field trip. I wound up at Chimney Rock NC, where I hiked to the top and was reminded that He set my feet on a rock, and gave me a firm place to stand. The next morning I wondered whether God would put a new song in my mouth. I looked online with the help of Google and I found a new song “Here’s my heart Lord… Speak what is true.” Simply yet powerfully the words soaked my soul.
With my heart rested and renewed, I headed into Week 2 at Billy Graham’s Training Center, “The Cove,” near Asheville NC with hopes of hearing what God wanted me to share in a book about career ministry. I continued my retreat of woods walking, eating, sleeping, praying and also writing bits and pieces as they came to me.
- Career ministry is hearing and following God’s calling – one step at a time.
- It is faith-based, Christ-centered career development and job search.
- More than career or job transition, it’s about life transformation.
- It’s helping people find jobs, careers and God’s calling.
Finally I was getting near the end of my two-week get-away, and I had to send Tim some idea of what the book would be. Here’s what I wrote:
“Every church needs career ministry, because everyone gets vocationally sick. There is a global epidemic affecting every person, economy and country on the planet. It stems from an allergic reaction caused by sin and working on ground that has been spiritually cursed. Millions of people die every year from this dreaded disease which causes unemployment, poverty, slavery and war. Most people who have good jobs still suffer from hallucinations, irritability, workaholism, bondage, dissatisfaction and/or disengagement. We need healing. We need a healer. The very good news is that there is a physician with the antidote, cure and instructions to get well and stay well. He is God our Father, our Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.”
I have been back home and at work for about a month now, most of that time still “in a retreat posture.” Even in the midst of lots of work, I am at peace – able to abide and stand firm – giving God my heart and listening for Him to speak what is true.
I also am left with four words upon which I will write the book and hopefully live the rest of my life… Everyone Needs Career Ministry.