Fame or perceived success – it all comes from group think.
Earlier this week the music industry celebrated the 59th Grammy Awards. There were many dynamic performances, but the one that caught my attention and many others was Chance the Rapper. What impacted me the most was the fact that he was willing to use a secular platform to boldly proclaim his faith. And while many people are celebrating his rise in the industry, I also wonder how many people,though, have whittled down his elevation to a few familiar and overused buzzwords.
One of those buzzwords that typically gets thrown around around stories like his is "passion." With him being an independent artist it's easy to apply that label to him and say that's what caused him to be in the position he is in right now. It's hard enough becoming successful in the music industry with a major record label behind you. So it would have to be many times harder going the independent path to becoming a successful artist.
However, passion alone didn't win him those awards and accolades. Passion of course was part of the formula, but he had to be excellent at his craft in order to be recognized by the Industry as the best artist in his category.
It always irks me when people use passion as an oversimplified path to achieving your dreams. It's a waste to be very excited about what you do but not develop the character and discipline to grow into being very good at what you do.
If you want to get to the top of your industry you must realize that passion should push you become excellent at your craft, skill, or gift. But it's not enough by itself. Passion should give you the motivation to practice even when you don't feel like it. Passion should propel you past convenience and comfort. True passion will drive you to do your best even when no one is looking. If this doesn't describe you, then I would question whether you are as passionate about your dream as you say you are.
We can see his end results now, but very few people saw the money invested, long nights, early mornings, series of rejections, and painful experiences that led up to this point.
If you never demonstrate excellence in your supposed area of expertise, passion will become just another random word and empty promise.
So find something that you're passionate about and then become excellent doing it. Develop your skills. Build your expertise. Become the best at what you do.
And even if you're not celebrated on a stage like Chance the Rapper, you can still be confident that you have given the world your best and not just another buzzword.
Connect Your Passion to Your Profession!
To live outside of God’s will put us in danger;
In today’s society the concept of vocation has lost much of its original meaning. Most people connect the word vocation to having a job. Interestingly, it originated in the 15th century from the Latin word, vocatio, which means summons or to call. So the essence of this word vocation is not a job, but a calling. Therefore, you should not look at the business God has called you to build as just the work you do. You should look at it as your God-given calling within His Kingdom.
There is no such thing as sacred and secular within the Kingdom of God. Work is sacred, just like what would be considered traditional ministry is sacred. Being a secretary is as sacred as being a pastor. Being an entrepreneur is just as sacred as being a prophet. When you understand working in all you do as unto the Lord, you come to the realization that anything you do for God is sacred. And although there are many different gifts, offices, and roles within the Body of Christ, each one of them is needed and necessary to bring the manifestation of God’s Kingdom to the earth.
Further, while a different anointing is needed to minister effectively from the pulpit versus ministering effectively in the marketplace, one is no more valuable than the other. They are just different. You are the church whenever and wherever you do business, which means you are in full-time ministry whether you knew it or not.
So stay in your lane. Don’t feel pressured to pursue a pulpit in order to find significance in the Kingdom. You don’t have to feel like a second-class Kingdom citizen if God didn’t call you to operate in a church ministry position. God has positioned you right where He wants to get His greatest glory out of you.
Success in business can come from some unexpected places. Jackets for Jobs, Inc. in Detroit is a great example of this. This incredible organization, founded by Allison Vaughn in 2001, provides unemployed women with business attire and mentoring, while helping them find jobs. Since they started, they have helped over 16,000 women. I love this quote by Ms. Vaughn:
When Jesus tells us to help the "least of these," I believe many Christians struggle with seeing how that applies to our businesses. However, this powerful story is a great example of how following your dream can make a significant impact in your community.
I encourage you to ask God how He wants you to use your dream to impact your community.
Click here to read the full article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/alison-vaughn/how-dressing-the-unemploy_b_8033112.html
Part Time, On-Call, & Full Time Positions
A few months ago our team at Greater Works announced the launch of an initiative to provide employment training and job placement to ex-offenders, at-risk youth, and others in underresourced and underserved communities (see 30 Jobs and Counting). That's why I'm extremely excited we have developed a partnership with a company that is prepared to hire 500 people, giving us the chance to present this opportunity to the people we serve.
We are facilitating the hiring of on-call Banquet Servers, Hosts, Cooks & Bartenders to work in a challenging, but fun environment. We are working with a unique staffing company that specializes in the hospitality industry. We are looking for enthusiastic, hardworking individuals to join a great team to deliver on our promise of excellent customer service.
*** This is NOT multi-level or network marketing ***
For more information or to apply online today, please visit www.greater-works.com/job-app.html
A common theme throughout the Bible is that God often used young people to accomplish extraordinary things. A few examples include David, Samuel, Joseph, Solomon, and Esther. If God could use them as He did, why should we look at their potential any differently?
We need to stop looking at young people as problems in our communities and start looking at them as solutions. Teaching them about business and social enterprise is an excellent way to engage their minds, leverage their talents, and utilize their creativity to change their own communities.
Inc. My Dream Young Boss Camp for middle and high school students is happening July 13-24 in Atlanta, GA.
For more information and sponsorship opportunities please visit www.mykinsman.org/youth
If we look across the country at the major issues facing most urban communities - and in particular the minority populations - three common themes emerge... the lack of Jesus, jobs, and justice. In the video below I share my thoughts on this and how Greater Works Vocational Discipleship Program is addressing these three issues in South Atlanta.
OUR SOLUTION TO A RED HOT INNER CITY SUMMER
Over the past few months many urban cities across the U.S., including Baltimore and Ferguson, have seen a sharp rise in tensions as a result of police shootings and subsequent protests and rioting. At the core of this unrest for many inner city men is a deep sense of hopelessness that stems from the lack of opportunities and in particular jobs.
Baltimore has shown us that our young men need training and institutions where they can learn to function as real men. An idle mind is the devil’s workshop. Instead of rioting, our inner city men could be learning life skills with promised employment in the Greater Works Vocational Discipleship Program. This is a GAME CHANGER!
We Need Your Financial Assistance to Help These Men
We believe joblessness and homelessness leads to hopelessness and idle time which always leads to violence. Your financial support of Greater Works will enable us to provide training and job opportunities to men and women in South Atlanta / Lakewood who are genuinely interested in improving themselves and their community. Please donate today to the Greater Works initiative.
God bless you and thanks in advance for helping us ignite the changes the need to happen in our communities!
I want to share some exciting news with you. In my last post, We're Bringing Jobs to South Atlanta, I discussed the launch of Greater Works Vocational Discipleship Program. We have hit the ground running. After the successful launch and orientation of 21 young male participants into our program last week, little did I know that our crew from South Atlanta/Lakewood would witness our Heavenly Father's "Greater Works" in a most powerful way, with a blessing that exceeded our wildest expectations.
30 and Counting
On Thursday, March 26, we made a passionate plea for “Men of Means” via our social media contacts to stand up and become a blessing to our the inner city men we had just recruited. Well guess what? The very next day Father God heard our cry and directed us to a business owner who had a heart of sincere compassion for these men. Although he was not even a professing Christian, his personality is of the most genuinely Christ-like character I've seen in a while. God's ways are not our ways…
For literally 4 hours Mr. Sayeed Imran, Founder/CEO of Elegant Staffing, a high end event staffing company, sat down with now 30 of our men to interview each of them individually. The shout of joy came when after this interviewing marathon he proceeded to offer ALL OF THEM employment in his business - the majority at $10 an hour - even those who had no previous work experience!
An Opportunity to Rebuild Men
Although he employs over 700 people, unfortunately Mr. Imran's experience has been that the men he has employed have been less reliable than the women. So he was thoroughly impressed and excited to know that in addition to pre-employment training, Greater Works will provide loving, follow-up life development coaching often missing from our young men's lives, which will enable them to maintain their employment and high performance on the job long-term. Moreover, he understands that this will also have a positive direct impact to his bottom line!
Praise God for providing us a visionary business owner who believes in Greater Works Vocational Discipleship and is giving us a chance to REBUILD THE CITY by REBUILDING IT'S MEN!
We Need Your Support
Please continue to pray for this God-inspired initiative and how He would lead you to support this opportunity to expand the Kingdom and transform lives. We are still in the process of raising our start-up capital, and would greatly appreciate your gift. You can give today at www.Greater-Works.com.
God bless you and thanks in advance for your support!
In a recent blog I wrote, What it Really Means to be a Christian C.E.O., I defined the position of CEO from God's perspective. From His perspective, C.E.O. stands for "Christ's Executive Officer." The focus of that article was on those who start and/or lead companies. However, this definition of C.E.O. can be expanded beyond just business owners and would also include any Christian who has a leadership position directly responsible for other people.
Here is how this divine understanding of C.E.O. relates to any Christian in any type of leadership role:
As you can see this description is not just for Christian business owners. This broader understand of a C.E.O. applies to you if you work for a company and have management responsibility over other people. God is giving you the opportunity and empowerment to impact lives through your leadership.
So the next time somebody asks you if you're a C.E.O., give them a resounding YES!
Did you know that your spiritual gifts were not just meant for church and could also be used in business? In reality, because we are the church and our spiritual gifts are always with us, they can be used in any environment as we are led by the Spirit of God. Many people miss out on their harvest because they put God and their spiritual gifts in a box and don't realize or embrace using them in the marketplace.
Darren Shearer, author of Marketing Like Jesus, recently recorded a great podcast discussing the 3 ways that you can use your spiritual gifts in business. He writes in his blog post:
"Certainly, we should offer our spiritual gifts in a way that helps our churches have outstanding services and excellent programs. I believe this is an essential part of transforming our communities.
Using your spiritual gifts in business is a great lesson that should be taught in more churches. You can listen to the entire podcast here: http://darrenshearer.com/episode-30-3-ways-use-spiritual-gifts-business/
What are you spiritual gifts? How do you use them in your business?
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