Saturday, January 2, 2010

TRY THIS OLD QUAKER PRACTICE: The Church Meddling In Your Business - 1/2/2010

Today's Mental Image:

Quaker Meeting For Worship


"A Christian mentor God had placed in my life helped prepare me for this task.  He took me under his wing right after I got out of graduate school and challenged me to do something with my degree in Christian counseling past seeing people one on one.  He pushed me, taught me, and coached me on how to put deals together with hospitals, radio networks, and insurance companies."

"Recently a friend who is starting a new business told me he had decided not to buy the house he was on the verge of buying.  A wise, older Christian business man, who was mentoring him as he started his company, showed him a verse in Proverbs that applied to his decision ... Because of this scriptural guidance, my friend said he had decided to put his money into his business and grow it first."

Old time Quakers held a "meeting for inquiry" whenever a member was contemplating a business or personal decision.  A young man and woman would speak to a trusted elder and after the elder examined their situation, he [or she] would convene a meeting for inquiry to determine if it was appropriate for the couple to marry. [These are sometimes called meetings for clearness  and as such continue occassionally today.]

If a family or individual was contemplating moving to a different location, they would seek a meeting of inquiry to determine if this was indeed the Lord's leading.  The meeting would examine the proposed move, seek the Holy Spirit's will in the matter, then affirm or caution against the move.  In the process they may request that the individual or family do futher exploration both spiritual or practical regarding the matter.  They would "elder" - that is give guiding advice - on how to proceed wisely.  Often this resulted in very practical support from the whole Quaker Meeting including financial support.  It was not uncommon, after the first inquiry, for several members or families to feel a call to also move.  Sometime whole meetings of Friends would uproot together and move to a new geographical location.  Talk about support and continuity in the Body of Christ.

We need to rebirth this critical function within the Body of Christ today!  Of course, if it is not Spirit led, it turns into meddling.  Meddling like gosssip is sin.  Both are Christless.

"We often see spritual growth as affecting only those parts of life that relate to God, like prayer, Bible study, and worship.  We do not see growth in our work and career as spiritual growth.  Yet, in reality, all of life belongs to God and the Bible speaks to all of it."

"God wants us to develop all of our gifts and talents, not just our 'spiritual' ones."

"We should provide mentoring in all aspects of life as part of spiritual growth in the Body, and then we would not only see people achieve more success, but also see them resolve the split between their spiritual and professional lives."

all quotes from
by Drs. Henry Cloud & John Townsend
 pgs. 133-135 -"Mentoring the Whole Person."

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