Implementing a Theology of Work - Lesson 7
Over the years walls have been erected between pastors and leaders in the workplace. God has called you to be a “bridge builder” by first tearing down those walls and building bridges between church leaders and leaders from the marketplace, so that together they might reach their communities for Christ.
Building Bridges between Church Leaders
and Workplace Leaders
Shepherding Horses. Kent Humphreys (Lifestyle Impact). Pages 32 – 50.
A. A Vision from God
B. How do we learn?
C. Pastors have been asked by God to do Six things with their workplace leaders
1. Call Them into a Personal Relationship with You
2. Create an Atmosphere of Understanding with Them
3. Affirm Them in Their Workplace Calling
4. Equip Them as Ministers in the Workplace
5. Commission Them as Worldwide Ambassadors for Christ
6. Release Them for Service in Their Own Sphere of Influence
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In every church there are a few leaders that can be compared more to horses, rather than sheep. These are "Leaders in the Workplace," not necessarily leaders in your church. Pastors have a dual responsibility of leading their sheep and training their horses.0% Complete
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There are four primary ways that leaders grow spiritually. Jesus modeled each of those four activities for the twelve. Successful leaders learn how to grow in these ways spiritually, and as a leader, as a professional, and how to support the transformation of their community.0% Complete
There are five questions that every believer must answer as they take their faith to their workplace.0% Complete
As we take our faith outside the walls of the church to our workplace, we must change our thinking patterns. These false assumptions, wrong focus, unreasonable expectations, and these prohibit us from being effective for Him.0% Complete
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There are five specific activities that Jesus did in His ministry. We need to pattern our ministry after His example as we go into the workplace and our communities.0% Complete
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There are twelve different styles or ways that we can assist others spiritually. The better that we know how God has gifted us and what different activities are needed for various situations the more effective that we will be as we teach and train others.0% Complete
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Over the years walls have been erected between pastors and leaders in the workplace. God has called you to be a “bridge builder” by first tearing down those walls and building bridges between church leaders and leaders from the marketplace, so that together they might reach their communities for Christ.0% Complete
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We look at the four steps of walking thru open doors as we share Christ in our workplace or community. We examine the seven open doors of crises and the steps to take in order to be able to graciously communicate the Gospel of Christ.0% Complete
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Every good leader in the workplace has three key character qualities and every poor leader exhibits three characteristics. A leader looks for certain character qualities in their followers. Effective leaders build trust through relationships.0% Complete
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What does it mean to finish well spiritually? What are six specific tools that we need to have in our lives as we seek to be leaders that finish well? We will look at specific Biblical examples of those who finished well.0% Complete
With Kent Humphreys. Using the mental picture of a shepherd caring for his sheep, Kent Humphreys likens the shepherd to a pastor and the congregation to sheep, into which a few horses (strong business leaders) have been let loose. It is hard to understand these horses, who are just as capable of causing chaos with their strength and of standing quietly off in a corner of the pasture by themselves. How is a pastor to understand and equip these potentially powerful creatures to be part of the “flock” and then to go out into their workplace to minister and influence it for God? The answer to that question is the focus of this book. Taking the example of how Jesus handled His “horses”, a simple plan is offered that can build bridges between pastors and workplace leaders, impacting both the church and the community.
Mr. Kent Humphreys
Implementing a Theology of Work
[00:00:05] In this session, we're going to be talking about building bridges between church leaders and workplace leaders. I think you'll find this session really a lot of fun. I had a vision. I don't have many visions, but I had a vision a few years ago that God gave me as a business guy. I was supposed to speak to 400 pastors and apostles from an international convention in Dallas, Texas. And so about 2:00 in the morning, I woke up in a cold sweat, as I'd done once or twice before, and say, okay, God, what am I going to share with all these men who are really leaders of leaders? And in this particularly religious movement, they were apostles who led movements of pastors. And it was a little foreign to what I was used to. And as I woke up, God gave me this vision and he said, I want you to visualize an island off the west coast of, let's say, California. It could be off of San Francisco or off of California. And I want you to visualize on this island a shepherd shepherding his sheep on the island. And then I want you to visualize a large city with many lights. And it could be the city of San Francisco, a darkened city with many lights with an island off the coast. And he said the shepherd on the island represents the pastors pasturing his flock and the lights in the city represent the workplace leaders who are scattered throughout the city. And he said, Here's what I want you to do. I want you to see that each one of them comes up from each side of the bridge. I want you to build a bridge between the island and the city. And the Pastor Shepherd comes up one side of the bridge and the workplace leader comes up the other side of the bridge, and they meet in the middle of the bridge and they turn towards the city and they fall on their knees and they begin to pray for the city together.
[00:01:59] And that's the vision that I want you to share with these church leaders. And Pastor, that's the vision that I would share with you today, is that God wants you to get to know intimately and really well the workplace leaders in your church and in your city. And as you put your arms around them, as you begin to know each other, as you begin to pray for each other, as you begin to pray together for your city, then you'll see God do great things. And we're going to be talking today about how you can build bridges with your pastor. If you're a workplace leader, how you can build bridges with your workplace leader if you're a pastor. Well, how do we learn? We learn by listening, by TV, by radio, by preaching. We learn by observing like a son, watching the father. We learn by applying that we can apply and discuss in a group principles and activities and actually apply lessons to our life. And we learn by one on one mentoring and coaching. And that's why it's so important that we have these kind of relationships with each other, that we begin to listen to each other, that we begin to observe together and apply, and that we become in mentoring relationships. And I want to talk specifically in this session to you as a pastor, but let me say this to you who are workplace leaders, you need to initiate the relationship with your pastor, as I said in the earlier session, is shepherding horses. You need to initiate the relationship if he doesn't initiate it with you. I just had lunch with my pastor last week. My pastor Ray and I have a wonderful relationship. He doesn't look at me as a workplace leader who he's dependent upon for influence of wealth and power and influence.
[00:03:43] I'm not much involved in our local church on a regular basis because I travel about 60% of the time, but I'm intimately involved with my pastor and with the interpret the intricacies of the church. I care about them. I just don't I'm not able to spend a lot of time there. But he's not intimidated by him, by me, and I'm not intimidated by him that he's a pastor, that he's on a pedestal, that he's spiritual, and that I'm not. We're both spiritual leaders. I've been assigned to the workplace. He's been assigned to the church. He pastors a local church. I'm a business leader, but together we want to impact our community for Christ. Together we want to impact the leaders in our church. And so you as a workplace leader, if he doesn't come to you, you go to him, you as a pastor, if he doesn't come to you, you go to him. Each of you have a responsibility to connect so that you can have this relationship. But once that connection has been done, pastor, you have a specific responsibility to impact specifically the leaders in your church. And Jesus modeled the six things that I'm going to ask you to do, and these six things are or in our little book of shepherding horses, this is in chapter three will be a great resource for you. It's available to you through this class. But. Pray that she'll look at that and study that and these things that are really quite simple. But it's a process which Jesus did, which you and I have been asked to do the same thing. And once you do that, the effectiveness of your ministry as a church and as a pastor will be multiplied significantly because you're equipping and releasing these leaders that God has called to the workplace community.
[00:05:28] Are they to be leaders in your church? Yes, probably in one or two activities, but not there every time the doors are open because they have a responsibility that God has given them influence in the workplace. And in one or two of those fears, maybe this fear of government, perhaps there in local government or national government, they may be in the sphere of education, they may be in the sphere of the media or the arts or other spirits. Perhaps they're in medicine, perhaps there, and technology, wherever they are in the marketplace, wherever gods place them, that's the sphere that God's given them influence. And you as a pastor or as a leader in the church, or as an emerging leader who will be a leader in the church, in the workplace, you've been given the responsibility for God to equip them and what God has asked them to do. So let's look at those six things, and I pray that they'll be helpful to you to understand the simple process that God want you to be involved in. First thing in Mark Chapter one, it says that as Jesus was going along with the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew, the brother of Simon, casting a net into the sea, and they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, Follow me and I will make you fishermen immediately. They left their nets and followed him. The first thing that Jesus always does with a leader is to call him in a personal relationship with himself. Jesus causes into a personal relationship with the self, and we need to do that. Same thing with leaders. You, Pastor, need to come alongside that leader who may not even be a leader in the church. He may not be there that often.
[00:07:09] He may be kind of on the fringes, kind of hanging out. He's looking in. You wouldn't call him a leader in the church, but God's called him to be in a leadership position in the community. And if he has a heart for God and if he's open, if he's maybe gone through that time of brokenness for a time where God's gotten his intention attention, then you need to call him into a personal relationship with you. Let me tell you some things about workplace leaders. Number one, their lonely. The loneliest person in the church next to the pastor is the workplace leader. You, as a pastor, probably don't have two or three close friends in the church because maybe you've been told by someone years ago that don't get close to you're going to get hurt or it may be bad for you or they may not keep your confidence. Well, I will tell you that you may be lonely, but these workplace leaders are also lonely. And that's why God wants to get you together. You know, both you and the CEO of a firm or a leader in the workplace are the two loneliest people in the church. And the only time you get together is on the Budget Committee. We've got to stop that practice. We need to get you together in a small group to get you together for a breakfast or a lunch or to get together just for a time of sharing and becoming friends with each other. But anyway, these workplace leaders are lonely. They work on their job. They don't have a couple of close friends. They're probably not in a small group, and they need the encouragement of a close friend, a mentor, a peer, an inner circle.
[00:08:36] And they also need to be involved in a small group on a regular basis. But they're lonely. As I said, they have a lot in common for you with you. They have influence in the community and in the workplace, and you are each intimidated by each other. You, as a pastor, look at him and say he's a man of wealth and power and influence, even if in this economy he may have been losing hundreds of thousands of dollars in his business. You may think he's a man of wealth. Many of them have lost businesses and gone under during this tough economy. So you look at him and you're intimidated by him. But the fact of the matter is he wants to have a relationship with you and he looks at you and says, well, you're a spiritual and I'm not I mean, you're a pastor and I'm not I mean, you've really gone the sacrificial way to be a pastor or a leader in the church, and I'm just a business leader. And he really believes that he's a second class citizen, even though he's achieved great influence in the workplace. So you have a lot in common, but you're intimidated by each other. And Jesus has called you into a relationship of each other and Jesus wants you to come into a one on one relationship. So invite them to lunch, whichever one of you first invite them to lunch. So that's number one, is to call them into a personal relationship with you. Number two, create an atmosphere of understanding with them. Jesus. Peter said to him, Explain the parable to us. And Jesus said, Well, are you still lacking? And understanding that everything that goes into the mouth and to the stomach, that's a them.
[00:10:09] So Jesus begins to explain it to him. Get into a relationship where you create an atmosphere of understanding. That means that it takes some time. You may go to a ballgame, do something together, do something together. As couples begin to understand, you're going to understand that maybe they've got a small group of business leaders that's already meeting. Then you as a pastor can join that group. Perhaps they're from another church, which might even be better. But you need to be in a relationship with leaders who are leaders outside the context of the church, get involved in a small group with them, have lunch with them, spend time with them, do some leisure thing with them, create an atmosphere of understanding between the two of you. That means meeting one on one. That means meeting with three or four of them on a regular basis. That means either getting involved in a sport, starting in a small group or starting a small group. Have some fun together. If you start a small group, as in shepherding horses behind to it tells you how to do that in this book. It tells you how to do that. But in this book it will tell you not only how to do it, but that you're not to be the leader. Now, Pastor, that's hard because you're been used to being the leader. But I'm telling you, if you get in a group in this particular group, then you help initiate the process, which you get one of your laypeople, one of your business leaders, one of your leaders from the workplace to lead the group. You can be involved in the group. You be a regular member, but don't take that as a teaching time. Then you need to understand because you as leading the church, have really the same responsibilities that a business owner or a CEO has.
[00:11:49] You have employees, you have a budget, you're responsible to a board. I mean, you have the same responsibilities, except yours is in the religious paradigm. And there is this in the workplace. So you're involved in the workplace yourself as a leader in the church. So get to understand your leaders. Be transparent. That's a key. Either if it's a one on one relationship or a small group, there has to be confidentiality and therefore you need to be trusted. You need to trust them, they need to trust you, and you've got to be transparent. If you're not going to be transparent, then don't get involved in the process. This will take time, but the rewards will be fantastic. So get them to understand you and you get to understand them. Now, in small groups, the question needs to be that it's discussed in the book. The pastor, you need to say this. How am I? Is your pastor help you to minister where God has sovereignly placed you in the workplace? And the participants are usually 6 to 12 in a group you don't want probably have more than 12. They don't necessarily need to be leaders in your church, but they need to be leaders in the community. And you can help initiate the group with one or two other of your leaders from the workplace and the facilitator. You can lead the group in the first session or so, but you're not to teach your to ask questions and you need to turn over that facilitation to whoever would be the best leader. Now, the best facilitator of a small group is not necessarily the most outstanding leader. In fact, facilitators. There's a rare skill that God gives them, and they may not be the outspoken, the person that's going to lead the largest number of people, but a good facilitator is hard to find.
[00:13:27] It's a rare gift and it needs to be a person that facilitates the discussion and doesn't necessarily lead by teaching. This is not teaching group. It's a facilitator. That's why I'm not good at facilitation. I can be fairly good at teaching. If it's a group of 30 or more, I'll be very comfortable with that. If it's a small group, I'm only fair if that if it's one on one. I'm terrible at that. But I do that because I believe in that. So sometimes we operate out of our gift mix, but get a good facilitator for the group and then the focus is on outward. The focus is on you helping those leaders in your church or in other churches, how we can have a ministry outside the four walls of the building of the local church out in the work place where God has specifically placed us as leaders in that workplace and the agenda is set by the leaders. You need to ask those leaders what are the needs depending on the opportunities that they're having in their workplace, what are the skills needed the group needs to decide What studies are we going to do? There's tremendous tools available from the organization that I led a few years ago, Fellowship of Companies for Christ Christ at Work. There's a number of other organizations like that. Kbm C c 12 convened. There's a number of organizations that work with business leaders. Each of these organizations has small group studies, DVDs. They have a lot of resources that you can use in your church, but you can start with the Word of God, the Word of God in the Holy Spirit and prayer and those creative things from leaders will give you really all the resources that you need.
[00:15:03] You get started. So the requirement to be in the group a heart for God and an a desire to join him and what God is doing in the workplace and the commitment for a minimum of six months. Normally a group will meet nine months a year. They may take off during the summer time, but this group is a process and it takes weeks for that group to really bond together or take several weeks. And so normally we'll do a test by the group for about eight weeks. You may want to do that with a small group and say, okay, if you want to go to the next stage, then we're going to meet. But it makes a commitment of the next 6 to 9 months. So the small group is really a key to helping you understand the leaders in your church. Normally we find that small groups with leaders in the workplace work best with an hour to an hour and a half, hour and 15 minutes is probably right. The place needs to be outside of your church. Here's what the normal pastor does today. He says, Oh, God's working in the marketplace. He really is. God's doing some amazing things in cities across our country and around the world. But the problem is, is we're locked into the religious paradigm. So the pastor says we're going to have a monthly luncheon, it's going to be at the church and I'm going to speak to these business leaders and they're going to come to our church or give to our church. It's going to be a good thing. Well, that's exactly the opposite of what you need to do. First thing you need to do is the group needs to be outside of the local church.
[00:16:27] It needs to be in an office or a building somewhere in that workplace. Number two, it needs to be a small group, not a large group. The large groups, only a funnel to get people into the small group. And number three, you can't leader it as a pastor. It has to be led by one of the people out in the workplace. If you'll do that, you'll be successful. Then you can have a large group of 100 to meet at a hotel or a local place and you have someone come in and speak for that group about what's God's doing in my business, what God's done in my life. If you have 100 that meet for a luncheon or a dinner, you'll normally get about the rule. The 8020 real 20% of those will be in a small group, and then out of that small group will be three or four of those 24, 20% of those that will be the leaders of the movement. For that small group or in your church, you always need a leader and a co-leader. So the place is away from the church building. It's in the office. It's led by a leader in the marketplace and it's a small group. So number one, you seek to have a relationship with them. Number two, you call them in 200, you begin to understand them. Number three, affirmed them in their workplace, calling, as I said in a few earlier sessions, 80% of the people in your church, pastor, do not believe that they're in full time Christian ministry. 80% of the people in your church feel like they're second class citizens to you and your church staff. They feel if they could ever retire early enough, they could ever be on church staff or be a missionary or being involved in a Christian organization, then they can really do something for Jesus.
[00:18:04] And the fact of matter is they have more non-Christian friends now than they'll ever have. They have more opportunities to share Christ in their workplace then they'll ever have. They're working on a church staff, in fact, a chaplain in the workplace. A pastor can meet with more people who don't know Jesus, and one day as a chaplain in the workplace, then they can. In seven days, being the pastor in the church, workplace chaplaincy is a tremendous way to impact the workplace. Workplace chaplaincy. There's a a guy in Oklahoma City whom I know who's a workplace guy who spent one afternoon or one day a week as a chaplain while he's a sales manager for a firm. And that guy over the last 15 years and said, Bo, how many people have you led to Christ? He said, Over the last 15 years in the workplace, I've led 750 people to Christ. He led 50 people to Christ every year for 15 years average. I don't know a pastor who's done that, and that's because he was in the workplace, in the chaplaincy. So those of you that are in the workplace as employers, as leaders, or even as a pastor who comes in as a chaplain, that's where God is working. And so we've got to get outside the walls of our church. We need to affirm people in their workplace, calling that the harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few and the laborers were out in the workplace. We just need to be equipped of how do we affect people in the workplace. There's the secular sacred divide, the second class citizens, and we've led segmented lives where God wants us to get an integrated life. So we need to get them started and affirm them.
[00:19:46] And they're calling number four. We need to equip them as ministers in the workplace. Number one, we seek relationship. Number two, we understand number three, we affirm them in their calling. That means and affirming in their calling that forgot to mention commission them as we say in the. I mean, affirmed them not commissioning, but just affirmed them publicly from the pulpit, affirm them publicly in your words, affirm them by your actions, and then you begin the equipping process to equip them. We teach them, we train them. We equip them as leaders in the workplace. That's what gods ask you to do. They think you're paid to do the ministry. But the fact of the matter is they're paid by the secular world to represent Christ. Help them to understand their calling. Get them to know the situations that they're facing. Pray with them over the potential situations. Strategize with them. How to use the opportunities in our next session. Walking through open doors. We're going to share with you a simple plan how you can dramatically impact the coworkers in their workplace. So put them to work. There's a big difference between church work and the work of the church. Church work can take place mainly inside the church, but the work of the church is out there outside the walls to extend the walls of the church where Jesus wants us to make a difference. Give them a kingdom perspective. Help them understand that the work of the church is to bring Jesus Christ to our sphere of influence. So you've got number one relationship. Number two, understand? Number three, affirm them publicly. Privately, constantly. Number four, equip them. And number five, commission them. As we talked before, are we commissioning public school teachers in addition to Christian school teachers? Commission them as worldwide ambassadors for Christ to make disciples of the nations.
[00:21:37] Bring them down in front of the church and commission them by segments of industry. Bring down teachers one day, bring down government workers another day. Bring down those that are involved in transportation, bring down those involved in technology, bring down those involved in the retail and wholesale trade. Take different parts of the workplace. Bring them in front of your church for a Sunday, lay hands on them, commission them formally as full time ambassadors of Christ. This will have a tremendous influence on them and workplace leaders. I'd encourage you to commission your pastor, bring down the pastor and the staff, bring them down to the front of the church, lay hands on them and commission them as equipment of the saints for the work of the ministry, equip them in the equipping process and so commission them and that so we commission them as worldwide ambassadors for Christ. This can make a tremendous difference when you bring a common, ordinary person down to the front of your church who loves Jesus, but who thinks that you as a pastor are special and set apart and sanctified, and they're just ordinary when you bring them down to the front of your church, and when you have the people of your church praying for them together as ambassadors for Christ, sending them out to that government agency, to that business, to that school, it will make a tremendous difference when they come Monday morning to be all that God wants them to be in the workplace. So we commission them as full time ambassadors for Christ. They are the insiders. They are the insiders in the business world. They travel at the expense of their employers. Their employers are paying them this week to travel to another city.
[00:23:20] They're paying for their flight, they're paying for their car, they're paying for their hotel. They're paying for their food. They're paying to represent Jesus Christ to their customers. And they're traveling at the expense of the business. I remember when I traveled to Chicago one time as I was flying back at 30,000 square feet, 30,000 feet from Chicago, and so I didn't pay for the airfare for the hotel, for the meals. My company didn't pay for it. My church didn't pay for it. It was paid for. But my customers, I went up to see them. I was an insider. And even the secular world paid for that. They can go to other nations. In fact, why do we send missionaries to China when we can let Coca-Cola do it? Coca-Cola will pay us twice as much. AT&T will pay twice as much. IBM will pay two or three times as much to a business leader to go over there. And when they get to China, when they get to that country in the Middle East with the oil company, they're going to only be paid three or four times more than a missionary, but they're also going to be in with the highest people in the community. They'll be in with government leaders, business leaders, educational leaders. So why don't we change our missionary strategy instead of sending missionaries? Let's encourage more of our men and women to get great skill and expertise and to be those men and women that are paid for by the commercial businesses to go into the Middle East where we can never send missionaries anyway. So formally commission them in front of your church and set aside different days to commission different parts. And then the final thing is release.
[00:24:55] Now, that's the hard one, Pastor. You get this trained man or woman and they could be so useful and all the things to do in the church and they could be the head of. This committee and the head of that program and that ministry. But the fact of the matter is, it's like the fly fisherman God wants you to equip. He wants you to catch and then release. You have to release them for service in their own sphere of influence. That's why Jesus said to go. And Jesus said, You will be witnesses for me in Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria into the uttermost parts of the earth because we have the power of the Holy Spirit. Pastor The most difficult thing you will ever do is after training this leader for several years is to release them, but it will be so impactful on their lives as they come back to you with the report of saying, Pastor, thank you for releasing me. To be able to minister to my employees in my workplace, my coworkers, my customers, my suppliers. Thank you, Pastor, for being willing to help me to not only be equipped that you freely released me to represent you and Jesus Christ in this church, out in the workplace where I am. It would be a marvelous thing for your church. And then instead of you dominating the platform all the time, you can have reports from those who have been out in the workplace that week sharing Christ and disciples, men and women, and seeing God work in their lives. So we release them for service. We release them to the workplace. We start now. It may take six months to three years. You're not going to be able to record the results or see the results quickly.
[00:26:31] It'll take time as those trees are planted, but if you release them, God will reward you for that. You continue to pray for them. You continue to bring them together with their peers for encouragement on a regular basis and further equipment further equipping. You have them get reports in your services for what's happening. And so now the local church becomes an equipping center and a sending station for those that are released down into the workplace. You, as a pastor, are able to encourage workplace leaders to grow spiritually. You can affirm them. You can equip a few of them, and you can assist them to transform the marketplace for Jesus Christ. So here's the six steps one more time. Number one, you call them into a personal relationship with you. You have to initiate it. If they don't, you create this atmosphere of understanding because you're spending time with them. You affirm them both publicly and privately in their calling as full time ambassadors for Jesus Christ. You equip them as ministers in the workplace. You commission them formally in front of your church as a worldwide ambassador for Christ, and then the hard step pastor, you release them outside the walls of the church extended. I ask a Pastor, Ron, how do I really explain that to pastors? He said, Can't you tell the pastor? It's like you're not sending them out. You're actually extending the walls of the church out in the community so that the body of Christ and followers of Jesus are going out into the community. You said it's like a church plant. The pastor understands a church plant. You're planting churches and offices and factories and retail stores and all these other places across the city. You're you're planting followers of Jesus church plants in those places because it is the church, because we're men and women that represent the Church of Jesus Christ.
[00:28:26] So we release them to their sphere of influence. So you equip and release. You can build bridges today. And I pray that as you equip and release, you'll see many people impacted in their workplaces for Christ. Let's have a word of prayer, Father. Thank you. Thank you. That you're in the equipping business. Thank you, Father. That Jesus modeled that equipping when you sent your son here on Earth, Holy Spirit. Help us to understand that you want to empower us and use us to reach our communities or our families or our neighborhoods or our workplaces. For Jesus Christ. Father, help us as workplace leaders, help us as pastors to build bridges with each other. Help us to build bridges and to pray with each other, to understand each other. And as we do this, that we will together impact our cities for Christ. Thank you for what you're going to do just among the people in this class of the bridges that they will be able to build with their counterparts in their cities. Thank you for what you're going to do in each of their lives, and you're going to start doing that today. And we pray that in the precious name of your son, Jesus Christ. Amen.