Implementing a Theology of Work - Lesson 10

Finishing Well

In this lesson, you will learn about the importance of finishing well in your spiritual journey, whether you are a pastor, a workplace leader, or a seminary student. You will explore the meaning of finishing well, the reasons to strive for it, and the tools needed to accomplish this goal. The lesson will emphasize the significance of having a heart for God and an undivided heart. You will also learn about biblical examples of people who finished well, serving as inspiration for your own spiritual journey.

Kent  Humphreys
Implementing a Theology of Work
Lesson 10
Watching Now
Finishing Well

I. What does it mean to finish well?

A. Definition of finishing well

B. Importance of completing the race

II. Why do we want to finish well?

A. Winning the race and rewards from God

B. Self-control and discipline

III. How long is the race?

A. Realizing the battle is never over until it's over

B. Length of our lives

IV. What tools do we need to finish well?

A. Heart for God

B. Undivided heart

V. Biblical examples of people who finished well

  • In this lesson, you learn about the importance of developing and supporting workplace leaders, likened to shepherding horses, and how to guide them to make a positive impact in their workplaces while growing spiritually. You'll explore the challenges of managing their independent spirit and potential pitfalls, and the significance of trust, control, and focus in their development.
  • Through this lesson, you will gain insight into God's purposes for us in the workplace, emphasizing the importance of relationships and the four key words the Holy Spirit highlights: Kingdom, Relationships, Community, and Transformation, helping you become an effective ambassador for Christ in your workplace.
  • This lesson teaches you how to naturally proclaim Christ in the workplace, emphasizing that the core mission is to love God and love people. You will discover the importance of evangelism and discipleship as ongoing processes, and how incorporating biblical values in the workplace positively impacts employees and business growth.
  • This lesson helps you understand and overcome obstacles to workplace ministry, emphasizing the importance of personal transformation, serving the community, and representing Jesus in daily life.
  • In this lesson, you will learn about Jesus' approach to work and leadership by examining the five things He did: telling everyone the good news, teaching many to understand God's principles, training some to do the work, equipping a few to reproduce, and modeling a relationship with the Father. These principles can help guide your own approach to work and leadership in various settings.
  • In this lesson, you gain insights on the significance of training spiritual leaders, using the Bible as a guide, and Jesus as a model. You will understand the value of influence over position and how to train leaders for different spheres of society. Embracing your uniqueness and learning about 12 styles of assistance for emerging leaders will equip you to effectively develop others in their spiritual journey.
  • In this lesson, you gain insight into the vital process of connecting church leaders and workplace leaders, fostering personal relationships, and understanding the six key responsibilities pastors have toward workplace leaders to create a thriving spiritual community and extend the church's influence beyond its walls.
  • Walking through open doors teaches you to bring Christ's kingdom to the workplace, developing relationships and fostering unity. Learn the four steps to successful workplace ministry, including prayer and responding to opportunities, while offering support during times of crisis.
  • In this lesson, you learn the significance of character in leadership, focusing on God, and the importance of building trust through relationships. You'll also explore the value of people and their gifts and understand how to hold others accountable and empower them as a spiritual leader.
  • This lesson highlights the importance of finishing well in your spiritual journey, emphasizing the need for a heart for God and an undivided heart, while providing biblical examples of those who succeeded in doing so, encouraging you to strive for the same in your own life.

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.

Recommended Books

Shepherding Horses, Volume I (A Pastor's Guide to Equipping Workplace Leaders)

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Shepherding Horses, Volume II (A Pastor's Guide to Equipping Workplace Leaders)

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Mr. Kent Humphreys
Implementing a Theology of Work
Finishing Well
Lesson Transcript

[00:00:05] This is our last session together and we're going to be talking about finishing well. We want to finish well on this last session. And I just thought as we talked about how we can help you in the marketplace, how we can help you as a pastor to relate to the marketplace leader, how we can help you in the marketplace, in the workplace to relate to your church and the pastor, how we can help you as a seminary student to relate to the marketplace, both to equip us in the marketplace and to impact that marketplace for Christ. I just thought about that. I wanted to share with you some principles of finishing well, because, you know, whether you're in the workplace or whether God's called you the church or Christian organization, wherever he's called you, he wants us to finish well. And today the road is littered with leaders scattered across the road who have not finished well. They've gone through a part of their life, but they've not finished well. And we want to know how can we, as leaders in the church and in the workplace, finish? Well, a recent survey of people age 95 and older. My mom was 90. They were asked the question, if you had your life to live over again, what would you do differently? And here are the top three answers. Number one, I would risk more. Can you imagine a 95 year old saying, I want to risk more? Number two, they said I would reflect more on the truths that I had learned. And number three, I would do more. That outlives me. Well, we as men and women who are followers of Jesus Christ, we want to do more that outlives us. I was sitting in Singapore a couple of years ago when I was with a table of elders who were all about my age.

[00:01:49] 60 years of age. We were sitting around a Chinese dinner table on Sunday after lunch, after church. There I was in Singapore, halfway around the world, and I was looking at the pastors and these Christian leaders in their twenties. And as we looked around. Only 10%. But they were talking about pastors and Christian leaders that they had known in their twenties. Only 10% were still go in their sixties. Some had dropped out of the professional ministry altogether. Some had dropped out of the church. Some had left the faith. Bobby Clinton, who's a leadership expert, says that only one third of those in the Bible finished. Well, there are so many that start out well in their twenties and thirties and many of you who are in seminary, or you're perhaps a young pastor in a church or a young leader or an executive in the workplace. And at this stage in your life you say, Man, everything's great. I've got everything under control. But only one third of the leaders in the Bible finished well. So what kind of a legacy will you leave to those who are closest to you? What is your legacy going to be? How about you? Are you going to finish well? Second Timothy Chapter four. Paul writes, I fought the good fight. I finished the course. I've kept the faith. I'm 63 years of age. I want to say that whenever my year is, I've finished the course. You don't know how long you have. My grandmother lived till she was 105 on her on her memorial service day. She was 106. My sister lived to only 39 years of age. We don't know. You can be 39. You can live to 100. We don't know how long we have, but whatever years we have, God wants us to finish.

[00:03:38] Well, I faced some health problems recently, and the thing that I want to do, whether I have a year or whether I have 40 years, is I want to finish well the brace that God's given me to race. So how well did these finish the race? Enoch, Josiah Sampson, Caleb, Hezekiah, Solomon You look at these guys and you think about Solomon. He started so well, but it didn't finish well. You look at Peter, he started pretty poorly, but he finished well. You look at Saul, started out with a King of Promise, but it didn't finish. Well, you look at David, he was a man after God's own heart. But he faced some challenges in the latter part of his life. He got diverted a little bit. You look at Moses, you look at Ace and Zion. You know, Ace was one of the three kings that in the Bible it says he was a man after God's own heart. But he really didn't he really didn't finish well. And so many of these men who are men and women of God served God for most of the lifetime, but in the latter part of their life, they didn't finish well. Well, today we want to answer a couple of questions in our session. The first question is what does it mean to finish well? Secondly, why would we want to do it? Thirdly, how long is the race for three? Tools do we need? And fifth, what are some of the biblical examples that people that finished well, what does it mean to finish well? Well, Paul set up fortify to finish the course I've kept the faith Finished means end to complete Second Corinthians 811 now finished doing this. And so it's about completion.

[00:05:25] It's about finishing the race that God has caused us to race. Some do not complete the race at all. Otherwise, when you laid the foundation, he was not able to finish. That's not in God's vocabulary. God didn't want us to lay a foundation and then stop. And the living. Not like this in the living, but my life is worth nothing unless I use it for doing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus Christ. So we need to finish well. Well, why do we want to do it? We want to win the race. The rewards from the Father. I believe that God gives rewards. And you and I want to be there for those rewards. It's a race. First Corinthians nine says, Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize run in such a way that you may win. Do we hear that today? Not necessarily. The Bible says he wants us to be winners and we need to run that race to win. Even so, the one who competes in these exercises must exercise self-control and discipline. So if we're going to finish this race, we're going to have to have some self-control and some discipline. There is a prize, Paul says. This one thing I do for getting what lies behind and reaching forward, what lies ahead. I press towards the goal of the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. This one thing I do, I want to be a finisher. I want to be a person who focuses on Jesus and finishes the race. We will be rewarded. Hebrews 1035 says, Do not throw away your confidence, which has great reward for you need to have endurance for after you have done the will of God, you may receive what's promised so you and I will be rewarded by God.

[00:07:17] Well, how long is the race? My friend Bruce said realize the battle's never over till it's over. Bruce died at 59 years of age. I said in an earlier session, my best friend, he finished the race. He and I just had lunch together as part of my inner circle as guys that we would have lunch together every few weeks. We had been in business together for 17 years. We were no longer in business together. We'd been in a small group together for over 20 years, so I was connected with Bruce. But we would have lunch together every few weeks. And he came by and I remember in the barbecue place, he looked across me from the table and he said, Can't I just want to finish? Well, I don't want to lose that. I want to finish. Well, two weeks later, he was gone and to eternity through a heart attack. That's an example. We've kept close tabs for many years. We may have 70 years. We may just have a day, some nine, he says. We finished our years like a sigh and the days of our lives that contain 70 years, if due to strength, maybe 80 years. My mom just turned 90 a few weeks ago, so we don't know how long we have, but what tools do we need to finish? Well, there's a number of tools and we've talked about those during our times over this weeks as we've talked about equipping those of us in the workplace to be effective representing Jesus Christ in the workplace, both in evangelism and in discipleship, both with leaders and with followers, both in the church and outside the walls of the church. So what tools do we need as leaders? What tools do you need as a pastor? What tools do I need as a workplace leader? What do we need as Christian spiritual leaders? What tools do we need to finish well? Well, the first of all, we need is a heart for God.

[00:09:03] We talked about that in the last session and the Second Chronicles Chapter 3427. It says, We need a responsive heart for God because your heart was tender and because you humbled yourself before God. I have truly heard. I've truly heard you, declares the Lord God will listen to you, man or woman. He will listen to you if you have a heart for him. If you call out to him in all earnestness, if we are responsive to him, he will listen to you. God wants us to have a heart for him is equal. Says it needs to be an undivided heart. He says, I'll give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit within them. I love this. I'll remove from them the heart of stone and I will give to them out of flesh. God, I want you to be focused on him. He doesn't want that heart. Divide it to fame or to possessions or to the last of the flesh. He doesn't want that divided to all the things, the good things of this world. He wants an undivided. Heart. We could talk the rest of this day about the heart and all that God says about the heart. But He wants us to have an undivided heart. A heart for God that is broken, humble, or heart that desires to know Him sincere, a heart of integrity, a heart that's pure, blameless, that trust him, that's filled with his word, filled with his spirit, a heart that's on the right pathway and a heart that's fully committed to Jesus Christ. That's filled with the spirit or heart for God. Are you willing to be broken and humbled for God? Is the desire of your heart to know God? Oh, how I feel in my fifties and sixties and seventies.

[00:10:45] I want to have the same heart for God that I had as a heart as a young man. Do you as a young woman, Do you as a young man? Do you have a burden, passionate heart for God? And what's the focus of our heart? We can seek the world first, John 215 and 16. As we talked about in our last session, we can seek the world, we can the lust, the flesh, the lust, the eyes and the pride of life. The desire to indulge pleasure, the desire to possess, the desire to impress. So we can seek the world, or we can seek the Lord. As we said in the last session, Proverbs 22 four, the word of humility and the fear of the Lord are three things riches, honor in life. If we seek the Lord, God's going to give us riches and honor in life. That's what He says. But if we seek those things, that's sin. So the contrast is pleasure, possessions, power and possession. And so, as we said in the last session, just as review, we need to have a heart that has a heart for God. And so God said to Solomon, Solomon said, Lord, I'm not going to ask for riches. I'm not going to ask for wealth and honor. And and he said, Lord, I want wisdom. God said, since you did not ask for riches and wealth and honor in life, but you've asked for wisdom and knowledge, I'm going to give you not only wisdom and knowledge, but I'll give you riches and honor and wealth. So happiness will not bring joy. We give it away and you will receive. And the way up is down. God is just opposites. I mean, we seek happiness, but He wants to give us joy.

[00:12:24] He says, if you have something, you give it away. You're going to receive. He said, if you want to go up, you want to be first. You got to go down. God's ways are always different. So we delight ourself in the Lord and we talked about the heart in our last session. So the necessary tools are a heart for God, number one and time alone with him. Number two is mentors and modeling. That's why this mentoring is so important. You need to have as a young leader and as an old leader, you need to have mentors in your life. There needs to be role models in your life as a pastor, as a leader in the workplace, particularly as a young man or woman. Getting out of university seminary, starting as a young executive in the workplace. You need to look around and ask God to give you, and he'll give it to you if you're open. Three or four mentors, not just one, but three or four, that can help you in various specific areas of your life. Call him up. Tell him you want to take him to lunch. Tell him you you're a young executive. You're a young person in seminary, you're a young pastor. You want to just ask them some questions and watch their life from afar and watch it up close. Find mentors and find models in your life. So a heart for God, mentors and models. Thirdly, you need to have an inner circle. As I said, you need to have counsel. We talked about this a couple of time in our sessions, but it's so valuable. Most of you as pastors do not have an inner circle. Most of you as pastors do not have three people you could call.

[00:14:00] Most of you as a leader in the workplace, do not have three other leaders that you could call at 2:00 in the morning because you haven't developed that intimacy with other leaders. About half of you may have that, but you need to get that in your life. You not only need mentors, but you need an inner circle who are committed to you over a long period of time. And it normally takes 3 to 5 years to find that kind of a person, that kind of relationship. A heart for God, a mentor, a role model, an inner circle. And then then what you need number four is you need to be in that small group. You said, Kenny, I've heard that about three or four times. Well, you need to get in one. You need to be in a place where you're vulnerable. I have been in a small group of either business leaders or couples or people in a small group, weekly, monthly or some kind for probably the last 30 something years. I need that. You don't outgrow that. You don't turn 60 or 70 and not need that anymore. Jesus modeled that with the 12. He modeled the the very night before the. We need to have that kind of vulnerability and accountability and community in our life. It's a necessary tool for survival, for finishing well, a heart for God, a mentor, an inner circle, and a small group. The next tool you need, number five is a large group. Some people get connected. They get disconnected from the church when they move, when they change cities, when they get upset with somebody. They get disconnected and say, Well, I can do without a church. No, you can't. You need to be involved, actively involved in a local body of believers for the rest of your life.

[00:15:41] The Lone Ranger doesn't work in the Christian life. Jesus model that whatever community went into, he went into the temple to teach. And we need to be involved in a large group for encouragement for biblical teaching, for sound, biblical teaching, for fellowship, for worship. We need to be involved in a small community, I mean, in that church, in the fellowship of Believers for the rest of our life. That's a necessary tool. And the number six, we need a positive attitude. We need an attitude that says whatever God brings in my pathway, we need the attitude of job is I'm going to have a positive attitude. Our circumstances, it's not our circumstances that will bring us down, but it's our responses to those circumstances. You see, everyone in life is going to face adversity. You're going to face pain. You're going to face family members that have problems. You're going to face health problems. You're going to face financial problems. You're going to face relationship problems. And God brings that pain into our life. It's just part of life. And it's not circumstances because every one of us is going to have circumstance. We're have different circumstances. But your attitude. So many times, leaders and followers to sometimes we leaders try to go through it just with sheer gift of persistence. But we're all going to face those circumstances in our life. And when those circumstances come into our life, our attitudes will determine our responses will determine whether we survive or not. And so many leaders, they'll work for Christ for years, and then they get in about their fifties. And you've seen them in your church. They're sitting there in the pew. They're still there, but they're not really there. They're not actively vibrantly involved.

[00:17:34] They're just kind of going through life and they're enjoying life and they're doing their family and they're playing golf and having their hobby and earning their money. And but the fact of the matter is, they're not leading in God's kingdom. They're not impacting their workplace or their church or their community. It's because someone offended them, because they got mad at God, because they had a bad attitude or a sour attitude, and they didn't respond correctly to their circumstances. It's attitude. That's what's important. Negative attitudes like bitterness. Listen. Bitterness, particularly women. Bitterness will bring you down. Bitterness will lead to anger and resentment and eventually depression. And it'll bring you down. It's a negative attitude. Jealousy. Oh, we get jealous of someone else. Even in the church context or business. A critical spirit. Do you want to be around a person that has a critical spirit? Why do we allow that in the church? A critical spirit in business? A critical spirit can ruin the whole community of of the workplace anger. Well, I can tell you about that. I don't have a problem with bitterness, but I can tell you about anger God spent working with me on that for many years. He's made some progress over the years. But anger attack the problem, not the person can, thanks to God, for the irritation and trust the situation to his control and respond slowly. A attacked the problem. Not the person, not the person in JI give thanks to God for the irritation. God's brought that into your life. He's allowed that to happen so that you can learn a lesson. And we're so slow to learn a lesson. I have to trust the situation to his control. E in our response slowly. Well, I know a lot about anger, and anger can destroy relationships.

[00:19:29] Men, women, anger can destroy bridges with our children, with our spouse, with our coworkers. So I had to learn how to control anger. I still deal with it from time to time. But but as a young man, I really struggled and struggled as a husband and struggled as a father and resentment that can lead people to resent you because of your anger and then envy. Envy is so dangerous because that we kind of say it's a positive thing that we can do, that we can envy someone. In the body of Christ, but whether it's in the workplace or in the body of Christ, no, God says no. But in Galatians chapter five, God says, But the fruit of the Spirit are not those kind of attitudes, but they're love and joy and peace, patience and goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, kindness. God says these are the nine characteristic hints. These are the attitudes that I want you to have in your life. A positive attitude. We need to memorize that verse and we need to be that kind of person. Can you imagine being that kind of person in the workplace? I want to be around a person that's joyful and that's patient and that's calm and that's gentle and that has self-control. Men Do we have self-control? Women Do we have self-control? So those are the attitudes we need to have. Or what are some of the biblical examples that finished well? Well, Enoch was a man of faith, and he was pleasing to God of Noah and Enoch alone. That is written that they walked with God. They walked with God. What about being said? They walked with God. Others, you know, others walked before God. But these men walked with God. Their faith was pleasing to God.

[00:21:23] Josiah He did right, because he studied the word of God. Daniel He was faithful in a changing environment. Daniel one Per se. Daniel As a young man, 13, 14, 15 years of age, made up his mind that he would not defile himself. He chose character. He chose a positive attitude at an early age. But what was his age when he was thrown in the lion's den? As I said, he was 83 years of age. He served under four different kings. Daniel was no longer a young man. He had served faithfully with integrity for all of those years, from age 13 or 14 for nearly 70 years. Israel was in captivity 70 years. This was your 68? 69. Daniel served as a faithful man. The source of his faithfulness was his time with God. You see, when the document was signed and when it was said that if Daniel worshiped that he would be thrown to the lions, then I would have said to God, Lord, I've worked as a long time to be a vice president. He was a vice president. He was just getting ready to be promoted to the number two man in the kingdom. Lord, I've worked for a long time for this. I'll tell you what we'll do. You say that when you pray, go into your closet. I'm going to go in the closet. But that's not what Daniel said, because Daniel was hooked, because he had done this for 68, 69 years. So it says he opened his windows. He continued to kneel on his knees three times a day, giving thanks before his God, just as he had done so previously. That was the source of Daniel's faithfulness because he spent time with this God. So what are the characteristics that need to get it done? Well, perseverance, certainly.

[00:23:04] Perseverance and and endurance, wisdom, determination, integrity. We talked about that courage, diligence, dependance on God. We need to be filled with the Holy Spirit. We need to be humble. You know, we need to be a student of God's word. We need to be a person of discipline. We need to be a person who has grace in times of failure. Those are the characteristics forgiving a disciple maker, a servant, heart, unselfish, a person of influence. We want to leave a legacy. We want to be a person that finishes well with a legacy. We want to be content. Are you content with where God has you physically, financially, relationship wise? Are we unselfish? Are we submissive? Have we discerning heart? Are we willing to suffer? Are we willing to suffer loss? Second, Timothy, Chapter four. I fought the good fight. I finished the course. I've kept the faith. Are you wanting to finish? Well, let me pray for you that you will. Father, we thank you for each man and each woman in this class today. We thank you for their commitment to taking you to their sphere of influence, where they live and where they work and where they play. And particularly as leaders, as pastors, as leaders from the workplaces. Future leaders in the church, in our cities, as young executives abroad. We thank you for every man and every woman in this class. And Lord, we pray that they'll not only be passionate for you in their twenties and thirties, but they'll be passionate for you in their sixties and seventies and eighties, and that that each one of us today that we will finish well, that we will fight the good fight, that we will finish the course. That as leaders, as we impact the marketplace, as we impact our communities, as we impact our nation.

[00:24:57] God help us to be finishers that we finish well. Thank you for what you're going to do through the leaders in the. And that you will reproduce through hundreds and thousands of others through their lives as they stay on the pathway and as they finish well on their walk with you. And may we join with Paul and say, I have finished the course. I fought the fight, I finished the course. Lord, let us be able to say that as we graduate to you and to heaven as you take us home one day. Thank you for what you're going to do in your Holy Spirit through each of these men and women. Maybe they be impactful, and not only their churches and their businesses and their marketplace communities, but they may be impactful across their city, across this nation, and may use you make you use them around the world as they finish well on their walk for you. And we pray this in Jesus name, Amen.

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