100,000 Fully Engaged
Tutors for Independent Professionals
Who Assist Organizations,
So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia,
and from there they sailed to Cyprus.
And when they arrived in Salamis,
they preached the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews.
They also had John as their assistant.
Now when they had gone through the island to Paphos,
they found a certain sorcerer, a false prophet,
a Jew whose name was Bar-Jesus,
who was with the proconsul, Sergius Paulus, an intelligent man.
This man called for Barnabas and Saul
and sought to hear the word of God.
But Elymas the sorcerer (for so his name is translated) withstood them,
seeking to turn the proconsul away from the faith.
Then Saul, who also is called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit,
looked intently at him and said,
“O full of all deceit and all fraud, you son of the devil,
you enemy of all righteousness,
will you not cease perverting the straight ways of the Lord?
And now, indeed, the hand of the Lord is upon you,
and you shall be blind, not seeing the sun for a time.”
And immediately a dark mist fell on him,
and he went around seeking someone to lead him by the hand.
Then the proconsul believed, when he saw what had been done,
being astonished at the teaching of the Lord.
— Acts 13:4-12 (NKJV)
Independent professionals help organizations to make improvements in many ways. Some professionals and their firms provide information. Others supply expert knowledge. Still others coordinate complex tasks. Many combine these roles.
What kinds of expertise are involved? While not intending to exclude any category of independent professionals, I’m writing about people who serve their clients as accountants, actuaries, advertising copywriters, analysts, architects, artists, attorneys, auditors, chemists, construction managers, consultants, designers, economists, editors, engineers, geologists, instructors, investigators, investment bankers, lobbyists, market researchers, media buyers, money managers, musicians, nurses, physicians, physicists, planners, product testers, professors, public relations counsel, researchers, risk management evaluators, scientists, security experts, software developers, translators, and writers.
Why do organizations seek help from independent professionals? Here are a few of the many reasons:
• Obtain better results than what could be accomplished with their internal staffs.
• Check on the work of the internal staffs.
• Seek an independent opinion.
• Reduce risk.
• Meet a regulatory requirement.
• Cut costs.
• Expand capacity to make changes.
• Temporarily increase staffing.
• Build credibility for a decision.
• Encourage consensus.
When a client engages an independent professional or firm, it’s not unusual for more than one of these reasons to apply.
Independent professionals are important resources for making changes because their opinions carry the weight of their training as well as the credibility of their client experiences. In some cases, independent professionals or their organizations become known for achieving a certain kind of change that clients seek. For instance, architect Frank Gehry learned to use high-strength, lightweight materials such as titanium to design buildings that appear to be much more like abstract sculptures than traditional structures. As a result, clients who want their buildings to make dramatic visual impressions may engage Mr. Gehry rather than a more conventional architect.
As a result, highly regarded independent professionals can have outsized influences on what an organization does through what they endorse, what they oppose, and what they ignore. Let’s consider their silences for a moment. Professionals vary in how much unasked-for advice they provide. Some professionals appreciate that their clients want to know the professionals’ every thought. Other professionals wait to be asked before sharing a point of view. Still others may be reticent even when asked, feeling that their roles should be entirely subordinate to the client’s wishes.
Unless an independent professional has been specially chosen in part for his or her religious beliefs, rarely do clients expect such professionals to make unasked-for suggestions about how client organizations can be more fruitful for the Lord Jesus Christ. Anticipating the possible lack of such an expectation, many independent professionals see it as improper to make any spiritually related observations or comments except when engaged by a religious organization, church, or synagogue.
During any silences about spiritual issues, much potential fruitfulness for serving God’s purposes can be lost. Such missed opportunities are especially great when the independent professionals and their clients are Christians who seek to do His will.
I believe that independent professionals can play many valuable roles that assist their clients to follow the Lord’s will including:
• Supply their personal testimonies about what God has done in their lives and called them to do.
• Share Bible verses that apply to the tasks at hand.
• Provide information about the effects experienced by their clients who followed God’s will in accomplishing similar tasks.
• Encourage clients to include more Godly purposes when conducting their activities.
• Pray with clients to receive God’s guidance and blessings.
• Help clients to find other independent professionals whom God has appointed to serve His purposes.
Some independent professionals will undoubtedly cringe while reading this list, concerned about losing clients to secularly focused professionals and organizations. I recommend that any such anxious Christian professionals read Romans 8:27-37 (NKJV):
Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified. What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written:
“For Your sake we are killed all day long;
We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.”
Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.
Jesus did not promise us a life free from difficulties, just as He did not avoid experiencing the difficult trials that led to His death and resurrection. He suffered and died because He loves us so much and wants us to have the opportunity to receive His glorious grace and mercy through repenting of our sins and accepting Salvation. If our life goal is to avoid trials because we proclaim Him, we have to seriously consider if we are His faith-filled followers:
“Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.” (Mark 8:37-38, NKJV)
Since independent professionals may be inexperienced in helping their clients to draw closer to the Lord, many may want more help than attending church services, reading the Bible, and prayer provide. Tutors can play a number of helpful roles in assisting independent professionals to engage in the Christian practices I’ve listed including:
• Help professionals to better understand the importance of serving the Lord through their client work.
• Document future and ideal best practices for Christian professionals.
• Assist professionals to write their testimonies.
• Research appropriate Bible verses for professionals to share with their clients.
• Describe the results that clients receive after choosing to serve more Godly purposes.
• Introduce professionals to other professionals who follow the Christian practices described here.
Let’s consider how tutors can play these roles, beginning with helping professionals to better understand the importance of serving the Lord through their client work.
Help Professionals to Better Understand
the Importance of Serving the Lord
Through Their Client Work
“No one can serve two masters;
for either he will hate the one and love the other,
or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other.
You cannot serve God and mammon.
Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life,
what you will eat or what you will drink;
nor about your body, what you will put on.
Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?
Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns;
yet your heavenly Father feeds them.
Are you not of more value than they?
Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?
“So why do you worry about clothing?
Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow:
they neither toil nor spin;
and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory
was not arrayed like one of these.
Now if God so clothes the grass of the field,
which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven,
will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
Therefore do not worry, saying,
‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’
For after all these things the Gentiles seek.
For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.
But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness,
and all these things shall be added to you.
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things.
Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”
— Matthew 6:24-34 (NKJV)
Many independent professionals take great pride in their knowledge, experiences, accomplishments, and reputations. At gatherings of such professionals, you are likely to observe preening and puffed-up behavior by some who glory in their status, even among those who act quite humbly when in the presence of their clients. During the gathering’s formal activities, you are unlikely to hear anyone leading a prayer or praising God for having given them the talents and favor to succeed as a professional. It’s hard to avoid the impression that such professionals have chosen their work as an idol to worship because it feeds their pride, harmfully drawing them toward relying on their own understanding rather than on God’s will.
Yet at such gatherings, some of the independent professionals are probably born-again Christians. I believe that the humblest Christian professionals should serve their independent colleagues as tutors.
Many conscientious followers of the Lord will welcome the opportunity to become better witnesses for Him through their professional activities and tutoring colleagues. Undoubtedly, some Christian professionals are already troubled by their own lack of engagement in proclaiming Christ and His purposes to clients.
Why aren’t they doing more now? The Christian professionals probably lack clarity, in part, about what to do. Although I have listened to many fine sermons about the importance of being a witness at work, I don’t recall any teachings that went beyond general encouragements to work hard and to be honest.
Independent professionals need details about how they should combine being a follower of Jesus with fulfilling their professional responsibilities. Becoming a tutor who investigates and teaches how professional activities can serve Him in more ways will provide wonderful opportunities to learn what to do, how to be a good example, and more ways to help lead others to draw closer to Him.
Regardless of what tutors do and don’t do, the Holy Spirit will ultimately be the primary influence for opening independent professionals’ hearts to assisting their clients in being more fruitful for God’s purposes. Tutors can potentially support the Holy Spirit’s influence through encouraging their colleagues to do more to serve God during their client work.
In considering any of the supportive activities that I have suggested for tutors to do, give precedence to any messages received from the Holy Spirit rather than to my words. However, since some Christians are more likely to notice such spiritual messages while reading, let me share a few suggestions in hopes of magnifying the Holy Spirit.
Some professions have already established separate Christian organizations or Christian chapters of their secular organizations. Tutors who belong to such groups can request and encourage meeting agendas that help their professional colleagues address how to better serve the Lord. When introducing any new subjects to their groups, it will be helpful for tutors to involve evangelists, pastors, and Bible scholars to provide the Biblical context for what God wants professionals to do. In many cases, discussions among clergy and Christian professionals who are encouraging their clients to do more to serve the Lords’ purposes will be helpful for those who want to consider what they should be doing differently.
Where such Christian professional organizations or chapters don’t exist, tutors should seek to establish them. While meeting with Christian colleagues, consciences can be more effectively sensitized to the Holy Spirit’s directions. When among fellow believers, Christians will also feel more comfortable discussing their concerns about how to practice their profession in ways that serve God, and they will be more inclined to seek support and comfort from the Lord through joining with one another in Bible studies and prayers.
Tutors can gain great insights from discussions held by Christian professional organizations and chapters about what information their colleagues want to learn concerning spiritually related advice and services. In addition, professionals seeking information can describe how they would like the information to be documented. By paying attention to what they hear, tutors will more rapidly and successfully identify and document better ways to encourage colleagues to serve Him through their professional activities.
Creating and working with such Christian groups also makes it easier to learn about and to share professionals’ experiences with raising spiritual issues, providing Godly advice, and encouraging clients to do more for the Lord. Sharing such experiences can be useful launching pads for discussions of how to be more effective in such activities.
Through involvement with such groups and discussions, tutors will also have more fertile ground to develop resources for assisting Christian colleagues to draw more of their colleagues’ to be interested in serving the Lord. For instance, Christian members can request that secular organizations for independent professionals offer discussion opportunities about providing spiritual advice at their general meetings. Such discussions will probably be easiest to organize and be most fruitful at the largest gatherings, such as national meetings, when many separate simultaneous discussions are offered.
Discussions conducted at secular organizations’ meetings can also help Christian colleagues who haven’t been involved in Christian professional organizations and chapters to become more aware of the issues and the opportunities to serve the Lord through their professional work. These discussions can also present opportunities to share the Gospel with unsaved professionals who may not be familiar with God’s Word.
If the discussions spark enough interest, there may also be opportunities to consider how Christian professionals who are interested in serving God through their work could help their colleagues to become more successful. For instance, professionals could draw on the Holy Spirit’s direction to formulate guidelines for how to share Godly information with clients. By subscribing to such guidelines, independent professionals would gain opportunities to show their commitment to serving Christian purposes and to helping attract the attention of Christian clients. While explaining about the guidelines, independent Christian professionals would gain a new opportunity to share with Christian clients the extra value-added of gaining God’s supernatural support through following His purposes.
In addition, even clients with limited spiritual interests and no Christian commitments might find the establishment of such professional guidelines to be an intriguing reason to learn about the benefits of obtaining Christ-inspired advice and services, much as those who don’t believe that dragons cause earthquakes may still choose to hire local spiritualists to recommend the best site for a new building in parts of Asia where many hold such beliefs. In the process, His will may be served somewhat more often among nonbelievers. When He provides signs to the unbelievers who follow His purposes, more souls may be saved.
Let’s now turn our attention to how tutors can assist in creating best-practice information concerning how independent professionals can help clients to choose more Godly purposes and to follow His ways while seeking to accomplish such purposes.
Document Future and Ideal Best Practices
for Christian Professionals
So Joshua defeated Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword.
Then the LORD said to Moses,
“Write this for a memorial in the book and recount it in the hearing of Joshua,
that I will utterly blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven.”
And Moses built an altar and called its name, The-LORD-Is-My-Banner;
for he said, “Because the LORD has sworn:
the LORD will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.”
— Exodus 17:13-16 (NKJV)
God accomplishes His purposes in a variety of ways. During the battle against the Amalekites described in Exodus 17, Moses held the rod of God above his head. Whenever the rod was held in this fashion, the Israelites had the better of the battle. Whenever Moses let down the rod because his arms were weary, the Amalekites gained the upper hand. Noticing this, Aaron and Hur held up Moses’ hands for the remainder of the battle, and Joshua led the Israelites to victory.
The Israelite siege conducted against Jericho succeeded by acting in a totally different way. The Israelites followed God’s instructions to march around the city’s outer walls for a week in a certain way, and then the city’s walls fell down, enabling the attack to succeed.
When we examine Christ’s many healings, it seems as though there was no one method that He consistently used. Otherwise, Christians might have been tempted to equate spiritual healing with certain rituals based on what He did, rather than through having faith in and obeying Jesus.
Keep these lessons in mind when considering how Christian professionals should encourage their clients to serve more Godly purposes. Avoid focusing on the details of how God has worked in the past, but, rather, look for the lessons of what God wants us to remember as in the memorial that God directed Moses to write in the book and to recount in Joshua’s hearing: Heed His messages, obey His directions, and build faith in His will being accomplished regardless of what appears to be happening at the moment.
Any description of best practices should begin by including relevant prophecies from the Bible. His Word is full of prophecies; some scholars estimate that the text is almost one-third prophecies. God made such proclamations, in part, to help us build our faith by comparing the truth of His Word with seemingly spiritual books that don’t contain valid prophecies. In addition, His unfulfilled prophecies are promises of what is to come. Further, His prophecies give us instructions about what His will is, such as when God told Moses that He would war with Amalek from generation to generation.
God also makes promises to individuals. Christian professionals should keep journals in which they record what they perceive to be messages from God or the Holy Spirit. Such messages may occur as answers to prayers, through dreams, being drawn to or struck by a particular Bible verse, through an occurrence, by a sign, or something else remarkable or compelling. If there is any problem interpreting the spiritual message, Christians should pray for guidance and the wisdom to understand and apply God’s will.
Many professionals will benefit by separating messages about performing their work from other messages from the Holy Spirit. Seeing just the messages that are applicable to professional conduct may make it clearer what God intends, much as writing this book and receiving His reactions to it have helped me to better appreciate how God intends to use tutors to help His people become more fruitful in serving Him.
Before visiting with a current or prospective client, Christian professionals should pray for the wisdom to help the client to be more fruitful for Him. Professionals should also experiment with other ways to serve Him through various prayers. For instance, Christian professionals might ask clients if they would like to offer a prayer before business discussions begin. If the clients don’t object to praying but don’t want to lead the prayer, the professional could ask for permission to pray on everyone’s behalf.
Much as God directed the Israelites to behave differently so they could win various battles, God and the Holy Spirit will probably provide unique guidance about what to do while serving different clients and performing each professional task for them. Such spiritual directions may include how to witness for Him as well as what spiritual purposes the client should follow. For instance, a management consultant might receive directions from the Holy Spirit to encourage a magazine-publishing client to include Christian columns in its secular periodicals, while an architect might be guided to design a new building for the publisher that includes Christian symbols such as the cross.
Let’s next consider how tutors can help professionals to write their Christian testimonies.
Assist Professionals to Write Their Testimonies
A true witness delivers souls,
But a deceitful witness speaks lies.
— Proverbs 14:25 (NKJV)
Before commenting on the special opportunities for helping Christian professionals to write their testimonies, let me refer you to Chapter 5 of Witnessing Made Easy: Yes, You Can Make a Difference (Jubilee Worship Center Step by Step Press, 2010) by Bishop Dale P. Combs, Lisa Combs, Jim Barbarossa, Carla Barbarossa, and me, describing a helpful method for encouraging and assisting witnesses to write their testimonies.
While a personal testimony usually focuses on how someone lived before being saved, why the person decided to seek Salvation, and what the results have been from following Jesus, a professional’s testimony also provides an opportunity to describe ways that God has helped the Christian’s clients to achieve better results. Most professionals haven’t thought much about including clients in their testimonies, and tutors can help such professionals by sharing colleagues’ testimonies that include such information and posing questions designed to help remind the writer of what God has done for various clients.
Let me add a word of caution. In most professions, there’s an ethical obligation to keep client information confidential. Christians who are writing testimonies about what has happened with their clients should be careful to observe such ethical restraints. Even where no formal disclosure limits exist, it’s a good idea to check with clients for permission before revealing anything about them. In some cases, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find that clients will be delighted to give God the glory for the bounty they have received from Him, and the testimonies can be made more powerful through sharing a client’s praise report.
Fortunately, there are effective ways to protect a client’s privacy while still sharing valuable experiences. In some cases, for instance, the client may grant permission to write anonymously about the work, just as long as the client cannot be indirectly identified. In other cases, a client may want just a few details removed. Conversations about publicly sharing experiences also provide excellent opportunities to help draw clients closer to Him.
In being cautious about including client information in testimonies and while witnessing, it’s always good to remember that Christians should avoid the appearance of wrongdoing, as well as any actual wrongdoing. When including either clients’ names or information, it’s good to indicate that clients have reviewed the material and approved its use.
Tutors’ testimonies will provide valuable examples to encourage and to focus colleagues on preparing their testimonies. Before assisting any Christian colleagues to write their testimonies, tutors should be sure to have completed their own testimonies, including the work-related aspects both before and after gaining Salvation.
In some situations, clients may be willing to provide complementary testimonies that share their personal and work-related Salvation stories, including descriptions of the activities done with the Christian professionals who are preparing their own testimonies. Being able to share both sets of perspectives through written testimonies can be especially powerful for demonstrating the value of professionals doing more to serve Him through their client work.
If the Christian professional and client are both willing to share their experiences in testimonies, chances are that they will also be willing to do so through in public discussions and videos of such conversations. Such sharing examples will be highly encouraging to professionals and clients who otherwise might feel afraid to relate their experiences.
With permission from the testimony authors, tutors can also create online sites where Christian professionals can read testimonies by their colleagues and the colleagues’ clients. Make any audio and video recordings of discussions available there, as well. What a blessing such sites will be to those who need examples and encouragement to witness!
Although more could certainly be described here about assisting with writing testimonies, I believe that tutors will find whatever background information and examples they need in Witnessing Made Easy and from online resources. Tutors can also help independent professionals by sharing and commenting on professionally relevant Bible verses that can improve testimonies, witnessing, and helping clients to understand the benefits of engaging in the Lord’s purposes. Let’s look more closely at finding the right Scriptures for such purposes.
Research Appropriate Bible Verses
for Professionals to Share with Their Clients
For the word of God is living and powerful,
and sharper than any two-edged sword,
piercing even to the division of soul and spirit,
and of joints and marrow,
and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
— Hebrews 4:12 (NKJV)
I encourage Christians to include in their testimonies the Bible verse that best summarizes their walks with the Lord. As you can see from Appendix A (my personal testimony), my summary verse is “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up (James 4:10, NKJV).” The verse is a wonderful reminder of Jesus’ willingness to sacrifice Himself so that we might gain Salvation, letting Himself be condemned to death by one of the most cruel and lengthy methods, crucifixion. At His death Jesus was at the lowest in the flesh, but He soon overcame death and was lifted up through His resurrection and ascension to serve and to intercede for us at the right hand of God, the Father. This verse also reminds me of the temptations for authors and consultants to think too highly of themselves and the importance of overcoming any prideful feelings.
I well remember the difficulties of learning how to find relevant Bible verses for The 2,000 Percent Solution and the 400 Year Project books published since then. At first, I tried computer searches using modern words to find verses containing such words from which people could gain broader meanings of the book’s text. That method didn’t work very well because Biblical Hebrew and Greek are seldom translated into modern English words that express today’s secular concepts.
While working on the books, I also did a lot of Bible reading and study. Gradually, I found that the Holy Spirit would remind me of a specific Bible incident, parable, or prophecy that paralleled the topic I wanted to illuminate. When I couldn’t remember where the verses were, I used various key words to search for the right sections. This method worked a lot better than my earlier approach, and I could quickly find just the right verses to use almost every time.
Later, I began asking pastors to review my book drafts, and they sometimes identified Biblical themes that appeared in several different book sections and suggested that the themes be expanded. By locating and supplying more verses that displayed other dimensions of such themes, the Bible references I included became richer in expressing Godly lessons.
Sometimes, I found that a particular verse seemed more appropriate than any other, but the verse’s full meaning wasn’t clear to me. By reading Bible commentaries, study guides, and dictionaries, I gradually began to understand more of the meaning. Assuming that others might be having as much trouble as I was, I started including explanations of how the verses related to whatever point I was making, as I did in this chapter while explaining about the lessons to draw from Israelite battle methods and Jesus’ ways of healing.
Because few people today have studied the Bible from cover to cover, anyone looking for excellent ways to illuminate meanings through verses should add explanations of the passages and linkages to other Bible verses. Otherwise, many readers won’t understand the context of a verse or the point that the Bible’s Holy Spirit inspired the verse’s human author to portray.
The Holy Spirit is also very helpful for pointing out verses. In a large percentage of the cases while I was looking for a verse and had just completed an unsatisfying search, within 24 hours I either heard a sermon containing or unintentionally read the perfect Bible verse. Stay in the Word as much as you can while looking for Bible verses, and the Holy Spirit will lead your ears and eyes to where you need to go.
After I began writing about witnessing, I also began assembling lists of verses about sharing Christian faith. Wanting to improve the lists keeps me searching for verses and better ways to order the ones I have. Creating an archive of professionally related verses and developing informative lists will probably provide similar benefits to tutors.
Encouraging Christian professionals to speak to clients about following His will, documenting future and ideal best practices, helping professionals to write their testimonies, and finding professionally relevant Bible verses will also lead to tutors to learn about more examples of God’s purposes being fulfilled. By sharing the information gained, tutors can provide documentation to help professionals become more effective in describing client benefits gained through God’s supernatural direction and support. Let’s consider how best to assist professionals by providing such documentations.
Describe the Results That Clients Receive
After Choosing to Serve More Godly Purposes
God is my strength and power,
And He makes my way perfect.
— 2 Samuel 22:33 (NKJV)
Tutors must be careful while documenting client results after they choose to follow more Godly purposes. There’s a human tendency to overstate the positive consequences of a practice that someone favors. Any exaggerations can be very harmful by misleading those who receive the incorrect descriptions. Wrong decisions may follow. In addition, someone who investigates the facts will discover the inaccuracies and will caution others to avoid belief in the practice. When such corrections are needed and occur, faith can be harmed. I encourage tutors to ask one another to check each others’ documentations with an eye to understating (rather than overstating) what took place.
How do I know about these problems? When I investigated published reports about benefits from various non-Christian spiritual practices, I could not independently establish that any of the results had occurred. After awhile, I felt that I was wasting my time with the investigation, and I stopped looking for objective evidence concerning the practices. Skeptics about the truth underlying Christian faith will undoubtedly supply similar reality tests for any tutors’ assertions.
If God’s power has helped an organization to fulfill more of His purposes, the results should make His influence pretty obvious. After all, His power is infinite and based on all knowledge.
If tutors find that evidence for His influence is anything less than spectacular and overwhelming, I encourage them to conclude that either God’s purposes weren’t met or He didn’t choose to add His authority and power to the situation. Stop before documenting such examples.
I also encourage tutors to avoid trying to capture frequencies of when positive results occurred. God’s will has been perfectly reflected in whatever the results have been. It’s misleading to report a frequency as though that number indicates positive future results. We know from the Bible and personal experiences that God always keeps His promises. When supernatural support isn’t supplied, it’s not as though He is asleep or isn’t paying attention. Sometimes He doesn’t bless a given situation because it would be harmful to us or to others in ways we don’t appreciate, or He has a later time in mind for the blessings.
Think of documenting client results as being a lot like Moses writing about God’s parting the Red Sea in Exodus 14. You just need to properly tell the story of what happened when He acted, and everyone will get the point.
Professionals and clients will want to know more than just the outcome of what is documented. Escaping from the Egyptians wouldn’t inspire anyone if the whole story was summarized as, “And the Israelites crossed the Red Sea with God’s help.” From such a sentence, some people might assume that the Israelites crossed on boats and there was no bad weather during their passages.
Tutors should begin with the background of why God’s help was needed. Examples where the client’s situation appeared to be hopeless will be most compelling. The Red Sea crossing, for instance, is powerful because the Israelites were hemmed in by the water with a hostile army charging to slaughter them. If God hadn’t parted the Red Sea and destroyed the Egyptian army, there wouldn’t have been much to write about in the rest of the Old Testament concerning the Israelites.
Next, the narrative should describe the supernatural aspect of the help. Otherwise, disbelieving readers will simply equate the benefit with random variance or “good luck.” In the Red Sea parting, Moses says that the people were afraid and complained, indicating that they didn’t see any way out. In response, God’s prophet told them that the Lord would fight for them and that they would see the Egyptians no more. Here’s a clear prophecy that was soon tested. The Lord also told Moses to direct the children of Israel toward the Red Sea. The command suggests that God wanted them to show their obedience, to rely on Him, and that He had a supernatural solution in mind. Once there, He told Moses to lift up the rod of God and to stretch out his hand over the sea to divide it. A strong wind came up and the sea was divided. The waters rose like walls on both sides of the passage, and the Israelites went through on dry ground. When the Egyptians tried to follow, their chariot wheels fell off and they moved with difficulty. After the Israelites had crossed, God told Moses to stretch his hand over the sea to cover the Egyptians, their chariots, and their horsemen. Moses did as he was told, and that was the end of the Egyptian army.
In this example of God’s fulfillment of a prophecy, the communications from the Lord and the results gained by Moses and the Israelites make it clear that God was the source of the rescue, not a random act of nature. If someone were to go to the same spot today and try to duplicate the results without God’s divine intervention, the Red Sea wouldn’t respond. If any such Divine communications occur in your examples, be sure to capture them for readers.
Finally, the story should make it clear how to find witnesses who can attest to what is described. In the case of the Red Sea crossing, 600,000 men plus uncounted women and children went through the passage into the Sinai wilderness. If you later found an Israelite in the wilderness following Moses, you could have asked the person about the crossing and heard the event verified by someone who had been there. After you talked to quite a few people, you would have become convinced that the event occurred even if it seemed “impossible” to you. It’s also good to include quotes from those who participated in the event verifying that God’s supernatural power was present.
I particularly commend making videos of the most dramatic examples, particularly if there is something visual that can be captured to make God’s impact clearer. I would love to see a video of the Red Sea parting, wouldn’t you? When witnesses are interviewed as part of such videos, the candor of their testimonies will help viewers to test the witnesses’ credibility.
I also encourage tutors to prepare several versions of the examples and to ask skeptical people to review them. Take seriously any challenges to the accuracy or meaning of the event, and make any necessary improvements. Stick with the version that appears to skeptics to be the most honest and accurate.
Unfortunately, space doesn’t permit more suggestions about documentation methods. Pray for guidance, read examples from the Bible, and I’m sure the Holy Spirit will direct your communications to document God’s support in the best way.
Let’s look at the final role that I suggest for tutors of independent professionals: introducing professionals to other professionals who follow the same Christian practices.
Introduce Professionals to Other Professionals
Who Follow the Same Christian Practices
Greet every saint in Christ Jesus.
The brethren who are with me greet you.
— Philippians 4:21 (NKJV)
If all Christians publicly proclaim their allegiance to Jesus and share testimonies online about what He had done for them, professionals could simply rely on Internet searches to locate others who follow the same practices. Unfortunately, most professionals keep their allegiance to the Lord secret from all but those in their churches and families.
While increasing my public witnessing, I noticed that many Christians are comfortable witnessing to others they know are born-again believers … but not to anyone else. If, for instance, you visit the public version of a Christian professional’s page on a social networking site, references to faith will usually be hidden. If you then are permitted to link with that person or to become their “friend” online, you see more of their information and can find out quite a bit about what they believe and how they exercise their faith. As you can imagine, such “witnessing” doesn’t do a lot to encourage faith among unbelievers.
Fortunately, comfort with sharing beliefs with Christian brothers and sisters means that social networking sites can be used to help identify professionals with similar practices. A typical professional’s profile on such sites will contain information about the person’s faith, church service, witnessing, career, and volunteer activities.
Here’s an example of how a tutor might identify Christian professionals and their practices by using a social Web site. An architect who is a tutor might launch an identity on such a site as “Witnessing Christian Architect.” Architects who witness to their clients and those who think they might want to do the same could easily locate such an identity, and software tools on the site would probably help introduce people who have that intent to one another. To provide further clues, the tutor could frequently post Bible verses that are professionally relevant to architects who witness to clients or think that they might like to start doing so. Once linked to any witnessing architect by the site, the tutor could then check out the profiles of the others who are linked to the witnessing architect and offer the opportunity to link up via a message about sharing information about architects witnessing to and encouraging clients to adopt more Godly purposes. In addition, the tutor could routinely ask architects on the site who are “friends” to suggest people who should receive “friend” invitations.
By sending messages to others who are “linked” or “friends,” tutors can start discussions and share experiences and information. The more stimulating such interchanges are, the more likely it is that other professionals will participate.
I’m sure that social networking sites will continue to evolve in terms of how they allow access to other people, so I don’t want to prescribe any one method as ideal. Such a recommended method might quickly cease to be available or to be the optimal approach. I suggest, instead, that tutors from different professions share information about their experiences with such social networking sites to find better ways to locate Christian professionals, to find out about their client practices, and to share information.
Naturally, videos can also be a powerful tool through sites that feature such materials. A powerful online video demonstrating what God can do for clients who do more to serve Him would be forwarded online throughout the profession.
Any Christian professional organizations or chapters can also offer helpful ways to network by putting up online networking tools for their members. I encourage tutors to work with people who are good with social media to establish protocols and software that will enable the kind of mutual checking out that can lead to good professional relationships among strangers. If standard online social media formats are used by each professional group and the groups are electronically linked, then professionals in related activities will also find it to be easier to locate one another.
Finally, online article marketing may be an opportunity to share documented client successes in receiving supernatural support to serve God’s purposes. Most sites that publish such articles allow a link in the author information section that can be used to direct interested readers to the authors.
Some tutors may welcome the opportunity to develop professional careers in a role as described in this chapter. Chapter Twelve guides such individuals in how to select a specialty, to gain the knowledge needed to perform the specialty, to attract learners, to earn a living from the activity, and to improve their effectiveness.
Copyright © 2011 by Donald W. Mitchell. All rights reserved.