“There’s something happening here…”
It’s been over 50 years since Stephen Stills’ song – performed by him in the band Buffalo Springfield – used that line in verse one of “For What it’s Worth.” During Vietnam, it was written to give voice to reasoned protest against the way things are in favor of the way they could be, better. Movements founded in protest come and go; movements formed for better are lasting…
We’re a little late in this week’s release; my weekend was spent in Washington, DC in the company of marketplace leaders from across America. Mobilizers from multiple Kingdom entities that exist to stimulate the Christian chiefs of for-profit firms joined forces there to challenge an audience of men and women whose eternal influence peaks from Monday to Friday.
For over 40 years, I’ve been in settings where the importance of that worldview was being proposed in conference rooms and coffee shops. Times have changed; the people carrying that banner today – and, the streets they’re marching down as they mobilize momentum behind it – suggest that there is a divine force behind that message.
If the culture of the last Millennium was challenging, the modern era for leaders with a biblical worldview in the marketplace is even more hostile. Using Stills’ words, “There’s battle lines being drawn; nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong. Young people speaking their minds; getting so much resistance from behind, it’s time we stop, hey, what’s that sound? Everybody look what’s going down…”
Generations-back, the biblical model for life was still in vogue; today, anything sourced in Scripture is immediately eliminated from consideration. The result: American family life has failed, and the family output – children elevated to adulthood – is broken. What God calls “true religion” (not jeans, but James) is Kingdom care directed toward women without husbands – widows – and children without fathers – orphans. “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” (1:27)
The tragic failure of men to be righteous in their lifestyles, marketplace and relationships has resulted in our culture’s effort to eliminate men from the societal formula. Today, we are told women don’t need husbands – and children don’t need fathers – to achieve their best life. Like an amputee redefining life without a vital limb, contemporary contenders are out to prove that they don’t need a healthy family to experience their full potential. Life is best with intact limbs; absent that, a best-in-class prosthesis is an alternative…
Here’s an amazing reality: the American family is shrinking, but the American workplace is expanding. More adults have job titles than marriage titles: over 70% of grown-ups have careers, but only 50% have spouses. Adults with jobs have more conversations with their supervisors than with their fathers, and one’s boss is likely more current on life issues than the dad with whom there may not be more than a holiday presence.
Something’s happening here. Thirty years ago, Dr. Billy Graham expressed his belief that the next great revival in America would likely spring from the marketplace.
Devout Christians spend a few hours each week in church-related activities; the nominal believers make time two to three times a month for the 90 minute park-sit-leave appearance on Sunday. The majority of those Christians spend most of their week in the context of their professional life, the marketplace, and are most likely to find their friends – and, if they ultimately marry – their spouse within those contacts. Their experience with influence – both receiving it, and extending it – will happen there.
Something’s happening here. We – The Master’s Program – are in the vortex of that happening. You’ll be hearing more in the days ahead. God is up to something, and you in the marketplace are part of it…