In the past month, Transitions has added more than 1000 followers on FaceBook and it occurred to me that many of our new readers have no idea how all this got started. So, tonight I thought I would give a little background in the hopes that we will continue to grow and spread the Good News – providing people encouragement and the hope that comes from recognizing that God is always with us and that having faith is the key to embracing the changes that we all experience.
For more than 35 years, my main focus has been working with people to help them find new jobs. It’s been quite a journey – assisting more than 15,000 to find jobs and more than 60,000 total in coaching and mentoring. In the beginning, I tried to do all this in my own power, but it just wasn’t to be. Eventually, when I was in my mid-forties (I turned 64 a week ago) I longed to attend seminary and although my undergrad work was in economics, I quickly embraced the study of Greek, Hebrew, Theology and all the other disciplines that seminary affords.
Make no mistake – I loved my time in seminary – but the truth is that I probably wasn’t cut out to be a traditional pastor, even though I was ordained and have performed more than 600 weddings! In fact, when asked to choose a mission field when I started my doctoral work, I chose the American workplace – and to this day that is still my favorite mission field. That’s really where I connect with people… a point of common ground, if you will.
You see, people spend more time at work than any other portion of their lives, including sleep, and families are negatively impacted when jobs are lost or careers derailed. So that’s where I step in – providing encouragement and a roadmap to get back in the game. In a way, that’s how Transitions got started. It was a way to reach people and demonstrate the work of God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit in my own life – an illustration and real time case study that confirms God is present and active in each of our lives.
And it morphed into something more than strictly career advice – we now touch any element of life that involves transition – jobs, elder care, empty nesters, marriage, baptism, communion and all the other issues that affect Christian families in today’s world. During the past month, you may have noticed that some posts are more devotional in nature while others tend to be more inclined to teach something – admittedly one of my passions. Perhaps you have also noticed that each post follows a specific pattern – a story, followed by a verse, an encouragement and a prayer. That way, if you are in a hurry, you can go right to the portion of the post that you are looking for, knowing right where to find what you need.
We also hope you noticed that subscribing to Transitions by The Book is free – and it is going to stay that way. In fact, we are going to expand – very shortly we will also have a podcast that will highlight stories and teachings from the Bible that will help people who are changing jobs. We hope that you will look forward to that! And we will continue to post at least several times a week. If you visit our website, or read the posts, you can always read past articles for hope and encouragement. In fact, there are more than 1215 posts out there on the site for you to read…
As we have started to go viral this last month, it seems to me that we should touch on the original mission of the disciples after the ascension of Jesus. They were told to go forth and spread the Good News – and they did. From those apostles, Christianity has spread for more than 2000 years and the Bible has become the best selling book of all time. And let’s face it – the disciples didn’t have the benefit of the internet or social media. But for their day, they did go “viral.” What a wonderful job they did and now it is up to us, as Christ followers, to continue the mission.
Our verse for tonight is the Great Commission from Matthew 28:18-20, “Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
My encouragement this evening is that this is the mission that God wants each of us to embrace. It is the mission that Transitions has tried to facilitate for the past six years and will continue to do for years to come. My prayer is that if you have been blessed or encouraged by these posts, you will pass us on to somebody else in need; or share us on your FB page. And please write us with comments! Imagine where we could be if each one would reach one! Then we will continue the work started by the apostles more than 2000 years ago in a place far, far away! Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace… and thanks for being a part of the Transitions family!