A Culture of Work

Pulling together to build a new dormitory water system.

I don’t necessarily like work, but I love accomplishment, and so does our team – we live to succeed!

Here’s three diligent enemies of work:

1. Delegation: Passing your work on to others is a big cop out. Do you know any great delegators: giving assignments to others and then going absent? They quickly lose respect.

Both Moses and Jesus established a culture of work by, “Showing them the work they must do.” I’m the leader so I must work by example. If my disciples become something more than me, it’ll be because they’ve followed someone else.

I often hear, “Let me do that for you!” Why? Because I don’t sit behind a desk making up work for other people to do, I work, and they see me working, and they work with me, right through supper time.

How can we build a culture of diligent work?

1. Work Hard: As a pioneer, I have learned, led, and trained through every department of this ministry, from accounting to TV production. That meant learning a new profession about every year, but now I know what each team member and department can accomplish because I’ve been there myself.

2. Don’t Work to Rule: Workers tend to unionize but we must lead them toward fulfillment instead. Seldom do I hear someone say, “That’s not my job. ” or, “Just make the rules and expectations clear.” That attitude goes against our ministry culture because it’s an attempt to do the minimum and get paid the maximum.

3. No Down Time: Jesus didn’t teach his disciples to have family time, holidays, or sick days. Our down time shouldn’t be to get away from life and ministry but to focus more effectively. Even our hobbies should come out of a heart to learn, create and reach further. Jesus and His guys retreated to prayer when they were tired.

Terry and I raised our kids in the ministry, they were involved and responsible, because serving Jesus is a family core value. We set up home schooling for our kids so we could shut school down and travel together at every opportunity. We spent every summer holiday in some far away city helping evangelize the lost and grow the churches. Sound like hard work? We had 33 children, slept on floors and cooked over an open fire.

Have you met any of our kids?  They are hard workers, and successful.

There is one simple way to build a culture of hard work – go first, quit last, and work hard!

Visitors who see extreme poverty for the first time often ask why nobody is working and yet there seems to be so many opportunities.

What do you think might be missing? What can we do about it?

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2 responses to “A Culture of Work

  1. I’ve lived this with you Dr. Al. And yes everyone, he lives what he preaches. God’s Word says Gal. 6:7 “God is not mocked, whatsoever a man sows he reaps.” I know you lead by example. You wanted hardworking, diligent workers so you worked hard and long yourself. Now you’re reaping hardworking, diligent workers and it’s no accident. God watches over His Word to perform in all areas. The hand of the diligent tend to plenty. My question to me and you. Are we seeing plenty? If not. maybe we need to look at how diligent we are? Just a thought.

  2. Get you for the most part. But not completely. Jesus did say to his disciple to come apart and rest awhile. There is rest as a huge principle in life…ah a real sabbath . I am not a shirker of responsibility.but we will burn out ourselves and those who follow if we don’t follow the work and rest pattern. We need down time for creativity, joy, and regeneration of our minds, bodies and spirits. Funny thing is that even our rest needs to be purposeful and intentional or it will not be fruitful. For example compare two hours in front of the TV as opposed to two hours over coffee with a best friend….or on a walk or in your case a bike ride!

    Those who work along side us usually love us…until they are so burned out from giving their all that they find themselves worn out and empty…it is a rhythm . Yes they may love what they do….and even work past dinner on occasion..but this article sounds, to me, like rest is pooh poohed. Btw. I know you take a break from time to time….and I know you could do with a few more! Even if a break is still working.. It is a rest producing activity as it something that you are refreshing yourself with. Ie that hobby you spoke of….just saying…

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