Eight Ideas for How to use the Enneagram for Business Success

No matter what type of business you run you want it to be successful! You want to make a difference in the world. You want to do what you enjoy. You want to make a comfortable living.

There is a great tool available called the Enneagram to help you to bring out the best with owners, management, and staff. The Enneagram for business can help you and your organization to be at its best.

The Enneagram is a tool to help you to learn more about yourself and your colleagues. It helps you to understand yourself. To answer the question, what makes me tick? Why do I see the world the way I do? Why do I get along better with particular people? Why do others annoy me?

The Enneagram shines the light on your habitual patterns which become a problem when you act them out unconsciously.

There are nine different personality types.  At an early age, you are given a personality to survive in the world. You could not survive without an ego. The trouble begins when you become an adult and remain unconscious of your automatic patterns. The Enneagram can help you to discover your personality type, giving the tools you need to move beyond the limitations of your personality.

The Enneagram points to where you get stuck. It is not an excuse to behave a particular way. The good news is that it shows you a way to freedom helping you to get stronger in all nine personality types.

The healthier the people in your business are, the more profitable your business will be. Here are eight ways for how you can use the Enneagram for business success:

 

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1.     Self Awareness:

Self-awareness of each member of the organization is crucial to the well-being of any group. If you are not self-aware, you are more likely to make poor decisions.

The Enneagram can help you to become aware of habitual patterns that no longer serve you. Here are some patterns that each type can identify.

Type One: The Reformer: You always need to get things perfect.

Type Two: The Helper: You have a habit of Ignoring your own physical and emotional needs

Type Three: The Achiever: You are preoccupied with the need for approval

Type Four: The Individualist: You often  get stuck in a favorite emotion

Type Five: The Investigator: You have a tendency to isolate from those around you

Type Six: The Loyalist:  You have the challenge of seeing problems where there are none

Type Seven: The Enthusiast: You get bored quickly and have trouble finishing what you start.

Type Eight: The Challenger: You can come across as overly forceful

Type Nine: The Peacemaker: You need to watch out for your tendency toward passive-aggressive behavior

 

2.     Communication:

The more you learn about your type and the types of those around you the better you are able to communicate. As you get to know yourself better, with compassion, the more you are able to do this with others.

The Enneagram helps you to understand why each of us sees the world differently. Getting to know what another person’s type helps you to become aware how that person sees the world. It helps you to understand the struggles they face when they are feeling under pressure.

The Enneagram helps you to be more present. It helps you to let go of your fears of the past and future. It helps you to open up your three brain centers, the body, emotions, and mind. This helps you to be a better listener.

The Enneagram gives you clues to how you can best communicate with each other. For example, if you want to talk with a type eight personality you will need to be upfront and honest with them. It will be important for that person to know that you are there to help them achieve their goals.

If you want to talk with a type six, it would be helpful to emphasize your loyalty to what they are doing. It is essential for you to take the concern of your colleague for safety in the organization seriously such as physical, relational, and spiritual health.

Working with the Enneagram helps you to own your own issues. It helps to prevent you reading into other people’s behavior. It reduces the chance of serious conflict. It challenges you to focus on yourself rather than blaming another person for your own insecurities.

 

3.     Conflict Resolution:

Anytime you have people in a room with different ideas you have conflict. The challenge is to use conflict constructively. The Enneagram points each type to see where they get stuck. It gives you tools to free yourself from your own stuff that often get in the way of resolving issues.

Think of a time when you were misunderstood. So much conflict arises from poor communication. Part of it is that we need to communicate our ideas in an open and nonjudgmental way. The other is that we need to become better listeners. When we are in our world of our personality, it is difficult to hear what are the issues.

When you are stuck in your personality, it is difficult to resolve any conflict because our bag of tools is limited.  Imagine that you only have one-ninth of the tools available to you when you are stuck in your personality.

As you get healthier in all nine types, your life toolbag expands to deal with the complexities of interpersonal conflict.  You get more able to hear what your colleague is trying to tell you. You have the skills to deal with difference of opinions and find win-win solutions that benefit everyone.

 

4.     Self Care

Have you ever wondered why you have such a difficult time balancing your needs and obligations in life?  The Enneagram can help you to understand why you have particular challenges in finding balance in your life.

For example, if you identify with the type two personality called the helper you can become so focused on helping others that you forget that you have your own needs.  If you recognize with type five personality, you might remember your need to take care of your body with exercise and good food.

Self-care requires you to find harmony within your three intelligence centers. Your body needs you to pay attention to it because it will tell you when you are out of balance. You need to pay attention to your heart because it will guide you to love yourself and those around you. Your quiet mind will help you learn to trust your inner guidance system.

 

5.     Organizational Structure:

A healthy organization requires people to use their gifts. Most jobs in an organization relate closer to a particular Enneagram type or at least one of the tri-types such as body, heart or head.

The specific type of jobs requires people with particular personality types. For example, you probably don’t want a person doing customer service to type eight personality. They might quickly overwhelm the customer. A type nine the peacemaker or a type one who is really good at details might just be the best for the job.

This is not to say that only specific types can work in different jobs. A healthy person who has strengths in all nine types could work in just about any job position.

Each person will find different jobs more appealing because the position requires the skills that come most readily to them.

A healthy business requires a diversity of skills and personalities to help the organization work as a whole. Then the Enneagram provides you with tools to help people get along with each other.  When you have the right people in the positions, the organization is more likely going to work together harmoniously. A harmonious team is a more profitable firm.

 

6.     Management Style:

A healthy manager is one that knows themselves well. The Enneagram helps each manager to be at their best. This tool helps you as a manager to identify your strengths and weaknesses. It provides you with suggestions as to what you need to work on to be a more productive leader.

A manager who knows his or her team well will find the best ways to encourage each of their employees.  A manager with a type three worker will want to draw on their ability to be a great mentor in the organization. A manager with a type four worker will want to connect with their sense of heart and beauty. Type fours are some of the most creative people in the world.

When you are able to live in the moment, all your three intelligence centers will be open. Thus giving you the tools to help bring out the best in each of your employees. When you are stuck in your personality, you will miss much because you will be so preoccupied with yourself.

With the help of the Enneagram, you will learn to find the best ways to work with each of your employees. Each person, depending on their personality and their emotional health will need different skills. You will discover the strengths of each of your employees and be able to encourage them to continue working on issues that are holding them back.

 

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7.     Bottom Line:

All businesses are concerned with the bottom line. A company that has a group of healthy of leaders and workers are going to be ones who make the most money and have the satisfaction of making a difference in the world.

Healthy and satisfied employees will require less sick leave. They will be more efficient. They will do great work. Customer service will get stronger.

Employees will stay with your organization longer because they are happy and satisfied with the work they do. You will lower your need to find new staff as often as you have before. Fewer new staff require less job training.

A healthy staff that does excellent customer services is going to become popular with customers. Return customers always add to the profit line. They become your most significant advertisers because they recommend you to friends and family.

 

8.     Visioning:

The Enneagram helps you to vision with a body that is present, a heart that is open and a mind that is calm.

Visioning requires you and your staff to be present. Anyone that is stuck in personality is going to get in the way of the company’s health.  Team players who are stuck will allow their own personal issues get in the way of their ability to do their work.

The Enneagram helps you to connect with your higher self. When you are open to the wisdom within you, and around you, new ideas emerge that have the potential to take you and your company in new and exciting directions.

The Enneagram for business can help you and your organization to be healthier, happier, meaningful, responsible and productive.  The Enneagram will help you and your management and staff with self-awareness, communications, conflict resolution, self-care, organizational structure, management style, bottom line and visioning.

When you and your staff are bringing their best forth into the organization self-confidence improves, creativity is brought to the forefront, conflict is more easily resolved, mutuality is honored, and work becomes a fun place to be.

When you use the Enneagram in combination with coaching, it becomes a productive long-term program. It helps owners, management, and staff to be self-aware, and also to be in the best position for them, and the company.  It supports all in the business to have excellent skills in communication.

With time and dedication, through working with the Enneagram, you will help you and your company a happy place to work, and it will enhance your profits. It improves your earnings through increased productivity, enhanced creativity, honest and helpful feedback from all staff and excellent customer service.

 

Roland Legge offers coaching through REL Consultants for individuals, and executives to help them to be the best they can be. For more information, please arrange for a free 30-minute discovery call by phoning Roland at 1 306 620-7478, or you can email Roland at rolandlegge@relconsultants.com

 

Originally Published by REL Consultants http://www.relconsultants.com

The Seven Benefits of Good Relationships at Work

You spend a lot of time at work. Life is short so why don’t you make the best of your time.  Being able to enjoy your connections with those you work with makes a world of difference. Here are some of the benefits of good relationships at work.

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The Enneagram an Excellent Tool

The Enneagram personality system helps you to get along better with your colleagues. It helps you to get to know yourself and understand others better.

When you come into the world, you naturally are given one of nine different ways to survive in the world. Both your genetic background and early life experiences influence the personality type you receive.

When you know what type you are, you begin to understand why you act the way you do. It also gives you clues as to what makes others tick. All this makes it possible for healthier relationships with your self and others. For more information on the Enneagram, please see last weeks blog.

Good Relationships Make a Difference

There are many reasons to have good relationships at work:

Feelings of Well-Being:

1.     Building relationships with your colleagues enhance your feelings of well-being. You feel supported not only in your paid work but in your general welfare as a human being.  You no longer have to divide your self between your personal and work life. You can be yourself in both places.

The Enneagram personality system helps you to become more present allowing you to be fully open at the moment. When you are open,  you are better able to create healthier boundaries. Healthy boundaries enable you to be fully present to another person without having to give up your own needs.

Communication Makes the World Go Around:

2.     Excellent communication makes your business more productive. Your ability to communicate with others increases as you build healthy relationships with those at work. The best way to talk with a colleague is by being fully open to their body language, emotions and what they have to say.

Communication is enhanced through working with the Enneagram. When you can see how different you see the world as compared to others, it opens the door to better understanding.

As you get healthier in all nine types, you have an excellent communication toolbox to get your message across in the most helpful way.

So much can get in the way of your people understanding you. The Enneagram shows you the places you tend to get stuck.

You begin to see your blind spots such as overcompensating for your lack of worth by focussing more on the needs of others and/or overly criticizing others for not completing tasks in the exact way you wanted.

A company that uses the Enneagram with staff and management helps your organization to get along with each other.  Learning the nine fundamental ways to function in the world helps to create self-awareness. This is the first step to excellent communication.

The Power of Collegiality:

3.     Collegiality is fundamental for a company to be productive, not only for staff getting along with each other but in relationships with your customers and clients.

For collegial relationships to be active and healthy, you need to move beyond your personality. The Enneagram points out where you get stuck in your habits. The Enneagram provides you a map to get out of your box.

When you are open to your three energy centers, through,  personal development, space opens up in your relationships. Creating space allows for bridges to be built across diverse views.  You make this happen by sharing skills, being open about your abilities, and expressing your creativity.

Collegiality at its best is like a dance where everybody knows how to move with each other bringing out your best.

Unmask Your Creativity:

4.     Creativity is a misunderstood word. How creative do you believe you are? You and everyone else has an artistic side. Did someone in your life try to silence your artistic side?

The Enneagram points to the creativity in you and everyone else. You are naturally creative when you are open to experiencing the world through our bodies, emotions and quiet mind.

When you have a group of people feeling good and enjoying the comradery of your colleagues, you will have a natural desire and ability to be creative.

You will no longer view the world as dualistic. Problems that seemed insurmountable, you will find a new way to move ahead. You and your colleagues will be free to try new ideas and retry old ideas that in another time didn’t work or given a chance.

You and your company are going to move ahead with greater confidence and ease.

Investing in Mental Health:

5.     Your physical, mental and spiritual health are vital to you and your organization.  More and more companies are encouraging their employees like you to stay active and fit through providing access to gyms, yoga classes and other forms of group exercise.

Your spiritual well-being is congruent with the worth you connect with the work you do. Doing work that goes against your values will destroy you. You want people in your places of work that believe what you are doing is essential and adds value to the world.

The Enneagram is a great tool to help you find balance in your life. It helps you to see what is missing in your life and what you overindulge. It not only helps you to name what is not, in balance but gives you clues to find balance again.

The Power of Conflict:

6.     Do you like conflict? You are probably like many who do not enjoy conflict unless you are one of the few people who thrive on it.

Conflict is prevalent in your life. You have conflict soon as you have a group of people with different points of view. In your diverse world, it is reasonable and healthy to have a difference of opinion.

As the Enneagram welcomes you into a non-dualistic word, many more solutions open up, especially when there are more two ways to resolve a conflict.

The Enneagram helps you to look at each situation with fresh eyes to see what is the best solution for the time.

Resolving conflict becomes a win-win solution which is good news for everyone!

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Efficiency Comes from Healthy Relationships:

7.     All businesses want to have efficient works. You are going to be the most efficient when you enjoy the benefit of good relationships at work.

If you have a bully for a boss, you might be efficient for a short time because of fearing your boss. But this will not last because unhappy, stressed out workers become less and less productive.

Bullied employees will get sick more often. Bullied employees will take more days off work because of stress and illness.  Bullied employees take no pride or responsibility in the operation of the business.  You will continually look for new employees as staff continues to leave for better work environments.

The Enneagram can help you, and your colleagues find ways to honor, support and respect each other. It will help you bring out the best in yourself and the rest of the staff and management.

The benefits of good relationships at work are many. A happy, meaningful and respectful work environment encourages healthy relationships between you and your colleagues.

When you are getting your needs met, you are going to be more relaxed, committed, creative and hard working.

If you see the value of the work you put into your job, you will treat your post as much more than a task to make money. If you are passionate about what you do you are going to work with high energy and dedication.

With the experience of knowing that conflict is positive, you will experience diverse opinions as a strength more than a curse.

You will find freedom in fully expressing your opinions, thoughts, theories, and ideas to your organization knowing they will be heard.  There is no longer need to pick only one winner. The team becomes more important than the individual.

Most of all, you will enjoy being with the people who work with you. Going to work will no longer be drudgery, but something you look forward to each day. Going to work becomes fun and empowering.

Roland Legge offers Life Coaching through REL Consultants for individuals, and Executives to help them to be the best they can be. For more information, please arrange for a free 30-minute discovery call by phoning Roland at 1 306 620-7478 or book your appointment online Please click on “Discovery Call.”

 

Originally Posted at REL Consultants http://www.relconsultants.com

 

Nine Powerful Tips for Building a Good Relationship Between Husband and Wife

Mixed-Race Couple, Piggyback

 

Do you dream of the perfect relationship? I think most of us do.  As children and teens, you dreamt of the ideal relationship. Just like it was portrayed in the movies. It was magical!

When you got older, you probably found that a healthy relationship between a husband and wife is never easy. It takes persistence, dedication, self-awareness, and faith.

I want to encourage you in you in your desire to find joy and happiness in the relationship you have chosen.  Here are nine ways to build a good rapport between you and your spouse.

1.       Get to know yourself:

How can you get to know your partner if you don’t know yourself? Getting to know yourself takes time and dedication. You might want to ask yourself some deep questions such as:

a.       What do I want in my life?

b.       What makes me happy?

c.       What gives me satisfaction?

d.       What makes me angry?

e.       What do I want to be doing in ten years?

f.        What makes me uptight?

g.       What do I fear?

I invite you to reflect on these questions through the sensations of your body, the emotions of the heart and the quiet of the mind.

Body:

You can do something physical like yoga, dance, walk, run, gardening, sports to get in touch with the sensations of your body. Take time to notice what is going on. Your body will help you to acknowledge what is going on and is less likely to lie than compared to your mind.

Warmth and relaxation in the body suggest you are getting healthier. Tightness and a lack of energy indicate you are experiencing dis-ease.

Heart:

To get in touch with your heart, notice what is going on in your chest area. Is it warm or cold? Does it feel relaxed or tight? How aware are you of your chest area? A warm and comfortable chest suggests you have an open heart. A cold and constricted chest suggests a closed heart.

To open it requires you to breathe in your chest area. Often guided meditation and yoga can be of great help. Stay open to what your heart is trying to tell you.

Head:

How busy is your head? Do you have lots of conversations going on in your head? Too much going on in your head can create a lot of anxiety. Decisions can be overwhelming because your mind has too much going on at the same time.

The best way to quiet the mind is to do something physical like walking, running, dancing, gardening or something else. Other excellent practices are meditation and taking time to breathe intentionally. Find out what works best for you.

 

2.       Excellent Communication:

When you need to communicate with your loved one, here are some practices to enhance your communication:

a.       Stand or sit at the same level of your partner.

b.       Look each other in the eyes.

c.       Be aware of each others body language.

d.       Ask questions of clarification if needed.

e.       Say in your own words what you heard your partner say.

f.        Use “I” statements. Take responsibility for what you say.

g.       Do not blame. Stay curious about what your partner is trying to tell you.

h.       Keep communication open.

Make sure you are grounded before you talk to your partner. Take a few deep breaths if you are feeling upset; and if you can not talk now make arrangements to speak at another time.

 

3.       Deal with Conflict Openly:

Conflict happens every time there are at least two different opinions in a room. Conflict is normal and can be healthy.

When there is a minor misinterpretation, and resolution is possible; you just need to clarify what each of you intended to say.

If it is a more complex debate, you will require more time to work toward a resolution that will be satisfactory to all involved.  Intentional listening takes time, requiring open minds, hearts, and bodies that are grounded.

If you felt hurt by something, your love has said or done. You need to be clear with her or him as to what you experienced, felt and thought. Keep your conversation descriptive rather than judgmental. Give your partner a chance to respond.

If you did something wrong, admit your error and show your partner that you won’t do it again. If you didn’t do anything wrong, don’t appease your partner to make them happy.  Appeasing is destructive to the relationship.

Working through conflict should be a win-win!

 

4.       Play:

At the beginning of your relationship, it is always easy because you are in love. You can not get enough of each other. But as the relationship continues on you need to choose to stay in love. A good way to nurture your love is to play together. What do you enjoy doing as a couple?

a.       Do you like to play games?  What games do you like?

b.       Do you enjoy going to live theater?

c.       Do you enjoy reading out loud a book to each other?

d.       Do you enjoy singing? How about joining a community or church choir?

e.       Surprise each other with gifts such as a bouquet of flowers or a ticket to show.

Make sure you have enough time to enjoy each others company. Do it at a time when you both have the energy to enjoy it.

5.       Intimacy:

Are you thinking of sex when I talk about affection? Yes, sexual intercourse is one small part of being intimate. But there are many ways you can express/share that deep love with your life partner. Show love:

a.       By looking into each other’s eyes

b.       By holding hands.

c.       By cuddling on the sofa and bed.

d.       By kissing.

e.        By listening deeply to each other’s stories.

f.        By enjoying a candlelight dinner together.

g.       By doing something, your spouse loves, and you don’t.

Let each other know what you need to feel loved. Let your partner know what you enjoy. Don’t expect your partner to read your mind. In the end be thankful they can’t know all your thoughts.

 

6.       Friends:

You need friends whether or not you are in a close relationship. No one person can provide all you need in life. Friends are the spice of life. They bring out different qualities in you that your spouse would. They are also there to give you another perspective on your relationship. When you are so close to another person, it can be difficult to see the truth.

You need a friend more than you need a spouse.  As a human being, you are intended to live in relationship with others. You can not survive in our world without others. We are so interconnected that when one person hurts, we all hurt.  When a person succeeds, we are all better off.

 

7.        Forgiveness:

Forgiveness is one of the most misunderstood concepts. Forgiveness is a process. It can take a long time, even years. The goal of forgiveness is to release you from the negative experience so that the memory will cease to poison your life in the future.

In close relationships, forgiveness plays a vital role in learning from our mistakes. Forgiveness creates room for you and your partner to learn from your or your partner’s error of judgment.

If your partner is abusing you, first you need to get away to safety and later on and see how the forgiveness might look. Forgiveness could include staying with your partner if they take responsibility for their actions or leave the relationship for good if it is not safe to remain. Forgiveness is hard work!

 

8.       Ability to Live Out Your Vocation

Over time you need to be able to live out your vocation. If your partner loves you, they will support you in living this out. You may not be able to do everything you like, but in the end, you need a relationship where over the long term you are going to be satisfied in how you are living your life.

If you keep putting your life on hold to meet the needs of your partner, this will eventually backfire. If you don’t honor yourself in the relationship, tension, in the end, will build up to the point that it flares into anger and resentment.

You and your partner need to find a way to honor both of you.  When you are both happy, you have the best chance for a joy-filled relationship.

To do this you both need to express what you honestly desire in life. In the end, it needs to be a win-win solution.

 

9.       Self-Care:

To enjoy your relationship you need to take good care of yourself. You are your most happy when you take time to rest, eat well, get enough sleep, have a healthy balance between work and play and get enough exercise. No one feels romantic and sexy when they are exhausted.

So if you are missing sex in your relationship, you might want to check if you are both taking care of yourselves. If you are always fighting, you might both be too tired and stressed to think clearly.

If you find yourself stressed and tired; I encourage you to get, some help. See how you can better organize your life so you can slow down. Are you trying to do too much? Do you have a hard time saying no?  What is blocking you from taking the time to care for yourself?

Then take one step at a time to add in self-care into your daily life. You might need to let go of things that you have no interest.  The reality is that there is only so much time in your day to do what is important for you.

Closeup of happy couple looking at camera

 

A good relationship between a husband and wife is never easy. It is a lifelong commitment. If you both are willing to see this as a great adventure, will be rewarded with surprise and joy. The moment your partner doesn’t surprise you, or you stop growing emotionally and spiritually suggests your relationship is getting stuck.

If you practice these nine tips, you are dramatically increasing your chances of having a long and satisfying relationship. Know yourself. Practice good communication. Deal with conflict openly. Don’t forget to play! Discover the type of intimacy you and your partner needs. Enjoy great friendships. Practice forgiveness. Find a way to live out your vocation. Lastly and not the least practice self-care.

A good way to get to know yourself and your partner through learning about the Enneagram. There are many books on the Enneagram. Here is a list of books you might like to read. The Enneagram will help you to understand each other better. It will help you to see your strengths and your growing edges.

Most of all take the time to enjoy each others company. Take the time to play. Make an effort to share with each other honestly. Accept responsibility for meeting your own needs.

If you are feeling stuck, don’t be ashamed to go for help. Talk to a friend, a spiritual leader, a coach, a counselor, or psychologist. Enjoy the one life you have.

 

Roland Legge offers coaching through REL Consultants for individuals, couples, families, and executives to help them to be the best they can be. For more information, please arrange for a free 30-minute discovery call by phoning Roland at 1 306 620-7478, or you can email Roland at rolandlegge@relconsultants.com

 

This post was originally published on the REL Consultants Blog on September 26th, 2017

Who am I to say No

Exploring the Word:

Sermon – August 31st 2014

12th Sunday after Pentecost (Year A)

By Roland Legge

Exodus 3:1-15
Romans 12:9-21
Matthew 16:21-28

 

Imagine you are walking along and you notice a bush that is burning.  But the strange thing is that the bush is not being consumed by the fire.  Now that would get my attention, unless I was visiting Universal Studios in Hollywood.

 

When we read this passage from Exodus it is the burning bush that gets our attention.  But what is really amazing, is who God calls to do his work!  God calls Moses this less than perfect sinful person to do his/her work to free God’s people.

 

Moses was no saint.  He killed an Egyptian man because he had hit one of his own people.  He was part of God’s plan to kill many Egyptians to help free his people.  Moses could get very angry.  He was obstinate.   I wouldn’t want to be around him when he was angry.

 

Neither was he thrilled by God’s plan for him to free their people from Egypt. He had many excuses, even though God wasn’t willing to hear his excuses. He was reluctant, at best, to agree to God’s call.

 

Moses was a complex man.  While he did some very bad things God still trusted him to do what he needed him to do. God somehow new that Moses had what it was going to take the challenge the power of Pharaoh.  Moses became a great leader helping his people to travel through the wilderness on the way to the Promised Land.   He faced drought, rebellion and anger from his people because they were exhausted and frustrated.  Because his intimate relationship with the Creator he and his people never gave up.  Now that took a lot of courage, faith and commitment.

 

If God can find leaders in people like Moses God can find leaders in us.  God doesn’t look for leaders like a big corporation would.  God usually finds the least expected people to do her/his work.  People like you and I.

 

God is looking for a very different qualities.  God is calling for people who will follow their call even if it makes them to feel uncomfortable.  God is looking for people to do the impossible such as overcoming violence and poverty.  God is looking for people to see the goodness in all people. God is looking for people who are willing to lead through vulnerability, non-violence and unconditional love.  God is looking for people who are not afraid to suffer to overcome hate, prejudice and retribution. God is looking for people who will offer change through invitation rather than coercion!

 

Today in churches like Foam Lake United we are being called to ministry whether or not we are the laity or clergy.  .  God is looking for lay and order of ministry people to see through the eyes of God and then to have the courage to respond to what they see that needs God’s attention.  For example, we see people in our community who are sick, grieving the loss of a loved one and/or facing a personal emergency and we do help them with food, money and love.  We hear every Sunday the amazing ministry, done in our name, through the work of the Mission and Service fund and we are compelled to give.

 

Today our congregation and all of Christendom is being asked to reach out to people in our communities, nation and world just as Jesus did when he lived.  This means finding the courage to take the church and its ministry outside of our buildings.  It means getting involved in the politics of our time helping to discern with our leaders the type of world our faith compels us create.

 

Sometimes it means that we need to risk getting the comfortable uncomfortable.  I think the life and ministry of people like Martin Luther King best illustrates this.  In a letter from Birmingham Jail Martin Luther King justifies why he has organized marches and sit-ins that have disturbed the peace.  Martin Luther King is all for negotiation but he believes that sometimes nonviolent direct action is required to create a crisis to foster such a tension that a community which has constantly refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue. It seeks so to dramatize the issue that it can no longer be ignored.

Pulpit Resource by William H. Willimon http://www.logosproductions.com/content/august-31-2014-call-lead

 

None of us live in the severe conditions like African Americans were living in the Southern United States.  So it may be hard for us to relate, but we all have our blind spots.  But if we think about it all churches have gotten used to being the church in a particular way and often don’t find it easy to change.  Sometimes we need a minister or lay person to shake us up a bit to become open to becoming more relevant for our times.

 

In Canada we continue to struggle in our relationship with our First peoples.  More and more First Nations see the value of nonviolent resistance to wake up the governments and the people to taking action that will begin to reduce the wide disparity between the rest of Canada and First Nation peoples.  Is God calling us to walk with these people and do our part to heal the divisions between us and them?  We are blessed to live in the midst of First Nations people and thus have a great opportunity to do this work/ministry of healing and justice.

 

We believe in a God who asks us to do the most unexpected things.  We like Moses can find hundreds of excuses not to do things.  But God never give ups on us until we say YES!

 

I would like to end with one of my favorite songs sung by Linnea Good, called “Who am I to say No”.  I invite you to sit and reflect as you hear it.  Please join in if you like.

Burning Bush