Ramesh Naraine’s review of a talk by Mike Frank
Original posted on the Catch The Fire Blog Feb 16th, 2022.
A pastor’s confession
As a follower of Jesus are you provoked by the way you see our society spiralling away from God-centred values?
Here’s a bit of frank honesty from a local church pastor at the outset of this blog: Watching my church, the Church in my nation and in the West in general, I was becoming disheartened by our lack of impact on the values of the culture around us. I’m operating on the biblically-based conviction that, as the Body of Christ on earth, we are meant to be influencing and transforming our societies with the culture of heaven. “On earth as it is in heaven” is our mandate from our King.
However, as I watch decisions being made by politicians, educators, judges, entertainers and other influencers in our culture, I see a rapid movement away from God-ordained values and principles. These are standards of living that our Loving Father has prescribed for our human flourishing. The Church, which is supposed to be the broker of these values and principles, is increasingly seen by our culture, as irrelevant, archaic, insular, uptight and out of touch with “progress”. So, I was feeling sad at the lack of impact that my church and I were making on the world around us.
A Shot in the Arm
That being said, I recently received a shot in the arm! No, I’m not referring to vaccines. I’m talking about fresh vision and hope that we, the Church, can make a difference in the culture if we are willing to align with what the Spirit is doing in this hour. There is a way forward! We can still make difference. It’s not too late!
A short time ago, Elsie and I were attending a pastor’s retreat. At that retreat, Mike Frank, a successful businessman, philanthropist and Kingdom-minded Christian led one of the sessions. He shared his story of being transformed by the Holy Spirit. Through personal tragedy he went from hard-nosed, top-level business executive working for Fortune 500 companies to compassionate, open-hearted man helping others find the same love and sense of purpose that transformed him. You can read more about his journey in his very candid and vulnerable page-turner, Prosperity With Purpose: An Executive’s Search for Significance.
A punch to the solar plexus
In recounting his story though, Mike made a statement that was a punch to the solar plexus – like in a good way. (I’ve probably been watching too many TikTok boxing videos.)
He said that even as a high-level business executive he would often feel like a second class citizen in the church. He felt undervalued as a marketplace leader, manipulated for his money and sidelined from contributing to the life of the church with his skillset.
None of us pastors in the room that day consider our friends in the marketplace in that light. But we were all deeply challenged to do a much better job of:
- Caring for those who need our support prayerfully, emotionally, prophetically and in other ways, especially when they face seasons of crisis. We can’t assume that because they are professionals they are fine.
- Incorporating their gifts and abilities in the life of the church, without feeling threatened by their expertise.
- Recognizing and empowering those who have a vision to be agents of change for the Kingdom of God in the culture. They are strategically positioned by the Lord to make a difference in ways that we as church leaders could never do!
A spiritual bomb
I believe a spiritual bomb went off that day when Duncan and Kate Smith, Presidents of the Catch The Fire movement, at the end of Mike’s presentation, went forward, knelt before him and on behalf of all Catch the Fire, repented for the way that church leaders had treated Mike and marketplace leaders like him. We apologized for not caring well enough for them as Christians in the workplace, for thinking of them first when money was needed and for not valuing their strategic God-ordained roles in church and culture. Mike in turn responded with grace and forgiveness. I believe that something powerful happened in the Spirit that day. I know it did in me.
Another Surge needed
Reflecting on that day, I believe that in order for the Church to regain her voice in the public square there needs to be Holy Spirit-led, intentional, strategic collaboration between these two groups like never before!
A few years ago, there was a Surge, a melding of two ministries to form Catch The Fire Partners, which with that synergy is becoming a fast-growing global church planting movement. I believe with all my heart that we need another Surge. For the sake of the mission of Jesus in the earth, church leaders and marketplace leaders must join forces to become the synergized agent of cultural transformation we are called to be. Salt and light are what we are.
I have said, “The church needs more business in it. Business needs more church in it.” Michael Brodeur puts it another way. He speaks about the melding of the “super-natural and the super-practical” in order for leadership to affect strategic and sustainable change in the world.
I’m very thankful for people like Mike Frank, Michael Brodeur and Catch The Fire leadership who have heard the call of God to equip the Church to release the Presence and Power of the Kingdom of Love to a world that is in desperate need.
If you are a leader who is discontented with the lack of impact you are making on a culture with decaying values that cause more harm than good to people, then I would recommend connecting with Leaders Alliance. Mike Frank along with Michael Brodeur are committed to equipping us with practical, strategic, sustainable steps to become the change agents we are destined to be.
It’s time to turn this ship around!
Photo by Alonso Reyes on Unsplash