In the consulting world we love to use all sorts of silly lingo that makes us appear smarter than we really are. At least that’s what I did for 20 years as an internet marketing consultant, and still struggle with it today. One of those gems is “Key Performance Indicator”, or KPI. It’s simply a number or value that we measure and report on that tells us how we are doing in a certain aspect of the business.
I left the consulting world in 2010 after God gave me an undeniable calling to give people an opportunity to take a “time out”, rediscover (or discover) their story, and share it on video so God can use it for His purposes. The ministry I serve is called The 3:15 Project, and it’s based on 1 Peter 3:15…
“But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect” 1 Peter 3:15 (NIV)
The calling was simple enough to understand but I had no idea how difficult it would be to help “all in” Christians in the marketplace through the process of knowing and sharing their story, and then going public with it.
WHAT I'VE LEARNED IN 5 YEARS
In the 5 years of following this calling, I’ve had the blessing of helping more than 300 people share their story, and in the process spoken with thousands more who were not able or willing to do so, for a number of reasons. Over that time I’ve discovered the hardest part, the biggest obstacle for most people lies not in getting on camera (though they use that as an excuse most often), not in going public with the story (though that’s always a concern), and not even taking the time out of their busy lives to know and prepare their stories. The most challenging part for most people, regardless of their denomination, age, vocation, upbringing, is simply this:
Being willing to step out of the boat, into the unknown.
It’s a scary proposition when you think about it for 10 seconds. Finding the time to prepare the story, revisiting pain, guilt, shame, fear, pride, thinking about laying that all down on camera, and then sharing it with people that think you have it all together, that might see your true self? Forget it right?!
HOW WOULD YOU SCORE?
I’ve found that each person that has shared their story through The 3:15 Project, score well along two KPIs that I believe each one of us can baseline and measure in ourselves, and invite God to give His feedback and perspective.
HUMILITY (NOTHING LEFT TO PROVE)
Humility is an often misunderstood concept, especially in the marketplace. It’s easy to confuse true humility with false humility. By far the most impactful book I’ve ever read on this subject is Humility by Andrew Murray. The crux of it is simply this, humility is the belief and knowledge that I am nothing and He is everything. As C.S. Lewis puts it “humility is not thinking less of oneself, it is thinking of yourself less.” I can easily detect my own lack of humility simply by being honest with myself and God and asking “what am i trying to prove?”, or even how often I use the word “I” in my inner thoughts, and external words. It’s impossible to think about yourself and God or others at the same time.
I would say almost without fail, that 90% of the people that have share their story with The 3:15 Project, you would call humble, or at least genuinely desiring to become more humble. It gets back to the 1 Peter 3:15 verse "but in your hearts revere Christ as Lord". In other words, set Him above anything and everything in your life, including yourself. His Kingdom, not ours. A simple prayer like “Father, when I begin thinking about myself, help me turn towards and meditate upon You.”
SURRENDER (NOTHING LEFT TO LOSE)
Most people, especially men, hate that word and its cousin submission. It’s weak, timid, for losers, or so the world would have us believe. But in God’s Kingdom, which we pray will be done here on earth, it is one of the most beautiful and powerful things we must do to have any hope of experiencing the abundant life.
Surrender your heart to God, turn to him in prayer, and give up your sins—even those you do in secret. Then you won’t be ashamed; you will be confident and fearless. - Job 11:13-15
Again, as with humility, I would say 90% of the people that have shared their story came through with an attitude or posture of either being willing to lose everything, or had the desire to be willing to lose everything, for the sake of knowing Christ, and being known by Christ more deeply.
What are you holding on to and afraid you could lose if you were take the time to know share your story? Your job? Friends? Reputation? Your mask? The things that we fear losing most are the very things that bind us from being all God wants us to be. I’ll bet you a power lunch that those same things are holding you back from experiencing the fullness of God’s love, and sharing that love with those around you.
It’s not about how well you score or measure. And it’s certainly not about comparing yourself to others. It’s simply an opportunity to assess where you are currently at in your walk, and ask God and others to help you in both areas.
3 QUESTIONS TO PONDER
I invite and challenge you to take 15 minutes of quiet time and ask God these simple questions, and journal whatever He puts on your heart. Share your answers with someone you walk with, and invite them to answer these questions as well. I pray and trust that God will honor and bless your willingness to seek Him in this way.
Father, where in my life do I tend to feel the need to prove myself or desire to impress others?
Father, what am I holding onto, too tightly, that is keeping me from knowing you and serving you more intimately and deeply?
Father, what am I putting ahead of you in my life? What do I cherish more than you?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Todd Miechiels is the founder of The 3:15 Project which empowers followers of Christ to know and share their story for God’s glory. He is always looking to connect with Kingdom leaders in the marketplace. He lives in Atlanta, Georgia.