Note: this post is the fourth and final of Dr. Chip’s take on a series of conversations he had with businessman Greg Brenneman on Four Divine Truths About Work. We are grateful to Greg for sharing his insights on our podcast! Listen here.
Greg’s last big idea (and ours) is this: be dangerous. “God has called us to be dangerous men and women for him.”
How do you feel about being dangerous? Is danger a positive adjective in your vocabulary? When I started out in the workforce, I was an electrician and my assistant had to watch out for me dropping tools–that was dangerous but not the dangerous we’re talking about here. By dangerous we don’t mean cruel, recklessly harmful, or abusive.
By dangerous we mean, impactful, potent, or a high capacity for disruption.
The Big Idea
When you do your work for God, view yourself on mission for him with work as your platform, and are prepared for the away game reality, you will create ripples of influence and impact. You are singing to a different score, marching to a different beat, reading a different script. You are “dangerous” to the status quo.
The Biblical Pattern
First Century Christians were described this way:
“These men who have turned the world upside down have come here also, and Jason has received them, and they are all acting against the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, Jesus.” (Acts 17:6-7)
Paul talked about the power of Jesus’ message as follows:
Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel, 6which has come to you, as indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and increasing—as it also does among you, since the day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth (Colossians 1:5-6)
In Hebrew Scriptures, we see the same pattern.
Joseph became the 2nd most influential leader in Egypt. To a Pharaoh who believed in many gods, he gave credit to the one true God. (See Genesis chapters 37-50). Hundreds of years later, Daniel did the same. His “boss,” King Nebuchadnezzar, was a murderous egomaniac. Daniel’s faithfulness and willingness to consistently give God the credit for his success eventually impacted his superior and the trajectory of the entire kingdom. (See Daniel chapters one through 4). Esther was connected, courageous, and beautiful. She found her way to the very center of power, and then as she risked it all (dangerous for her), she saved her people from genocide and brought down justice on the evil Haman (dangerous for him). (See the book of Esther).
It was the quality of these women and men that made them influential, the nature of their character and courage eclipsed their learning, connections, or privileges (most had no privilege!)
This pattern of being dangerous for God is not limited to legendary figures from the Hebrew Scriptures. It’s also not confined to the New Testament optimism behind the spread of the Gospel through the then-known world.
Gospel Patrons: AKA Dangerous For God
In the book, Gospel Patrons, John Rineheart describes how professionally accomplished women and men were often the quiet power behind significant movements of God. Rinehart tells the following three powerful stories.
In the 1500’s, businessman Humphry Monmouth supported William Tyndale in the English Translation of the Bible. Monmouth did much more than “write a check.” He was Tyndale’s friend, all the way through William’s martyrdom. And he enlisted the help of his commercial friends to drive the first English translation of the Bible. Another example comes 200 years later from the 18th century.
George Whitefield is known as the primary preacher of the Great Awakening, a movement of spiritual renewal that swept England and Wales and the British Colonies in North America. What is not so well known is the dangerous women that kept Whitefield going. Her name was Lady Huntington. She was a woman of means and connections. She introduced the preaching of Whitefield to her high society friends and garnered generous funding for his work.
Rinehart goes on to share profiles of dangerous players of our age: the Greens, Barnharts, and Worth families for example. All are leading what our friend Raymond Harris calls, business engines for the Kingdom. Their effectiveness in their professional lives set them up for a much broader impact.
It’s Our Turn
When I think of being dangerous for God, I think of living in a tension. On the one hand, each of us needs to know that God can use ordinary people, in ordinary professions, to have incredible impact for him. On the other, we don’t need to stress over whether we are being dangerous enough. Lean into your skills and platform, embrace courage over fear, and practice trust in God on a daily basis, and he will make you dangerous!
This post is the fourth and final in Dr. Chip’s take on Four Divine Truths About Work. Chip interviewed Businessman Greg Brenneman on this topic. We are grateful to Greg for sharing his insights on our podcast, which you can listen to here. We are also grateful for our donors who make this kind of transformational content possible. Join our funder team here.