Friday, April 5, 2013

Putting God in a Box

This morning, after finishing my prayers, I began working on a project for my business.  I had promised to write up a guest blog post for a company called InfusionSoft on the topic of transforming an ebook into a webinar, something that I've recently begun doing.  I went looking for research on the topic of how long a webinar should be, and I couldn't find any.  So, I decided to create some. I went over to surveymonkey, I created the survey, and published it to as many places as I possibly could, basically all over my social media pages from Twitter to Facebook to LinkedIn and beyond.  

On my Facebook, I belong to the WorldWide Marriage Encounter group, and so I posted the webinar survey link because I think that WorldWide Marriage Encounter might benefit from the information gathered on this survey, and I was intending to share the findings with them.  Of all the groups - and the groups that I belong to are quite diverse - where I posted this link there was only one group who told me it was inappropriate and asked me to take down the link, which I did.  That group was WorldWide Marriage Encounter.  I wasn't selling anything in the survey, and I wasn't pitching any product. However, they couldn't see a connection between the survey on webinars and what they do.

I, as a marketer, understand that a webinar on what WorldWide Marriage Encounter is and what it does and how it benefits couples might be a powerful tool for recruiting new couples and helping to spread the message to places that don't have the luxury of 20-30 couples for inviting events.  I understand that in order to make those webinars as powerful as they possibly can be you need to have data that helps you better understand why people sign up for webinars and why they don't, how long is too long, and how long is "just right". In places like Elko, Nevada you are lucky to have even a handful of couples who have been on a marriage encounter weekend and you certainly don't have the resources at your disposal that areas like Dallas or Houston do.  I see the potential for overcoming those challenges and reaching more couples, but the hosts of the group didn't see things the same way.

I think the person saw the word "webinar" and assumed that this must be about "business". They have put business in one box and God in another box, and they aren't willing to let God out of His box and into the business box.  This limits the things that God can do, and it's a mistake we all make from time to time. The truth is that God can use EVERYTHING you do to reach anyone at any time and in any place.  There are no limits for God - but because we are limited in our imagination, because we have limits and boundaries, we often think God should have those same limits and boundaries.  I'm not trying to down the Facebook group leaders of WorldWide Marriage Encounter. I sincerely love that organization and owe so much more to it than I could ever give back.  It's just that what happened today got me thinking about how often we limit what God can do because we segregate our activities, putting this thing into this box and that thing into that box and God into a separate box from all the rest.

A perfect example of what happens when you let God out of the box and allow Him to be a part of everything you do is the fact that I was even working on that guest blog on webinars in the first place. You see, I am part of a team of ladies who is putting together a one day retreat for women. I was inspired by the Holy Spirit with the full agenda for that day of 5 talks plus group discussions, activities, and sharing after each talk based on a retreat I'd attended several years earlier.  After coming up with that agenda, though, I realized that it didn't just apply to retreats - it could be used for business seminars, too.  Once I realized that, I realized that those 20 minute talks you'd prepared for the business seminar could become the basis for a webinar.  God showed me the way to do a retreat, and then showed me how to apply it to business in a way I'd never thought of doing before, all because I let Him out of the box I'd been keeping Him in.  

Everything you learn serving God can be applied to business, and everything you learn in business can be applied to help bring Christ to more people.  There is no disconnect between your personal and professional life unless you erect barriers between them, which most of us think we have to do.  So we segment our lives into little compartments and we limit ourselves because we limit God.  Take God out of the box.  Dust Him off, and bring Him with you everywhere you go.  Let Him be part of all that you do, and everything you do will improve.

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