Learning What You “C.A.N.S.” Do, To Form Disciple-Making Small Groups in the Workplace Environment

Last time, we reflected on how to have conversations that count at work and help people become “followers” of Christ (disciples) who can make “followers of Christ” (disciples), even at the office water cooler.

We ended by asking the question “After we do, what can we do next?”

There is something you “cans” (sic) do. And I’ll show how this is working in a workplace setting in the Miami County area in Tipp City, Ohio.

Forming C.A.N.S – “Communities of Adoration, Nurture and Service”

Consider the challenge Jesus faced. The Son of God in the flesh was literally “airdropped” into a nation where he was unknown, had a mission no one would have believed in, had credentials no one could understand, and was such an “out there” person (or “Person” if you want to be precise in terms of the Trinity) that even his family thought he was the odd-man out.

How did Jesus begin to form a group of disciples?

The Gospels (John 1, Mark 1 come to mind) tell the story. He did a lot of walking and talking. He intentionally surveyed the environment he was planted in to “fish” for potential believers. He “called”—was intentional in talking and connecting people to God and himself (I guess it was easy for him, since he was both). He would use his spiritual insights to bring people into God’s presence. Before you knew it, Peter was “in.” Then Andrew was. And before they knew it, John and James and other business associates had bought in. And then Philip and Nathaniel.

A small group of believers had formed. And Jesus did not just leave them as isolated individuals. He would coalesce them into C.A.N.S- Communities of Adoration and Nurture and Service centered around Jesus but focused on reaching beyond themselves. Let me flesh out the acronym a bit.

  1. Communities – People who were former strangers to each other became a “community,” a connected group of people who share a common passion. The “common” passion?
  2. Adoration – Adoration of this new figure who had become central to their lives. That of course was Jesus. Jesus very quickly became the center of their relationship. And they were open in their sharing of who he was and what he was doing in their lives. As this new group began to form, a new dynamic took place in their lives.
  3. Nurture – They began to “nurture” each other. They supported each other. They spoke with each other. They shared their lives, struggles, victories, and passions with each other. They suddenly were part of a “community” who not only “adored” Jesus, but nurtured each other in Jesus’ name. But they didn’t remain strictly focused on self-care. They learned the joy of serving.
  4. Service – They served the larger cause of need in their spheres of influence. They didn’t just remain internal. They began to serve the people Jesus came to serve—the sick, the disenfranchised, the lonely, and the hurting.

They spent a lot of time not simply kicking spiritual concepts around among themselves, (a lot like spending a lot of wasted time kicking cans), but becoming “C.A.N.S”— communities of adoration and nurture and noticeable service of others. And I’m here to tell you, it’s a lot easier to do that than you might think. S.O.S. – A Model of “C.A.N.S” in a Workplace Environment I work closely with the owner of the Tipp Center, and faith-inspired business center in the Tipp City, Ohio area that hosts many important community events in the Miami County area. One of them is called “S.O.S.”—Serving Our Seniors. It’s a networking event for leaders in the healthcare community serving seniors and their caregivers in the Miami County and Montgomery County area. They meet every second Wednesday of the month for a networking event and breakfast, and yours truly has had the honor of helping them become a “community” of “adoration” of Jesus, nurture (and networking) of each other, and expanding “service” for the demographic they have been called to serve.

The breakthrough came when I was able to open the group with prayer. I found myself in the position of being able to articulate a new “vision” for this group in the opening comments. They were people who were “at work on purpose,” I told them. Their jobs weren’t just ways they made money. They were much-needed ministries that gave their demographic a service for God. Ministry is not just organizing something for a church service. It’s something you do with your whole life. They were a “church,” I told them, not just a networking group. And they weren’t in competition with each other but a group of brothers and sisters who began to see how they could nurture each other’s businesses and how collectively all the vast number of people that needed to be served with what they have could be served by their being a C.A.N.S—a community of adoration and nurture (networking?) and service for the world.

Ok, maybe it’s a stretch. But it’s at least one way kingdom initiatives are being spread in the name of Jesus Christ, as people learn their jobs are ministries, they are fueled by the power of God to do them, they do better when they do it together, and the network and nurture each other’s business.

In that kind of spirit, there is nothing they “C.A.N.S” not do!

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