They gathered for the 11th Spanish national meeting to encourage each other to be professionals with a mission perspective.
“Keep the heart. Have a heart that listens, serves and prays”, were some of the phrases most heard during the 11th gathering of the evangelical professional groups Tres-e (Gospel, Business, Economics) and GDE (Evangelical Teachers Group), held in the Spanish city of Guadalajara from 17 to 19 March.
Business managers, freelancers, directors, economists, some lawyers and IT specialists, as well as teachers, professors and other trainers and coaches, gathered with the aim of encouraging each other to get biblical wisdom, be agents of transformation at work and prioritise values with an eternal perspective.
Bible Society coordinator Gonzalo Soriano spoke about how in every aspect of our lives we quantify success by how well we do at work, in our studies, in business, or in other goals we undertake. Sometimes we are even satisfied when we manage to get a holiday in a distant country.
However, we forget that effectiveness and success, both professional and otherwise, has to do with the acquisition of wisdom, he added.
According to Soriano, society needs us to keep the honesty and quality in decision-making and, to do so, it is essential to get wisdom. Reading the Bible, understanding it, memorising it and relating to equals is necessary to have the wisdom spoken of in Proverbs 4.
Working hard to guard the heart has to do with what we see, hear, and speak; we need to curb what we hear and control our tongue, Soriano told in the morning plenary.
He also stressed that many times, we are surrounded by structures, faithful ministries and good activities, and yet, the heart becomes sensitive when we are hearing the voice of God.
Sometimes, we only see the obstacles, but when we stop and listen to Him, we recognise that it is not about what we do, but about following Him.
Author and educator Jaime Fernandez added that God restores us with prayer, to listen and obey him, but we must be sensitive to his voice. In a second plenary he encouraged all listeners to fight the good fight, considering that the secret of victory sometimes lies in not fighting a battle that does not belong to us.
Marketing director Ana Encinas said in the Tres-e workshop “Relativism in values” that the conviction between right and wrong, just or unjust, are not changeable or debatable issues.
She emphasised that we must prevent that relativism wins out because of “politically correct” arguments, or what the media say cannot be debated.
It is necessary to make sacrifices in order not to be double-minded, as James describes in his epistle, nor to take into account the envy and rivalry of those who are enemies.
Business entrepreneur Carolina Martinez used the biblical character of Daniel as an example of a ruler in public administration whose integrity was tested and found blameless (Daniel 6:4).
Daniel's disciplined prayer life and steadfast will in the face of the challenges of the society of the time, disrupted the well-orchestrated plots against him.
An entrepreneurial and determined spirit, and the consideration that money, success and recognition no longer come first in life, were the topics of the workshop “Priorities of the heart”.
She shared her experience that God's purpose can be fulfilled in whatever area we are in, as long as we understand that God's priority is people.
The keys to success lie in a life where God is at the centre, with a healthy personal balance, with victory over stress, she pointed out.
Miguel Angel Sanchez, head of a perfume and design group, and an experienced pastor of a church in Madrid, spoke on “relational discipleship as a catalyst for transformation at work”.
For Sánchez, as disciples of Jesus, we are called to make our work a place of mission, where the Holy Spirit will transform our lives in an individual way.
He gave some keys to incarnate the gospel with the model of Jesus, such as presence in our work; closeness to people; passion for the needs of others and the proclamation of the good news to a post-modern world, which judges, condemns and rejects.
The last workshop of the Tres-e group was presented by Ignacio Rodríguez, English teacher and expert in the real estate sector, project manager Josué Martínez, and economist and teacher of evangelical religion, Daniel García Sánchez.
They explained that we are citizens of heaven, but ambassadors of Christ on earth, so we should have an eternal perspective on everything we do, being good stewards.
Just as a missionary travelling to another place does not carry possessions, so we, as pilgrims, must learn to live in financial freedom and simplicity, regardless of circumstances and being aware that God is the Creator and that everything comes from Him.
In Christianity we find acts of love, service to others, forms of self-giving and sacrifices, however, service to God and to other people is at the heart of Christianity, he said.
For Montes, it is necessary to develop a culture of service among co-workers because we are then serving the Lord, but it is even more important to serve those who do not deserve it, because we are then showing the spirit of Christ.
Jesus' service was an act of tremendous love, of self-giving for us that we should imitate; for Christ was a servant in the manger, in his ministry, in the upper room, on the cross, in heaven, and will be so at his second coming, he added.
Likewise, teachers and other professionals should show a lifestyle of service, both in church ministries and in our daily work, as well as in our aspirations and leadership.
That workshop ended with group discussions on how to apply this spirit of service in the workplace: helping new recruits in schools, participating in school projects, meeting requirements and ethical conduct, as well as praying for the management team and co-workers.
Montes, who also leads the Evangelical Alliance prayer group, gave another workshop called “A heart of prayer", where he discussed the benefits, practice, power and dependence on prayer.
According to the teacher and pastor, communicating with the Holy Spirit, prayer of petition, gratitude, deliverance or intercession helps to reduce anxiety, increases gratitude, refocuses us, helps us in temptation and empowers us.
Jesus prayed constantly to the Father, in solitude, in public, to make decisions, to receive joy or comfort, and this should be our example in our profession and in every moment of life, he said.
[photo_footer]Teachers at the GDE national meeting.[/photo_footer]
The two professional groups had their spaces for the presentation of projects and future activities.
Tres-e presented the different areas in which they work: “Christian business leaders", “Professionals and self-employed”, “Young professionals” and “Financial stewardship (Compass)” .
GDE presented their work on the translation of a book written by an English professor, which explores God's purposes for Christian teachers.
Both groups were scheduled to meet again at the next national graduates gathering which will take place in Valencia from 7-10 December 2023.