A Biblical Philosophy of Business (Pt.5)
God's Heart for the Poor and the Needy

Learning to Lead Like Jesus

Business 

Over the last few days, we've been talking about a biblical philosophy of business. Today, let's talk about learning to lead like Jesus.

If you are a business leader, you want to learn and grow so that you can become the very best you can be. There is a plethora of business gurus (e.g. Bill Gates, Jack Welch, and Peter Drucker) and materials available to help today. Simply walk into your local bookshop and look in the business/management section. There are dozens of experts sharing their latest ideas (e.g. TQM, 360 degrees, and Balanced Scorecard) on how to see your business break through to new heights of productivity and success.

We can glean much wisdom and common sense from the corporate and business world for building organisations. We can also learn from other Christians in business, especially from those who are more experienced than ourselves. However, I believe that our ultimate business model and leadership example is Jesus Christ.

Isn’t it funny that we often look to everyone BUT the greatest leader who has ever lived – Jesus Christ! Sure he didn’t have an office, a mobile phone, a web site, or a business card, but his enterprise, the church, has had unparalleled success. From humble beginnings, it embarked on a 2000-year history of growth and expansion. That’s what I call “built to last”! It has a strong international presence and yet is as local as the neighbourhood street corner. Its capital resources are beyond measure and its membership beyond counting. And what a membership! Many have given their lives to show their loyalty. Yes, Jesus was a carpenter. Yes, he was a preacher. But his life and his works also just happen to offer some of the most insightful business advice a manager could ever find.

We’re all looking for relevant and competent role models for effective leadership. Jesus is the greatest management-entrepreneur ever. He is the perfect practitioner and teacher of effective leadership. He had the right heart, the right methods, and the right behaviour. He was more than a good man and a great teacher. He is the most relevant leadership model and teacher for our daily lives that there is.

I can hear you thinking, “What does Jesus know about my business?” (e.g. computers, marketing, graphics, property, wholesale, retail, accounting, etc). That’s just what a man named Simon Peter thought! In Luke 5, we have the story of Jesus giving him some advice for his fishing business. Jesus said, “Put out into deep water and let down your nets for a catch.” Imagine what Peter was thinking right then. “Look Jesus, you seem to be a great teacher, but now you’re talking about MY area of expertise. Fishing is my business. What you’re asking us to do isn’t practical. Besides, it’s going to be a lot of hard work and we’ll probably have to pay overtime!” Anyway, Peter says, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But, because you say so, I will let down the nets.” He quickly learned that Jesus knew a lot about fishing too! What a catch – a net breaking, boat-sinking, record-setting catch (see Luke 5:1-11)!

Jesus knows your business too and he can help you. He is the best leadership model that there is. All of us need to learn to ‘lead like Jesus’.

Business management expect Ken Blanchard (author of the best selling book The One Minute Manager) is a committed Christian who is now focusing his life on helping people learn to Lead Like Jesus (this is the title of his latest book and he also has a web site dedicated to this task.

The world is in desperate need of a different leadership role model. We live in a world where the pursuit of money, recognition, and power dominate the leadership landscape. Leadership has become all about self-promotion (pride) and self-protection (fear) in an “It’s all about me” world. The good news is that there is a better way. Jesus is the one leadership model you can trust. He can teach you how to lead in a way that honours God and restores health and effectiveness to organisations and relationships.

Jesus calls us to "servant leadership". It’s not an option for Christ-followers. It’s a mandate. Ken Blanchard describes "leading like Jesus" as a process of transformation that requires the alignment of four leadership domains: the heart, the head, the hands and the habits.

The first two are internal domains – the motivations of your heart and the leadership perspective of your head– that are things you keep inside of you. The external domains – your public leadership behaviour, or hands, and your habits as experienced by others – will determine whether people will follow you. When these four domains are aligned, extraordinary levels of loyalty, trust and productivity will result.

Learning to lead like Jesus ... think about it.

Conclusion

God is interested in your business. It is sacred, not secular. There are four purposes of your business – to glorify God, to serve people, to provide opportunity for meaningful contribution and to generate wealth. Learn to lead like Jesus – with your heart, your head, your hands and your habits. Make this your life pursuit!

Comments

Hi Mark
That was an amazing message you gave over the weekend. I love it that our church is so outward focussed. I read this today and thought it was a great prayer...

A Franciscan Benediction

May God bless you with discomfort
At easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships
So that you may live deep within your heart

May God bless you with anger
At injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people,
So that you may work for justice, freedom and peace.

May God bless you with tears
To shed for those who suffer pain, rejection, hunger and war,
So that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and
To turn their pain into joy.

And may God bless you with enough foolishness
To believe that you can make a difference in the world,
So that you can do what others claim cannot be done
To bring justice and kindness to all our children and the poor.

Amen

"Jesus Christ! Sure he didn’t have an office, a mobile phone, a web site, or a business card, but his enterprise, the church, has had unparalleled success. From humble beginnings, it embarked on a 2000-year history of growth and expansion. That’s what I call “built to last”! It has a strong international presence and yet is as local as the neighbourhood street corner. Its capital resources are beyond measure and its membership beyond counting. And what a membership! Many have given their lives to show their loyalty."

Great word Pastor Mark! I never saw it this way!

THis is the good one Mark. I have been searching and learning from business Mentor all my life. After 28 years of searching one day I went to church and listen to one of your sermon. Damn all the business tips I need to know is right here, just follow Jesus. Keep it simple.

Jesus is the 1st networker. The person who created the chain-store. And etc. Many businesses have a what we called life-cycle of the most not more than 200 years old as far as I know.

You know what in the end there will be only one organization. THis is the organization that have no rentrechment only recruitment. And continue to pay dividends after you die.

Praise GOd.

Awesome post and ideas! Do you know of Darwin Gillett, who's long advocated spiritual principles within business? His book, Noble Enterprise, focuses on understanding the role of Spiritual Capital in providing amazing benefits to a company, its employees, its stakeholders and the world at large.

Thanks for everyone's comments. Lizzie, I haven't heard of Darwin Gillett. Sounds interesting though.

If none of you have read this book "Experiencing LeaderShift - Letting Go of Leadership Heresies" by Don Cousins, pick one up. It will turn your own ideas, concepts and principles and conventional wisdom about christian & church leadership right side up!!

As an appetizer, Don described 4 things God asks when He measures success of one's leadership in ministry or service to His people.

a. Are you being faithful?
b. Are you bearing fruit?
c. Are you fulfilled?
d. Are you making God famous?

Some food for thot!!


Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)