This post is written for Christian men and women who are in positions of leadership in the marketplace. In my view this is a crucial position of influential that we as believers in Jesus Christ MUST take seriously. This is the place where the “rubber meets the road” so to speak; this is the place where we must be faithful to what we know to be true and right. This place of leadership has the power to influence either positively or negatively how those we are given responsibility for will view the gospel. And that is an “eternal” responsibility we must embrace.
I have witnessed “Christian” leaders who have not taken this responsibility seriously. Those men and women drove their employees away from the gospel. They did not learn how to apply Biblical truths about leadership to their role in the marketplace. Because you are reading this post, I will assume that you are actively searching for ways to live out your faith in the marketplace. So … here is what I suggest, Ephesians 2: 19-20 “Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone.”
In the marketplace, in your role as owner, executive, or manager you are directed to use Jesus as your cornerstone. The function of the cornerstone in a building is of vital to the proper construction of that building. The cornerstone is set straight and true and then all measurements for placement of the rest of the building components are measured from the point of the cornerstone. If the cornerstone is not set correctly the entire building will be faulty. The same is true for you and I, if we don’t set our cornerstone correctly for leadership our teams will not perform up to our expectations. And for us the cornerstone for our leadership must be Jesus!
Character & Values …
So what does that mean for you in the day to day operations of business and team leadership? There are a number of attributes that we can talk about but today I will limit my thoughts to Character & Values. What are the character traits that Jesus lived that you and I need to emulate in leadership of our teams? The first place that I would direct you to for meditation and study is the Sermon on the Mount (see Matthew 5 & 6). The characteristics that will jump out at you will include Godly attitudes (Matt 5:1-12), reconciliation (Matt 5:21-26), faithfulness (Matt 5: 27-32), integrity (Matt 5:33-37), forgiveness (Matt 5: 38-42), humility (Matt 6: 1-4), priorities (Matt 6:19-24)and love God & love others (Mat 5: 43-48).
Here’s an example of how one of these characteristics is applied in our business … Humility (Matt 6: 1-4) The nature of my business is to be in the role of “expert” but I always remember and give credit to Jesus as the author and finisher of my faith and the work that I perform. Although I we must take on authority to accomplish the tasks I am assigned by my clients, I am never proud or boastful.
Guess what, that’s not the only list that you get to use to improve your character and values. The New Testament is full of instructions for leaders. Here’s another example from 2 Timothy 3: “1 Here is a trustworthy saying: Whoever aspires to be an overseer desires a noble task. 2 Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3 not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. 4 He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him, and he must do so in a manner worthy of full[a] respect. 5 (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?) 6 He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil. 7 He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap.” It is a given that Paul was talking about church leaders; that is certainly true but what happens when you start to think of your team as the flock that the Father has given you to shepherd. In order to be a good witness to those you shepherd you must be above reproach, faithful, temperate and so on. This passage absolutely applies to us as business leaders.
How you apply these values and characteristics to yourself and your business is a matter for discussion between you and Holy Spirit. I can give you examples all day of how to apply these truths, but those would be my examples and not yours. You have to own them! You have to live them out! What I can tell you is that this takes time and meditation for you to get these principles from your head to your heart. Nor will the Devil will sit idly on the side-lines and watch you do it. He is going to be on the attack once he sees you are serious about this work of applying Biblical truths to your marketplace. He most certainly will cause you problems BUT “He that is in you is greater than he that is in the world.” So every day you get up you put on the full armor of God (Ephesians 6: 10-18) and fight the good fight of faith.
Be blessed and keep singing HIS praises!