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Just Be Like Him

For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.                                                                                                             - Romans 8:29

How do we serve as effective ambassadors and marketing vehicles for God? The Highest form of marketing for God is to just be like Him. We serve Him best when we emulate Him. Now, you might be wondering exactly how we mere humans could even entertain the notion of being like almighty God, especially in the ruthless and cutthroat world of business. Well, this may not be as much of a quantum leap as you might think.

Be Imitators of God

First, we must remember that God created us in His own image (Genesis 1:26). He calls us “gods” and we are instructed to be imitators of God (Psalm 82:6; John 10:34; Ephesians 5:1). So we must leverage our godly brand attributes and obey His commandment to imitate or be like Him.

Be Conformed to the Image of His Son

Fortunately, God has already given us a professional coach to help us with this. God declares that we are to be “conformed to the image of His Son” (Romans 8:29, NKJV; 2 Corinthians 3:18).

Jesus Christ is our ultimate role model and coach. He is the Benchmark. The Standard. The Bible tells us that we have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16) and Christ has the mind of God, so being like Him is not impossible.

Jesus tells us:

  • Don’t you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words I speak are not my own, but my Father who lives in me does his work through me (John 14:10, NLT).
  • I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you (John 13:15, NLT).

Jesus is saying that He has given us an example and a pattern to follow so that we can serve as effective ambassadors and marketing vehicles for God. You don’t have to lecture or preach about God at work. The only thing you need to do is just be like Jesus.

The Bible says that “Jesus went around doing good” (Acts 10:38, NLT). Just by reading the Bible and learning more about Jesus and His leadership practices, we can learn so much about how to be ambassadors for God, particularly within the commercial arena.

In the Foreword for the book, Church on Sunday, Work on Monday, Ken Blanchard, world-renown leadership expert, states that “Jesus was a leadership model for all leaders” and that “business leaders need help and they need the kind of help that they can get from the leadership message of Jesus.”

We are to share God’s blessings and anointing in our lives with others so that we can give them a preview of Jesus and God’s redemptive power (Revelation 1:1-5).

Just be like Him in the workplace and in the marketplace and you will attract the attention of your target audience. Just being like Jesus equates to leading and ministering to others by example. We are to exemplify godly principles in our business philosophy and practice. We are to be holy because He is holy (Leviticus 20: 7-8; 1 Peter 1:14-16).

When we commit to being like Him, we are committing to be role models in our conduct (1 Timothy 4:12). We are committing to show others how to be “a pattern of good works; in doctrine showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility, sound speech that cannot be condemned” (Titus 2:7-8, NKJV) putting our opponents to shame to the point that they have nothing negative to say about us!  We are committing to set the Highest standards for others to follow by allowing our business practices to give credence to our belief in God. But does this mean that we have to be perfect?

Must we be perfect?

The Bible tells us in Ephesians 4:1 (NKJV) that we must mature as individuals and “grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ.” We are to be obedient to God and live and mature by following the example of the life of Jesus Christ. But this doesn’t mean that we have to be perfect. We just need to exemplify excellence and wisdom. Remember, excellence is doing your best. Excellence is not perfection. We will never be perfect, for we all sin and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). We just need to do our best to live the Christian life we espouse so that God can use our faith, testimonies, and blessings to bring others closer to Him.

Corporate vs Kingdom Philanthropy

Corporate vs Kingdom Philanthropy

But he who did not know, yet committed things deserving of stripes, shall be beaten with few. For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more.                                                                                                             - Luke 12:48

How can we leverage corporate social responsibility for the Highest good?  How do we extend our philanthropic initiatives from merely building up a company to building up the Kingdom of God?  How do we pursue Kingdom philanthropy?

The Divine Situation Analysis

The Divine Situation Analysis

Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you his peace at all times and in every situation. The  Lord be with you all.       - 2 Thessalonians 3:16 (ESV)

How do you meet the needs of your market?  What are the internal strengths and weaknesses and external opportunities and threats impacting your business?

These questions are generally addressed in the section of your business plan called the situation analysis.  This section is also sometimes referred to as the situation assessment, market analysis, competitive analysis, or industry outlook.  It is the part of your business plan that includes your qualitative and quantitative research.

The Habakkuk Guidelines: 8 Steps For Imparting Your Vision

Then the Lord answered me and said: “Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time; But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie, though it tarries, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.” - Habakkuk 2: 2-3 (NKJV)

 

 What’s vision has God given you for your business?  How can you ensure that your team members understand the vision?

 

We know that the word vision is generally defined as the power of seeing; discernment; something seen in the imagination, in a dream, or in one’s thoughts. A vision statement  describes the long-term aspirations of a company and offers direction for the organization by encouraging behaviors that are consistent with the achievement of the corporate mission.

Mission vs. Vision

A mission statement communicates what an organization is doing and a vision statement communicates where it is going.  Your mission and vision statements should not be mutually exclusive. Accomplishing one should not preclude achieving the other. Both should be able to coexist. Your vision statement should describe a state that is a natural progression to a Higher level of excellence from the core business focus embodied in your mission statement.

 

Just as God reveals His mission for us, He will also reveal His vision for our lives and businesses. Vision originates from God (Acts 2:17; Ezekiel 11:24-25). The Bible says that “where there is no vision, the people perish” (Proverbs 29:18, KJV). All of us must have a goal that is meaningful and exquisite to strive for—a dream, a vision.

 

 The 8 Steps

 

The book of Habakkuk provides excellent guidelines and practical principles for putting your God-given vision into action. Let’s begin with Habakkuk 2:2-3, where God provides detailed instructions for imparting your vision. For instance, He says that your vision is:

  1. To be written down or recorded (v.2).
  2. To be made plain so that others can understand it (v.2).
  3. To be shared with other individuals (v.2).
  4. For motivating others toward a common goal (v.2).
  5. To be acted on or implemented (v.2).
  6. For a specific time in the future (v.3).
  7. Not to be discarded (v.3).
  8. Fail-proof (v.3).

 

Follow the above steps and principles as you as you identify, design, and communicate your vision.  And, do not be overwhelmed if God gives you a vision that the world has not yet seen.

 

When God gives the Vision, He also offers the Provision

 

Be encouraged!  When God gives you the vision, He also gives you the provision that you need to accomplish them (Psalm 37:5). He will give you all of the necessary resources—both tangible (e.g., professional contacts and financial resources) and intangible (e.g. grace and favor)—to make what you envision a reality.

 

When God gives us a vision, He not only supplies the provision, but He actually goes ahead of us to prepare a way for us to accomplish His will (Exodus 23:20; Matthew 11:10; Isaiah 45:2-3). Just as God strategically placed a mysterious man to help Joshua lead the children of Israel (Joshua 1:1-9; 5:13-15), He will also go ahead of us to place people and resources to help us on our journeys.

 

Just as “Jesus increased in wisdom, stature, and favor with God and men” (Luke 2:52, NKJV), the same can and will happen for you and me. Trust God’s infinite provisioning and allow the Spirit of God to work through you (Matthew 10:19-20).

 

Whatever God calls you to do, pursue it wholeheartedly with the confidence that you will achieve it “for He who promised is faithful” (Hebrews 10:23, NKJV; Numbers 23:19). As Jesus says, “Because of your faith it will happen” (Matthew 9:29).

 

Are You Modeling A Servant Spirit?

But as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct,  because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.” - 1 Peter 1:15-16 (NKJV)

 

Chick-fil-A Servant Spirit:  In Theory

 

Awhile ago, I read an issue of In Touch, the magazine produced by Dr. Charles Stanley’s church, First Baptist Atlanta. The publication featured an article titled: “Dan Cathy: Leading the Next Generation at Chick-fil-A.”  The article mentioned that Mr. Cathy “spends most of his time traveling, helping with grand openings for new franchises, staying attuned to customers’ needs, and modeling a servant spirit for the employees.”

 

The fact that Chick-fil-A includes “modeling a servant spirit for employees” as a part of their corporate culture and one of their most critical business imperatives speaks volumes for their focus on servant leadership. In the article, Dan states:

 

God wants to use the local church to make a difference. There are so many negative forces going on in our society. This is a fallen culture that we live in…but if we’ll acknowledge God in all our ways, then not only for us as a family and as a business but even for us all as a nation, God will continue to direct our paths.

 

Chick-fil-A Servant Spirit:  In Practice

 

I had the unique opportunity to experience Dan Cathy’s humble attitude and servant leadership approach in person when I recently had the pleasure of meeting and chatting with him at a Dallas Regional Chamber of Commerce luncheon where he was the keynote speaker.

 

During his powerful presentation, he shared a number of interesting items and artifacts and explained how each symbolized specific leadership principles. One of these articles was a shoe brush. Dan explained how it was used for brushing and shining shoes, but, for him, it also represented the importance of remaining a humble servant and reminded him of how Jesus washed the feet of His disciples.

 

Well, after explaining this, Dan asked a gentleman from the audience to come and stand beside him. And to our utter amazement, Dan got on his knees and actually rolled up the cuffs of the man’s trousers and brushed and shined his shoes!  When he finished, he pulled the cuffs back down, stood up, and gave the man a hug! Dan explained that this is the type of servant attitude that he tries to impart to his employees. Dan’s actions transcended his words in an extraordinary way and left an affirmative, indelible impression that I will never forget.

 

We must always pray for spiritual discernment in creating a corporate culture that is not only authentic, but also honors God.  You should be so much of a positive influence on others that their lives should be enhanced as a result of being under your leadership and authority. I believe the definition of an exceptional leader is one who serves and enhances the lives of others by moving them closer to God and the achievement of their spiritual calling and purpose.  If you can create a culture to facilitate this, then you are one step closer to truly transforming the workplace and marketplace.