What Christians Can Learn from Secular Business Thinking

Do good and serve others: Biblical lessons from unlikely places.
What Christians Can Learn from Secular Business Thinking
Image: Sebastiaan ter Burg / Flickr

“To imagine none can teach you but those who are themselves saved from sin, is a very great and dangerous mistake. Give not place to it for a moment.” – John Wesley, A Plain Account of Christian Perfection

There is sometimes an instinct within Christian leadership that downplays business thinking. After all, the church has a different purpose than a business, so why should it operate like one? A few leaders go as far as saying that “business thinking is ruining the church.”

Increasingly, though, we see Christian leaders and organizations opening up to the insights of the business world: leadership development, teamwork, productivity, people management, and more. Willow Creek’s Global Leadership Summit, Catalyst, and other training grounds for church leaders apply such principles with great effectiveness. Christian authors and speakers like Jon Acuff bring these principles directly into their work.

That’s what I sought to do when I was on the leadership team of a major evangelical ministry, and it’s what I seek to do in my books, including What’s Best Next. I have found it essential for Christians leaders to seek out and learn from secular business thinkers. Using a biblical framework, we become better leaders, and better Christians, when we do.

One of the best-kept secrets is that much of the strongest business thinking lines up with a biblical worldview. We see this in two of the most significant trends in business thinking: an emphasis on purpose and on service.

Putting Purpose over Profit

Business is often maligned for sacrificing people at the altar of profit. As the stereotype goes, if you want to succeed, you need to make profit your ultimate aim ...

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