Jesus - The Original Workplace Leader
by: Ellene Meece, Workplace Leaders Network Director
So here's what I want you to do, God helping you. Take your everyday ordinary life--your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking around life--place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for Him.
That's a verse right out of the Bible! Romans 12:1 [MSG]. Going to work is an offering to God when you are simply embracing what He does for you and then just watching how He turns your entire life into ministry.
I've read that Jesus made 132 public appearances while He was here on earth. Of these, 122 were in the marketplace! He could have made the majority of them in the synagogue, but He chose the everyday, ordinary life to execute His ministry.
Jesus had a trade as a carpenter and was involved with it until He was probably around thirty years old. I am sure He touched people's lives as He built furniture or remodeled bathrooms or whatever a carpenter was skilled at doing in those days. But, when He did lay down His tools, He immediately took His ministry to the workplace . . . where people really live.
Jesus could have built His ministry team around the religious leaders of the day, but He chose twelve men in the workplace instead.
As He began to teach His team, what was the context of His lessons? Yes! The workplace!
Let's take a look in the life of Jesus as He was teaching, Don't pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults--unless, of course, you want the same treatment. That critical spirit has a way of boomeranging. It's easy to see a smudge on your neighbor's face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own. Do you have the nerve to say, 'Let me wash your face for you,' when your own face is distorted by contempt? It's this whole traveling road-show mentality all over again, playing a holier-than-thou part instead of just living your part. Wipe that ugly sneer off your own face, and you might be fit to offer a washcloth to your neighbor.*
Can you see how He related in practical everyday terms that would benefit anyone in a workplace environment?
Jesus continues His seminar, Here is a simple, rule-of-thumb guide for behavior: Ask yourself what you want people to do for you, then grab the initiative and do it for them. And . . . A genuine leader will never exploit your emotions or your pocketbook.*
Someone did the math and figured out that 54% of Jesus' reported teaching ministry arose out of issues of daily life experience. Good point. When a person has issues at home, they bring those issues to work. Jesus invariably met them where they were.
The truth is, Work is Worship. The Hebrew word "avodah" literally means 'labor.' Avodah is also used to describe worship as a group or activities done in a group to help others worship. Hmm . . . work and worship are kinfolks in the Hebrew language! I believe they are related in our daily lives too.
What then is a Workplace Leader? I would say, one who takes his everyday work life and places it before God as an offering. Who then completely meshes his labor into worship and allows God to elevate him into leadership right there in the workplace.
I found these quotes relating to the relevancy of living out your faith at work and being a Workplace Leader.
Billy Graham: "I believe one of the next great moves of God is going to be through the believers in the workplace.”
Franklin Graham, Billy Graham's son and Founder of Samaritan's Purse Ministry: "God has begun an evangelism movement in the workplace that has the potential to transform our society as we know it."
Oswald Chambers, author of several impacting books including My Utmost for His Highest, "The spiritual manifests itself in a life which knows no division into sacred and secular."
Henry Blackaby, author of Experiencing God, "I've never seen the activity of God this deeply in the business community as I do right now . . . God is marshalling His people in the workplace as never before in history. God is up to something. The next spiritual awakening could take place in the marketplace." Henry is a participant in this movement and currently meets regularly with CEOs of Fortune 500 companies to talk about the benefits of bringing Christ into the workplace.
Jesus, Son of God, Creator of Heaven and Earth, original Workplace Leader said this, "So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life--your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life--and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for Him."
*Matthew 7:1-5, Matthew 7:12,16b The Message Bible
Ellene Meece lives in Meeker, Colorado and works with her husband in their natural resource company while running her own online store, http://www.Grandmastreasuresonline.com. Currently, she oversees the marketing for the FMIN Workplace Leaders Network.
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