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Monday, September 18, 2017

Fundamentals of a Godly Enterprise

Recently, I had the privilege of giving a workplace chapel presentation at Crossway Books in Wheaton, IL. It had added meaning to me as I have several personal relationships at that company. I was recommended by one of those friends.

When these opportunities occur, it’s my natural instinct to ask God what I might say to represent Him well. Minutes after I accepted the request, thoughts flowed naturally to a short list of of what I called, "Fundamentals of a Godly Enterprise." I’ll be sharing these today.

The context for my words was a verse in the Bible that is often quoted: Ephesians 2:10. “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” (ESV) My question for us to consider was simply, how does a person of faith live out good works—in the workplace? How can we set our minds and hearts on performing “God-honoring acts of obedience”—as theologian R.C. Sproul refers to them?

From this, there were actually two messages I wanted to communicate. The first was to relate how my first work in Christian radio in 1986 was simply another job. The same held true in two later employment roles in Christian radio. A breakthrough in my soul came while working in another type of job. I yielded heart and soul to go wherever God would lead me, including “the ministry”— something I had resisted in my life.

Shortly thereafter, I was contacted by a friend who worked for a Christian radio station in Pittsburgh. He asked me to consider joining his team, which I eventually did. I work for that same company today—but in Chicago. And once I was back in my Christian radio role, I embraced a new mindset of ministry.

My point to the audience was, no doubt, quite clear. It’s easier than one thinks to be involved in a “service” oriented work, but not truly have the heart toward service. It’s even more serious an issue when this work is related to advancing the message of the Kingdom of God. That is an important assignment!

My second message was those seven fundamentals. I’ll give an overview of these today. You may see a series of blogs in the future with greater definition on each. These fundamentals apply to both for-profit and non-profit organizations.

Fundamentals of a Godly Enterprise

  1. A mission statement that transcends earthly gain. If our endeavors are only pointed at worldly achievements and have no lasting value, it seems we come to the end of our time feeling little true accomplishment. 
  2. Leadership that clearly communicates values that mean something. My friend John Blumberg is a specialist at coaching companies on core values—those that are lived out beyond just words. 
  3. A recognition that people are the functional priority of God. If there is no nurturing of healthy relationships, one can expect an unhealthy work environment.
  4. An open transparency that allows for weakness—but not as an excuse for poor performance. All of us use poor judgment or make mistakes occasionally at work. A healthy workplace is forgiving. But corrective coaching must result in positive improvement. 
  5. Frequent celebrations of success and the people who helped make it happen. I’ve seen it many times. A big push for a goal ultimately reached. But, rather than enjoy and celebrate, new pressure is immediately applied for what’s next. Hey…enjoy the moment and celebrate!
  6. A generous employer who wisely supports his team, community, and stakeholders. This goes beyond compensation. It is a heart attitude. 
  7. Establishing an enterprise. Not an institution. People have very different perspectives on what those two terms imply. Better be always thinking forward as an enterprise—using God’s great gift of creativity.

Applying a good heart to our work. Living by principles of a godly enterprise. Do this and you will see the fruit of good works…in the workplace.

That’s The Way WE Work. Click on the link to the right to connect via Facebook.

Let’s Talk with Mark Elfstrand can be heard weekdays from 4-6 PM Central. To listen outside the Chicago area, tune to for live streaming or podcasts, or download the AM1160 app.

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