Professional Christians

bigstock-Need-Direction-Jesus-Is-The-W-1950082In building my current business venture I was revisiting some of the business culture writings I have read in the past. I have been pushing my staff to be professionals, to focus on goals and results instead of rote tasks. To understand the overall objective and achieve it, to look for success in serving our customers. Here is the quote from the excellent book, Beyond Reengineering:

“Conventionally, the term professional has been used to refer to physicians, attorneys, architects, accountants, and the like. While these conventional professionals all have advanced academic training, that is not their defining characteristic. A professional is someone who is responsible for achieving a result rather than performing a task. You don’t go to a doctor to have your throat examined, your blood pressure taken or your heart checked. You go to the doctor to get well. The physician’s focus must not be on activity, but on outcome. The goal of a good physician is not taking many pulses and looking at many throats, but curing many patients. The attorney’s client is not interested in the quantity or even the quality of the briefs and arguments that the attorney makes. The client only cares whether or not the case is won. An architect is someone who creates a design for a building, not someone who does renderings or computes stresses. The tasks get done, but it is the outcome – produced by a process – that truly defines the work of the professional.”

Beyond Reengineering – Michael Hammer

I was thinking this morning that it applies as much to our walk with God as it does work life. Frankly, like many other principles it truly applies to every aspect of our life. I have always found it amazing how intricate and nested our world is. The same principles apply to people that apply to atomic particles and planetary systems. Fluid dynamics or machines can be fabricated that exactly model electrical systems, similar rules bind the behaviors of all the systems, one of the mysteries of engineering. Likewise relational and work principles apply to us as individuals yet also to large groups. Lessons learned in family life can make business life more productive and vice versa.

As Christians we are not just called to check off a list of tasks:

  • Go to church
  • Read our Bible
  • Pray
  • Not be sinful

Too often we get lost in these tasks, we assume that if we do these things that God will do His work. We lose track of the process we are called to participate in. We are challenged to be a light to the world. We are called to be disciples who make disciples. To tell the world the truth of God’s grace and Christ sacrifice. We are to do this, first loving God with all of our heart and loving our neighbor the same way we love ourselves. Along the way we perform the tasks of church participation, studying God’s word, praying, and seeking righteousness. These are all to be done in the context of the great commission and the expansion of the kingdom of God.

We are also called to put on the whole armor that God has provided for us.

  • Covering our insecurities with Truth (Gird our loins with Truth)
  • Covering our heart with Righteousness (Breastplate of Righteousness)
  • Taking steps to promote Peace and the Love of Christ (Feet shod with the preparation of the Gospel of Peace)
  • Be filled with the Holy Spirit and God’s word (Sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God)

These tools are given to us to complete the mission, not to give us strength to execute a task list. As Christians we need to elevate ourselves to living out the mission and purpose God has give to us. The human mind was made to solve complex problems, to consider eternal things. We are made in God’s own image. We need to stop mindlessly executing tasks like factory workers and think like the professionals God created us to be.

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