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Can a Pastor Help You Succeed at Work?

By Dr. Gerald Chester - "A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. —Ecclesiastes 4:12" NIV

When Henry Ford was building his automobile empire, he hired a lot people and in the process learned more than he wanted to know about the nature of people. In his own words, all he wanted to do was to “hire a pair of hands.” Instead, he got the whole person—their view of God, their values, their agendas, their family issues, their financial problems, etc.

Because of the complexity of human nature, organizations are embracing the idea of a corporate chaplain. The purpose is to help people with personal problems that interfere with their work. The corporate chaplain model is growing in popularity and clearly has value. But is this chaplaincy model—focused on personal problems—the only role for a spiritual leader in today’s workplace?

To consider that the chaplaincy model may be insufficient for the real needs of organizations, one must believe that God values the workplace. The common paradigm of Christianity today, however, minimizes the value of physical reality; hence, few believe that God values work. Many Christians believe that God only cares about our souls and that work is simply a means to an end—a way to make money.

To dispel this common thinking, please remember that God, a spirit being (John 4:24), created the physical universe. He then declared His physical creation to be very good (Genesis 1:31) and created man to rule it (Genesis 1:26–28)—hardly the words and actions of a Creator who is disinterested in His creation.

I think the Scriptures are clear that God values His creation; therefore, so should we. This means that work in the tangible world is important and should be accomplished with excellence.

To work with excellence requires alignment with God’s rules for work. Remember God created everything including the rules for organizations and working in the physical world. So if you want to have success in God’s universe, you must follow his rules.

One of the key realities of God’s universe is that work is the outworking in the physical realm of underlying spiritual reality. For example, a great worker seeks to serve others because he or she feels the call of God to perform the work. If a worker does not feel the call of God to perform the work, then the other possible motives are ego, personal agendas, or money—none of which will produce good fruit. For work to be done well, the worker must have sound spiritual reality in his own life to produce sound physical work.

Given that work is rooted in spiritual reality, we must be diligent to understand and apply spiritual truth holistically, which means that every area of our lives must be guided by God’s truth. Maximizing our potential to rule God’s creation in the workplace begins by studying and applying the Word of God. We therefore need spiritual coaches to teach, train, and guide us in the truth that we need to succeed in the workplace.

If you are called to the workplace, this means that you need pastors and teachers who can equip you with God’s rules for the workplace. Spiritual leaders also should help you discern and fulfill the business plan of your organization (see James 4:13–17). Spiritual leaders may also be investors in your organization.

Therefore, to enjoy success in the physical world, we must have a solid spiritual foundation in our lives, which comes through godly spiritual leaders, who not only watch over our souls, but also help us fulfill the purposes of God in our work lives. The strength of great workers comes from sound theology at work in them. This happens through the threefold cord concept ( Ecclesiastes 4:12), which is the worker, spiritual leaders, and the Holy Spirit working syncretistically to fulfill the will of God.

Here is your business tip. Submit to godly pastors and teachers who are committed to holistic Christianity. Furthermore, seek to help everyone in your sphere of influence to develop healthy relationships with wise, godly men and/or women who can provide spiritual oversight and accountability based on a holistic paradigm of Christianity. When relationships are in place and functioning in a healthy way, people can grow and mature enabling them to realize their potential and deliver great results. This is the only way to have lasting success and excellence in the workplace.

To read more from Dr. Gerald Chester, visit http://www.strategieswork.com/.

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posted by Justin Forman | 5.20.2009 - 7:34 AM


Thanks for this. I think you would appreciate the sermon by my pastor this week. http://www.harboruptown.org/sermon/heaven-at-work-creating-heaven-on-earth/
commented by Anonymous Michele Corbett, 2:36 PM  

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