Although I now enjoy traveling on airplanes less than I used to, the providence always provides me with thought provoking, often productive, considerations. In a recent ecclesiastic related trip, I was given opportunity to thumb through the September 2009 issue of the Delta Sky Magazine, which is strategically and conspicuously placed in the seat-back in front of each passenger. Delta Sky Magazine is often filled with articles on business, education for the executive and the entrepreneur, as well as pieces on travel and leisure. It also has some of the most interesting educational offers for the ‘man on the go’ who hasn’t the time to sit and catch up on the latest business news, or the affairs concerning the global economy. While a secular magazine, I invariably find contained therein certain principles that I can relate to the work of the ministry.
Leadership is a hot topic these days in the business world, and major companies are seeking to train leaders to maximize their profits. It seems that this topic of leadership is also very prominent in the churches as well, since there is a dearth of it. As we all know, the end of secular business is money – sometimes power – but always money, while the end of the work of Christ is to advance the Kingdom on earth, in time and in history (or at least that what it is supposed to be). To put it another way, the goal of secular business is wealth and power through business entrepreneurship, while the goal of Biblical Leadership is spiritual wealth and the advancement of God’s Kingdom by individual regeneration unto societal reconstruction according to God’s Law Order. Kingdom advancement uses Biblical means, strategies and tactics, whereas the secular business world uses any means, since pragmatism is the ideology of secular business. This is why the secular model of business will fail, whereas the Biblical model of Kingdom building will succeed.
Now on the outset permit me make a disclaimer. The Work of Christ, and that of the Church is not a business. In fact it is nothing of the sort. The Gospel work is a ministry commissioned legitimately by Christ to be executed according to His Law Order in the real world. However, I must admit that what the secular world is contemplating, and doing to advance their cause, often stimulates me into thinking Biblically.
As I flipped through the pages of the magazine, the piece entitled “Executive Education’s Top 7 Trends: How Graduate Schools are Modifying MBA Programs to Meet the Needs of the Business World” interested me. My initial thought was, “How can Christendom set up educational programs to advance the Kingdom of Christ on a global scale?”
At the Marshall School of Business located on the Campus of the University of California (I am almost embarrassed to mention UCLA – but I digress), the faculty members are using a curriculum plan that takes a ‘more holistic view’ of the challenges which senior executives encounter on a daily basis. While still teaching the basic operations of business, accounting, operations and marketing, they are looking at the overall picture.
I found this to be an interesting shift in focus since today’s postmodern Christian education, whether at home, in the Christian School, or from the Pulpit, usually fails to look at the overall picture in light of God’s providential workings. The Christian community seems to be ‘tunnel-visioned’, and compartmentalized, unable to see the big picture, and thereby unable to address the problem(s) comprehensively.
This holistic integration process at the Marshall Business School stresses teamwork, and the galvanization of its team members to work together as a task force, targeting particular areas of difficulty. To be sure this method is dominion oriented, albeit on a secular level.
Since God has placed in the Body of Christ all sorts of folks with a variety of skills, He intends for them to work together to identify and solve the problems of the world. Christendom needs to be more integrated and holistic in its approach. Networking is the key to our Dominion Goal. This integration, scenario structuring begins at the local church level. God has providentially placed in each church a very precise group of people, well suited for each other, in order to accomplish the goals that God had ordained for them to accomplish. What the saints need to do, is to find out how they are to work best together in this holistic integrated capacity, and then go out and incorporate that plan into the real world. The church is God’s machine of Theonomic Reconstruction.
While the reading was generally interesting, and I was able to make some notes as to how to incorporate some of the thoughts into Biblical terms and strategies, the “6th Trend” really hit home. Number six was titled, “Evaluating Current Events”. This model forced the students to actually address real world current events in concrete terms. Since all current events play a vital role in business, the students were required to think through the problems in order to find solutions to real world business problems. In other words they were not allowed to engage in the futility of academic acrobatics, or useless abstracts, but had to come to terms with real day-to-day problems, and then solve them with real concrete tactical solutions. What a novel idea. This is the one place the postmodern Christians loath to be.
Today’s professing “religionist” seeks to hide out in the monastic church hoping never to be asked to actually get involved in something culturally. Rather than coming up with concrete solutions to societal problems they are content to complain and talk about what should be done, never actually pounding out the tactical terms for getting anything done. To think beyond the abstract theology of Scripture is something the modern saint has not been challenged with. In fact, church leaders, seeking to alleviate any societal responsibility other than the saving of souls, have peddled a theology of “Cultural Non-Intervention”. This is nothing more than ‘self-seeking Salvationism’ theology, and not the theology of God’s Word. It is seeped in ‘me-ism’ and individual pietism, and has no place in Christ’s Church; it never did and it never will. To come to grips with real solutions to real ethical problems in our culture, which can be implemented so as to restructure the societal order, so that it conforms to the Law-Word of God is now taboo among mainline churches.
The Weatherhead School of Management, for example, emphasizes that no one is born a leader. Leadership must be taught. It can be learned. Of course this is somewhat true for any discipline. Even among the saints, the Scriptures are taught to them and they, by the invention of the Grace of God, learn the several principles therein. It is however those principles that must be applied concretely in the world. That can be taught. Throughout the Scriptures, God’s men learned by instruction, application and trial. God took some of the lowliest of people and groomed them into leadership models. They were given concrete examples, laws, and directives.
The Weatherhead Management School stresses leadership on 4 levels. 1. The individual level, i.e. leading yourself; 2.the team level, i.e. leading a small team; 3. the organizational level, i.e. leading groups of teams; 4. leading in a society. This simple progression has Biblical parallels to be sure. According to Mark Kizilos, assistant director at the Carlson school of Management, “the goals of our programs are to make [the solutions] extremely practical, and to help people go quickly from learning new perspectives and turning them into great results. The problem with the Christian model is that there is no real focus upon results other than getting more people out of the world and into the church, rather than into the world and out of the church, so as to change it.
What Christendom needs is leadership training. The goal is relatively simple, while the task itself is extremely difficult since it takes time, effort and self-sacrifice. The strategic and tactical application of God’s Law Order through concrete solutions is the task at hand, especially in our 21st century where God’s Law order is no longer an acceptable standard of life. The restructuring of the social order through applied Biblical principles must be waged at every level of life, and throughout every institution. It is comprehensive and universal in scope and has far reaching implications. The reversal of sound Biblical order can no longer be tolerated. God’s Cultural Law order must be restored. At the New Geneva Christian Leadership Academy we are experimenting with these very principles. Using Biblical principles and examples, both faculty and students are seeking to expand their knowledge of applied Theonomics for the reconstruction of a God pleasing, Law Ordered Culture.