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What is the Biblical way to approach management?

Managers: The Main Characters in Nearly All of Jesus’ Parables

Now, what’s a parable Jesus told that was explicitly about “management” and “managers”? (We can define a “manager” as one charged to be a wise and responsible steward with what he or she has been given.) Where should we begin?! Let’s just list 28 that have specifically a business, financial, and/or resource management context:

  • The Parable of the Talents (Matt. 25:14–30)
  • The Parable of the Minas (Luke 19:12–27)
  • The Wise and the Foolish Builders (Matt. 7:24–27; Luke 6:46–49)
  • The Growing Seed (Mark 4:26–29)
  • The Two Debtors (Luke 7:41–43)
  • The Rich Fool (Luke 12:16–21)
  • The Workers in the Vineyard (Matt. 20:1–16)
  • The Two Sons (Matt. 21:28–32)
  • The Unjust Steward (Luke 16:1–13)
  • The Faithful Servant (Matt. 24:42–51; Mark 13:34–37; Luke 12:35–48)
  • The Ten Virgins (Matt. 25:1–13)
  • The Hidden Treasure (Matt. 13:44)
  • New Wine into Old Wineskins (Matt. 9:17–17; Mark 2:21–22; Luke 5:37–39)
  • Parable of the Sower (Matt. 13:3–9; Mark 4:3–9; Luke 8:5–8)
  • The Tares (Matt. 13:24–30)
  • Parable of the Mustard Seed (Matt. 13:31–32; Mark 4:30–32; Luke 13:18–19)
  • The Leaven (Matt. 13:33–33; Luke 13:20–21)
  • Parable of the Pearl (Matt. 13:45–46)
  • Drawing in the Net (Matt. 13:47–50)
  • Counting the Cost (Luke 14:28–33)
  • The Lost Sheep (Matt. 18:10–14; Luke 15:4–6)
  • The Unforgiving Servant (Matt. 18:23–35)
  • The Lost Coin (Luke 15:8–9)
  • Parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11–32)
  • The Master and Servant (Luke 17:7–10)
  • The Parable of the Tenants (Matt. 21:33–41; Mark 12:1–9; Luke 20:9–16)
  • The Budding Fig Tree (Matt. 24:32–35; Mark 13:28–31; Luke 21:29–33)
  • The Sheep and the Goats (Matt. 25:31–46)

For business managers, there is a goldmine of management wisdom in these parables.


And given that managers are the main characters in nearly all of Jesus’ parables, this is clearly the way in which Jesus wants us to view ourselves.

Here are a few, general Christ-centered management lessons from Jesus’ parables that can help to restore a Biblical view of management.

1: Christ-centered management breaks the “I’m the master” mentality.

In the parables of Jesus that include a “master” as one of the characters, God is depicted as the “master” while people are depicted as the managers, servants, stewards, etc. As managers… that’s how Jesus would have us consider ourselves.

As we immerse ourselves so deeply into leadership teaching and training, it can be easy to allow our leadership mindset to creep into our relationship with God. When it comes to our relationship with God, we are not leaders. We are His followers and stewards of whatever and whoever he entrusts into our care. Let’s not get it backward.

Let’s let God do the leading. We’ll do the managing of what He, our leader, entrusts to us.

2: Christ-centered management keeps us focused on being faithful and effective rather than on being important and significant.

The unforgiving servant in Matthew 18:23-35 thought he was superior to the person who owed money to him. He failed to realize that he himself was subordinate to the master and that the master would not approve of his treatment of his fellow worker.

In responding to His disciples concerning their desires to achieve greater status in society, Jesus said, “Whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant” (Mark 10:43). In other words, “If it’s leadership status you’re after, assume an attitude of humility and subordination.”

People who view themselves as managers—subordinate to God and viewing themselves as less important than others (see Phil. 2:3)—will find it much easier to serve than those who think of themselves as being above other people on some sort of hierarchy.

3: Christ-centered management increases our influence and authority.

In the Parable of the Talents and the Parable of the Minas, the responsible managers were given more responsibility while the irresponsible one had his taken away.

The influence and greatness that comes from God results from being a better manager of the time, calling, gifts, mind, relationships, body, resources, and opportunities God entrusts to each of us. It’s a byproduct rather than the objective.

If we will focus on being better managers—better stewards of what God has entrusted to us—people will follow us, and our authority will increase. God-given influence and effective leadership are byproducts of Christ-centered management.

4: Christ-centered management means we’re accountable for everything entrusted to us.

When we become overly focused on leading and influencing others, we can become deceived into thinking that the behind-the-scenes issues of life and business don’t matter. This is part of what causes business professionals to feel as though their service to God would be “more significant” if they left the marketplace to enter pulpit ministry. Managing money, employees, and day-to-day business operations seems irrelevant to eternity. Nothing could be further from the truth.

As Jesus has demonstrated through His immense amount of management teaching, everything matters to God, and we’ll be held accountable for how we manage even the “smallest” things that God entrusts to us.

Consider the legacy and impact of Moses. The precondition for his level of impact was responsible management over everything God had entrusted to him:

“I, the LORD, shall make Myself known to him in a vision. I shall speak with him in a dream. Not so, with My servant Moses, He is faithful in all My household” (Num. 12:6-7).

As God’s people, everything God has entrusted to us in business and beyond is part of God’s “household.” Let’s be effective Christ-centered managers of every spiritual gift, every cent, every moment, and every relationship God entrusts to us.

Discussion: Do you think our culture is elevating the idea of leadership while deprecating the idea of management? What management lessons can we learn from the parables of Jesus? Like to hear from you


What are these trends and why are they so exciting?

Trend #1: “Less Talk, More Action”

Since the 1990s, the Movement has been focused primarily on highlighting problems such as the separations between sacred and secular, Church and the workplace, etc. Today, rather than waiting for an endorsement of their ministry calling to business, many marketplace Christians are simply doing what they are called to do.

For example, many of today’s Christian entrepreneurs are launching and growing successful companies for the foundational purpose of glorifying God in the marketplace. Telos Ventures Capital is an early-stage venture capital fund that has built and invested in aelof these “Gospel-centred, for-profit ventures” (ref. 1). The company invests $50,000 to $300,000 in viable, early-stage startups whose founders demonstrate a compelling response to the question, “How are you planning to live out your faith through this business model?”

God is revealing new technology to His servants. My eldest son’s new company is called REVELANT (Revelation from God of new technology that is relevant for today). Have you heard of nanofluidity? No! neither had I, in fact, it is new and it is about to revolutionise energy consumption and a whole lot of other industries, oil, water and even treatment of diseases. Take a look on You Tube under Revelant or nanofluidity or nanophysics or check out their website

Trend #2: “Division of Labour”

Every spiritual gift given by the Holy Spirit to the People of God (the Church) is represented in the marketplace. As marketplace Christians are discovering their unique ministry assignments in the business world, a division of labour among the extended Church’s ministry responsibilities is emerging. The uniqueness of our different assignments is the reason for the wide variety of terms and phrases currently used to describe what God is doing in the business world:

  • Biblical Entrepreneurship
  • Marketplace Ministry
  • Business as Mission (BAM)
  • Workplace Ministry
  • The Seven Mountains Mandate
  • Work as Worship
  • Theology of Work
  • Values-Based Investing
  • Theology of Business
  • Eternal Return on Investment (EROI)
  • Christian Companies
  • Social Entrepreneurship
  • Great Commission Companies
  • Christ-Centered Companies
  • Workplace Evangelism
  • Kingdom Business
  • Values-Based Business

Let’s not worry about trying to get everyone to use the same terms. It’s actually a good thing that not every marketplace Christian approaches marketplace Christianity in the exact same way. Every marketplace Christian’s gifts and callings are essential for the fulfilment of God’s will for the business world.

Trend #3: “Ministry Collaboration”

As we recognise the variety and diversity of the Church’s marketplace assignments, many of us are realising opportunities to collaborate with other Christians for the purpose of revealing the glory of God in the business world.

Christian business consultants are providing Spirit-led, Biblically-based business advice for Christian business leaders.

Christian venture capitalists are investing in the companies of Christian entrepreneurs.

Christian chaplains are serving the employees of Christian business owners.

Christian pastors are collaborating with business professionals in their churches to host marketplace ministry equipping programs.

Christian business professionals are referring new customers and clients to each other.

In the podcasting industry (internet radio), an entire eco-system is developing around the theme of “marketplace Christianity.” Since 2013, podcast shows such as The Success Edge, Church for Entrepreneurs, Kingdom Driven Entrepreneur, iWork4Him, Gospel Driven Entrepreneur, Eternal Leadership, Theology of Business, and others have emerged with the goal of helping Christians to apply their Christian faith to their work in business.

The Mission America Coalition has launched a new initiative in which key leaders in the Marketplace Christianity Movement have united under a vision to see 56,000,000 people reached with the love of Jesus in the workplace by the year 2020.

A similar initiative has been launched with marketplace ministries in Australia which includes Business GREENhouse, Paladin Group, Kingdom Builders, Called to Business, Wealth with Purpose and others.

If 56,000,000 people are going to be reached with the love of Jesus in the marketplace by 2020, it’s going to require that we as marketplace Christians work together across denominational, racial, professional, socio-economic, and any other lines that divide us. Approximately 85 percent of Christians spend most of their waking hours working in for-profit companies, so the potential impact of our ministry collaboration for the glory of God is enormous.

Have you noticed evidence of these current trends? Have you noticed any other current trends in the Marketplace Christianity Movement?


Article by Darren Shearer Theology of Business, Three trends in Marketplace Christianity.


You don’t know it all. There are limits to your knowledge, ability and energy. And while the competitive nature of our culture, which often sneaks into our lives for those in leadership, and would have us to hide all of our weaknesses in fear, there is tremendous power in becoming vulnerable with people.


This article was written for church leaders but it just as applicable to business leaders and leaders in general. Deciding to become vulnerable is risky. As church leaders (business leaders), there will be people in our congregations (businesses) that don’t want us to be human. They would prefer that we wear a halo and pretend we’re never tempted to sin in the same ways they are. They feel safer if we, as spiritual leaders, are immune to the crass realities of life.

But when we hide our weaknesses, three big problems arise:

1. Our weaknesses get worse, feeding off the shame and secrecy.

2. We become dishonest and hypocritical.

3. The truth inevitably comes out, and people are disillusioned as a result.

So is bearing our vulnerability worth the risk? Absolutely. Here are some important reasons vulnerability is a forgotten virtue of great leadership:

1. It’s emotionally healthy. Maintaining an image of perfection requires enormous amounts of emotional energy. One of the reasons we sometimes get so stressed-out and depressed is because we’re working so hard to stay behind the facade and keep everyone convinced that we’re strong.

If you are worried about your image, you are heading for burnout. Keeping people happy and impressing others is terribly exhausting, and it’s always temporary. Eventually, people get to know our weaknesses all at once.

Being real and vulnerable, on the other hand, is liberating. It’s freeing. In fact, it’s really the only way to live. James 5:16 says, Confess your faults to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man accomplishes much. We need to confess our sins to God to be forgiven, but we also need to talk about our weaknesses with others to find healing.

In fact, some faults won’t budge until you confess them to others.

2. It’s spiritually empowering. James also says, “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6b). It is impossible to lead in ministry without the grace of God. And how do you find the grace you need? You find it by humbling yourself before God and others.

Remember, pride prevents power.

3. It’s relationally attractive. Everybody is wearing a mask, and it’s what we expect others to do as well. When we choose to throw our masks away, we surprise people with our authenticity. Being real is the fastest way to endear yourself to others.

We tend to love people who area real, honest, humble and vulnerable, and we tend to despise people who are deceitful, arrogant and hypocritical. Paul told the Thessalonian believers, So having great love toward you, we were willing to impart to you not only the gospel of God but also our own lives, because you were dear to us” (1 Thess. 2:8).

When you share your strengths, you create competition. But when you share your weaknesses, you create community. You let people know “We’re all in this together.”

Pastors are often incredibly lonely people. Why? I believe it’s in large part because they’re so afraid of the cost of being vulnerable.

4. It’s a mark of leadership. We only follow leaders we trust. The first requirement for effective leadership is credibility, and the more honest you are, the more credible you become.

Real leaders lead by example. They go first. If your desire is that the church, group or organisation you’re leading be a place where people are open, you must be the first to open up.

You must decide whether you want to impress people (which you can do from a distance) or influence people (which you can only do up close).

5. It increases the impact of your preaching/leading. The concept of preaching from our vulnerability is something I’ve written about before because it’s a really big idea. In the previous generation of great preachers, we usually asked what’s the most powerful way to preach this? Now, we should be asking what’s the most personal way to preach this?

You will always be more effective as a personal witness and a storyteller than as a skilled orator. As you preach and lead, try to answer these questions:

  • What struggles and weaknesses should I share with others?
  • What progress am I making that others could learn from?
  • What am I currently learning, especially from my failures?

Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church. His book, The Purpose Driven Church, was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also founder of, a global Internet community for pastors.

For the original article, visit


As Christians in business, we follow the most radical innovator in human history.

Jesus changed the way leaders serve [Luke 22:26], love [Mark 12:31], work [Luke 16:8], treat our enemies [Matthew 5:44]  and employees [Luke 15:17], pursue profit [Matthew 25:26-27], and even get into heaven [John 14:6].

1. Jesus Swam Upstream

“Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division.” Luke 12:51

Jesus did not just go with the flow – he swam upstream. Time and time again, he challenged conventional wisdom of religious, political, and social mores. His radical, fresh thinking set the tone for what ultimately became the greatest movement in history.

2. Jesus Refused to Patch Old Systems

“And no one puts new wine into old wine-skins. If he does, the wine will burst the skins—and the wine is destroyed, and so are the skins. But new wine is for fresh wine-skins.” Mark 2:22

Whatever works well today will someday wear out. Even my current iPhone will need replacement. And when I do replace it, the new phone will likely be filled with new systems, new ways to work, new ways to learn and communicate, not just patches on top of an old, worn out system.

3. Jesus Drove Real Change

“When many of his disciples heard it, they said, ‘This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?’” John 6:60

Marginal, moderate change seldom accomplishes anything of substance. Real change is hard, yet is absolutely necessary to radical, maximum impact.

4. Jesus Embraced Unconventional Approaches

“And he said to them, ‘Take nothing for your journey, no staff, nor bag, nor bread, nor money; and do not have two tunics.’” Luke 9:3

“Carry no moneybag, no knapsack, no sandals, and greet no one on the road.” Luke 10:4

In Luke 9, Jesus sends his 12 disciples on a road trip with no supplies, same as he did with the 72 in Luke 10. A business trip without supplies, extra clothes, money or food? Really?

Yes, really. Radical approaches are seldom safe, certain, or predictable. That is why so few embrace them – but we should!

5. Jesus Invented the Future

“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.” Matthew 5:17

Although Jesus honoured the past, his goal was to invent the future. Summarising all the Law into two verses (Mark 12:30-31), Jesus honoured the past yet led those willing to listen into a more glorious tomorrow.

Jesus: Radical Innovator

So to be a radical innovator just like Jesus:

  • Swim upstream.
  • Refuse to patch old systems.
  • Drive real change.
  • Embrace unconventional approaches.
  • Invent the future rather than redesign the past.

Which of these do you need to embrace — now?


Free markets are a thing of the past. We can now see the economic consequences of governments controlling markets, education, health and welfare and it is frightening. The debt levels of nations around the world is beyond recovery. Collapse and anarchy are imminent. The video below reveals the details you need to know so you can plan accordingly. The series by R.C.Sproul Jnr is excellent.

Inspire Loyalty with Your Leadership


As the leader of your business, you’re surely aware that the loyalty you inspire in your employees is more than just important; it’s essential, according to Murray Newlands for

Beyond producing improved results from your employees and reducing turnover in your staff, the loyalty you encourage in your team — through the behaviours that you exemplify –will extend itself to your customer base, and beyond.

Loyalty isn’t something you can just gain, at the drop of a hat. To be a leader truly worthy of loyalty takes hard work and requires self-inquiry and a clarity of mind. After all, who can follow someone who doesn’t even know what he or she wants or is headed? Inspiring loyalty may take personal work, but it will be worth the effort when you have a team that will follow you to the ends of the earth.

There are many ways to inspire loyalty, but here are eight ways, the best leaders inspire loyalty, in even the most doubtful employees.

  1. Great leaders give their trust to others, without reservation.

Constantly looking over your employee’s shoulder to second-guess his or her work creates a sense of personal doubt, especially if there has been no pertinent reason to mistrust the staffer’s expertise. Great leaders give their trust to others, without reservation, and those others are then motivated to not only give trust back, but to work harder to meet the expectations of someone they respect.

  1. Employees learn in an encouraging environment.

In the short and long-term, all people need to feel as though their work, and by extension their lives, has meaning and positive progression. If there is no opportunity for learning in an

encouraging environment, employees may start to feel stagnant and resentful.

  1. Employees are encouraged to follow their passions and stretch beyond what they thought was their capacity.

Employees who are encouraged to follow their passions and stretch beyond what they thought was their capacity are sure to have deeply loyal feelings toward a leader who fosters that development.

  1. Leaders are right there in the trenches when needed.

A leader is perhaps expected to have more responsibility than do employees, but that doesn’t mean that the leader is “above” any work that needs to be done. Some of the best leaders I have known are right there in the trenches when that’s called for. If you’re too good to get your hands dirty with your team, your team members will start to see their jobs as menial and unimportant — just as you do. But, if you do whatever it takes for your company to be successful, so will everyone around you.

  1. Leaders are completely clear about their mission and values.

A leader’s clarity creates a compass by which his or her team can navigate. If you aren’t completely clear about your mission and values, it’s obvious to anyone in your employ that following you will lead nowhere. So, be communicative and definitive about your wide-reaching vision and your day-to-day tasks to enable your team to see that your leadership is true.

  1. Great leaders know that cultivating care for their employees creates love and loyalty in return.

Of course there are boundaries around personal relationships at work, but within those boundaries, there is room to recognize that the people who work for you are humans, dealing with trials and tribulations beyond the next budget meeting. Do you know when your employees have major life milestones, like a birth, death, marriage or divorce? Great leaders know that cultivating care for their employees creates love and loyalty in return.

  1. Honest leaders will keep team members. Honesty promotes confidence and trust.

Nothing inspires loyalty more than being honest. Open communication does two things: It creates confidence and trust, and also helps create feelings of inclusion. Being part of a team that works together will make any employee think twice before leaving or making a detrimental decision. Honest leaders will make team members stay much longer than they would have with a leader who hides information.

  1. The greatest leaders create loyalty through their words and actions.

The greatest leaders in the world are not revered because they demanded loyalty — they created loyalty through their words and actions. With everyday care and personal conviction, you too can create a company that is full of employees who are devoted, hard-working, and unwavering.