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?