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October 27, 2022

Why Church?

Why church?

 

Recently my daughter, Ashtyn, and I discussed why church and godly relationships are important. She read in a devotional about how when Jesus taught His disciples to pray, He used plural pronouns: our, us, we, etc. As Christian business leaders, it’s critical to have people around us who know us and that we intentionally encourage others to do the same.

 

“Our Father in heaven, may Your name be kept holy. May your Kingdom come soon. May Your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us today the food we need, and forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us. And don’t let usyield to temptation, but rescue us from the evil one.”

Matthew 6:9-13

 

Interestingly, this is the example Jesus set; in it, He assumes we will pray with others. In our western culture, individualism is celebrated, and our busy lives keep our calendars full. But if we miss this critical aspect of our Christian lives, we won’t be able to fully know God or live the lives He has planned for us.

 

When Jesus was asked what the greatest commandment was, He responded:

 

“‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”

Matthew 22:37-39

 

Jesus says we must love God with everything and love others. They go together, and one can’t happen without the other. To love God is to love others.

 

But if we’re isolated, who can we love? This is why it’s essential to develop relationships with others. To fully obey and love God, we must have other people in our lives we can enjoy, pour into, and learn from. This applies to our workplace and otherwise. Although we have goals and much to do each day within our family of companies, we try to emphasize relationships. If we aren’t connected to others, we won’t function at our full capacity, and the Kingdom of God will be missing important parts.

 

You can easily enough see how this kind of thing works by looking no further than your own body. Your body has many parts – limbs, organs, cells – but no matter how many parts you can name, you’re still one body. It’s the same with Christ. By means of his one Spirit, we all said goodbye to our partial and piecemeal lives…I want you to think about how all this makes you more significant, not less. A body isn’t just a single part blown up into something huge. It’s all the different-but-similar parts arranged and functioning together…As it is, we see that God has carefully placed each part of the body right where he wanted it.

1 Corinthians 12:12-18 MSG (portions omitted for brevity)

 

I am an active part of my local church. I’ve built relationships with my pastors, friends, and leaders, so I have people in my life who know what’s going on with me and can help me and keep me accountable. I’ve been on the board for many years. It’s not always easy or fun to be in close relationships, but it is critical.

 

We need each other, and we’re not whole when one of us is missing. This can look different as our context varies. God says, “For where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them.” (Matthew 18:20) So don’t get hung up on the format but do make sure you have people around you and encourage your team in this as well.

 

Many of our employees may never choose to walk through the doors of a church. But they do come to work each day. So we can intentionally provide ways to connect and grow together in the workplace.

 

How this looks in our companies:

We have a company chaplain who cares for and connects with employees, one-on-one and in group settings.
We have a “fun squad” coordinating birthday celebrations, holiday observances, and company-wide contests.
We host a fair day, company picnic, Easter egg hunt, retreats, and mission trips each year for employees to connect and serve.

 

We started small and have built upon the foundation of the importance of relationships. Of course, you don’t have to do it like we do but focusing on the relational dynamic of your team is critical.

 

As Christians in the marketplace, we must acknowledge where God has placed us and steward our time, talents, and resources to further the Kingdom of God. There is nothing more important.

 

How can you encourage relationships in your workplace?

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