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Unlocking the Business Brain

by Thomas Sudyk, Evangelistic Commerce 2002 Spring Newsletter, Volume I, Issue II
Copyright 2002 by Evangelistic Commerce

It is not unusual for people to ask what more they can do for God. When this question is asked by business people, the answer (or at least the clear expectation) is often a new, direct role in their church. Some serve as deacons or elders, "supervising" pastors. Others enter directly into ministry as pastors, youth ministers or other ministry leaders. Based on stories and personal observations, such transitions are rarely successful.

A businessperson relocated from the rigor and risk of business into the culture of the typical church suffers tremendous shock. Gone is aggressive pursuit of measurable goals. Gone also is the healthy existence that employees consistently contribute some tangible value to the organization. "Feelings" and "movements of God" seem to the businessperson to replace analysis and strategy as the guideposts for decisions. Habits of successful business people are suddenly considered harsh, insensitive or, at minimum, out of place. A new vocabulary must be mastered, different expectations adopted and varying results tolerated. Oftentimes, the transitory business professional either searches for his or her "spiritual" problem or quits the transition altogether.

The question in mind is: why ask the business professional to make that change? Why allow or encourage the abandonment of business skills gained from years of education and hard work?

For example, should we expect an extremely talented neurosurgeon to decide to go on the mission field to teach Vacation Bible School? Most of us would see it as a waste of his or her God-given talents. That same neurosurgeon going to the mission field to practice her trade by healing the poor and disadvantaged would be laudable. In the same sense, the time has come to reconsider how we respond to business people asking more to do on God's behalf. It makes no sense to move a business professional away from his or her talents and calling just so the work they do can be labeled "spiritual."

Evangelistic Commerce is determined to show business professionals that their business talents are compatible with, and even essential for, Kingdom-enlarging work. God instilled in business people the giftedness necessary to succeed in the marketplace. Strategically employed, people with these gifts can have a powerful, unique impact on evangelism, especially in cultures and countries closed to traditional missionary efforts.

The time has come to begin unlocking the business brain for evangelism. Such unlocking will reinvigorate the seasoned business professional who has grown bored with the daily operations of business. Having mastered their enterprise or their market, many lack inspiration or a challenge. They want more - more of a positive challenge. This is when many of them reevaluate their role and consider "ministry". Questions like these arise: "How can I do something with eternal significance?" or "If I want to work for God, shouldn't my work be in the church? So where do I start?"

Learning to use business talent, experience and connections to support God's work creates new excitement. It is like seeing the trees again after being focused on the forest for too long. The skills obtained through competitive battles fought, difficult contracts negotiated and challenging employees motivated and supervised are suddenly relevant to eternally significant matters. The same skills that appear to many to be out of place in traditional church or mission environments can, in fact, be very beneficial to Kingdom work.

Theory...rhetoric...it can all sound good, but as often heard in the rural areas of Texas, "How do we make this dog hunt?" Theory without application has about as much value as a great salesman without any sales. Jesus said, "Go into all the world" and not, "Let's talk about going into all the world." While we do not claim to have all the answers, we know that this is a developing concept, a movement, which we believe is ordained by God and which is gathering momentum.


Thomas Sudyk is the Executive Director of Evangelistic Commerce, a ministry dedicated to mobilizing the Christian business community to active involvement in global missions. Article written in the Evangelistic Commerce Spring newsletter, Volume I, Issue II. This article may be freely reproduced in any media provided citation is given to Evangelistic Commerce (www.EvangelisticCommerce.org)

 

 

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