Mission fulfillment with economic vitality in King James English

It drives me crazy when the Bible is reduced to an organizational management  textbook. Nothing sets my teeth on edge as do titles like How to Lead by the Book, Managing Stress with the Word of God, or The Bible on Leadership.

Don’t get me wrong. I believe that scripture is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16). But I’m pretty certain the Apostle Paul wasn’t thinking about personnel management, CEO evaluations, or strategic planning when he wrote those words.

So imagine my surprise when my advice to a group of seminary trustees came back at me via the Bible reading from the morning devotional.

As is usual in my presentations to boards, I had made a big deal of the responsibility that trustees carry for balancing mission fulfillment with economic vitality – for making certain the organization is doing what it has committed itself to doing, with money left over for new possibilities. Then there it was, my teaching,  in King James English. “Be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord” (I Corinthians 15:58).

  • Steadfast. Unmovable. What a great “hand-to-plow” way of framing the idea of follow through on mission commitments.
  • Always abounding. It’s hard to imagine a lovelier definition of economic vitality within the context of organizations engaged in “the work of the Lord.”

DO YOU SEE IT NOW?

It was a though the Holy Spirit was poking me. “You think you’re so smart with your supposed ‘new wisdom.’ Your big idea was here all along. What took you so long to find it?”

I don’t expect anyone else to see what I saw in the words from I Corinthians. And my opinion of those who twist the Bible to the shape of modern-day organizational life hasn’t changed. Yet I have to admit my delight at stumbling across a holy reinforcement for a principle of good governance that I hold dear.

Okay, so the Apostle Paul wasn’t thinking about best practices in organizational finances when he wrote these words. Nonetheless, the modern-day application of an old truth works for me.

Once again, I’m reminded that there really is nothing new under the sun – or in this case, Son.

Comments

  1. One of your best, and good homiletics too

  2. Thanks, Mark. Your affirmation is much appreciated.

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