Stewarding a Fruitful and Balanced Life: Questions for Self-Evaluation

by Jeff Hostetter & Evan Keller of Creating Jobs Inc

As we begin a new year, we are posting some ‘foundational’ material on our biblical foundations for business as mission and how we respond to God’s call in each of our individual lives and circumstances.

Want a tool for 2022 growth? In the tradition of assessing areas of growth in the new year, Jeff and Evan created a set of penetrating self-assessment questions in these various aspects of life: growing spiritually, investing in self, managing God’s gifts, stewarding vocations, and nurturing relationships. 

Self-Evaluation Questions for Intentional Growth in Following Jesus

“…so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God” – Colossians 1:10

Growing Spiritually

  • Christ-centered: Am I keeping Jesus, his person, his grace, his example, and his Kingdom mission at the center of my life?
  • Scripture: Am I regularly soaking in God’s Word in multiple ways (listening, meditating, memorizing, studying, and applying)?
  • Character: Do my choices reveal an intention to become more and more like Jesus? Am I growing in Christlike traits, including the fruit of the Spirit?
  • Integrity: Do my private thoughts, words and actions match the person I portray to others?
  • Humility: How am I battling pride and putting others first in my thoughts and actions?
  • Gratitude: How am I replacing complaining with gratitude throughout each day?
  • Identity: Am I secure as a child of God or do I try to prove myself by what I say and do?
  • Purpose: Am I joining God in his mission by using my gifts to glorify him and bless others?
  • Spiritual Gifts: How am I using my spiritual gifts to build up the Body of Christ?
  • Accountability: Who do I regularly lean on for prayer and support in my areas of weakness? What sins am I confessing and repenting of lately?
  • Mentors: Who am I seeking mentoring from in key areas of needed growth?
  • Maturity: How have I grown in the last six months?
  • Idols: Am I examining my heart and inviting God to destroy anything that seeks to usurp his supremacy?
  • Corporate Worship: Am I regularly encountering God and exploring His Word with other believers?
  • Prayer: Am I praying regularly for my family, community, nation, the lost, the poor, the local and global church, and for God’s Kingdom to come “on earth as it is in heaven”?
  • Death: Defying the cultural denial of death, am I “numbering my days”, preparing spiritually, relationally, and financially for my eventual passing?
  • Kingdom: Am I nurturing a longing for God’s Kingdom, including regularly imagining how small and large things in various aspects of life will be different in the Shalom of the Kingdom?

Investing in Self 

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10 Key Points About Work in the Bible Every Christian Should Know

by Andy Mills, co-chair of the Theology of Work Project

As we begin a new year, we are posting some ‘foundational’ material on our biblical foundations for business as mission and how we respond to God’s call in each of our individual lives and circumstances.

Andy became a Christian as a CEO, and he felt God impress upon him the importance of asking, “What difference does being a Christian make for my work?” Over the years, Andy’s extensive experience as a Christian working in the marketplace and his study of scripture have helped him form the following perspective on work.

The Bible makes it clear that work matters to God. No matter what your profession or occupation – whether you’re a parent, a bus driver, an artist or an engineer – God cares about your work. Here are ten key points about work drawn from the Bible. They provide a practical foundation for Christians asking what the Bible says about how we should approach our work.

1) Work is part of God’s big picture

God created all things and He has revealed that, in His sovereignty, He is progressing created order through a process of Creation, Fall and Redemption. God’s created order started with the perfect garden (Garden of Eden) and will be consummated in the perfect city (New Jerusalem).

2) Our actual work matters to God, now and eternally

God has chosen to create men and women in His image to, among other things, work and tend this created order for His glory and for the betterment of humankind.  In ways we can’t fully understand, the good work we do now, done with and for Him, will survive into the New Jerusalem. Work itself has intrinsic value.

3) God provides us with unique skills, gifts and talents, and calls us to particular roles and activities

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Your Kingdom Come, Your Will Be Done… in Business

As we begin a new year, we are posting some ‘foundational’ material on our biblical foundations for business as mission and how we respond to God’s call in each of our individual lives and circumstances.

Your Kingdom Come, Your Will Be Done… in Business

This was the title of a report for the BAM Global Think Tank with the subtitle “Biblical Foundations for Business as Mission” of which this blog post is an excerpt.

The working group who produced the report defined its purpose as identifying principles, models and practices of business that give expression to its role in advancing God’s purpose or mission in the world. Broadly speaking, they worked from the premise that God’s purpose is to establish His Kingdom—a Kingdom to be fully consummated with the second coming of Jesus Christ, but inaugurated in ‘this present age’ (Tit 2:11–14). The establishment of His Kingdom presupposes the redemption of the whole of creation (Rom 8:19–22).

What this means for business is that although profit matters for the sustainability of any business enterprise, it is not the raison d’etre for business as mission (BAM). BAM exists to pursue a different ‘p’, that of (God’s) purpose.

Thoughts on the Fundamental Biblical Purpose of Business

God calls His people to do good… Whenever business is carried out justly, it does good and is God-ordained because we are assured that all good things ‘come from above’ (Jas 1:17). God created the marketplace to serve positive ends. Human provision, facilitated by the beneficial exchanges of the marketplace, is a fundamental function of creation. Commerce can also be, at least informally, a means of revelatory grace, specifically as immanent charis, the kindness, mercy, and goodwill of God in the world, as business generates wealth that can be used to pay wages, feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and care for widows and orphans. Business can be evangelizing witness to the glory of God… Christ is present in the marketplace when the devout carry out their business in accordance with God’s will, purposes, and character (Doty, 2011, pp. 93–4).

Understanding God’s purposes for business comes through understanding God’s purpose for humans outlined in Genesis and understanding God’s purposes for institutions (principalities and powers outlined in the New Testament writings). Broadly, the purpose of business lies within the context of the purpose of life―that is, the ‘chief end of humankind is to glorify God and enjoy God forever’  Read more

Called to Bring Servant Leadership in the Marketplace?

As we begin a new year, we are posting some ‘foundational’ material on our biblical foundations for business as mission and how we respond to God’s call in each of our individual lives and circumstances.

by Peter Shaukat

Christians are called by God to bring servant leadership in the marketplace.  There is critical need for servant leadership in the world today and this is especially true of the marketplace where so much of the world’s agenda and the pace for development is set. The marketplace can and should be a primary context for God’s redemptive action.

Although this need to bring servant leadership is not confined to those called to business as mission, it is vital for BAMers to get to grips with our leadership role in the marketplace.

Psalm 78 verse 70 tells us that God chose David to be his servant leader, taking him from tending to sheep to being a shepherd for His people Israel. Verse 72 describes David’s leadership: ‘David shepherded them with integrity of heart; with skillful hands he led them’. Servant leaders must conduct themselves with integrity, and they must also be competent.

This represents two spheres for servant leadership in a business context: our moral leadership and our operational leadership.

Moral leadership does not depend on title, role or profession. We all can and should bring moral leadership in any situation. Moral leadership is drawing on biblical ethics in each situation and applying the relevance of God’s truth into our business life. It is building relationships of trust, dignity and reconciliation. It is something we walk and model as we create an environment around us that reflects the Kingdom of God.  If we are a business owner or manager we will have a particular opportunity to think carefully through the principles and values that we want to permeate our company or team. However, we all have a divine calling to bring moral leadership, regardless of any official position.

Operational leadership is exercised through our professional competence and excellence within our formal duties and responsibilities. Business involves a complex set of interlocking components all requiring skill and competency. We need to ask ourselves: Are we building our skill set? Do we have the necessary skills within our team to succeed?  Not everyone will be the entrepreneur, we need many kinds of ‘business builders’ to make their contribution in business as mission. Each component of a business enterprise requires Christ-honoring servant leadership.

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