Weekly Impact is written for leaders by our former Executive Director, Garth Jestley, who has decades of experience in senior leadership roles in the financial services sector. Each week he will share insights on life, leadership and faith.
Recently, one of the pastors at my local church delivered a message that may be paraphrased as “live wholeheartedly where we are as though we are going to be there forever.” His message was based upon the prophet Jeremiah’s letter to the Israelites who had been exiled to Babylon.
Since they had been forcibly removed from their own country, it is reasonable to assume that the last thing the people of Israel wanted to hear was instructions to settle down in Babylon, have children and pray for the nation holding them captive. Put differently, Jeremiah was exhorting them to live wholeheartedly in exile!
This message has relevance for marketplace leaders who are followers of Jesus. It begs the personal question, “Am I conducting myself in the marketplace as though it is a temporary assignment pending reassignment to something (seemingly) more spiritual?” The way in which we answer this question has implications both for our attitude to our work as well as our attitude to sharing our faith with peers in the marketplace.
Am I living today as though I am moving elsewhere tomorrow?
From personal experience, our attitude to our work plays a major role in how well we represent Jesus in the marketplace. Specifically, the pursuit of excellence in all we do makes Jesus (in us) attractive as we give our best to our organization and those we lead. An attitude of excellence requires that we be fully invested in the present, albeit with an eye to the future.
By contrast, if we live with our bags packed for an alternative desired future, we are unlikely to do our best today. In the Bible, we are told, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.” (Colossians 3:23 NIV)
Similarly, our attitude to sharing our faith with marketplace peers is deeply influenced by our long-term perspective. As it happens, the hostile environment facing the Jews during the exile is quite analogous to the (often) hostile environment facing Christian marketplace leaders today. Hostile environment notwithstanding, we leaders are called to be witnesses for our faith in the marketplace unless or until God calls us to something else.
By helping marketplace leaders explore the relevance of faith in their professional and personal lives, LeaderImpact enables Christian marketplace leaders to obey Jesus’ commandment to make disciples.
Here are two questions for Christian marketplace leaders this week.
- Am I committed to excellence in all I do in the marketplace?
- Am I committed to sharing my faith in the marketplace?
Garth Jestley is a husband, father, grandfather, leader and business executive. Most importantly, he is a follower of Jesus Christ.