What Pastors and Business Leaders Can Learn from Each Other

A couple of years ago Mike Myatt interviewed me and asked some great leadership questions. Not sure how good my answers were, but in any case, you can watch the entire interview here.

One of the questions he asked me was “what can Church leaders learn from Business leaders, and what can business leaders learn from church leaders?” Good question.

I thought I would provide a few more thoughts around this issue here.

Church Leaders, here are a few things you can learn from Business Leaders:

1. Collaboration– business is built around partnerships and collaboration. Many times you will see competitors in business partnering together if it makes business sense and they can create a profitable return. We have a tendency in the Church to be protective, selfish and isolated, whether it’s between denominations, associations, or other churches in our communities. Especially the pastor right down the street from us.

2. Excellence– if a business doesn’t create a great product, no one will buy from them and they will go out of business. And if you aren’t good at what you do, whether a designer or consultant or restaurant owner or UPS driver, then you won’t last. Sometimes in the church we have the tendency to make excellence a low level priority, and we don’t demand that staff members constantly get better. I’ve written several times about doing what you do with excellence. And pastors, don’t be afraid to ask your business leaders to get involved in helping you create excellence with what you do.

3. Execution– the business world is built on “getting things done on time.” Again, without this as a core value, businesses will fail. Church leaders can learn a ton regarding execution from the business leaders sitting in your seats or pews on Sunday morning.

4. Measure success– businesses measure their success mostly based on return on investment- the idea of creating a profit. There are definitely other factors, but that one is key. You have to measure your success in order to know if you’ve accomplished your mission. In the Church, many times we are not as intentional at measuring our success because we’re in the “people” business. But I believe the Church is doing the most important work in the world, and to not hold ourselves accountable and constantly measure whether we are creating “Kingdom” profit is not good stewardship.

Business Leaders, here are a few things you can learn from Church Leaders:

1. Relationships first– the currency of getting things done in the Church is through relationships. Many times in business we are so focused on execution and profit and margin that we forget about the relational currency we are building or not building.

2. Income for greater purposes– Business leaders- Look for ways to create a “triple bottom line” in your business. Meaning you find ways to give back and be generous and help those in need. This has become the new standard for many businesses- no longer are you only measured by what profit you make- but now measured by what kind of investment you give back to the community. Church leaders understand this.

3. Leadership– some of the best leaders in the world are on staff at Churches, especially those who lead volunteers every week. If you can get hundreds of volunteers motivated and excited and committed to serving, then there are all kinds of leadership lessons we can learn from you and implement in the business world.

4. Passion and calling– great ministry leaders have a sense of calling on their life that is inspiring. They do what they do with great passion, many times sacrificing a higher paying job or other opportunities because of the specific purpose God has laid on their life. Business leaders should have the same level of passion, purpose and calling for their vocation. There is NO sacred and secular. It’s all sacred. Your calling as a business professional is not second class, so run after it with a desire to truly live for God in the marketplace.

Read more from Brad here.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Brad Lomenick

Brad Lomenick

In a nutshell, I’m an Oklahoma boy now residing in the South. I am a passionate follower of Christ, and have the privilege of leading and directing a movement of young leaders called Catalyst. We see our role as equipping, inspiring, and releasing the next generation of young Christian leaders, and do this through events, resources, consulting, content and connecting a community of like-minded Catalysts all over the world. I appreciate the chance to continually connect with and collaborate alongside leaders.

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comment_post_ID); ?> I am a senior citizen who has lived in many areas of the US, the farthest south being Virginia DC area. There are several church plants in the area--some failed, some doing well. One of the sadist failures was a plant in NW Washington near a large Presbyterian Church (I had been an elder in the church, so I knew the area) where changes in church doctrine was driving many away from the PCUSA churches. There were many mature Christians who lived in the area who were very willing to participate and give generously to the church. Its failure was a loss. The pastor and his wife lived in a VA suburb, wanted something that would appeal to their tastes, which included "praise music". There was a professional piano teacher and several people who had sung in choirs in the area. Their suggestions were completely ignored. Forget that there was joyous participation in singing hymns and silence by many for the praise music. The experienced church leaders that were attending were expected to seek the wisdom of the pastor who did not live in the area rather than have any role in leadership. There is another church plant in Northern Virginia that seems to be going the same way. My take: the pastors should get past their high-school and college days culture and get to know and appreciate the people of the community. Do not try to reproduce Intervarsity or Campus Crusade. Hymns are not a sin and "uneducated" (never graduated from college) should not be ignored as uninformed or stupid. People who have served in and/or live in the area are needed in leadership and not just to serve coffee and give. We all need to pray together and serve God in the community in which there is to be a plant. Glenna Hendricks
 
— Glenna Hendricks
 
comment_post_ID); ?> I like it Mac and do agree with your opinions on the matter. Thanks much
 
— winston
 
comment_post_ID); ?> In this era, we have the opportunity of professional church staff today who utilize their gifting to shape the image and atmosphere of the church organization. But the 100% real impact on the church visitors is genuine evidence of changed lives by the gospel and the active growing discipleship (just as it was in the first century church). One demonstration is financially rich believers ministering equally together with poor believers (how odd, and incredibly miraculous; all humble and bow at the foot of the cross.). It is the awesome contrast of church members vocations, race, gender, age, maturity, gifting, humility that demonstrates to visitors "there is a Spirit in the place". That first-time guest list of 10 are "physical excuses", not spiritual excuses. Those don't tell the story. The condition of facilities and publicly greeting people have zero to do with it. The power of God in and through believers lives dedicated to impact other people with their relationship bridge-building of acceptance of the lost around them. Empowered believers are infectious, loving, helpful, giving, self-less, dynamic, compelling, bold, Christ-filled. As I have been in many church settings domestically and internationally, the facilities can be poor, and yet the fellowship can still be rich. We need to operate with first church humility. People come to Christ on His terms, not on our human abilities of hospitality. A huge catastrophe in a community, disaster relief brings lots of people into churches – many come to the church in those terrible conditions no matter the physical condition of the local church. Off the condition of facility, and onto the condition of God's people (living stones).... and everything else will grow.... and the other physical issues will be corrected by the staff.
 
— Russ Wright
 

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