#377 It’s None of Your Business: Shape it 

July 10, 2024

 We saw in the previous issue that serving leaders recognize that the business* is not theirs, they are stewards. Yet, stewards are not passive bystanders, they are active participants in the work of building and growing an organization. They are called by God to shape the organization as indicated in these verses: 

God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground” (Genesis 1:28, NIV).

[Leaders are] to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up (Ephesians 4:12).

23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, 24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving (Colossians 3:23-24).

Serving leaders take these, and other scriptures, as their mandate to make things happen. God’s original mandate for humans was to “Be fruitful and increase…fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over…” They are called to work hard with their whole heart in the place where God has allowed them to be a steward. Leaders are called to shape their worlds!

Serving leaders shape the organization by building a kingdom focus.

As stewards of a business or organization, serving leaders see their role as building the organization to accomplish God’s purposes in the world. They see their organization as contributing value to the world through the services and products that they offer. Builders create homes where people can live peacefully in safety and security. Bakers make food that sustains the lives of those they serve. Bankers provide opportunities for investments and financial stability. Every honorable profession is a part of God’s plan for a flourishing world! Some leaders are focused on building their own kingdoms, seeking to obtain wealth for themselves and their offspring. But serving leaders focus on a much larger picture. Serving leaders see their work as a small part of a much larger vision of what God is doing on the earth.  They craft a vision statement of how they bring value to the world. Their mission is focused on building and serving others. Their values reflect God’s heart for the way people should relate to each other. They build teams that demonstrate God’s purpose for the variety of strengths He has given. They delegate power and authority in ways that reflect God’s design for human development and flourishing.

Serving leaders shape the organization by building people.

Most leaders are focused on shaping the business or organization they are leading for success or profit. Serving leaders shape the organization by building people. They understand that as they build people and create a healthy culture the organization will grow and succeed. They see their primary role as “to equip” people for work. Serving leaders shape the organization with a focus on the people. 

Serving leaders shape the organization by building a culture of excellence.

Some leaders focus their organization towards profit and are willing to sacrifice quality when it appears to strengthen their bottom line. But serving leaders see themselves as stewards and all they do as an act of worship since they are “working for the Lord.” They honor God with the best product and service they can produce. They strive to create a culture in which people bring “their whole heart” to the task at hand.  They expect and reward excellence.   

Remember, it’s not your business! Serving leaders serve the organization by shaping it.  

For further reflection and discussion:

  • How does my business or organization fit into God’s grand purposes for the
    world? How do our services/products make the world a better place? How
    effectively do I communicate this to the people inside and outside our
  • In what ways am I growing people in my organization? Do I provide salaries
    that allow people to grow and flourish? Do I align people with their own
    strengths and giftings? Am I continually delegating responsibility and
    authority that builds leadership capacity in my organization?
  • How highly do we value excellence in the organization or team I lead? Are
    there areas in which we do not view our work as an act of worship to God and
    worthy of our best effort? How well does our work environment reflect God’s
    desire for beauty and order? What steps can I take this week to encourage and promote a culture of excellence?

Until next time, yours on the journey,

Jon Byler

*Note: In this series we use “business” to apply to any type of organization whether for profit or non-profit. The principles of this series apply to for-profit enterprises, non-profits (such as churches or NGO’s) and any other domain of work and service.  In the next issue, we’ll look at how serving leaders serve the business.