#319 A Flourishing World: God’s Design

March 2, 2022

God designed our world to flourish. Not to simply exist or survive, but to thrive! He created a flourishing world.

1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 20 And God said, “Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the vault of the sky.”

31 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day. (Genesis 1:1, 20, 31, NIV)

What an amazing picture of the world! There was provision, abundance, thriving, multiplication, life, health, harmony and beauty. It was filled with luscious green trees, beautiful flowers and was teeming with life, it was a flourishing world!  This was the design of the creator.

In this series we’ll look at the ingredients serving leaders cultivate to create a flourishing world. First, they reflect on the significance of God’s design for flourishing.

God’s design accelerates flourishing by acknowledging the intent.

The flourishing world God created was soon fundamentally changed when sin entered the picture, but His intent did not change. His design was built into the DNA of the universe! Just as God created an environment designed to produce life and growth, leaders who understand God’s design partner with Him in restoring this flourishing world. Serving leaders acknowledge God’s intent as they create and shape and environments that reflect His design for flourishing.  

God’s design accelerates flourishing by anticipating the impact.

What does a flourishing world look like in a business, a church, a factory, or school? When people are flourishing, they stand taller and straighter. They walk with more confidence and take appropriate authority over the work that is in their domain. They understand the significance of their work. They find pleasure and satisfaction in what they are doing and increasingly contribute more of the unique gifts they possess. They think of ways to improve and freely share their ideas. They grow and become more fully alive. The impact of this flourishing extends far beyond the workplace, it reaches into the homes and communities where they live. Around them, they encourage others to grow and flourish.  Serving leaders anticipate the difference flourishing would make in those they serve and do all they can to create an environment that will encourage them to flourish.

God’s design accelerates flourishing by accepting the implications.

What does God’s design imply for leaders? Serving leaders look for and expect flourishing in their organizations. Numbers and statistics are not their ultimate goal; flourishing is! They measure success by people who are standing taller and growing. Serving leaders also accept their role in the process. Just as God created an environment that produced flourishing, leaders are responsible to create and shape a similar environment. Leaders are like farmers that add nutrients to the soil so the seeds will grow well. Serving leaders accept their role as the ones who will focus on the “soil” in their organization and keep adding nutrients until everyone is thriving. What are those nutrients? We’ll examine one ingredient in each of the issues in this series. 

Serving leaders create a flourishing world around them by understanding God’s design.

For further reflection and discussion:

  • Read the first chapter of Genesis seeking to grasp the beauty of God’s design. Then answer the questions below.
  • How has the intent of God’s design been distorted in your context? Reflect specifically about the thinking in this area in your culture, your family, and in the organization where you lead. What impact has this thinking had on you as a leader? In what ways do you need to adjust your thinking to align with God’s intent?
  • Reflect on what the impact would be if everyone in your organization would fully grasp and live out what it means to follow God’s design. Write at least three reflections.
  • What action steps will you take as a leader to implement God’s design in your home, organization, or community? Choose which of these areas you will focus on and then list 2 or 3 specific steps you will take and dates for when you will take the actions.

Until next time, yours on the journey,

Jon Byler

In the next issue, we’ll look at the next ingredient of a flourishing world: People are Valued