Thursday, August 23, 2007

Do Christians Make Good Employees?

This question can be answered at least two ways. There is a part of me that wants to say "no" becuase I've been burned on more than one occaision by "christians" with whom I've done business. But of course, you'll notice the quotes and that leads me to the second answer: those who are following Jesus (ie - christians who don't need to have the qualifying quotes around the word) often and typically are good for business and to have as employees.

This has come to my attention in several contexts in which I've been employed ranging from retail to sheet metal shops to the cubicle kingdom in which I currently bear the yoke. Embracing the Christian worldview and the Lordship of Jesus in all of life typically makes you a pretty easy employee to manage. 1) You grasp principles such as authority, submission, discretion, integrity and deference 2) You attempt to live a life of character which results in respectful (read: professional) interactions with your superiors, your peers and your subordinates 3) You strive to do things to the best of your abilities to bring glory to the Lord (ie you demonstrate a work ethic).

Basic, but mindblowing to most bosses. When I worked in the sheet metal shop, it was remarkable to me that my boss LOVED ME because I came in on time, took break and returned on time and was willing to put in occaisional OT as necessary. When I worked in retail my boss was THRILLED that she didn't have to tell me to smile and say things like "thank you" and "sir or maam" to our customers. When I was framing, my foreman would give me practically anything I wanted because I hadn't lost my license for dui's and could actually drive myself to work. And now at the world's local bank, I've had several managers comment on the reliability of the seminary students that work there and it's amazing to see how fast we advance through the system. The irony of the whole thing is that the values they want their employees to live out (perceptive, progressive, respectful, responsive and fair) and the manner in which they want them to behave (treat others as you want to be treated, be professional and polite and kind to your peers and our customers) often have significant overlap with fruits of the Spirit. In fact they could just sum it up by saying "Be like Jesus"....but of course they can't say that.

PS - the comments section on the last Kingdom and Gospel post has far surpassed the content of the post itself. As is so often the case, bouncing ideas off of Mike has helped me hone in on what I'm getting at.


Tim Barker said...

good integration Mihelis. I always think it's beneficial to tie together these two areas of you life. The reflection prevents compartmentalization.

Nate Mihelis said...

Keller and Driscoll have really helped me bridge the gap, especially Keller.