Saturday, May 09, 2009

Why We Don't Need Jesus as CEO

I was researching for articles pertaining to work and faith when I came upon a book entitled Jesus, CEO: Ancient Wisdom for Visionary Leadership.   Admittedly, I've never read the book but somehow the title didn't sit well with me.   I'm sure the author meant no harm and in fact, she probably considered it a compliment to feature Jesus as the ultimate executive leader.   

Unfortunately, this book title serves as another example of how we can recast Jesus into the image of our own liking, ignoring the essence of who He is and what He came to do.      

Ironically, Jesus is never more popular in our modern culture than when He serves as an example.    Talk about Jesus as CEO and you'll have heads nodding in approval in the boardroom.  Share about Jesus as Savior and you're asking for trouble.   Perhaps that's why the title of the book troubled me - I'm acquainted with my sin, weakness and failure.  In the context of my work, living off leadership principles from the life of Jesus just doesn't suffice. Rather, I need to be saved from laboring in unbelief.   I need redemption from selfish ambition.   I need to be rescued from a failed project.  I need life giving hope from Someone greater than myself.  

Sometimes an example, no matter how admirable or perfect, just won't cut it.    


Red Letter Believers said...

I totally agree.....the whole Jesus as CEO/Coach/Chairman of the board bothers me too...


Ted M. Gossard said...

It was probably a title the author picked, my guess, but sometimes titles are given by the publishers. N.T. Wright was unhappy with a title given to one of his books, once.

But well spoken. Yes, we fit Christianity, what little we understand of it to help us in the paradigm in which we live. To make us "successful" in that. But God's paradigm, the kingdom we're called to in Jesus is not a part of it.

It's interesting how we can watch other Christians to learn from them. But if they've learned from the world directly or indirectly, then we still end up not really following Christ in following them.

Every Square Inch said...

David - being CEO/Chairman of the board is a demotion for Jesus :-)
On a serious note, it trivializes what he came to do for us

Ted - I think it's more than the title - the premise of the book and the excerpts I've read are problematic.

Claire said...

Wow! This is powerfully stated. Thank you for the thought that will remain with me for a while.

I am a small business owner myself. I would like to see Jesus as the captain of this ship but you are right, perhaps I do need to be emptied of selfish ambition first and to truly recognise him for who he is.

Every Square Inch said...


Thanks so much for stopping by with your comment. I don't think it's wrong to think of Jesus as the captain of your business...but that's secondary to the true purpose of his coming - to be our Savior, the One who reconciles us to God, Our Father

Grace to you