Weekly Impact is written for leaders by our former Executive Director, Garth Jestley, who has decades of experience in senior leadership roles in the financial services sector. Each week he will share insights on life, leadership and faith.
This Series explores “business as calling” – what it means, barriers to seeing business as a calling and its implications for followers of Jesus who desire to live out their faith in God not only on the weekend but also in the marketplace.
Over the last several weeks, I have addressed certain facets of business that some view as morally tainted. By extension, some followers of Jesus have difficulty seeing business as a legitimate calling, especially when compared with other options. In particular, vocational ministry or various professions like law, medicine, architecture and engineering are often perceived as being morally or spiritually superior to a career in business.
The following is a list of the aspects I have addressed in this series, each linked to the relevant post:
- Profits and profit-seeking;
- Money; and
- Inequality of possessions.
There are, of course, other aspects of business such as the simple act of buying and selling that are often seen as morally negative or, at best, morally neutral. Notwithstanding, my hope is that the foregoing posts will encourage readers to enthusiastically embrace business as their calling!
What does the “business as calling paradigm” look like? Rather than generalize, I shall answer that question personally. From the moment I encountered Jesus in my mid-thirties, I knew that everything had changed because my identity had changed. Once I decided to remain in business (after briefly toying with the idea of moving to an African country to tell people about Jesus!), I understood that, for me, it was no longer “business as usual.”
Rather, my life was not my own since Jesus had bought and paid for me. As a result, I was no longer free to fulfill my own passions and desires without reference to him and his will for my life. To discern his will, I spend a lot of time reading the Bible, which declares itself to be the inspired word of God, praying with (and learning from) Mary and meeting with others who have a genuine relationship with God through Jesus.
According to the Bible, I’m called to be an ambassador for Jesus in the marketplace; that is, I am called to represent Jesus’ perspective in every aspect of business to the best of my ability. In this regard, I wholeheartedly subscribe to the following assertions I read in a recent piece by Andrew Wommack. “God is not asking us to live for Him. He is asking us to let Him live through us. The Christian life is not a changed life but an exchanged life. This can only be accomplished when the Holy Spirit is leading and empowering us.”
Of course, like others in ambassadorial roles, I sometimes fail to accurately represent my boss! Happily for me, God has already forgiven my shortcomings and consistently provides the necessary grace to help me get back on my feet. The best way I know to describe my call to business is to say that every day is another opportunity to live out my relationship with Jesus (as opposed to rule keeping). This means I am in constant communion with Him throughout the business day particularly in challenging business situations!
What does being ‘Called to Business’ mean to you?
Garth Jestley is a husband, father, grandfather, leader and business executive. Most importantly, he is a follower of Jesus Christ.