Management Based on Biblical Principles – Four Spiritual Disciplines For Business Leaders

During the early history of the ancient Kingdom of Israel, King Ahab of the Northern Kingdom invited King Jehoshaphat of the Southern Kingdom to join forces with him to fight a common enemy in combat. Now, King Ahab did not believe in God, but King Jehoshaphat did. Before King Jehoshaphat would agree or disagree, he asked King Ahab whether there was a man of God, a prophet, nearby that could inquire from the Lord whether it was God’s will that they fight. King Ahab did not want to call the prophet because he knew the prophet would speak against King Ahab’s idea. However, Jehoshaphat insisted and just as King Ahab predicted the man of God spoke against the military campaign. Even so, King Ahab convinced King Jehoshaphat to fight with him, and subsequently, King Ahab ended up losing his life in the battle.

In this case, the two kings illustrate a difference between management led by biblical principles and those founded on secular principles. Management based on biblical principles makes God central to every activity of the organization or business. This article will discuss four spiritual disciplines common to business leaders who base their business affairs on tenets found in the Jewish and Christian Scriptures.

The four spiritual disciplines are:
1. Praise and Thanksgiving
2. Prayer
3. Bible Study
4. Silence and Solitude

First, biblical leaders practice praise and thanksgiving. Praise is taking time to acknowledge God’s attributes. God’s attributes are the characteristics that are central to His being. For instance, God is always holy, loving, good and faithful. He demonstrates these traits whether we respond positively or not. Human beings are double-minded and often do things contrary to their desired nature. But, God is always the same and cannot go against his own nature. We praise God for who he is. Thanksgiving is thanking God for what He has done or promised to do. For instance, God did not have to save human beings from their sins. Since God chose to send His Jesus to pay the penalty for our transgressions, we give thanks to Him. We also give thanksgiving to God for what he has provided for the business or orgainzation.The Jewish and Christian Scriptures are filled with examples of leaders who praised God for His character and thanked Him for what He did for them. The best examples are found in the Psalms.

Second, the second spiritual discipline of biblical leaders is prayer. There are two types of prayer. The two types of prayer are intercession and supplication. Intercessory prayer is asking God to help others. Supplication is asking God to intervene in our own personal lives. The night before he was crucified, Jesus Christ prayed these two kinds of prayer. First, while with his disciples, Jesus prayed that God would protect his disciples and cause them to live in harmony together. Second, in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus asked God to intervene in his own life. Those who lead organizations according to the Bible believe that God is intimately involved in their affairs and wants to bless their efforts. So, they take time to pray.

Third, biblical leaders study God’s Word found in the Christian Bible on a regular basis. In the Holy Scriptures, God has given many principles of how to lead an organization or business. He has also given many good and bad examples of how to apply His tenets. Organizational leaders who want to do things God’s way regularly read and study the Bible.

The fourth spiritual discipline practiced by biblically based managers is silence and solitude. Solitude is the practice of spending time alone without distraction. Silence is being quiet with nothing in the background. Solitude and silence allow the business leader to stop and think. This world is plagued by frenetic activity. Few leaders take ample time to stop and think through their plans and activities. When you take time to be alone in silence, you can meditate through God’s Word and evaluate past, present and future circumstances and events relevant to your organization. Recently, the U.S. Congress was sent an 1100-page stimulus bill that they had to read and vote on in less than 48 hours. There is no way they could have made an informed decision in such a short amount of time. A biblical leader takes adequate time to be quiet before God and think through major and minor decisions alike.

There is a difference between management led by biblical principles and those founded on secular principles. Management based on biblical principles makes God central to every activity of the organization or business. This article has discussed four spiritual disciplines common to business leaders who base their business affairs on tenets found in the Jewish and Christian Scriptures.