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Jesus, Practice Owner

By Steve Cartin, MDiv | August 23, 2016

by Steve Cartin, MDiv

Some years back, Laurie Beth Jones wrote a bestseller entitled Jesus, CEO. A few years later, she followed it up with Jesus, Life Coach. The titles give away the content.  While not taking away from the substitutionary atoning work of Jesus, she makes a case for incorporating principles from His life and ministry into our everyday lives as well. After all, Jesus did not come to make us better home group leaders, choir members, elders and pastors. He came to save us, empower us and teach us to live all of life to the glory of God our Father, whether we are plumbers, pastors or dental professionals.

As a bi-vocational pastor and dental practice coach, I often hear from doctors that they would like to run their practices like Jesus would.  So what would that look like?

The challenge to overcome is the desire to be the Chief Executive as opposed to being the Chief Servant. Make no mistake, Jesus did not come telling people to do whatever they wanted to do or act however they wanted to act. He pointed the crowds to the eternal truth of God’s Word and the claim it had on humanity’s hearts, words and deeds. 

When it began to be clear that Jesus’ ministry was coming to a close, the mother of James and John asked Jesus for the chief places of authority in the coming kingdom for her sons. Jesus passed on the request, leaving it to the Father’s choosing alone. But upon hearing about the discussion, the other 10 disciples became indignant. Jesus used the tension of that afternoon to teach them—and us—a much-needed lesson. He said,

"You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave—just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many" (Matthew 20:25-28, NKJV).

As a coach and consultant, I have heard, “I pay them a good wage. I’m the boss. They just need to do what I say.” At times, those words aren’t spoken as much as they are demonstrated. At the core, it’s an attitude that says, “The staff exists for me.” 

Like so many things, Jesus turned leader-follower relationships on their heads. He came to save and serve, not to boss and belittle.  History tells us that all of the apostles died a martyr’s death for their Master.

What would it be like if each of your team members was willing to die for you? It can happen.

You just have to go first.

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