by Jason Cruise
Recently I was listening to a podcast from Bill Hybels. Perhaps you've never heard of Bill, so it is enough to say that he is at the epicenter of global Christian leadership and has been for about 30 to 40 years. Bill started what has come to be one of the most famous and well-known churches in the world, Willow Creek Community Church, on the outskirts of Chicago.
Hybels said what that revelation did was create within him a resolve to forever use whatever coaching ability he had as a pastor to release people in his congregation to impact the marketplace for the growth of God's kingdom.
Even still, it was what Hybels will said later on in the podcast that stuck with me. The interviewer asked him, "You've been an amazing influence on so many people in the marketplace, so how have you done that?" He said that as elementary as it may seem ... you have to be "genuinely interested" in people, interested in what they want, and genuinely interested in them more than you are your own church goals, in order to see God used them and to help bring out the God-given gifts inside of them. Without going on a rant, Hybels got to the core issue: actually loving people enough to walk with them.
I believe that the reason that God wants us to be involved in lives of people is because businesses don't go to Heaven or Hell. Products will not make it into the kingdom of God. This isn't to imply, not in any stretch, that businesses, profits, and product development are not important. They are incredibly important, because these very things affect the lives of people every day.
What must happen in order to have a genuine impact for the kingdom of God in the marketplace, however, is a constant course correction in all things related to perspective. In the end, products aren't people and profit margins do not have a soul. God wants to use you to influence, and your products, and your business models, to affect people.
It's people that matter ... because people matter to God.