This past Sunday in a message titled Business Unusual at Mavuno, I shared the following illustration that I modified from the book ‘Anointed For Business’ by Ed Silvoso.
In a prisoner-of-war camp there are five types of prisoners…
- Submitted – Prisoners who believe that the war is lost and they had better learn to compromise and to live with the enemy. They thus work hard to gain their captor’s favor (perhaps even informing on other prisoners) and to fit in as best as they can.
- Resigned – Prisoners who also believe that the war will never be won and yet feel strongly that they had been fighting for the right side and could never compromise with the enemy. They have resigned themselves to live the best possible lives while looking forward to dying with dignity.
- Activists – Prisoners who believe that even though the war is lost, they can do something to improve their conditions and those of their fellow prisoners. To that effect organize themselves and provide comfort and assistance to each other, especially to those who are distressed the most. They lobby for longer exercise times and larger quantities of bread and cleaner toilets. They don’t always get everything they want but sometimes they do.
- Insurgents – Those who believe they can and should take over the camp. Always whispering in corners, they organize and train themselves, secure weapons and eventually liberate fellow prisoners. As soon as they are in control, they fortify the camp to prevent their former captors from coming back, and they wait for the war to be won and their army to liberate them from the surrounding enemy so they can go home.
- Agents – The most dangerous group – They don’t think of themselves as prisoners but as undercover agents – they don’t just plan to take over the camp; they want to train their fellow prisoners to be an army that takes over all the other enemy camps, setting other prisoners free and to win the war from behind the enemy lines
In the same way, when it comes to business and the marketplace, there are five types of Christians…
- Submitted – Christians who don’t believe the gospel has any relevance for their workplace and feel intimidated by their non-believing colleagues – they thus try to fit in and act completely similar to those whom they work with – you wouldn’t notice anything different about them when they’re at work.
- Resigned – Christians who have no hope that the workplace can be changed for better, but are determined to hold on and to do the best they can in a bad situation. Survival is their objective and church is a place of maintenance from the wear and tear of the week. They may attend morning and/or lunchtime devotions to keep themselves going. They look forward to faithfully holding on until Christ returns and rescues them.
- Activists – Those who believe that even though the world will always remain evil, some basic elements of the marketplace can be changed, and so they speak out against unfairness and discrimination, and lobby their employers to try and get the best possible conditions for themselves and fellow-workers.
- Insurgents – Those who believe they should work to establish God’s kingdom in their workplace so that things can be run according to godly principles. They work hard to establish offices or businesses that operate on godly values and which are an outpost of heaven on Earth
- Agents – The crazy ones who believe that it is their job to change not just the business they work in but their whole industry and indeed the business environment of the whole city to God’s glory! They’re not waiting for heaven to come but they’re actively bringing heaven’s values into their world. They’re not just thinking of themselves but want to raise up/mentor other Christ followers in their industry and beyond. They see themselves on an undercover mission to change the way business is done and are committed to the total transformation of the marketplace.
Which kind of Christian are you???
Some book recommends…