Bible for Business Seminar#13 Learning & Growth

12 of us met together to for the topic Learning & Growth . The additional information covered were:
  1. Using the 5-fold ministries of the Church model into Business Organization.
    • Apostles as church planters are comparable to the Entrepreneur starting new businesses and/or in new countries. The key to send the 1st rate staff to opening new businesses and not the 'who want to go' staff. Local companies tend to send their 2nd rate staff to open up new territory and loosing them later as they could never come back to HQ because their vacated position would be filled up. This must be fixed for a globalizing company.
    • Prophets are equivalent to the Intelligence Officer or the Scout. They collect market intelligence, scan the PEST, and keep the company informed of the trends and happening the the forefront. Scanning and picking opportunities or sensing pending dangers are very important in this fast changing world. "Re-positioning" with respect to the customers and offerings is a constant need of business.
    • Evangelists are the offering marketeers of the company.
    • Pastors are Teachers are the developers of the company equivalent to the HR Directors & Trainers/Consultants, continuing ensuring talent peopled are recruited, developed, retained, motivated and challenge to give of the their best to accomplishing the company's strategies and vision.
    • In Rom 12:6-13 and 1 Cor 12:28, we find other operational and supporting roles. The key is to remember that jobs(roles) are to be derived from strategic processes.
  2. Readiness
    • How can you tell how ready are you to execute the strategies?
    • The HR readiness is measured by (over the total job roles)
      = Actual_No_of_Certified_People/Required_No_of_Certified_People
    • For IT and other support applications can be measured similarity by introducing the stages of readiness. e.g. feasibility study, project-approved, started, development, testing, pilot, delivered.
    • For organizational & culture readiness, we speak of matching of staff personal goals & corporate objectives. The extrinsic and intrinsic motivators. Leadership (Servant Leadership). Change Agenda - Communications+Communications of mission, vision, strategies, goals.
  3. 4 Types of Listeners & 4 Types of Staff
    • In the Parable of the Sower (Mk 4:3-20), Jesus shared that there were 4 types of listeners, despite all your good effort in trying to communicate and motivate (it is the same Word that is shared to the 4 types of listeners) with four very different outcomes.
    • 1. Paths - Indifferent and Disengaged Staff.
      • They are not interested in doing or improving things.
      • May be they are victims of many initiatives and frequent changes in strategies that they don't see the good results of anything 'new' initiatives.
      • They are the depressed and given-up staff.
      • If not motivated and changed, they may degrade to be actively disengaged staff that will sabotage the work of others.
      • Their bad attitudes and behaviour may spread and caused others to follow suit.
      • The answer is to change them or get rid of them.
    • 2. Rocks - Head Only Listeners
      • They are excited quickly and rush to implement.
      • They are easily discouraged and give up especially when they do not see short term results.
      • Very often, their failures are due to misunderstanding, lack of depth of knowledge, lack of preparation and unrealistic expectations.
    • 3. Thorns - Own Agendas
      • They have different agendas than the corporates.
      • They will do only those corporate objectives that agree with their goals.
      • Answer: align staff & corporate goals. Go for win-win. Never compromise.
    • 4. Soils - Heart, Head, Hand & Habits
      • The 4 Hs are the terms used in "Lead like Jesus" for ease of remembering .
      • These people not only understand with their minds, but have taken them into their hearts.
      • They are committed to achieving the success and will execute them (Hands).
      • Long term practice makes them good habits that are done without extra supervision. They produce the fruits.
      • Answer: keep them … continually challenge them.
The feedback from the people attending are as follows:
The overall rating is 84% with the higher scores going to Speaker's knowledge 96%, Subject Area Coverage, length of talk,... and lower scores to technical level 80% and presentation style 78%.
  • Like Best
    • Strategic Planning & Goal Setting
    • Five fold theories (5 fold ministry applying to Business)
    • Sharing of Experience and Insights by trainer
    • Human Resource Capital Management cannot be overemphasized enough. More often than not, companies tend to overlook the HR aspect, expecting to replace talents that have exited from the companies, not realizing that it costs them more to replace than to retain.
    • Break the lesson into 2 parts if this is necessary.
    • Biblical Principles. Never saw the Bible as beng so analytical if we study it carefully
    • Encourage us to take personal responsibilities for our own performance & growth
    • Like the training. It opens up my mind to more things.
    • learning many things about the different aspects of running a business
    • 4 types of listeners
    • Using Church Model to Business
    • Overview, concept, 5 aspect of the system.
    • Organization challenges & market forces
  • Like Least
    • some of the principles was too brief due to timing
  • Others
    • Miss the last 12 lessons. Do I need to know the past lesson.
    • Share more examples for application of these theories (Speaker business & organisation mgt experience)
    • Real company case studies
    • too much info but could not cover all in tnis 1.5 hrs
    • would like to know more about knowledge in sales & marketing.
    • want to know about processes, how to break it down/create & communicate it.
    • Thank you
    • More case studies / situational analysis, apply Jesus' teaching into the management system.


Attract vs Pursue

Someone said, "You don't have to pursue what you can attract". There in may lie the secret of success and is the solution to alot of our stress, strifes and worries.

When you make yourself attractive, people will pursue you. There are major differences:
  1. Your Choice vs Their Choice:
    If you attract people, you have a choice to make, to accept or not. When you pursue, your target has the choice, to accept or reject you.
  2. Many to select vs One Target.
  3. Rest vs Stress
Attractiveness applies to more than just physical.
It refers to character, to career, to money, etc. You make yourself attractive by learning and growing up in maturity. Physical attractiveness is temporary (it degrades with time as familarity breeds contempt and it grows old with time), skin deep and earn you a 1st attempt. It is your maturity, the attractiveness of the inside, that maintains and grows the relationship.

  • 1Pe 3:3-4 Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; 4 But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.
You make yourself attractive to the head-hunters when you accumulate learning, degrees, job experience, key projects, publications, speaking engagements, connections etc. Job offers will chase after you.

If there be only one thing to pursue, then pursue Jesus and become attractive
We will surely be accepted for He is the one that draws us ... He made the choice to die on the cross for us that we may be connected back to Him.
  • Joh 6:44 No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.
  • Joh 12:32 And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself."
When we pursue Jesus, Eph 3:16-20, getting to know more of Him and His love, we will grow up to be like Him, and will draw others to Him through us, with physical, mental, and spiritual blessings. We are reminded from Mat 6:33 that all things will be added as we pursue God and His righteousness. Putting it another way, as we pursue God, we become attractive and we will attract health, wealth, relationships, happiness etc. Why? Because Jesus is attractive and we are like Him.

Let us be like Mary who had made the right choice.
  • Luk 10:42 but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her."


Connecting to the Singapore's Dream

In our home group discussion on "Pre-Evangelism" (see Pre-Evangelism or Conversational Evangelism and Pre-Evangelism BT Version, a member said that present Singapore generation are not interested in spiritual matter but are more interested in career advancement and accumulating wealth.

The Singapore's dream, is easily remembered as 5Cs. Even foreigners when describing Singaporeans, use the term too. There are various forms of 5Cs, generally, they refer to Cash, Car, Condominium, Credit-card, Country-Club. In the past, Credit-Card is not easy to get and is considered a status symbol but now it is not so. It is better to be replaced by Career. Country Club, a symbol of success, could possibly be replaced by Clubbing that the young people do. There is also a variant form of 1-2-3-4-5: 1 wife, 2 children, 3 bed-room condominium, 4 wheel-car, and 5 figure salary. Whatever the form, the pursuit can be summarized as material success and enjoyment.

There is another part of the Singaporean dream that is not always highlighted but are nevertheless real and important. That is Singaporeans are also very family centred and law abiding. The family value may be eroding at the expense of material pursuit as evidenced by the rising trend of divorces.

How can we then connect to such material and enjoyment mindset? How will they be interested in Spiritual Matter? (I'm not advocating that Spiritual Pursuit means denouncing material wealth and making poverty a virtue. I believe wealth is part of the blessings that God provides for man. I am advocating that man understands the reality of life and be connected to a very real God through Jesus Christ.)

I propose that we connect to the material pursuit by sharing the following
  1. Be Really Successful - Have Higher Goals
  2. Have Better Methods to Success
  3. Imaging
  4. Stress Reduction
Be Really Successful - Have Higher Goals
While we know from the Bible the true need of man, we can't use it to argue with pre-believers as they don't accept the Bible as relevant. We can use the widely available business and sociology references. We have the famous Maslow's hierarchy of needs that show the real needs of every man, from physiological, safety, social (relational), self-esteem and self-actualization. We need to consider what are of greater values than materials wealth and enjoyment. What are the significance and meaning of life? What are man truly worth?

Have Better Methods to Success
All of us want to be successful in the quickest and surest way. Where can we learn the secrets of success? The Bible provides the tested answers for thousands of years. The Church, whether Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox etc are establishment with life span of thousands of years. No business corporations can boast of similar life-span. The golden rule of success is wealth comes from right pursuit. Mat 6:33. Someone put it as "Economic development follows Spiritual Revival". We have seen from history on the development of Europe and US were closely tied with the reformation. We can introduce the wisdom of the Bible for business success to them. A simple way to start is to read Proverbs or follow the Business by Jesus series in the blog.

Another way to stretch the thinking is to imaging if ....
  • If you die, what do you want others to say about you? What do you want other to put on your tombstone? Is it only "19xx - 20xx". What is in the '-' of your life on earth?
  • If a crisis strike, like a lost of job, disability due to accident, death of a loved one, an earth-quake like the China Sichuan, a terrorist attack like the US 9/11, what would you feel and do?
Stress Reduction
All of our stress can be traced to our belief on a Satan's Lie, known as "The Performance Trap"
  • We must perform in order to have worth and value.
You must prove first before you can become. This is the Satan's temptation of Jesus that Jesus should turn the rock into bread to prove that He is the Son of God. See The Temptations of Jesus, "Be-Do-Have" of Grace Based Doctrine.

In Robert McGee's book of "In Search of Significance", he put the lie as
  • Self-Esteem = Performance + Others' Opinions
Because of such a belief, we work from fear, fear of failure, shame and guilt. We either stressed out to achieve or be depressed and give-up when things don't work to expectation. We try to control and manipulate, to cover up, to put up a bold front, to hide our weaknesses, etc. We seek approvals from man instead of from God. This is an important topic that we will spend more time on in future posting.

I hope the above proposals can help us connect to the present generation and bring them towards a search of greater reality and of God.

  • Pro 20:5 The purpose in a man's heart is like deep water, but a man of understanding will draw it out.

We need all the wisdom to connect to the real needs inside.

Appreciate your additional comments.


The Original Bible

The Original Bible that God planned to write consist of Gen 1:1 to Gen 2:3 - 1 Chapter long if the wonderful person who divide the Bible into chapter and verses got it right the 1st time 8-}.

The work of creation was completed, finished and there was not more work for God to do. God rested not because He was tired as most people think but because the created work was completed and perfect. Man and all living things were given the ability to procreate themselves and enrich the creation Gen 1:28-30. There is no need for any further creative intervention from God. That was true till man sinned.

Because of man's sin, God has to intervened into the world to restore it back to perfection through sending His Son Jesus Christ to save us. This saving process takes up the remaining 1188 chapters of the Bible (total 1189 chapters in the Bible). The continued betrayer of God by man and God unceasing effort to bring man back can be read in the Book. There are victories and failures. In summary, this is the touching story of God reaching out to and restoring man to Himself and to perfection of blessings.

It is not about performances of man, but of restoring of relationship between God and man through mere acceptance of offer by faith.

"Willing you be willing to have Me as your Father?" is the invitation of the Gospel of Christianity.


Bible for Business Seminar#12 Processes

About 10 of us get together for the seminar#12 on Processes and Operation Excellence.

The Aims or Strategic Themes for Processes are usually
  1. Efficiency - change cost structures, digitize processes
  2. Differentiation - becoming a customer centric enterprise
  3. Resilience & Agility - Ensure stability and flexibility
Vision and Strategies without Processes to deliver them will remains as unfulfilled dreams. Mat 7:24-27 tells us to do it to have a strong foundation.

People who are doing Strategic Map driven Balanced Scorecard tend to be very concern about the possible effort and need to revamp processes. Processes are the how's to achieve the Strategic Objective Targets. If the present processes are able to achieve the targets, then there is no need to change the existing processes. If the existing processes are not delivering the targeted results, then resources (money and man effort) must be spent, known as Strategic Initiatives, to improve or re-design the processes.

The typical Inductive Bible Study Method of Observation, Interpretation & Application will not benefit us if we do not apply what we learned into practice. The Bible teaches us the following Operation Principles.

Operation Excellence Principles
  1. Just Do it:
    • Mat 6:34, Mark 4:26-29
  2. Go & See:
    • Mark 1:39
  3. Right Usage:
    • Mark 2:21
    • Fishbone Chart (5ME/6M, 8P's, 4 S's), Root Cause Analysis.
  4. Alignment: Align Processes to deliver the offering to the Customer Segments served.
  5. Butterfly Effect - Attention to Details.
    • Mark 4:30-32, Luke 16:10.
    • The 6-Sigma Methodology: control variation, optimize, breakthrough.
    • Improvement with DMAIC: Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control.
    • Design with DMADV - Define, Measure, Analyze, Design, Verify.
  6. Sharing of Best Practices
    • Mark 5:19
    • Knowledge Management
  7. Internalize The Practices (Not for Show Only)
    • Mat 6:18 Fasting
    • Mat 5:4 Giving
    • Mat 6:6 Praying
  8. Working like Owners - Law of Promotion
    • Luke 16:11
  9. No Waste, Be Lean
    • Mat 14:20
    • Lean Methodology - Eliminate Waste All the Time
      • 5 Principles - Value (no waste), Value-Stream, Flow, Pull, Perfection
      • Waste are: waiting, over-production, rework, motion, processing waste, inventory, transportation and waste of Talent.
      • Flow - Have the "Decision Rights" with the right "Information Flow" are more important than "Motivators" & "Organisation Structure" for successful execution.
  10. Innovation
    • Operation Innovation guides are
      • set stretched goals - Mat 5:20
      • look for role models in other industry
      • identify and eliminate constraining assumptions - John 8:32
      • rethink the work - purpose, environment, information needs, tools, etc. See Lean Methodology above.
  11. System & People - Sabbath for the People
    • Mark 2:27
    • Don’t Attribute System Variation to People and wrongly punish or reward the people
    • See E W Deming's Profound Knowledge, Read Beans Experiment.


Putting the Commandments in Order

There are many commandments listed in the Bible. For many, commandments are perceived as restrictions and therefore bad. If this is your thinking, I wish to tell you that, like Eve, you have fallen into the lies of the devil. James, in 1:25, and 2:12, called them as "the Law of Liberty". Commandments are laws to give us liberty - freedom from bondage. They are actually the Laws of Success. You don't really need to buy books about the "10 Secrets of Success" or "7 Steps to Richness". All you have to do is to know the Commandments Joshua 1:8.

If we want to put the NT commandments in an order, below is my suggestion. Beginning with the most basic and most important of all ....

Step 1 Know & Believe Jesus

1Jn 3:23 And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.

Step 2 Living Rightly & Know His Will

Mat 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

Col 1:9 ... that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding,..

Eph 5:14-18 ... awake, be wise, redeeming the time, understanding the will of the lord, be filled with the Spirit...

Step 3 Fellowship of Love

Joh 13:34-35 A new commandment I give unto you,
That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

Mat 22:37-40 Love God and Love Others....

The "LOVE GOD" part in the OT is now "Believe in His Son Jesus Christ" of 1 Jo 3:23 and then love one another with His, Jesus', love. (Rom 5:5 ... because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.)

Step 4 Go - The Commission

Mat 28:19-20

  • Go ye therefore, and
  • teach all nations,
  • baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
  • 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you:
  • and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

Step 5 Maintain Focus on Jesus

Only One Thing is Needful - Learn from Mary.  
  • Luke 10:42 but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her."
Paul's prayer for us.

  • Eph 1:17 ...may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him.
  • (18) ... that you will know what is the hope of His calling, ... the glory of His inheritance in the saints, (19) ... greatness of His power toward us who believe.
The Only One Thing is to be at Jesus's feet. i.e. to be with Jesus all the time as His disciple. To know and to have intimate relationship with Him.


The greatest command is to believe and know Jesus fully. To know of His love for us that we may trust and obey His will for us. Being rooted in His love shed in our hearts, we could love others as He loves them. We can then execute the Great Commission to go to share the gospels and mentor them to be a like-Christ too.

The Greatest Moment of Life is NOW. Living in the past or for the future are not possible. Past is gone. Future is dependent on what you are doing now.


Salvation Re-visited - Relational View

Sin as been emphasized by all religions, including Christianity, as the obstacle to salvation. Even for those New Age belief, sin has to be rationalized off as non-existence.

Salvation has been defined as forgiveness of Sin by Christians through Christ by faith. Christianity is differentiated from all other religions as "Done" vs "Do". All other religions require believers to do good work, to abstain from desires, in order to attain "salvation". For Christianity, the work of salvation has already been done by Jesus Christ and so believers only need to receive the completed work of Jesus by faith to attain salvation. Nevertheless, this is still looking at Salvation from a Performance viewpoint - even though it has been done by someone else, Jesus Christ. This performance viewpoint upset many pre-believers --- they cannot accept the fact that murderer could go to heaven without being punished by just believing in Jesus Christ at the last moment. They ask where is the justice? We have to explain at length that the justice and punishment have been served by Jesus on the Cross.

May be we can look at salvation from another angle. What is the purpose of Salvation? The substitutional death of Jesus Christ on the cross is the process to attain an objective. What is this objective?

The objective is to restore the relationship between God and man. God created man to have intimate fellowship with Him. This fellowship is broken by man lack of trust shown in his choice to believe the Devil rather than God. Intimate relationship between two parties, like husband and wife, need to be built on the same life-form. Man and dogs could have some form or close relationship but not intimate relationship. They don't even the speak the same language. For man to have intimate relationship with God, man needs to be rebirth with a God-kind of life. The way is made possible by Jesus Christ taking the form of man and dying for man's sin to satisfy justice and be resurrected by the Holy Spirit and birth into God's new Zoe life form. Man have to be rebirth into new God-Zoe life form through the path opened by Jesus Christ so that we can be restored back into intimate relationship with God.

Salvation is not about making man good (performance based,work righteousness) but about life-transformation, a rebirth, into a new God-life form, through Jesus Christ, so as to have an intimate relationship with God - the original purpose of man creation.

A better word for salvation might be Reconciliation between God and Man. (added 1 Dec 2008)

Pre-Evangelism or Conversational Evangelism

In this year Petra Church Camp (27-30 May 2008), we have an excellent speaker, Rev Dr Dave Geisler, who spoke on "Pre-Evangelism", or better known as "Conversational Evangelism".

The church in the past, especially in the 70-80's, the era of the Four Spiritual Laws, has been teaching the people to preach the gospel by talking and presenting the Gospel. It works for some and creates rejection for others.

Pre-Evangelism put the emphasis on listening 1st, and asking relevant questions that invites the pre-believers to think for himself, and to enables a bridge where the gospel can be presented.

The methodology has been worked out by Dr Dave Geisler and it can be found at meeknessandtruth.org. You will find it useful in your witness for Christ.

For a simplified and I think improved version, see Pre-Evangelism BT Version .