In the first two parts of this article, we took a look at what it means to be a Kingdom business serving on the business mountain. We looked at the non-believer’s conventional business model and the spirit behind their motivational decisions as well as a proposed Kingdom Business Governance Model, which used a biblically based apostolic and prophetic model. We also showed that the motivational spirit behind the governance, or decision making processes of the company, will determine the results that both models will obtain.
In this third part of the article, we will look at some examples of how these five spiritual offices could be setup and overlaid onto the conventional corporate organization chart, as well as the spiritual functions that they might perform to advance the Kingdom of Heaven and truly make our company a kingdom-focused business.
Office of Apostle
The Greek word apostolos refers to a special messenger or envoy; one who is sent from1. Jesus Himself is referred to as an apostle in Hebrews 3:1. Along with the original 12 disciples and the apostle Paul, other New Testament apostles include Barnabas, James, Andronicus, and Junias. They preached the gospel, healed the sick, performed miracles, and built, organized, and brought correction to churches. They were known for their authority and the signs, wonders, and miracles that followed their ministry, which in turn confirmed their calling as an apostle.
In the Kingdom Business Governance Model, the apostle is the leader that starts, organizes, and brings correction to our business. The apostle has a strong calling to the business mountain and has an anointing for generating wealth. They are practical visionaries and have a strong drive to succeed and complete projects, or at least get projects to the point of self-sufficiency. They are gifted in wisdom on what will and what will not work in making a business or project succeed.
The apostle will generally decree, enforce, and drive the fulfillment of the mission of our kingdom business. God has a mission and purpose for every business in His kingdom. What is the kingdom mission of your business? What is it that the Lord wants to accomplish through your business for His kingdom? That mission and purpose will generally come in a revelatory download even before the company is birthed, but if you never thought of this before, now is the time to seek the Lord to understand the mission and purpose of your business. As we’ve already discussed, it is not just to succeed and make money. If that’s all that mattered, then your business would be no different than a non-believer-owned business.
The apostle in your company is the person who not only receives this revelatory assignment from the Lord, but this assignment will burn with a passion in their soul. The passion intensifies because they realize that this assignment is something that they were born to fulfill. Like the famous tag line from the Blues Brother’s movie, they realize that “We’re on a mission from God.”
The passion for this assignment will cause apostles to stay with a business even when it’s not succeeding financially. They will do whatever it takes to keep the business going including taking a part-time job, investing personal money in the business, and working for no pay, simply because they understand the “why” behind their business. What is it that you are so passionate about that even if there was no money to be made in that business, you would still want to do it? The answer to that question will generally give you an idea as to your assignment. If you would not want to continue with what you are doing if there was no money to be made in it, then you are probably in the wrong business or haven’t figured out your Kingdom assignment yet.
Until you understand the mission and purpose behind your business, why it’s important to the Lord, and how it will advance His kingdom here on earth, you’ll be left with trying to make your business succeed for personal reasons. You’ll often feel that you are carrying the weight of this business on your own and struggling to make it succeed for the wrong reasons, including the fear of failure and the fear of poverty.
Once you understand the mission and purpose of your business as it pertains to the Kingdom of Heaven, and once you dedicate your business as part of your oikos to the Lord for His use, the weight of carrying this business on your own is now lifted off of your shoulders and onto His. You are now in partnership with the Lord on this assignment to advance His kingdom through your business. Since the Lord gets all of the glory for the company’s success, that means He is also responsible for the bills, the taxes, and financial success of your business. It’s on His shoulders now. You simply have to follow His directions and put your hand to the plow.
Your provision and success is not dependent on the financial success of your business. He will provide for you regardless of whether or not your company makes a profit. Your success is guaranteed, even if your company fails. He might make a total makeover of your business and recreate it into something different. That’s His prerogative since it’s now His business and not yours. Perhaps He will just make minor steering adjustments and show you how to run it a bit differently. Either way, once you understand your assignment, your focus shifts from metrics that define financial success to metrics that define the success of your mission.
The revelation of how you will accomplish this mission will be easier to receive once you understand the assignment. It’s been said that once you know your “why,” the “how” will be made clear to you. If you’ve been struggling to make your business succeed and searching for the right method or “how” to make it successful, perhaps it’s because you haven’t figured out the “why” first.
The apostle in most businesses will probably be the owner or CEO, but could be another C-level executive, or someone on the Board or an investor. The apostle will be ultimately responsible for fulfilling the calling and assignment of the business in the Kingdom of Heaven. Although the apostle will be responsible for leading a successful business that generates a profit (like his non-believing counterpart), he’ll quickly realize that by focusing on the calling and assignment, the Lord will bring the increase. This is sometimes referred to as “if you’ll build His house, He will build yours.”
The office of Apostle may have intercessors assigned to this office, or these intercessors may be part of another office and support all of the company’s spiritual offices.
Office of Prophet
The Greek word prophetes means one who speaks for or openly; a proclaimer of a divine message. The gift of prophecy is the ability to speak forth the mind, counsel, and will of God2. Although prophecy is generally associated with foretelling future events, it is the declaration of divinely inspired revelatory information that cannot be known by natural means and can reference past, present, or future events. Jesus Himself is referred to as the promised Prophet (Deut 18:15, John 6:14).
The Bible tells us to earnestly desire spiritual gifts and especially the gift of prophecy, since the gift of prophecy is intended to edify, exhort, and comfort our ekklesia (1Cor 14:1, 3-5). Through the Bible we receive timeless kingdom principles and the revelation of God’s will for our lives and business, but through prophecy we can receive a now word on the counsel and will of the Lord for our immediate situation. “Surely the Lord God does nothing Unless He reveals His secret counsel To His servants the prophets” (Amos 3:7).
In the Kingdom Business Governance Model, the prophet is the one who seeks continuous revelation from the Lord to where the company is going, the strategies of the enemy and how to counter them in spiritual warfare, as well as words of knowledge to know what’s going on inside and outside our company. Since the Lord is now the Head of our business, we need to stay in touch with Him on a daily basis to receive course corrections and feedback from Him. Sometimes we don’t need a new revelation, but a fresh revelation on a word that He has already given us in the past.
Every business owner desires to receive wisdom from Heaven. Imagine if every decision that you made in your business was based upon hearing from the Lord? Do you think that your business would succeed? What kind of edge would that give you over your competitors? The ability to have the mind of Christ (1Cor 2:16) and receive the mind, counsel, and will of God for our current situation is a gift that we should seek after. This is the believer’s edge. This is the incredible edge that the Lord has given us over our non-believer competitors. This revelatory reception of wisdom from Heaven is the purpose of the office of the Prophet in your company.
The Lord wants to reveal new prospects and sale channels for your products. He wants to reveal internal sabotage that is occurring from employees through their actions, omissions, or word curses that they are speaking against the company. The Lord wants to show you where you are being unChrist-like in your dealings with your employees, customers, suppliers, and vendors before they become a major issue. The Lord is talking, but we are not always listening. The office of the Prophet is responsible to make sure that people are constantly seeking the Lord for this wisdom and correction, so that He can bring His blessings upon our work.
While the apostle tends to be focused on the present day and the execution of the current mission, the prophet tends to be forward looking and sees the potential dangers and paths to steer to avoid collision, before they arrive in the present day. While the apostle has the authority to bring correction to the company, the prophet may be the one hearing from the Lord as to the sins or errors that the company is committing that need to be repented of in order to bring divine alignment and blessing on the company.
Along with receiving revelation of mistakes and corrections, the prophet also has the ability to receive good news from the Lord that will edify, exhort, and comfort His people. The Lord wants His children to look up and see His deliverance. He wants to set their expectations high so that they can walk in faith and expectation of seeing the manifestation of their answered prayers. True prophets should be filled with faith and hope of a glorious future and not focused on doom and gloom.
The apostle and the prophet need to work closely together to receive direction from the Lord and bring about the course corrections necessary to achieve the will of the Lord. The apostle and the prophet are like two hands that work together in harmony receiving the same direction from the Head of the Body. With this illustrative analogy, is it any wonder that the Bible refers to this governance model as one that is:
“…built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit” (Eph 2:20-22).
The office of Prophet may be filled by one person who is hired to serve solely in this spiritual office, or it could be filled by someone that is also filling another functional position in the company (e.g., CFO). As in the example given earlier in this article, instead of being filled by one person, this office may also be filled by multiple people with prophetic gifts, each serving in other functional positions in the company.
If the intercessors in a company are all assigned to one particular spiritual office rather than being assigned individually to each spiritual office, they will probably be grouped in the office of the Prophet since revelation from the Lord is generally received by spending much time in the presence of the Lord. Additionally, spiritual warfare is a specialty in its own and will require the use of experienced intercessors to accomplish.
Office of Evangelist
In the New Testament, the euangelistes are the messengers of good, bearers of good tidings, or preachers of the gospel3. Since all apostles are called to preach the gospel, first-century evangelists referred to non-apostles who were called to preach the gospel. Phillip and Timothy were included in this evangelistic calling (Acts 21:8, 2Tim 4:5).
In the Kingdom Business Governance Model, the evangelist is the leader of the Great Commission part of your kingdom assignment. This is the office which is not only focused on getting everyone saved inside and outside the company, but this office is focused on fulfilling the 7Mountain mandate of taking and shaping the culture of your business mountain. This is the office that will be responsible for influencing and shaping the culture of your mountain using kingdom principles. This is the office that will be responsible for being winsome for the Lord and letting everyone on your mountain see Christ in you.
The office of the Evangelist is where the rubber meets the road in our 7Mountain analogy. If all we do is succeed financially on the business mountain, are we any different than our non-believer competitors? We are called to take our mountain and shape the culture of the mountain, but it’s not enough to be successful in business, we need to preach the gospel of the Kingdom of Heaven to those around us and disciple the nations (Matt 28:19, Mark 16:15-16).
What is your plan to share the gospel with your employees and customers? In today’s litigious society there is some concern about how to do this without opening opportunities for a lawsuit, but seek legal counsel and ask the Lord for a specific plan for your company.
Perhaps you could generate a monthly newsletter to send to your employees and customers. In this newsletter, you provide praise reports for the good things that the Lord has done for your company and the individual employees. Perhaps you offer your employees a bonus or comp time for getting involved in missions and charitable events, especially ones led by faith-based groups that will demonstrate the gospel in action.
As for the 7Mountain mandate, what is your plan for how your company will take dominion over and shape the culture of your mountain and the surrounding mountains for the Kingdom of Heaven? Is that plan geared towards individual customers or towards other businesses that you interface with? What would that look like?
Perhaps you manufacture ball point pens. Prior to each batch of pens going out to your customers, have your intercessors pray that everyone who touches a pen will have dreams and visions of the Lord Jesus; each person will use this pen to dedicate their life to the Lord and write psalms of praise and thanksgiving to Him. You can pray that these pens will be used to sign contracts to bless people and businesses, and shape the laws of our nation.
Perhaps you have a cleaning business. While your employees are cleaning a home or business you have them pray over each place and release forgiveness for all sins that have occurred and pray that the grace and peace of the Lord Jesus comes into everyone’s life that enters the premises. You pray that each person will feel the love of the Father and turn to Him. You anoint each chair, office, and cubicle and release a blessing over that person and office.
Perhaps you have an extermination business and you see the correlation of the spiritual with the natural. While your employees are taking out the unwanted critters from the house or business, your intercessors are praying for a spiritual cleansing to go along with the cleaning of the natural realm.
What is your plan to shape the culture of your mountain through your business? Ask the Lord for one if you don’t already have one. A kingdom purpose will look externally to see how to be a blessing to others rather than looking internally to satisfy our own desires the way that a non-believer-owned business operates. This kingdom purpose is a significant component of what differentiates our business from the non-believer’s business. If we are focused on revenue and earnings and not our kingdom purpose and calling, then we are not much different than our non-believer counterparts and shouldn’t expect to get different results.
The office of Evangelist could be filled by one person in our company already filling a functional role, or it could be a paid position without any functional responsibilities in the company, or it could be fulfilled by several people from different functional units in your company.
Office of Pastor
In the New Testament Greek, poimen are the pastors or shepherds of the flock. While the term Bishop or Overseer is often used synonymously with the position of pastor in the modern church, in the first-century church, overseers or bishops were elders and therefore subject to pastors. While elders (overseers and bishops) were responsible for feeding the flock, the pastors were responsible for guiding and tending the flock as well as feeding the flock4. In the New Testament, the term “shepherd” is translated from the same Greek word poimen, and there are actually more translations of poimen to shepherd than there are to the term pastor. Jesus referred to Himself as the good shepherd (poimen) in John 10:11-16. Other references to pastor/shepherd are found in Heb 13:20 and 1Peter 2:25.
In the Kingdom Business Governance Model, the pastor is the office in the company that looks out for the best interests of the employees. The pastor has a heart of a shepherd for the company’s flock. The pastor sees each employee as a gift from God; someone on assignment from the Lord for a season in their life and the company’s life. The pastor’s job is to nurture and protect employees and create an environment in which they will grow and prosper while they are under the care of the company. The pastor understands the role of stewardship of people the way a CFO understands the stewardship of financial assets. To the pastor, the most valuable assets that the company possesses are its employees.
The pastor will be interested in the spiritual growth of the employees as well as the growth of their technical skills and ability to work together as a team. The pastor is also concerned about their marriages, families, and personal finances as these are important to the employees and will play a role in how successful they will be with the company. The pastor will have the ability to look at employee issues from at least three perspectives: God’s perspective, the employee’s perspective, and the company’s perspective.
The pastor is the one who will be concerned with ensuring persistent communications between the company and the employee since communications and trust go hand in hand. The pastor generally has creative ideas how to recognize the value of the employees through performance evaluations and awards, and ensures a flexible work structure to meet all employee needs, and foster the corporate productivity that comes from highly satisfied employees.
The pastor is the one with new and creative ideas for employee benefits including medical and dental benefits, vacation and leave, retirement benefits, and employee recognition and awards. The pastor also has the responsibility to counsel employees that are not productive or in compliance with corporate policies, and makes every attempt to correct the situation before the necessary pruning occurs. This means that the pastor also needs the gift of “tough love.”
Although many of the responsibilities of the pastor can appear to be similar to that of a Human Resources Director in a non-believer-owned company, the pastor has the responsibility and privilege of being Christ to every employee. The pastor can provide counseling from a Christian perspective and provide biblical answers to problems, even if the scripture references are omitted to avoid legal implications. If you can imagine how Jesus Christ would perform as the Human Resources Director in your company, that’s the opportunity that exists to influence and bless your employees through the office of the Pastor.
The office of Pastor may be held by a single person in the company (e.g., the Director of Human Resources), or it may be held by a team of people, each from a different functional unit in the company.
Office of Teacher
In the New Testament Greek, didaskalos are the teachers that give instruction concerning the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ5. Apostles, pastors, and elders were called to teach the flock. The apostle Paul told Timothy the elder to “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2Tim 2:15 NKJV) Paul gave similar qualifications for elders that they be “ holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict those who contradict.” (Titus 1:9 NKJV)
In the Kingdom Business Governance Model, the teacher is the office in the company that provides instruction to the employees in kingdom principles for righteousness and prosperity. The scriptural references for these principles may be removed if necessary. This helps remove the image of attempting to proselytize the employee.
Many large companies are already providing some type of non-technical training to their employees that address the corporate culture, ethics, leadership, and employee working relationships. Much of this training comes from secular courses and seminars that are based upon self-help, new age, or humanism concepts. Interestingly, many of these value-based principles that come from idolatrous religions and practices came originally from the Bible.
Today, there are biblically-based courses that teach value-principles that come directly from the Bible. One of these is programs comes from La Red Business Network. The La Red value-based principle materials have been used in prisons and governments throughout the world with amazing success. As employees learn value-based principles such as honesty, integrity, humility, forgiveness, and stewardship, they learn Kingdom of Heaven principles that position them to receive even greater truths, such as the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.
When people hear the truth, regardless of their religious background, there is something in their spirit that acknowledges that the information that they just heard was true. They may be resistant to anything that comes from the Bible, but if they hear the truth without scriptural context, they often readily assimilate that what they just heard was true. The more truth that they hear, the more receptive they will be to hearing about Truth Himself.
The office of Teacher could be held by a single person in the company. This position might be combined with the office of the Pastor. However it could be split up between multiple people and will probably include the Director of Human Resources.
In our fourth and final part to this article, we will look at how we can overlay this proposed Kingdom Business Governance Model onto our existing corporate organization structure. This will allow us to create a new business model that will help us to focus on serving our King and our assignment to the business mountain, and bring zoé life into every area of our business.
1Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words, W.E. Vine et al, Thomas Nelson Publishers 1984, page 30.
2Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words, W.E. Vine et al, Thomas Nelson Publishers 1984, page 493.
3Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words, W.E. Vine et al, Thomas Nelson Publishers 1984, page 208.
4Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words, W.E. Vine et al, Thomas Nelson Publishers 1984, pages 462 and 569.
5Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words, W.E. Vine et al, Thomas Nelson Publishers 1984, page 619.
Jeff Ahern is an author, public speaker, and former Naval Officer who has provided management consulting and business process improvement services to Fortune 500 and Government clients for over twenty years. He is co-founder of Sozo Services, Inc., a spiritual advisory firm helping business leaders succeed and achieve their personal and corporate goals by using Biblical, Spirit-led solutions.