However, might not the church learn from the business world, with such things as team building, communications or even about marketing?
This coming Sunday, Jesus presents us with a parable (and perhaps one of the most difficult parables to understand) about possessing a certain shrewdness in being one of his followers. It's a long text and you might want to read it on your own in preparation - Luke 16:1-13. In fact, you might want to read it from several different translations.
In short it's about a rich man who has heard about the mismanagement of his manager. The owner calls in his manager to settle the accounts. The manager then goes out and acts in a very clever fashion, by telling his boss's creditors that they only need to pay up half the amount they owe. The manager, thereby, is making friends to help him in his life.
Here's the shocker: when the owner finds out about what his manager did, he commends him for his shrewdness! Here's how Jesus ended the story. "For the children of this age are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than are the children of light. And I tell you , make friends for yourselves by means of dishonest wealth so that when it is gone, they may welcome you into the eternal homes." (Luke 16:8-9) Do you catch what Jesus is saying? Wow!!
We as followers of Jesus need to use our money (and possessions) for the benefit of God's kingdom. If we believe that what we have is only for us to enjoy exclusively, we are missing the point. Yes, this parable is about our stewardship. How are you using your money (and possessions)? How are you "making friends" with what you have? Do you feel you have a sense of "shrewdness" in dealing with what you have?