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I once met a salesman who changed the way I view things. Jerry, the salesman, said, “Good Christian practices makes good business practices.”

Recently I attended the 2017 Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit and was amazed at the wealth of knowledge I gained. There was one theme threading through many of the sessions that reminded me of what Jerry said. The theme was about how we treat people and how we believe in them.

Bill Hybels shared a story about the power of a little encouragement. While he was on an overseas trip he took aside a waitress working table 18 (his table) and commended her work ethic, her drive, and her ability to juggle many tasks simultaneously. Later he received a note from the waitress thanking him profusely and saying this was the first time anyone believed in her. All he had done was believe in her capacity to do great things and then let her know. That conversation, likely, changed the future for the waitress working table 18.

In a similar vein, Marcus Lemonis talked about how business is made up of relationships. When you invest in a company you are investing in people. Business is about believing in the people around you. I’ve since watched a few episodes from his TV show “The Profit.” I observed how Lemonis changed business outcomes by caring for people. At the Summit Lemonis said, “When you unlock someone’s heart you can do anything together.” 

Another faculty member, Sam Adeyemi, said, “Great leaders change the way people view themselves.” As a leader it’s our job to provide the encouragement, the inspiration, and the hope needed to help those around us be the best they can be. When people know someone believes in them it makes them more effective at whatever they are doing.

Church leaders would benefit from taking a lesson from the Summit presenters. Each business leader is constantly looking out for their team members. They stand up for those around them rather than breaking them down and acknowledge and encourage others when their team members do something outstanding.

Bill Hybels pointed out when someone is disrespected their performance drops 50%. If we are going to experience the best our people can be, we must respect them. We need to encourage them. We need to let them know we believe in them. The people in our churches are capable of amazing things. It is our job as leaders to help bring the very best out of them.

Treating people with respect is a good Christian practice. Showing people we believe in them because of who they are in Christ is a good and necessary Christian practice. It is these good Christian practices that make good church (business) practices as well.

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