Can Business Be Your Ministry? Dr. Certo Says Yes!

Joanna Lukins

He launches The Wisdom Academy to teach us how

Most of us find it hard to blend our Christian faith with our professional personas. HR regulations, political correctness, and the fear of being labeled or discriminated against discourage any display of faith in the workplace. Some of us may even find our faith of little relevance when it comes to business dealings. But Dr. Samuel C. Certo says it isn’t so.

“In reality, you can have a faith-based leadership style without talking about the Bible,” says Dr. Certo, an emeritus dean and Steinmetz professor of management at the Crummer Graduate School of Business at Rollins College and a Northland elder. “You can act in a way that people will want what you have and will respect what you do, and those things come from both a firm foundation of what’s right and wrong and how you handle what’s right and what’s wrong in the workplace.”

Since fall 2011, Dr. Certo has been faithfully following God’s calling to use his gift of teaching and his vast experience as an MBA professor and entrepreneur to teach businesspeople about the relevance of combining God’s teaching and business principles in today’s business world.

In 2012, Dr. Certo started the Godly Wisdom in Business class at Northland, which has been attended by more than 300 businesspeople so far. The class is based on his book “Chasing Wisdom” and the “Chasing Wisdom” podcast series, where he interviews accomplished Christian businesspeople for insight into wise leadership.

“In 2018, we will continue the chase with the introduction of The Wisdom Academy,” Dr. Certo shares. “This new ministry offers a deeper dive into business and the Bible, and emphasizes our dedication to ongoing learning and skill development to grow as wise leaders.”

In his teaching, Dr. Certo uses the concept of confluence to help illustrate how our business decisions and actions can be based on both biblical and business principles without singling out either one of the two sources of insight. Imagine that each source is represented by a different color: “God’s Word is represented by red, and blue represents business principles. When you blend these two colors together, you come up with only one color, purple, and that’s what you need to focus on.”

You do not have to openly preach the gospel, give testimony or speak in Bible verses in the workplace. The power of leadership based on godly wisdom and values lies in your actions. Your employees, peers and outside vendors will be drawn to leaders who inspire and encourage others; who are fair, self-disciplined, honest and trustworthy; and who value personal relationships.

But how do we establish the firm foundation of what’s right and wrong? And how do we know which principle to apply in a particular situation? When should we encourage versus discipline, serve justice versus show mercy? Where do we start?

Dr. Certo encourages everyone to go to the source and start learning by reading the Bible — our greatest manual for living well — daily. Proverbs 2:6 tells us: “For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding” (NIV).

Dr. Certo also reminds us to be patient: “Chasing wisdom is a lifelong commitment; there are no shortcuts to becoming a wiser leader.” It requires dedication, self-discipline and time. Fellowshiping with like-minded businesspeople also brings encouragement and guidance and facilitates growth. One can learn independently by reading books and blogs by well-respected Christian leaders such as John C. Maxwell and Ken Blanchard, or tap into resources offered by ministries such as the Wisdom Academy, including classes and workshops.

God’s wisdom is a powerful force in this universe, and it is humbling to know that we can access it, as He gives it out generously to all who seek it. So commit to your chase today.

 

Recommended Resources

Books:
Blanchard, K., and Hodges, P. (2005). Lead like Jesus: Lessons for everyone from the greatest leadership role model of all time. Nashville, Tenn.: Thomas Nelson.

Certo, S. (2014). Chasing wisdom: Finding everyday leadership in business and life. Mustang, OK.: Tate Publishing and Enterprises. Available at chasewisdom.com.

Maxwell, J. (2011). Maxwell leadership bible (New King James vers.; 2nd ed.). Nashville, Tenn.: Thomas Nelson.

Training
The upcoming Wisdom Academy workshop, Godly Wisdom for Business course at Northland. Contact: wisdomacademy@northlandchurch.net.