2016 Year-End Review: A Personal Assessment for Christian CEOs & Business Owners
Nov.28.2016 Business Resource
Have you noticed that almost everyone you come into contact with each day is completely exhausted? When did constant busyness and living each day at Mach 4 speed become our standard, and why is it worn as a badge of honor? Are we so focused on keeping up, staying ahead and living a performance-based life that we are missing God’s best plans and design for our lives? Well today, it is time to hit the “pause” button, to deeply consider and reflect, to take a long, slow breath and focus on the day-to-day life we are leading from an eternal perspective. Ready?
Take a uniquely Christ-centered retrospective on 2016. With this special assessment created specifically for Christian CEOs and business owners, we focus on an entirely different set of criteria. In many ways, it much more difficult to measure our results in the ministry or spiritual dimension of our lives and our businesses. The whole idea of using our business as a platform for ministry can sometimes seem bewildering since it is not nearly as well- defined as filling orders on-time or tracking the profitability of products and projects. Yet, in terms of what has eternal value in our lives, the spiritual dimension is infinitely more important to us! What is it that we should be looking for as we examine ourselves and our spiritual lives in relation to the ministry in our business?
The focus of this ten statement assessment is personal criteria. These criteria pertain to growth, the kind of growth that will lead to a much more Christ-focused and spirit-filled life.
How to rate yourself: For each of the following ten statements, rate your performance over the last six months from 1 to 10, with 1 being low, 10 as high versus your potential or opportunity. These statements are indicators of growth which we can all use to measure what kind of a year we really had in Christ eyes:
You had a good year, if…?
1. You spent more time with The Lord. We are starting with an easy one. Everything we are or do comes out of our relationship with God in Christ Jesus. We can never be more than our relationship with Him enables us to be. Obedience to God is the final definition of success in our lives and our obedience comes out of our intimate relationship with Him and His truth. As we grow to know Christ better we are able to hear His voice more clearly and with more certainty. The more clearly we hear Him, the easier it is to obey Him. Our ministry in business or anywhere else will never grow if our relationship with God doesn’t. Of course our relationship with God is not totally defined by the amount of time we spend with Him. The quality and the result of the time are just as important. We’re talking about all kinds of time here: daily quiet time, prayer during the day, evening meditations, and the sense that He is in you and with you in the everyday decisions you make to run the business. Wherever each of us may be in this equation, there’s plenty of room to grow. How has your year been? Rating_________
2. Your family relationships strengthened. Were you able to spend more time —and more quality time — with your spouse and children? We need to look at these relationships right after our relationship with God. It is not very likely that we had an improving relationship with God and a deteriorating relationship with our family. We can’t really get closer to God and not be convicted to love and serve our mates and children more intentionally. Have you made more time for your spouse, as your top ministry priority, (and less to your hobbies and business)? Is your sacrificial love for (and service to) your family increasing? Rating______
3. You spent more time listening/relating to your team members at a personal level. Did you increasingly do this with an ear tuned to God and His purposes and eyes searching for ways to minister to stakeholder needs? You’ve had a good year if you care more for your lost employees, seeing the horrible prospect of their eternity in Hell more painfully. You had a good year if you frequently prayed for each member of your team, for their salvation, and an even better start if you actually did something more to impact them for eternity. Rating______
4. You’ve seen the people that you deal with (your stakeholders –key executives, employees, partners, suppliers, customers, vendors, peers, friends and others) more as a focus of your personal ministry than as objects to be exploited for your personal gain. This statement is intended to apply mostly to the people with which you have influence and/or significant relationships. If you increasingly see yourself as one entrusted to serve them, rather than master over them —even a little bit more —you are starting off well. Rating______
5. You are even slightly less acquisitive than you were a year ago. The urge to acquire things is of the flesh, not the Spirit. The vain thought that simply possessing more stuff will bring any real benefit to our lives is immature and foolish. We know there’s no ultimate joy or peace in things. The more stuff we have, the more we must tend to and use. Materialism is a curse; a cancer of the spirit. The driving force behind this desire could be comparing ourselves to others. Clearly, comparison can be the thief of joy. If you’ve extricated yourself, even a little, from its grasp, and are better able to steward your gifts with an open hand before the Lord, you’ve had a good year. Rating______
6. You are truly more thankful for what you have, more at peace and more content with all aspects of your life. Spiritual maturity brings with it a contentment rooted in the awareness that whatever we have –our present lot in life –comes from what God has done for us by grace. Apart from Christ, we deserve death. What do we have that we deserve? And, given that we have as much as we do, being among the most materially wealthy people in the history of the world, how can we not be thankful? Why do we need more? If God were to say to you, what you have is the best it will ever be, what would you say to Him? Would you say, Father, I already have more than I deserve or need, “with a truly grateful heart? If so, it’s been a good year! Rating______
7. You have more peace in your heart. This is especially true when your peace is not related to circumstances, since circumstances always change. If our peace is dependent on them, it comes and goes with the changes. Trials and storms are inevitable. Spiritual maturity, and the peace that comes with it, is dependent on abiding in our God who never changes. Do you more clearly see God’s hand in your circumstances (i.e., able to “…give thanks in all circumstances”[1 Thessalonians 5:18], it pure joy…”[James 1:2], “…in all things God works…”[Romans 8:28]). If so, you’ve had a good year. Rating______
8. You learn more about your profession and are able to apply greater technical expertise in your field. Through the pursuit of applicable wisdom and knowledge, you have increased your capacity and abilities as a leader as well as being able to better apply the technical expertise required in your field. If you believe (a) your business is a gift from God, (b) as His steward you are to run it with excellence to honor Him, and (c) you’ve been consistent in allowing the necessary time and will to learn and apply better ways to do this, you’ve had a great first half. Rating______
9. You take measurably better care of your body. Do you get the exercise you need? Do you routinely get a full night’s sleep and enjoy your Sabbath rest? Is your diet healthier than last year? Are you allocating sufficient time to the maintenance of your body? The way we care for our body is one measure of our self-control and a visible part of our witness. Mastery of self is key to spiritual growth. If your temple is in better shape than it was a year ago, you’ve had a good year. Rating______
10. More eternal fruit has been produced through and around you, due to your effort and influence while abiding in Christ. Eternal fruit is defined as turned toward God, meaning simply that our obedience to God in what we say, do, and are, influences others to move towards God in their thoughts and actions, thereby yielding eternal fruit. This doesn’t only involve discipleship but anything that brings a heightened and more favorable awareness of God and His ways to others. A godly life lived in a godly way produces eternal fruit. Jesus produced eternal fruit everywhere He went. Although true in all areas of our lives, we’re talking primarily about the workplace here. Do those around you see a life of humility and integrity that flows from your love and commitment to Christ? Are more Christians being influenced to grow in their faith because doing business has enabled you, reflecting Christ, to impact their lives? If you can see that more eternal fruit has been produced in and through your business, you’ve had a GREAT year. Rating______
You may be thinking, can I really measure these things? Some are not easily quantifiable, at least not in an exact numerical way. However, if you unsure, and really want to, you can know your measure. Ask God to reveal to you the truth in each of these areas. He will show you as you pray and study His Word. Sometimes He will answer through people who know you well, such as your spouse, close friends, or perhaps your C12 group peers. Are you familiar with the C12 Group? C12 is an invitation-only, executive peer advisory board made up of Christian CEOs and business owners. We meet for a day each month to study and share excellent business practices and solutions from a Christian perspective. In the collaborative learning environment, we use MBA-level curriculum to discover better ways to grow our businesses and improve our execution.
•As fellow board members, we challenge, encourage and hold each other accountable as we become better leaders;
•We gain best practice business principles and leadership knowledge uniquely developed from a Christian perspective; and
•We learn how to better integrate our business, family and faith as we create true work/life balance while becoming better stewards, employers, spouses and parents.
Give the C12 Group a try and you can make this absolutely the best year of your life.