When you hear the word discipleship do you conjure up an image of robes, meditation, fasting, perhaps even Jesus? A disciple is someone who embraces the teachings of another, actively adheres to those teachings, and spreads them to others. While we may tend to think of religion when we hear the word discipleship, the truth is that there are disciples for everything from sports teams to diet programs. Are there any in your business?
What? You’re not in the business of creating disciples? What a shame! Can you imagine what your business would be like if you had leaders and employees who embraced your products and policies, actively adhered to your company’s vision and mission statements, and loved to spread the word about how great it was to work and do business with your company?
Yielding Fruit After You Own Kind
This is the kind of life and business God wants Christian business owners to have. As we continue our 20 Entrepreneurial Lessons from Creation series, it’s interesting that this idea of discipleship shows up in the first chapter of the Bible – and it isn’t all that religious in its overtones. The phrase “after his kind” or “after their kind” shows up ten times when the Bible talks about God creating plant (Genesis 1:11-12) and animal life (Genesis 1:20-25).
God coded this need (and ability) to replicate ourselves into our very DNA. Now I know that our current understanding through our best scientific efforts does not agree with the idea that different forms of life started out with their own unique DNA and have replicated accordingly; however, there’s no misunderstanding in the Creation account that this is how the Bible says it happened.
If your business is not replicating good disciples perhaps it’s time to look at the source from which they’re duplicating. What kind of impact are you having on your business? As a Christian business owner, you are the mold through which everything in your business is shaped. This replication process is pretty reliable so if you’re not seeing the results you want chances are that you’re not setting the right example.
Teenage Mutant Business Leaders?
Kowabunga Dude! (sorry, I couldn’t resist). One thing that science has taught us is that our DNA is susceptible to mutations. There’s no Biblical reason to dispute this. In fact, it makes sense that as part of the curse on the earth, and the death sentence carried by Adam and Eve’s sin, that the perfect DNA strands God implanted in all life would change (or mutate) as well.
Mutations are a mixed bag. Some are great (like pizza-loving crime-fighting ninja turtles), while others are harmful. Above, I wrote that the replication process was pretty reliable, but sometimes you can be doing everything right as a business owner and create a mutant leader because of bad processes. You need to pay close attention when these mutations happen.
Use it as an opportunity to review your processes. If left unchecked, you risk leaving your company at the mercy of “survival-of-the-fittest” mutations. It’s worth noting that some mutations will require us to change our processes to encourage replicating them. A wise leader is one who can recognize these occasions and adapt their company to it.
What Kind of Leaders are You Yielding?
As you grow your company from a small business into a thriving enterprise, stop and ask yourself if you would like to see your current leaders and employees replicated. If you’re a solo entrepreneur, ask if you would like to see yourself reproduced over and over again in your company.
If you can’t answer the question with a resounding yes, then it’s time to look at your discipleship program. Sadly, most business owners don’t have one. They have not identified people in their organization they would like to see become future leaders, or, if they have, they do not have a good replication process in place. What about you?
How do you identify future leaders in your business? What programs have you put into place to create disciples for your business?