Management and the Second Commandment

January 24, 2011

A man I am coming to know and have a great deal of respect for is Matt Perman of Desiring God Ministries.  Matt is their Senior Director of Strategy and has much to say about how to manage biblically (click here to go to Matt’s blog).  It seems that in some para-church ministries there is some disdain for the art and science of management as being worldly.  Matt does an excellent job of showing how biblically based management is Spirit led, glorifying to the Lord, and highly effective.

Matt’s guiding principle is “Respect for the Individual who is made  in the image of God”.  Following are some quotes from an excellent paper by Matt on biblically based management.

“The fact that we are made in the image of God means that treating people well is at the heart of good management.  Not in a sentimental sense, but rather in the sense of the second commandment.

Making God Supreme in Management Means Affirming the Centrality of the Second Commandment to Management

The first command is that we love God with all of our heart and soul and mind and strength. The second command follows from it: to love your neighbor as yourself. The second commandment is an implication of the first: if we are to love God, and people are in the image of God, then we ought to love people as well.

This is how a passion for the glory of God relates to management: passion for the glory of God implies radical love for people, because people are in God’s image. This is the tie between the first and second commandments.

This reality does not go out of existence when enter the walls of our organization. It does not suddenly become irrelevant and out of scope when we begin dealing with the realm of managing people. Rather, it remains fundamental and essential because it is a matter of Christian ethics. Every management approach, therefore, must have the second commandment at its core.”

So – a question for you – is your management / leadership style based upon the Second Commandment? If not, what do you need to do to change your approach?

Blessings on your week!

BG