Jesus makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work (Ephesians 4:16, NLT).
Ephesians chapter 4 is an amazing chapter. If you read it carefully, you will note most of the modern business practices used today were first discussed in this chapter of Ephesians and employed by the early church.
The church was the first modern organization.
A study of history reveals that few if any, modern-type organizations existed before the church was established by Jesus in the first century.
At the time of Jesus, there was top-down authority, as in the king or Caesar, and subject and unflinching fealty. Perhaps you have felt this way about your boss at work a few times. But the Bible has a different approach.
Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ (Ephesians 4:11-12).
Fear of judgment was the motive for encouraging or enforcing behavior befitting what the leaders deemed adequate. If you violated a protocol, at best, your name was scrubbed from the list of active synagogue members, or at worst, crucifixion or beheading by the Romans.
Jesus took a different approach with motivation in the church . . .
He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love (Ephesians 4:16).
The economy of the first century was agrarian and trade-oriented. If your father was a fisherman, though you had the writing ability to be the next Shakespeare, you would be a fisherman. If your father was a priest, in spite of having the talent to be a Heisman Trophy winner, you would be a priest.
I think you get the idea that your future was predicated on what your parents did, whether or not it was your inclination or gifting. The idea of finding jobs that we could enjoy and that fit with our real talents began in the Bible.
Again, let’s look at Ephesians 4 . . .
These are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ (Ephesians 4:11-12).
Fulfillment according to who we are and how we were created is not an invention of kings, Pharisees, politicians, or Steven Covey (a leading business guru) — but came through the Spirit of God.
Consider Romans 12:6 . . .
In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well.
And also 1 Peter 4:10 . . .
God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another.
Wow! Working together under the love of Jesus for the good of others according to our skill set, though emulated by modern businesses, all began in the teaching of the New Testament.
No wonder the church is the greatest of all organizations. It has stood for over 2,000 years as opposed to Sears®, Kodak®, and other once-great but now-foundering businesses.
A reason that Jesus taught that the gates of Hell could not vanquish the church — He organized it with divine wisdom as the first modern organization.