Which Model Are We Following?

   Written by on January 26, 2017 at 12:25 pm

logo-hevenerThere are at least two models that the Christian church may follow.  One is the business model; the other is the service model.

The business model focuses on its primary goal, that of creating wealth for both company and worker.  However, the primary goal of the service model is to do as its name implies, to be of service to God and humanity.

In our culture, both of these models work side-by-side, ideally, complementing each other.  A strong economy creates dependable, well-paying jobs for the employee while, at the same time, creating wealth for the investor.  A portion of this wealth, then, is generously donated by individuals and business to assist the needy of society.

One of the oldest and most successful businesses in the U.S. is the Ford Motor Company, which is the world’s fifth largest automaker .  Based in Dearborn, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit, the automaker was founded by Henry Ford, on June 16, 1903. Ford Motor Company would go on to become one of the largest and most profitable companies in the world, as well as being one of the few to survive the Great Depression. The largest family-controlled company in the world, the Ford Motor Company has been in continuous family control for over 110 years. Ford now produces two brands, Ford and Lincoln. It is reported that Ford dedicated about one-third of his income to philanthropy. Therefore, Ford is an example of how success in business can help meet the various needs of society.

For the Christian, the One who best represents the service model is Jesus Christ.  It was He who said that He “came not to be served, but to serve.” (Matthew 20:28, 8:19,20.)  From the outset, He knew what it meant to be frugal, being born in a stable and his parents being of the “blue collar” class.   He assisted His father in the carpenter’s shop, learning the trade as well as the value of labor.  Upon beginning His ministry, He fed the hungry, healed the sick, gave mobility to the lame, and provided sight to the blind.  His fundamental message was that He, the Messiah, came to offer His blood on the cross and that this blood would, through faith, cover the sins of those who chose to accept His Messiah-ship and His offer of eternal life at the resurrection. (1 Corinthians 15.)  He demonstrated His power over death by rising from the grave on the third day.

It is regrettable some Christian organizations and individuals have allowed the business model to dominate or contaminate the service model demonstrated by Jesus.  Today, some Christian churches appear to make their primary goal the construction of impressive buildings and the accumulation of wealth rather than that of service. One estimate suggests that the leader of the largest Christian church in the world, receives some $200,000 annually for his personal use; this is money which is not counted as income for the worldwide church nor the government of Vatican City. Also, news reports indicate that one televangelist in Texas has access to a 1500-acre campus, a fine church building, a private airstrip, a hangar, a 17.5 million-dollar jet and other aircraft, as well as a six million-dollar lakefront mansion.

John assures us that if we, personally or corporately, confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9.)

Ezekiel 33:11 promises mankind that … as I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?(Emphasis mine.)

Until next week, may God richly bless you and yours.

Contact: fhevener@oilart.com; (434) 392-6255; www.guthriememorial.org

© 2017 by Fillmer Hevener

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