The Great Commission as Strategic Enterprise Solution
by Ayn Koch
Little understood by both conservatives and liberals alike is the reality of the business acumen of Jesus of Nazareth. As part of His immensely successful rebranding effort that resulted in becoming The Christ, Jesus spent His immense entrepreneurial efforts building an innovative—even unprecedented—enterprise solution combining direct messaging through guerrilla marketing; team-building; and high-level, targeted recruiting through discipleship. These efforts were combined with increased brand-visibility through crucifixion and His most brilliant enterprise solution, organizational sustainability via The Great Commission.
The keys to assuring eternal quality and organizational loyalty have been discipleship, empowerment, and baptism. Applied, these have led to the creation of values and principles necessary to create a culture of prosperity upon which the continued revenue of The Church has relied for two millennia.
Jesus's mission statement, while complex and expressed via several policy statements, includes the following: “Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen” (Matt. 28:20). Thus Jesus's key men and executive officers, the 11 disciples who survived The Church's startup phase, were deputized with His own power, assuring them adequate authority as the early Church replicated itself through franchises built along the same models of success.
In order to make certain that Jesus's ultimate authority as CEO of The Church was retained through the franchise process, He set parameters on the power policy: “He that heareth you heareth me; and he that despiseth you despiseth me; and he that despiseth me despiseth him that sent me” (Luke 10:16). The costs of insubordination, then, are not merely earthly, and this projects corporate power into the hereafter. One of the main limitations of the contemporary business venture has been that enterprises are limited by their physical, economic, and political boundaries. When these sorts of limits persist, problems as diverse as taxation and market fluctuations, shifting brand identities and job-killing regulations, can threaten the lifeblood of even the best run companies. By invoking heavenly power throughout the corporate structure, Jesus surpasses all of these problems simultaneously and invokes associations with powers beyond the scope and reach of these pernicious and often destructive earthly barriers to an organization's full market capacity.
Within The Church corporation, and as a matter of assuring quality personnel, Jesus pioneered the use of baptism, licensed from the market innovator John the Baptist. Baptism goes beyond signing a non-compete agreement, however: “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned” (Mark 16:16). Lawsuits and threats of termination have proven inadequate over the course of history. Legal failures, while increasingly rare for business interests, are both possible and real, and in times of high employment (also increasingly rare), employees are less likely to fear termination and may begin to act in their own interests and therefore not in those of the company. By requiring a public act of loyalty, one tied to dire metaphysical consequences, disciples of the organization face not only the social ostracism resulting from disloyalty to a higher power but eternal damnation through hellfire and brimstone. This has the added advantage of reducing the likelihood of turncoat “whistleblowers” who, like the example of Judas, are likely from time to time to call down the worldly deviltry of government bureaucrats upon freely operating business interests.
Membership within the corporate structure does, however, impart its privileges, and in this, too Jesus's Church goes beyond its earthly counterparts. While unfettered prosperity is the most obvious benefit to being part of most enterprises, The Church promises other forms of personal empowerment that double as identifiers of a metaphysically higher class: “And these signs shall follow them that believe: they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover” (Matt. 28:17-18). These powers also allow those loyal to the organization to master any new business jargon that may come along and to communicate to international markets.
One potential criticism is that The Great Commission enterprise solution pays out its ultimate compensation after the life of the disciple has ended. However, innovative policy covers this as well, via the disruptive (if counter-intuitive) mechanism of humility: “Notwithstanding in this rejoice, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven” (Luke 10:20). While perhaps unsatisfying in the short term, heavenly reward prevents those devoting their lives to the enterprise from becoming complacent, from retiring early, or from attempting to abscond with temporal profits. Heavenly rewards may be considered the ultimate stock option, having the further advantage of making monetary compensation, even for top executives, an externality, simplifying accounting and enhancing the bottom line.
Of special interest to the contemporary corporation, however, is how prescient Jesus was in describing the free-market relationship to labor and recognizing its cosmological truth: “The harvest is abundant, but the workmen few; beseech thee then the Lord of the harvest, that He may put forth workmen to His harvest” (Luke 10:2). Almost 1800 years before Adam Smith outlined the fact that labor should be free to follow work, Jesus evoked the natural relationship between prosperity (the abundant harvest) and labor (the few workmen). Christlike free-market principles continue, as Jesus notes that workers should be sent “forth as lambs in the midst of wolves” (Luke 10:3), with “no bag, no scrip, nor sandals” (Luke 10:4). Labor, then, is called upon to be unburdened by regulation and overcompensation. Even guilds and unions are called out for their market distortions later in the same passage, as disciples to the enterprise shall “salute no one on the way.” This, Jesus tells us, is how the workman remains “worthy of his hire” (Luke 10:7). With labor thus (super)naturally freed from guilds, regulations, overcompensation, and unionization, the worker is reacquainted with his right to work. The consequences for a polity's disobedience from the free market are, again, dire: “but this know ye, that the reign of God hath come nigh unto you; and I say to you, that for Sodom that day it shall more tolerable than for that city” (Luke 10: 11-12).
These days, we typically look to the future for innovation. We believe that those setting trends or moving forward with novel products or services will lead the way. These considerations are all far too limited in scope. They presuppose that prosperity is based on merely temporal conditions and that innovation is merely a technical matter. What The Great Commission enterprise solution shows us is that innovation is ongoing, and that for prosperity to be achieved it must demand a certain loyalty of those engaged in it not just in the here and now, but in the hereafter.
The 2000 year history of The Church is a proven track record of success. Such newcomers as we now have glutting the Dow and the S&P, as we have commanding the attention of investors everywhere, would do well to follow its example.
The Holy Bible Containing the Old and New Testaments in the King James Version. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1984. Print.