Recently I had the opportunity to connect with a group of marketplace leaders. These guys have been successful climbing the corporate ladder. Now, they’re reaping both the leadership and financial rewards of years of hard work.
I always find it interesting that churches have all kinds of ministries focused on helping people without means. (As they should.) We are rarely intentional, though, about reaching and connecting people who have found success in life. Both groups need Jesus. Frankly, I think ministry to up-and-outers is much harder, so we tend to shy away from the challenge.
I asked these successful executives what questions pastors need to address if they’re going to help people like themselves take their next steps toward Christ. Some of their responses may surprise you. Here’s what they offered:
- Are you willing to take a risk and challenge me in a way that may cause me to walk out and never come back? What’s the risky question? Are you willing to shake people?
- Are you willing to ask for my opinion? Leaders want to be heard. You don’t have to embrace every idea, but you better give leaders the opportunity to engage the conversation.
- Are you going to push me? One of the executives said, my pastor took the position that “I’m going to do whatever it takes to get this guy involved.” And he did.
- Can I trust the pastor? They wanted to know is the pastor real. They acknowledged this authenticity needs to come through from the pulpit as well as in person.
- Does someone know me? Is someone willing to take the time to know my goals? Will they invest enough to know my struggles?
- Does the church have clarity on the “why”? These folks invest their lives in businesses that have clarity of purpose. If they’re going to connect with a church, they want the church to have clarity on it’s vision as well.
How are you doing? Would you say you’re more intentional about reaching the down-and-outers than the up-and-outers? What could you do differently today to help successful marketplace leaders take their next steps toward Christ?