July 24, 2017

3 Values Organizations Can Learn from the Book of Genesis

3 Values Any Organizations Can Learn from the Book of Genesis - Emmanuel Naweji

There are three values, in the book of Genesis, that I’ve found very helpful for organizations that would like to thrive.

I’ll focus on a few places in this book, and especially on Abraham as well as chapters one, two and three.

What I’m sharing with you is the fourth in the series in our study of the book of Genesis. In case, you would like to catch up with the previous reflections, you can find them below by clicking any of the topics below: 

The entire book of Genesis describes God’s story that has also become our own story. Click To Tweet God is the one who has made God’s story become our story through Jesus Christ too.

What God’s story teaches us is about perfection, harmony, and balance. But, we also learn the story of our human brokenness, as a result of sin. You read about all this in Genesis, chapter three. 

Sin has disrupted perfection, harmony, and balance God intended for us all to have on… Click To Tweet 

That’s how the life that was supposed to be 1)fruit-bearing, 2)abundant, 3)increase-full, 4)productive and 5)rewarding will cease from being so. 

Our victory over sin comes out of two things, God’s grace and redemption. We also talked about that at length in our previous message. 

You and I can only experience God’s grace and redemption through faith.It is by faith that God called Abraham out of his family, traditions and even culture.

It is by faith that God called Abraham out of his family, traditions and even culture.

God chose Abraham with the hope to redeem all humankind through him. We discussed that based on Genesis, chapter twelve.
But, since Abraham could not save us, God had to do it through Jesus Christ. 

Here are the three values any organization (including Church) should have if they want to thrive. 

Genesis is about a Personal God

Read these two scriptures:

For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. Romans 10:13. ESV. But, in every nation, anyone who fears him (God) and does what is right is acceptable to him (God). Acts 10: 35, ESV.

The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob implies a God who’s personal!

We see it from the very beginning of our human existence and according to the Bible.

Take a look at the creation stories in Genesis one and two for a moment. What you see in these two chapters is that God mass-created everything from day one to day six. But, the exception was with humans.

When it came to the creation of Adam and Eve, God did it one person at a time. God’s work of creation, when it came to humankind, implies God’s personal touch. He wants to begin with you just as He started his work of redemption with Abraham.

And he believed the Lord, and the Lord reckoned it to him as righteousness. Genesis 15: 6. NRSV.

Here’s what God says to Abraham,

I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse, and in you, all the family of the earth shall be blessed. Genesis 12: 3. NRSV.

A personal God means a God who’s concerned about you as a human being. Click To Tweet You are at the center of God’s plan for the world, in which God has placed you.

For your surroundings and the people in your life to be blessed, this has to start with you.

In the case of Abraham, God asked him to leave everything and go to a place God would show him.

You experience salvation and redemption at a personal level. That’s why God called one person out of a community. That’s why Jesus called the disciples, one after the other, and by name.

God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob means that God cares about you as a person and human being. God cares about your body, soul/spirit, and mind.

Change in your relationships begins with you. Change in your family has to start with you. Change in your town has to begin with you. 

The focus for any organization that’s willing to thrive (grow) should be about the physical, emotional, spiritual and intellectual being of every person in it. 

Doing so will sustain the welfare of each member of the organization. As a result, the organization will be of greater and better services in the community.  

Genesis is about a Generational God

 One other thing about the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is that this God is generational. When God called Abraham in Genesis 12, He presented to Abraham the end goal. God wanted to bless all the families of the earth through Abraham. (Genesis 12: 3).

The phrase, all the families of the earth, implies generations. It is the promise God made to Abraham to bless all generations that come after him.

Throughout Abraham’s life, God repeatedly reminded him that He is a generational God. A generational God has to do with the following:

Formation

  • The formation has to do with order and grouping.
  • Grouping and order require a pattern or design.
  • As people of God, our design and pattern are what we receive from God through Jesus Christ.
  • Our formation defines how people see us in the world. Paul talks about being a new creation in Jesus Christ.
  • A personal relationship with God through faith in Jesus Christ is where formation begins.
  • What this means is God melts and shapes us, following the pattern or design God has in mind for our lives.

Replication

You’re a disciple. So, help others become just like you, as a believer and follower of Jesus Christ. Are you replicating? How many people can you claim that you’ve helped be like you, be like Jesus? 

Replication has to do with structure. What structure do we put in place to allow other people to experience God at a personal level?

Expansion

Expansion results from both formation and replication, which happen in two dimensions: time and space.  

  • Expansion in Time. God of Abraham is also the God of Isaac. God of Abraham is also the same God of Jacob. In other words, what God was able to do with Abraham, He did it with Isaac and Jacob. So that’s two generations after Abraham. It is about leaving a Christian legacy. That way generations that come after us will celebrate and be thankful for it. It also means investing in the future of our Church.
  • Expansion in Space. In God’s language, as God spoke to Abraham about His promise, there is a use of a natural land. It represents the second dimension when it comes to expanding. Through Abraham, all the families of the earth will be blessed (Genesis 12: 3). Here again, you hear the idea that God as the generational God has to do with space. God’s intent is to touch the lives of as many people as possible.

An organization, which wants to grow, should function in both the present and future. Thriving organizations learn from the past and prepare for their future today. Click To Tweet

God’s blessing was not only destined to Abraham, his family, and the individuals in the promised land. It was designed for all humankind, including you and me today.

Genesis is about a Relational God

The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is also a relational God!

There is a lot that we can say about our God as a relational God. God made humans relational as He, Himself, is.

God created humankind to be like God. In Genesis 1, God created Adam to be like God.  Then, out of Adam, God made Eve.  Also, John talks about it in chapter one:

but, to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave the power to become children of God” (NRSV).

What do you see here?

Three things come out of that: connectedness, interdependence, and relationship.

God made us relational meaning we cannot be at our best if:

  • We are not connected.
  • We are not interdependent.
  • We are not in a relationship.

Connectedness is something we often have no choice about it if we want to live well. We connect through many ways.

  • Family.
  • Belonging to a community.
  • Schools, universities, associations, etc.
  • Citizens of the United States, and more.     

Our connectedness also implies the reality that we are interdependent.

In other words, we depend on each other in one way or another. Other times, and for some other needs, we have to seek connections. The desire for newer relationships can help us. It can introduce us to greater career opportunities, personal growth, etc.

Connectedness has to do closely with relationships. Relationships are significant for every human being.

Being born of a mother and father is connectedness through the family bond. But, this connectedness may be void of relationship.

Here’s what I want to say here. The child may still be depending on his or her parents. But, as of parent-child relationship, this may be lacking.

We build relationships over time. Also, relationships are the next step beyond being connected and interdependent. 

Relationships are choices we make to stay connected and interdependent with each other. Click To Tweet As a result of doing so, we grow as human beings. Thriving organizations understand the importance of maintaining connectedness, interdependence, and relationships. 

Thriving organizations understand the importance of maintaining connectedness,… Click To Tweet. They do it within the organization and with others. 

These three values, being personal, generational and relational are things to consider if you want to thrive, as a Church or any other organization. 

Bringing it together

The understanding of God as The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob comes down to 3 things: 1) God invites you in a real and sincere relationship with Him. 2) God asks you to leave a Christian legacy, for which generations in the future will be thankful. 3) God invites you to be in relationships with people and community that will help you grow as a child of God.