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August 2022: Did Jesus Practice Market-Based Management?

The August Presentation was a TED talk by Travis Brock.


Imagine if the dawn of Christianity was described as a start up Business:

  • Jesus would be the “founder”

  • He was tasked with building the team that would spread the Good Word, knowing that He would not be physically accompanying them.

  • Word of mouth was really the only means of communication at the time.

  • Human nature would inevitably lead to diverging paths of belief.

  • There would be much danger for anyone involved

  • Did Jesus just “wing it” or did He use some type of framework to pull this startup together?

Where to Start?

  • Have a Vision

  • Before officially embarking on His public ministry, Jesus shared His (and His Father’s) vision with those around him, probably working out the finer points with close friends and relatives. (Just imagine Jesus and John the Baptist kicking around ideas on how to pull this off!)

  • His Vision created the foundation for everything to come after.

  • As that Vision took shape, those first to hear about it got interested and started hanging around so they could learn more…

Who should be involved?

  • Jesus sought those with the Virtues and Talents that are needed to accomplish the mission

  • Jesus hand picked His “team” – the twelve disciples and others that he brought together with all the capabilities needed to make His vision a reality

  • It certainly was a diverse bunch, and at first, would have been perceived by many to be a disorganized group of misfits and outcasts

  • Until Jesus tamed the chaos…

How do we fine tune and package this message?

  • Looking back, it's clear the four gospels are the ultimate knowledge transfer mechanism, but those books took over 100 years to write

  • It all started with Jesus telling what we now call parables – He was able to capture simple stories that held universal truths and would be passed along by the thousands of followers that heard these stories first-hand during Jesus’s public ministry

  • The miracles Jesus performed also created a buzz and provided an exponential multiplier

  • The original disciples and many others such as the apostle Paul continued spreading the good news, repeating the lessons Jesus taught directly while he was on earth.

  • How did all this knowledge move so swiftly around the world…

Who will lead after Jesus?

  • Jesus was aware that after his public ministry ended, his followers must be well organized if they were to continue His work

  • Like any good leader, he created a succession plan, selecting Simon as his successor and renaming him Peter, translated as “the rock”

  • This starts the delegation of authorities (decision rights) that Church leadership still holds today

  • That structure has helped hold the Catholic belief system together over centuries

  • All believers have a role to play with our own decisions and actions in our daily lives

  • So, what made these followers of Jesus so willing to sacrifice for his name…

Why would the disciples risk it all? The incentives

  • A predicate of human action is that it will lead to a better state

  • As Jesus’ popularity swelled, and the negative attention from Jewish leadership and Roman authorities heated up, the disciples had to know that their lives were in jeopardy

  • Yet, none of them stopped their ministry

  • All of them, except John, were martyred

  • So, what perceived reward could have outweighed all that risk? What incentive could have possibly kept them going?

  • Through their profound friendship with Jesus, they knew their eternal life meant everything and willingly risked their earthly existence to share that news with everyone they could reach.

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