Q: How do you handle staff—who claim to be believers in Jesus—as a manager and a Christian when they think success of the organization is only for the manager and they rejoice when plans fail?  —Adah

A: As a manager and a believer in Jesus, you desire to relate rightly with your staff who are also believers. However, their disenchantment with the organization (and with management) is something that might be best referred to the human resource experts.

Nonetheless, the apostle Paul wrote quite a bit about management/labor relations in his letters: Ephesians 6:5-9, Colossians 3:22-4:1, 1 Timothy 6:1-2, Titus 2:9-10, and Philemon 1:16, as does the apostle Peter in 1 Peter 2:17-21.

The relationship between slaves and masters (and, by analogy, between employees and employers) is to be shaped by the fact that they are believers (1 Timothy 6:2, Philemon 1:16), and by their commitment to the God. Workers are to “obey your earthly masters with deep respect and fear. Serve them sincerely as you would serve Christ” (Ephesians 6:5), to “work with enthusiasm, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people” (Ephesians 6:7).

Managers are to reciprocate, to “treat your [staff] in the same way” (Ephesians 6:9),  “to be just and fair to your [staff]. Remember that you also have a Master—in heaven” (Colossians 4:1).

Paul expects both management and workers to give their best to the Lord by doing their work to the best of their abilities, and to treat each other with respect, integrity, honesty, and fairness.  —K.T. Sim

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