We have a book club at work twice a year where we read a book that’s pertinent to where we are as a firm and this time it’s on a book called Love Works by Joel Manby. Like many other things, the fact that we are reading this book is a strong statement not only about the Christian faith of many of our leaders, but also about what I believe has led to the out-sized success of the firm and the great culture we have.
Did you know that during the days of the early Christian church, non-believers looked at “believers’ and “followers of the Way” as they were called then in disbelief because of how drastically different they were in the way they lived and the way they loved each other? Love was central to everything, and in a way that was so far from the norm that even the staunchest non-believers marveled at it.
I’ve long looked for this in what we call “church” in most places today and I come up wanting. Something is missing and no doubt it is the agape love that goes beyond niceties as you pass someone in the hall or sit next to them in a pew, and it gets down to real and authentic life-sharing relationships which require a love beyond the norm. Perhaps it exists in pockets, but it’s rare like the costliest of diamonds.
This book has helped me connect what is so awesome about the place I work to what ironically was so awesome about the early church. How people who work here feel about this firm and how folks on the outside looking in seem to marvel at it is not so different than what Christians long to experience now in their fellowships and how the outside world would marvel at it if it was there. The parallels are many.
I’m sure the parallels for me are accentuated because of how I feel about traditional corporate church in America, but I’m certain that just like deep inside people there is often that sometimes unidentifiable longing to work somewhere that’s more like the businesses described in the book, there is also a similar longing in many a Christian for a fellowship experience like the early church had every single day.
How moving it is for God to be showing me that, in the business realm, it has been done within this firm I work for. And because of that it gives me hope for what I yet seek in the spiritual realm in terms of authentic fellowship and worship that stands out just as far apart from the norm as did the early church. How does your experience compare to what you read about in the New Testament? Does love work for you?