For surely I know the plans I have for you… plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope. Then when you call upon me and come and pray to me, I will hear you.
— Jeremiah 29:11
When we are in need of hope, when fear threatens to overwhelm us, we need a rock whereupon we can center, regain our peace, and discover the next step that will take us in a constructive direction. By knowing that the Divine is available to provide guidance, we gain the confidence that we need to discover the possibilities we need in the present.
While many people can imagine that mature spiritual persons have a sense of ever-present help, few people believe that God is similarly available to guide organizations. Even though I had been called to encourage the life and movement of God’s love and power in organizations, I had, like many others, serious doubts that that God was present and acting in organizations.
Through conversation with a handful of leaders I met through At Work on Purpose, who continually endeavor to integrate their faith into their work, I discovered otherwise. In this post, I highlight a couple of encounters that confirmed my belief that God is available to guide organizations.
The first organization was 3z.net. 3z.net is a data center that provides mission critical application hosting and associated services to their clients. Through conversation with the owners and leaders Eric Vail and Catherine KingsVail, I learned that God led them to their current facility, brings them their clients, and ensures their ability to pay their bills on time. Not only that, they are in constant communication with God. In fact, they’ve developed such a close relationship with the Divine that their name for God is Dad.
Another organization that demonstrates the reality of God’s guidance for organizations is The Lord’s Gym Ministries. The Lord’s Gym creates safe situations where people who are destitute encounter God’s love and the encouragement and conditions that help them become self-reliant.
Together with other community partners, The Lord’s Gym helped recover a park here in Cincinnati from gangs. Now, families venture there without concern for their safety. Given this and other experiences of God transforming seemingly dire situations, Executive Director Scott Bowers has become bold in seeking God’s grace. Now when they face serious challenges, like severe budgetary shortfalls, he doesn’t worry. He says it’s like God saying, “Watch what I’m going to do next!”
The discernible presence of God in an organization is contingent upon the faith and faithfulness of its leaders. Through their faith, leaders cultivate the conditions whereby they can be in communion and communication with God. In response, God provides guidance and a future characterized by hope.
First Published for the Light for Organizations Blog — 4/24/2019