Engineers, MBAs, Managers, and the Church

In the engineering profession, its not uncommon for engineers to have an intense technical focus… often times to the exclusion of nearly everything else. A coder friend of mine once said the length of his lawn was proportional to the technical challenge of the problem at hand. In addition, career progression, and for some, financial rewards are seen as afterthoughts, even if personally detrimental.

Some coders have poured thousands of unpaid late night hours into an open source project with few, if any hopes of financial return, all the while holding down a day job just to keep the lights on. They had a fire in the gut for what they were doing… to me, such sort of parallels Paul his tentmaking, and his zeal for the Gospel.

To an engineer, marketing MBA’s who are juggling to “get ahead promotion wise” or managers singularly focused on quarterly financial bonuses are often looked at like they are on another planet.

Within church/ministry organizations… there are many parallels to the business sector of marketing MBAs and managers… even volunteers want to “get ahead”. Jockeying for this or that, whether it be position or finances is common. Paul made a comment on Faith in Communities blog that I thought nailed it.

I have seen adjuticatories that reek of the worst of corporate culture (yes, the hint of sulphur), where “managing up” (sucking up to and manipulating bosses) supersedes “managing down” (taking care of the areas and people you are supposed to be taking care of), where image and politics are everything. In the business world serving one’s own career advancement takes priority over the servanthood of Christ

It seems a misplaced fire in the gut type deal… No doubt, human nature plays a role in this, ie pride, self preservation, greed, etc, but I think environment also plays a role. How many youngsters with fire in the gut for Christ, end up being hit with a firehose? How many pastors get so swamped with distractions and pulling here and there they nearly lose sight of the goal? How many coders and engineers are so focused technically, that Christian servanthood becomes nearly a lost cause? When was the last time, there was a real danger of a Eutychus type fellow taking a header out the window?

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