01 Oct The 4Ps of an Employed Christian
One of the most known marketing tools is the ‘marketing mix’ often called ‘the 4Ps’. Coined by Edmund Jerome McCarthy and made popular by Philip Kotler’s Marketing textbooks this concept has gained immense popularity ever since the 1960s. The basic proposition is that any product or brand’s offer is perceived by the consumer in the form of 4Ps – Product, Price, Place and Promotion.
While these are 4Ps for a marketer, I believe that there are 4Ps for a Christian who wants to be successful in the market place – Purpose, Person, Performance and Place.
Our search for purpose often starts with the question, ‘why am I here in this world?’ That is a very pertinent question but it is only the start. Once we are enlightened about God’s purpose for our life our next question should be – ‘how do A and B and C in my life fit with this purpose of God?’ This is often a question that remains unanswered for a majority of Christian folk. The A and B and C here represent entities like your job, your family, your church etc., It is important that you realize that you are in your job because God has put you there for a purpose and your actions within that job you are holding should revolve around that purpose.
A simple example to showcase that we often do not think about our purpose in this context is a scenario in which we are approached for a possible job shift. The first thing many of us want to know with is, “how much will I be paid?” and then “what will be my designation” or “should I relocate?” – in other words we train our minds to think WHAT DO I GET? Instead, if we know our purpose and are driven by our purpose we would be thinking – WHAT CAN I GIVE? Can I still meet these student groups with these new timings? Can I manage both work and ministry with this new role? These are the things that a Christian should actually be thinking about should he know his purpose in God’s plan.
Some time back there was this film in Telugu titled ‘Rama in the house and Krishna on the streets’ – the idea is that the titular character in the movie is loyal to his wife as the mythic Rama was at home but once he goes out he is as flirty as Krishna. Later another film was released titled, ‘Cat in the house and Tiger on the streets’ – now you get the idea what it means, right! These fascinating titles point out the obvious truth of our different personalities at home and outside of home. It is also true that we have quite paradoxical personalities in the church and at work.
“What a wonderful Christian he is,” someone in the church would comment; “Whoa! Wait, is he a Christian?” someone in the workplace would ask – two totally different traits we often display. Especially, if like me you have an Indian name then it is almost impossible for someone to know that you are a Christian. Are we ashamed or afraid of being Christians? A successful Christian would never hide behind the shadows, his faith is always on display for others to evaluate and when God honors that faith he inspires others – on the contrary a hider would not profess his faith and when he is honored he steals all the accolades from God.
Leo Burnett an advertising executive had this purported philosophy, “when you reach for the stars you may not quite get one, but you won’t come up with a handful of mud either.” It has over the years donned many forms but the logic is simple – aim high. If that is the message that the corporate world gives us, how much more should a Christian pursue excellence in his work? Paul puts this amazing principle in Ephesians 6. He asks the slaves to obey their masters and to render service with a good will as if the service is to the Lord and not to any man. The highlight here is the next sentence which says, “ . . .whatever good anyone does, this he will receive back from the Lord. . . (ESV).” Not only does the Bible teach that you should work for your employer as if you are working for the Lord, but it also teaches that God will repay that effort you put in your work – whether your employer gives you a raise or not, whether you receive praise or not, whether you get that elusive bonus or high performer tag or whatever, God gives you back if you perform to your ability.
One of the most neglected and less thought of aspect with a Christian perspective in terms of workplace is the workstation – increasingly employees these days generally dress up their workstations with soft toys, interesting gadgets, pen holders, books, fancy looking things, some family pictures and even plants. These tell a lot about you – but how often do we see Christian workstations with a Bible? Or with a couple of inspirational Bible verses on the desk? Your place can be one place which speaks even when you are not present physically.
Workstations can often be used a mediums of evangelism. Well timed and placed books can often stir up conversations leading for an opportunity to evangelize. An encouraging verse can talk to an unbeliever out of the blue and bring him or her to the Lord. Often it is one verse that catches the attention of an unbeliever rather than a lengthy and logical talk. If you are searching for ways to evangelize in a corporate world which doesn’t let you talk religion can be the way to go.
Realize that God put you here for a purpose – pursue it.
Recognize the person you are, a Christian – profess it.
Remember that God is looking at your performance – perfect it.
Regard your place as a medium of evangelism – prune it.
About the Author
Pradeep, the author works as an Insights Director at IMRB International in Chennai and involved in ministry since 1997. He blogs at http://thesprintingmind.blogspot.in/