As a sitting board member I was motivated ethically to make the best choice for the organization I represented. While interviewing candidates to fill a top level management position, I was presented with an internal conflict. Of the two finalists, one candidate was a Christian (based on information that did not come from the interview process) and aligned with all I believe but the other, a non-Christian was better qualified for the position. I wanted to vote for the Christian, but my conscious would only let me vote for the one who was better prepared for the position and ultimately better for the good of the organization.
An individual can have a strong spirituality but not possess the best qualifications and competencies to lead. Even the most passionately spiritual person will be “stuck” in their leadership capacity unless they have a value for growth that is strong enough to stir them to make the sacrifices to grow. Our core values should include a passion for self-improvement and growth that motivate us to become better at what we do. We should aim to be passionately spiritual but we also should strive to be the best at our craft.
When Paul gave an account to King Agrippa of his Damascus road conversion, he stated that Jesus appeared to appoint him, “as a servant and as a witness” (Acts 26:16, NIV). It is understood what a witness of the gospel is; but can a servant be the one managing the assembly line or is it only the one feeding the homeless? Later Paul wrote a similar encouragement to the Christians at Colossae, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men. (Colossians 3:23, NIV).
Francis Schaeffer points out how the gospel transformed the workplace during the time of the Reformation. The Christian worldview meant that all the vocations in life came to have dignity. The vocation of the honest merchant or housewife had as much value as the King, a radical thought for leaders in this time in history and a welcome relief to the followers of the day. The one serving in their vocation is the one in the will of God. The one skilled in their vocation is the one fulfilling their calling.
Schaeffer, F. (2005) How Should We Then Live?: the Rise and Decline of Western Thought and Culture. Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway Book
Wait… how did you know what their religious affiliations are? Isn’t it illegal to be asking that kind of question in an interview?
Yes…this information could not and did not come from the interview. This person had public exposure in the community and was known as a Christian.