How Would Jesus Conduct That Audit
Last week I posted a status that drew some criticism, but I also received several messages from people asking me the same thing.
Here’s the status I posted last week:
“When I went through the admissions process for ACU, I was told how big religion & faith were to play in the classroom, but, I just don't see it in my classes. While I love my professors & believe they are all spiritually grounded, I believe money plays a bigger motivation in teaching what success looks like than integrating our faith in the business world.”
I started out as a freshman at Schreiner University in Kerrville, Texas, a small Division III school in the hill country. I went there for a lot of the wrong reasons, another story for another day, but when I arrived at Schreiner I knew I wanted to be an accounting major, I knew I wanted to make money. Then I started taking Jesus seriously. I was baptized early in my life and have been Christian since I could properly pronounce the word, I was in speech therapy until 6th grade, but calling yourself a Christian and following Jesus are two different things. So, when I started following Jesus intentionally, and looking for ways to love others, best I could I found money wasn’t everything.
Now, this is where Abilene Christian University comes into the picture. Schreiner was a good place, but for me, it wasn’t what I needed, I needed an intentional community living out a life for the Kingdom. Concan Church of Christ , mainly the Bennetts, told me about this school in Abilene, Texas. So, I went on a visit in the Fall of 09’ while still a student at Schreiner. I fell in love with the place, but there was one thing I was told that I don’t know has been true. I took a tour, and as we went through the College of Business Administration, COBA, our guide went to about how this isn’t a regular business department, where you just learn to do taxes, and start a business, but how you learn to follow Jesus in the business world. Our guide said, the thing that I had been trying to do in my life, follow Jesus. I didn’t take it lightly.
Let’s fast forward to my arriving at ACU. I loved it, I still do! Singing praises in Chapel every day, singing people on campus who you knew truly cared for you, having professors know your name and find out what you want in this life. In the spring, I didn’t have any business classes, I had English & Art with Dr. Joe Stephenson, Astronomy with Dr. Head, Finite Mathematics with Dr. Kerebegov, and Life & Teaching of Jesus with Steve Austin, with the exception of Dr. Kerebegov I got close to all of my professors and these classes, with the exception of Finite Mathematics all of these classes integrated faith into the classroom. I loved being in class, and diving into faith questions in different disciplines. Professor Joe would take prayer requests several times, and in all we read we would try and reconcile that with our faith tradition. Dr. Head would look at creation in such a unique way that brought me as a disinterested science student appreciating all we had in a way that helped me learn and grow. And Dr. Austin, I just call him Steve now, well he convinced me to go to Israel in the summer of 2011, so I would say his class was effective.
The next semester I was in the business building nearly 80% of the time, to now where I’m there 100% of the time. I would like to clarify what this post is about out, and what I it is not about. This post is about my time in class, not outside of class. This is my account of my time while inside the classroom. We have exceptional professors here at A.C.U. that know accounting, business, management, finance, marketing, and etc. We have professors, who are of the Church of Christ tradition who are devout Christians. I will say this over and over, I love my professors, I love C.O.B.A. and all that it has empowered me to be. I just believe there is conflict in teaching success. We are taught in the Bible to not be motivated by this world. Romans 12:2 is a wonderful coffee mug verse, that says clearly, “Do not conform to the patterns of this world…” But, walk around the business department, look at some of the success stories, yes there are great stories about social entrepreneurship for example with Mission Lazarus, but look at some of the other posters.
“COBA Graduate starting salary.. $$$$
“% job placement rate…
Again don’t get me wrong, I love those numbers, and I want a job, acceptance to grad school, and a salary at a job, hopefully above the poverty line. But, if we want to live this Jesus thing out as much as we say we want to, I want to see sign around COBA that say,
“Tom Jackson preached in the name of Jesus wherever he went. “
“Lauren Smith took less money to work at a company that was ethical.”
“Jack Todd was a disciple of Christ in an organization that never knew His name.”
I believe the classes at COBA are preparing us for great business leadership in the workplace, and I know by COBA’s teaching I will be able to be successful working at a firm one day. That’s not all I want, our success is not measured by what our job performance, but by King Jesus who spoke truth into all of us. In COBA for every class, the professors choose a Bible verse for their respective syllabuses. One time, a professor told us his verse he chose, and said, (in a sarcastic tone) “Yeah this course will really change your walk.” The problem I have is not exactly with what the Professor said, but that I was promised my business classes would integrate faith and religion in all fields. I want my professors to take on the stance of:
“If Jesus was a tax accountant how would he go about his job?”
“If Jesus was in the field conducting an audit what would that look like?”
“If Jesus was a CEO, what would be his leadership philosophy?
These questions may seem odd, even strange, but we cannot all be Bible majors, there is business and I believe ACU wants to send Christian men and women in the field, which they are, but are being as intentional as possible. When we take this Jesus thing seriously, our thinking tends to change. We ask tough questions about what we are doing and no better way to inform us then by our professors in the classroom.
Wherever I end up in the business field I want that to be my mission field. I don’t want to look at accounting and sarcastically say I’m working for Jesus.
I don’t want to see the new accounting grad fall victim to the American dream of 250K mortgage, car payment, and 80” t.v. when the church only gets the crumbs.
I don’t want a girl working for a marketing firm when given an assignment that goes against living her life out for Jesus, fall along the wide path, and forget the narrow.
Fellow students, how do you feel? Is this thinking too radical?