What Job Would Your Company Assign Jesus?

Blog / Produced by The High Calling
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Collecting sample job descriptions for a client, I began to wonder, "Which of these jobs would Jesus take?"

Assume he wasn't a carpenter. Assume he didn't grow up in the apprenticeship model. Instead, imagine that he graduated from a public university. Imagine he studied something general like history (but imagine that he didn't have an advantage as the Author of history).

What role in a company is best suited to Jesus? Think it over for a moment.

Now, let's consider the implications.

Bringing Our Distant, Mental Jesus Into Our Company

Jesus may seem out of place in the modern corporation. We envision him walking in with ancient hair, beard, and a robe. This mental Jesus seems irrelevant to our work—not to mention a violation of HR's carefully-crafted dress code. (The sandals alone would get him sent home.)

Don't fall into the trap of expecting that mental Jesus. Instead, put him in whatever you wear—slacks, a white oxford, a neutral blazer, slightly scuffed loafers. Let him show up for an interview, with a resume, and let's think together about the jobs at which he would excel.

If you've been a Christian for long, you know the ending. We're not going to conclude, "He'd be a mechanical engineer!" No, his attributes can show up throughout a company, and all of us can express some aspects of his gifts in our jobs.

Let's start our tour around the company:


In these tough economic times, our first thought is to plug this omniscient guy into Sales. He's been doing "solution selling" for years—identifying the needs his clients feel, helping them better understand their deeper needs, and then showing how his offer is just the thing that would help with their problem. The Psalmist even makes a strong recommendation here: "He will give you the desires of your heart" (Ps. 37:4).


The word "math" doesn't appear in the Bible (don't tell our kids). However, God does "demand an accounting" (Genesis 9:5), just not in the sense of a CPA applying GAAP. Accounting departments have a self-image problem and may be reluctant to see God in their meticulous precision, but consider: Who is more precise than our God? The one who orders creation must find delight in his calculations, which set planets in the right spot and number the hairs on our heads (though, in my case, that task is losing its challenge). The teacher of Proverbs has this recommendation: "Honest scales and balance [sheets?] are from the Lord" (Prov. 16:11).


Jesus' mastery of the law is beyond question. But the difference between great in-house counsel and the rest is not their command of the law. It's their ability to help the company comply—or to use Jesus' phrase—"fulfill" the law (Matthew 5:17). Ungodly experts in the law have a tendency to weigh companies down with "burdens they can hardly carry" (Luke 11:46), but Jesus—as a lawyer—points the way to easier solutions.


Could Jesus write ad copy? His parables have certainly become best-sellers! Could Jesus build a brand? He is the most famous person in history. More seriously, there is a Christlike quality in a good marketer's ability to segment a market and determine what each audience needs to hear.

While Jesus' core competencies remain the same, his approach (or message or value proposition) to each audience differs. He is insulting to the Pharisees (Matt. 23:27). He is compassionate to the woman caught in adultery (John 8:7). He dazzles Nathanael with his knowledge (John 1:48). He used his healing to introduce himself to the man with dropsy (Luke 14:4).

Jesus is way ahead of the modern "segment of one" trend. Before the first marketer was born, he was crafting a different—perfect—message to each of us.


Initially, Jesus does not seem concerned about spotting inefficiencies. His decision not to show up before Lazarus' death violates every just-in-time delivery principle (John 11). He isn't worried about fiscal waste. Only the disciples are concerned that the pure nard is poured on him (Matt. 26:8). He doesn't even seem worried about controlling costs. After all, he gave Judas the money bag, knowing that Judas would help himself to the coffer (John 13).

But Operations is ultimately about beating back the disorder that came with the Fall. Six Sigma and Lean tools help us spot imperfections and slay chaos. Before the Fall, Adam was apparently in the agriculture industry—placed in the Garden to "work it and take care of it," which may be why seamless operations seem like a glimpse of Eden.

Human Resources

I have a tough time envisioning Jesus designing incentive plans and benefits packages (who needs healthcare with him around). But these are two ways that HR builds right relationships between the company and the individual.

HR provides compensation that motivates employees to do their best. This mitigates the temptation to be slothful. HR provides training that helps employees hone their skills. HR oversees a career development process that helps employees see—and improve—their blind spots.

Research & Development

If you forced me to pick, this is where I would slot Jesus. That's not because of anything about Jesus; it's because this is where I love to play at work. To paraphrase Eric Liddell, "When I innovate, I feel his pleasure."

What researcher or innovator cannot resonate with God when he says, "See, I am doing a new thing!" (Isa. 43:19). Much of Adam's work before the Fall was creative—"The Lord God had formed [every animal] and brought them to the man to see what he would name them" (Gen. 2:19). The phrase I love there is "to see what"—as though God is eager to hear what creative name will roll off Adam's tongue.

To invent or create or shape a new product is to be a bit like God as he invented our universe, making the rivers flow the right way and designing the mountain's aesthetics just right.

One God with Many Attributes Expressing Himself in Our Gifts

It's possible that I didn't get to your function—IT, Customer Service, Public Relations—and it's probable that I didn't touch on your specific tasks. Any talent that we get to express in our work is us expressing some attribute of God's.

Questions for personal reflection, online discussion, or small groups:

  • Take a moment to reflect on your last day at work. What were you doing?
  • How did your tasks echo some aspect of God's character?
  • How did you bring order to chaos? How did you bring beauty to a product, or seamlessness to a service experience?
  • How did you mend human relationships? How did you aid a customer?