For thousands of years, the Bible has borne witness to the importance of investing in people. Ephesians 4:11–12 tells us that Jesus has given gifted leaders to the church “to equip the saints for the work of ministry” (ESV). Paul told Timothy to entrust the message of Christ “to faithful men who will be able to teach others also” (2 Timothy 2:2). Jesus spent a significant amount of his time and energy concentrating His ministry on a relatively small group of 12 disciples.
Now there is statistical evidence to show that investing in people is good business, too.
Not so long ago I was listening to a podcast in which economist Dr. Laurie Bassi, an expert in human resources analytics, was talking about the tangible value of training and development. My jaw literally dropped as I heard her summarize some of her findings. According to Bassi’s research, a company’s level of investment in the training and development of its people was the single most powerful predictor of its stock price.
Bassi was not looking to make a biblical point, and there are some very significant differences between a church and a corporation, not least of which is that the purpose of the church is to multiply devoted followers of Jesus, not to maximize shareholder value. However, I think it’s fair to say that Bassi’s research is consistent with the Bible’s testimony on developing people. To have a healthy organization, you need healthy people supporting that organization. Organizations (including the church) that devote precious time and money to growing their people will tend to do well.
Men, if you are a believer in Jesus, you are part of the church. So I ask you: Into whom are you investing? Whom are you training for service? Whom are you personally helping to grow in Christlikeness?