GRACE MOB Posted by: Mohan (a member of THE GRACE MOB)

Have you ever tried to start or run a business? I have, and let me tell you: maintaining a profitable business plan is hard work!

  • I currently run a copy editing business in my spare time. I've made $200 on jobs. I've spent $200 on Facebook ads. Flawed business plan.
  • I tried to sell homemade tee-shirts on eBay in college. Unfortunately, I had more rejects than sellers, and spent about as much on blank tees as I earned on sales. Flawed business plan.
  • That boxing league I started with my buddy? Admission was free. Flawed business plan.
  • In high school, I took a job at the mall for $4.25/hour.  I won't even get in to why that was a Flawed business plan.

Economic Driver

Last week, I began a conversation on living a life of great grace. I framed the discussion around Jim Collin's book Good to Great, and focused on the hedgehog concept -- a well-defined concept to guide the transformation from being a good company to a great one.   Specifically, I talked about the first criterion for a good hedgehog concept: choosing to do things you can be the best in the world at. Check out the post to catch up on the conversation.

This week, I'd like to focus the second criterion for a good hedgehog concept:

If you want to be great, and not just good, you must pursue something that has an economic driver.

In business terms, your hedgehog concept needs to make you money.  My business examples above were decidedly un-great; they had no hope of making me any money (among other problems).

Of course, this conversation isn't about having a great business, but about living a life of great grace.  Great grace is tangible grace: it causes physical change to the world around us, and is the very same grace Jesus models.  Our economic driver obviously isn't to make money...so what is it?

I suppose there are a few different answers to that question, but the best catch-all I can come up with is bringing people closer to Jesus.  As in:

If you want to live a life of great grace, you must pursue something that brings people closer to Jesus.

Simple good deeds won't lead to tangible, earth-changing, supernatural grace.  That kind of grace only comes from God -- and we've been empowered to dispense it!

Gracenomic Drivers

Ok, so what does that look like, in terms of grace?   What is it about a life of great grace that brings people closer to Jesus?  Let's look at the fruit.  A life of great grace is surrounded by:

  • People who are forgiven.
  • People who are loved.
  • People who are encouraged.
  • People who are empowered.
  • People who are appreciated.
  • People who are defended.
  • People who are redeemed.

  And extending the redemption theme, some specific occurrences might be:

  • People get saved.
  • People come to church.
  • People ask you about your faith.

  So, summing all that up, the economic drivers for a life of great grace include: forgiveness, love, encouragement, empowerment, appreciation, advocacy, redemption, salvation, evangelism, and witness.   I'm sure you can think of more, but that's a good start.  A life of great grace has those things associated with it.

Great Grace

Now for the exercise.  Let's take that list of economic ("Gracenomic") drivers and reflect a bit.  Pray, and ask yourself the following questions:

1. What are my abilities, hobbies, talents, etc? This is a repeat from last week. List out all the things you're currently engaged in. Go ahead and do it again...it couldn't hurt.

2. What, if any, are the Gracenomic drivers for each of those activities? Be honest with yourself. For each of the items from #1, how are you bringing people closer to Jesus?

3. For the items that had no Gracenomic drivers, can your approach be altered to include some? Is the issue one of implementation, or is the entire activity out the window?

Having asked yourself these questions, and comparing with week 1 (Best-in-World), a strategy for living a life of great grace ought to further emerging.   Maybe you're realizing some things you need to stop doing.  Maybe you need to shift focus.  Or maybe you need to start brainstorming.

A final note for this week is that you might not have Rockstar answers; I certainly didn't (church graphics, weekly discipleship, engineering day job, my blog, etc).  That's ok. God's grace is perfect, but it's a work in progress for the rest of us. Use your answers to guide your future strategy.

Let's hear your thoughts and findings below!  I'll share mine as well.  And stay tuned for the third and final criteria for the hedgehog concept for a life of great grace!