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Christian Leader Counsels Businesses through Economic Struggles

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    (Photo: AP Images / Charles Rex Arbogast)
    William Palmer, right, listens with Joseph Smith, left, to David Britton, a full-time bus operator with the Chicago Transit Authority talk about employment possibilities during a CTA job fair at the Urban League offices in Chicago, Friday, Dec. 5, 2008. Employers slashed 533,000 jobs in November, the most in 34 years, catapulting the unemployment rate to 6.7 percent, dramatic proof the country is careening deeper into recession.
By Jennifer Riley, Christian Post Reporter
December 12, 2008|5:27 pm

The head of a ministry that trains Christian leaders worldwide offered advice to business leaders who need to make tough decisions to keep their companies afloat during the difficult economic times.

Dr. John Hull, president/CEO of EQUIP – which has trained over 2 million Christian leaders in over 100 countries – said he can identify with many Christian business leaders out there who had to make the undesirable decision to lay off employees.

Hull himself had to let people go or reduce employee hours since early this year due to higher expenses, such as fuel prices, and the stock market crash, he shared.

“I have been in the midst of this economic battle that business guys and ladies have been facing here for the last year,” said Hull, who is also involved in a non-profit consulting firm for churches and businesses called Injoy Stewardship Services, on Moody Radio program Prime Time America. “It has been a real tough card and I feel the stress and anxiousness of so many of your listeners today.”

The former pastor of some 20 years said facing the prospects of job cuts “takes a toll” on a leader no matter if he is a follower of Christ or not. But Christ-followers, at least, have a savior and a hope to lean on during these difficult times.

For Christian CEO's facing difficult staffing decisions, Hull advises them to read two books in the Bible – Proverbs and Psalms.

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Proverbs helps Christians understand the principles of leadership and wisdom so they can make the right choices in difficult situations. Meanwhile Psalms guides believers on the right emotions of leadership.

Many Christian leaders have to drive to work knowing that they have to lay off people and that tomorrow they have to lay off more people, Hull said. The situation is very emotional for Christian leaders because they know it is not because of anything their employee did wrong.

“When I let people go, at the end of the day I just go out in the car and cry … I just go out to cry and weep because except for the grace of God that would be me that lost my job,” Hull shared.

“So I work on the emotional side a lot these days and I think a lot of your listeners are [too].”

Business leaders, especially Christians, cut jobs knowing that they affect lives, livelihoods, and people’s access to healthcare.

But leaders have to do what is in the best interest of their organization and business, Hull stated. Businesses exist, by common definition, to make profit and not to just trade.

“So you got to go through those issues and work through that and talk to your supplier and work with accounts that are not paid on time,” the EQUIP leader said about businesses trying to survive the economic crisis.

“There is just an endless cycle of stuff that goes on and emotionally it just wears and tears on you and that’s why Psalm is so good for me because I just call out to the Lord … cry out for help,” he said. “God is not embarrassed or uncomfortable of the honesty or transparency of my prayers,” Hull added.

Within two weeks into December, the total job cut stands at 115,416, according to CNNMoney. Analysts warn that December job loss could be worse than November, when 533,000 jobs were lost, according to the Labor Department. November’s job cuts was the largest monthly loss since December 1974.

 

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