A short report
Faith in Business Quarterly 16:1 p20
James Featherby spoke on issues in Financial Services at the Dilemmas in Business conference, which took place at Ridley Hall over the week-end April 12-14 2013. The event was a great success. Delegates enjoyed stimulating input from all the speakers, peppered them with questions, and enjoyed times of deep fellowship and mutual support. Existing friendships were strengthened and new ones were made.
Reflecting on the conference six ‘big ideas’ stand out. Conveniently and I hope not too artificially, they all begin with ‘c’:
Complexity: Some dilemmas in our richly variegated but deeply fallen world are extremely complex. We need every ounce of God-given wisdom and understanding to get our minds around them. This is especially true of certain ‘macro’ dilemmas faced by political and business leaders.
Character: In dealing with dilemmas there is no substitute for character. We develop character by the practice of good habits, regular encounter with God and his people, and making wise decisions in the small matters of life. This equips us well for the difficult dilemmas on which a lot hangs.
Creativity: In thinking about dilemmas it is easy to assume that there are only two alternatives, neither of them desirable. But there may be others. We need to be imaginative and creative in entertaining a range of possibilities.
Context: Several speakers emphasised the importance of sensitivity to social and cultural context. We need to appreciate the power of peer pressure, of systems and structures which do so much to influence how people decide and behave.
Courage: Nevertheless, these ‘powers and principalities’ may need to be challenged, in the name of God and for the good of humanity. We need boldness and courage to step out in faith and do that.
Community: ‘No man is an island’. To make a difference in this world we need to find kindred spirits, people we can share with, provide mutual support and join in taking a stand. Many of us experienced community and entered into deep fellowship with others on the conference. May those relationships develop and bear fruit.