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How to Apply God’s Blueprint for Business to Your Career

Nicholas Leone, founder of Business Bible, and 4word founder, Diane Paddison, dissect what the Bible says about business, and Nicholas shares how the Business Bible can help all Christian professionals live out their faith according to their God-given purpose.

You can listen to this conversation with Nicholas and Diane on our podcast, Work, Love, Pray! Listen below or click here to find your preferred listening platform.

Diane: What comes to mind for me are some real practical things in the Bible that we put to use at 4word. In the Bible, we read about how Paul was mentoring Timothy to step into his shoes. As you know, 4word has a mentor program, and mentorship is a real business concept that we’re supposed to utilize as leaders. At 4word, our #1 goal is to raise up the next generation of leaders, and the Bible is full of leadership advice and examples for us to follow. In fact, Nicholas recently showed me that 40 of the 44 parables are about business! Understanding what is in the Bible really helps us learn about how we should operate in the business world. 

Nicholas: Every business has a business plan, and God has a plan for business. I believe that plan involves families, businesses, government, and the church following His design and principles to bring about flourishing in the Kingdom of God. Business is the engine of that plan. What we discover in the Bible is that there are principles mentioned in it that are actually best practices today, and if we follow these principles, we can profit from them financially, socially, and spiritually. It’s really exciting as the founder of the Business Bible to work with an organization like 4word and seek companies like Escalante Golf and others to actually put the Business Bible to work. So to me, part of the blueprint is understanding God’s economy and design, and discovering those principles to follow. 

Diane: When we visited Escalante Golf, one of the gentlemen came up to me and said, ‘I have a daughter who is in a very stressful work environment. She’s a strong Christian, and I really want to have her know about 4word.’ So of course, I gave him all my information. By the end of the day, I was connected with his daughter and she was so excited to hear there’s a community for her at 4word. A big issue that we’ve identified among the women who come to the 4word community is that they’re dealing with loneliness. Having a community that really helps you as you’re trying to live out God’s word in every part of your life really will inspire and encourage you. It is always fun to see how God uses us to impact the people we meet in ways we could never imagine. 

Nicholas: That was really amazing story to come out of that meeting. I loved being able to meet with the team at Escalante Golf and share with them how the Business Bible can be used as a tool by both the men and women at their company. It was so encouraging to see them put the Word to work and share their devotion and faith around a business conference room. Business begins with trust. We have to trust one another at work when we ideate and think about opportunities that we’re going to take advantage of and work towards. We have to trust that everyone will do what they say they’re going to do on the other side of a business transaction, and we have to trust that the results are going to be what we expected. Business creates something of value, but it also creates relationships that are of tremendous value. I think the church underestimates the power of that. God’s design for the amazing opportunity to develop relationships with people and trust with business people is a tremendous opportunity for the word of God and the truth of the gospel to be shared. 

Diane: Just look at the two of us, right? We really didn’t know each other when we met in 2019, and now, God has put us together so that men and women alike can be encouraged because we’re in partnership together in the work we feel called to do. 

Nicholas: It’s really wonderful to hear about the gifts of the people who come alongside and support the ministry of 4word. I think we need a new perspective on generosity. I’m a big believer in the promises in the Bible. One of the principles in the Business Bible is that if you’re generous—and often specifically generous to the poor, the widow, the orphan, the foreigner, and the prisoner—God will bless all the work of your hands. I think we sometimes fall short of asking for Him to fulfill that promise. How many of us think, ‘Well, if I give generously, God will bless the work of my hands.’ Discovering the Business Bible and seeing generosity in a new way has really affected my life and business. I’m hopeful to see the results of generosity in the blessing of all of 4word’s executive work this year. 

Nicholas: Let’s start with what the Bible says about work. You might’ve heard in the last few years how work is our worship or our service, and that comes from the Hebrew word avodah. This year, we’re going to be introducing what the Greek word for work means. The Greek word for work is ergon, which means an inner desire to use your outward abilities for a higher purpose. Isn’t that what we all desire from work? We know that 60-75% of most people in the workforce are dissatisfied with their work. What a great opportunity for the Business Bible and 4word to help men and women discover that God has a design and a purpose for their work! 

Diane: I have specific example of a CEO who is really concerned, because she feels like their employees don’t really understand their purpose, but they want to have purpose. A lot of what we do at 4word is to help women understand and focus on their strengths, knowing that this focus will give them great reward in many different ways. 

Nicholas: I think many people in the workforce are high achievers, and people committed to their career think about their purpose first and don’t start with their inner desire. God says He’ll meet all the desires of our heart, and it is God who has placed that desire there. The journey might begin where we least expect it, by discovering our inner desire for our life and work. When we match that desire with our abilities, we begin to discover our purpose that God has for us.

Diane: The Bible study I did this morning talked about being in prayer, studying God’s word, and surrounding yourself with wise counsel. Those three actions are so important to put in motion in your life every day. 

Nicholas: I would share this working tool that we use at the Business Bible: marrying the wisdom of God with work, expecting wealth creation and great reward from it. How does that actually work? What we do at the Business Bible on a Monday morning is write down all of our needs on the lefthand column of a whiteboard. In the middle column, we write down the work that we have to do to meet those needs. This gives purpose to our work for the week, because we know our actions are meeting our needs. Then we do something really fun. We leave the third column blank, because almost always, the outcomes aren’t as we expect and God does exceedingly more than we ask. This is a really practical example of faith at work. It’s not magic; it’s the power of God to do exceedingly more than than we can imagine or ask. This exercise really changes work from labor to discovering what we can do together and what God is going to do. I encourage 4word women to practice this in 2024. Just a warning, though: God loves to take His time. God’s never late: He uses time to help us trust Him.

Nicholas: Through the hard work of 4word and our team, we have created the 4word-branded Business Bible. When you purchase one, you’ll be supporting both the Business Bible and 4word’s ministry. You’ll help us continue the work that we’re doing, and we really believe that it will encourage you. Two things happen when you start adding the Business Bible to your day: your faith and work will collide in a way that it never has before, and you’ll be awakened to the possibility of faithful work. It’s also a great gift for your colleagues and it’s a great tool for your business. To order one for yourself or to give as a gift to other Christian women in the workplace in your community, click here!  

Nicholas started his first hedge fund at the age of 40 expecting to earn success in life and work; then the global financial crisis began. The stock market crashed, the economy entered the great recession, and millions of people lost their jobs, their home and life savings.

Firms like AIG, Goldman Sachs, and Merrill Lynch were at the heart of the crisis and Nicholas did business with all of them. With firsthand knowledge of the crisis, he asked an important question, “isn’t there a better way to do business” and began searching for answers.

He read Wall Street research, government economic reports, and history books but they did not provide clear guidance. Then he read the Bible. Everything he was searching for, how to do business, navigate the economy, and invest successfully was right there in plain view. Very few understood what the Bible says about business, and even less follow it.

Nicholas combined a discipline research process he learned investing with the skills he had acquired in seminary and began to read the Bible from a business perspective. He discovered we are created to work, the economy reflects divine design, the power to create wealth and how to multiply investment returns by 2X, 10X even 100X.

According to Nicholas, the Bible is about work from beginning to end. It reveals Principles how to succeed in business, create wealth, and give generously. That’s why Nicholas founded the 1st of its kind Business Bible — with everything you need to know about business and the Principles highlighted in gold.

The Business Bible will help you become a better business person, create wealth, and live generously. If you follow one of the Principles, your work will be changed; if you follow them all, your life and career will be transformed!

Diane Paddison, 4word Founder and President, is a Harvard MBA, former global executive of two Fortune 500 companies, CBRE and ProLogis, and one Fortune 1000 company, Trammell Crow Company, and serves as an independent director for one corporate and four not-for-profit boards. 

Diane is a leading advocate for Christian women in the workplace. Diane published Work, Love, Pray in 2011, and Be Refreshed . . . a year of devotions for women in the workplace in 2017, laying the foundation for 4word.

She authors weekly posts at and is a featured columnist for The Washington Times and the 4word Mentor Program has been highlighted in The Wall Street Journal’s MarketWatch.

Diane and her husband, Chris, have four children and two grandchildren and live in Dallas, Texas.