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Kingdom Leadership: First Things First

When you step into the shops at Narrow Gate Trading Co, you are instantly surrounded with sounds and smells of fresh hardwoods and genuine leather! Most people even comment, “Oh..I love how it smells in here!’ That’s because our Artisans are going about their craft with intentionality, heart, and passion. It’s one of the things that sets us apart.

In addition to working with intentionality, we are also developing leaders with intentionality. And perhaps the greatest skill we can develop in our leaders is to help them establish and develop a leadership style that reflects our ultimate leader, Jesus.

And He led by serving.

He put people first and valued relationship. While there are deadlines to meet and products to build and orders to fulfill, we aim to consistently model a people-over-profit leadership style with our Artisans.

This means our team members regularly meet one-on-one for the sole purpose of building relationship and getting to know the whole person. Most of us spend at least 40 hours a week at work, but those 40 hours don’t comprise the entire picture of who we are. By engaging in a relational leadership style, we intentionally take time to get to know the whole person we work with…not just the ‘work person.’ It takes time and practice to develop a personal relationship with your teammates and it’s not the ‘worldy’ way of doing business, but we believe it’s the Kingdom way.

You see, we believe that God wants to use businesses as a way to advance His Kingdom. Every young man that works, volunteers, or serves at Narrow Gate Trading Co. provides a unique opportunity for us to help them develop as future leaders. But we have to know them to grow them! People at work (and beyond) are longing to be known. Think about it…most people spend most of their days at ‘work.’ Inside their cubicle. Behind a desk. In front of a whiteboard. And if we aren’t known and loved by the people we work with, how lonely and empty must our work (and time) be.

How can we, Kingdom-builders and advancers, change that reality? How can we help our coworkers (and anyone we interact with on a daily basis) feel seen and known?

By becoming the person who sees them and knows them.

By becoming a relational leader. What does that look like? It means you put people first. You reach out to those you work with intentionally and consistently, and ask God to use you to impact their lives through friendship, caring, listening, praying, and serving. And maybe, just maybe, we can change our little corners of the world to look more like His Kingdom. 

As a resource to you, our Kingdom-building friends, we’ve learned a lot from the people at Kingdom at Work, so if you’d like to learn more, we invite you to sign up for their blog and visit their website at

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