Wednesday, January 05, 2011

What If God Was One of Us?

This past weekend, I was introduced to the TV show "Undercover Boss." In case you're not familiar with it, the premise of the show is that a CEO goes "undercover" and works at the lower levels of his organization, experiencing the satisfaction and frustration that his employees experience. The goal is more understanding of their roles as well as discovering policies (or people) who are causing inefficiencies or undue frustration.

I really liked the boss in the one episode I've seen so far -- he is extremely likable, not only on-screen, but also to the people with whom he is assigned to work. They're honest about what they don't like in their jobs as well as what they do like, and he is drawn into their lives in ways he did not expect.

What struck me most about the show, though, was the "reveal" at the end. They brought each of the people with whom he spent a day working and revealed to them that he was actually their CEO. He then spent time telling each person what he appreciated about them, what he'd learned and changes that he planned to implement as a result of his experience with them. Everybody was shocked (one man commented, "You clean up good!") and more than one person was brought to tears at the thought of a CEO who cared enough to come down to their level, to experience their joys and frustrations, to become involved in their lives.

As the "several months later" follow-up to the show demonstrated, it actually changed their lives. Based on the CEO's feedback, one man quit his job and is doing something that complements gifts the boss recognized in him. Others are redeployed or promoted within the company, with more responsibility, more impact and more enthusiasm. The CEO even pulled in a manager whose policies he saw were having a negative impact on morale and productivity and challenged him to improve.

It being the Christmas season and all, I couldn't help but see an incarnational analogy ... the unrecognized "boss" comes down from on high to experience the life of his people. Their weaknesses become his weaknesses, their joys and sorrows are his, and, ultimately, their encounter with him changes their lives.

If life can be dramatically changed by an encounter with a CEO who becomes one of us, how much more an encounter with the living God...?


And just because I can't resist, here's the Joan Osborne song that inspired this post title ... and whenever I hear this song, I just want to scream, "He IS one of us!!!" That's the whole beauty of the Christian faith -- by becoming one of us, he saved us!

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