Every occupation is a form of ministry

You Are a Priest in God’s Kingdom, by Jimmy Evans, May 7, 2023.

Our roles as priests today, and how the roles will change at the Rapture

This post at LinkedIn. 

A Biblical Truth. “Every occupation is a form of ministry, and God has given all of us work to do.” The purpose of any product or service is to meet a need. Variation is a natural part of God’s design and represents the gap between the perfect (all needs met) and the imperfect, reflected by the current situation.

The secular quality profession has validated through the Taguchi Loss Function that the closer any product/service gets to the target (more perfect) as defined by the customer, the higher the quality (more needs met) and the lower the cost to the individual and society.

W. Edwards Deming was a world-recognized leader in quality management and a devout Christian. He remarked that if he was to reduce his message to just a few words, it all has to do with reducing variation.

Ironically, the need for continuous quality improvement is an accepted practice in “secular” industries throughout the world, yet little to no awareness that reducing variation is “a form of ministry.”

In the Christian community, the most common statement I hear from pastors and scholars is that continuous quality improvement is just a “business thing” and irrelevant to ministry. In America, “We the People” are responsible for working towards that “ more perfect Union” by reducing variation. Additional context on the topic: https://lnkd.in/edH5C4d


Christian, Citizenship, and Quality Management Apologetic 

 Updated Mar 10, 2023

The Great Commission

16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Mathew 28: 16-20, NIV.

  • E Pluribus Unum.  Out of many (states, colonies, interests), One Nation Under God, With Liberty and Justice for All

“Apologetics derives from the Greek word apologia, “to give an answer.” 1 Peter 3:15 gives us the defining statement: “But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer (apologia) to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.”

Bottom Line Up Front (BLUF)

Leveraging the interrelationship between Christianity, Citizenship, and Quality Management has the potential of providing a needed context (frame of reference, worldview) that can immediately address the most pressing issues of our time, help mitigate the effects of conflicts, and improve the quality of life throughout all levels of our society.

Key Points

Christianity, Citizenship, and Quality Management share a common aim:  Reducing variation from the ideal will lead to more perfect outcomes. Excellent quality is the result of doing the right things, right.

  • An ideal would be that all human needs are met.  Needs would include physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual.
    • Example: Health Care is a need. As more needs are being met, the less adverse effect on people of needs not being met.
  • Variation either gets better (more needs are continuously being met) or gets worse (adverse effect on people of needs not being met.
  • The Christian, Citizenship, and Quality Management Apologetic supports secular and non-secular methods for improvement.   Non-secular approaches have not, will not, and cannot produce the most optimal outcomes.
    • In a secular approach, the customer/stakeholder/supplier defines “perfect” e.g., the right things.
    • In a non-secular approach, God defines perfect and Jesus the standard of perfection.
  • Christian Apologetics provides the truth and defense of the Christian faith.  A more conscious awareness and understanding of variation by apologists will provide additional insight and support for advocating acceptance of the Christian truth.


  • In the beginning, God created the Heaven and the Earth (Genesis 1:1, NIV)
  • Variation is a fundamental element of God’s design.  The variation principle states that everything varies: no two people or things are exactly alike. Variation represents the difference between the ideal (perfect) and the actual situation. (ASQ – What is the Law of Variation?)
    • “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” (Romans 1:20, NIV).
    • Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. (Mathew 5:48, NIV)
    • Jesus established the human standard for perfection; God is perfect, man is imperfect but expected to improve.
      • For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11 NIV
      • Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2, NIV
    •  “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” (Philippines  4:8-9, NIV)


  • The U.S. Founding Fathers were influenced by Judeo-Christian values and integrated Christian principles into the design of the U.S. system of government.
    • 238 of the 250 men that we would call our Founding Fathers were in fact traditional, fundamental Christians” (Pastor Paul Blair, America’s Christain Heritage”, p13.)
    • The Preamble to the Constitution identifies the aim  of the U.S. system of government for We the People (citizens) to  continually work towards “a more perfect Union.”
    • The intent expressed through the Constitution and Bill of Rights was to establish a framework that would enable citizens to work together in pursuit of a more perfect Union.  It was expected that Christian leaders would continue to lead or support improvement efforts.  The emergence of political parties, lobbyists, and campaign financing has been a challenge to this premise.
  • “We the People” own the system of government – we are top management. We can delegate accountability to our elected representatives but we are always responsible for assessing the results of changes to policy and laws and supporting improvement.
    • The Preamble to the Constitution:  We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America. 
  • The Founders expected future generations to develop better methods for assessing the “State of the Union,” and their respective “State of the Community” by identifying and then supporting changes that would result in progress towards “a more perfect Union.”
  • Alexander Hamilton -Revolutionary War General, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, Author of the Federalist Papers, and Secretary of the Treasury, killed by Aaron Burr  in a duel:
    • One other consequence of Hamilton’s untimely death was that it permanently halted the formation of a religious society Hamilton had proposed. Hamilton suggested that it be named the Christian Constitutional Society, and listed two goals for its formation: first, the support of the Christian religion; and second, the support of the Constitution of the United States. This organization was to have numerous clubs throughout each state which would meet regularly and work to elect to office those who reflected the goals of the Christian Constitutional Society. 36
  • American Renewal Project 
    •  “Only Six More Years for America?”  By Rabbi Daniel Lapin (July 24, 2020). “… Laying out the great civilizations over the last 3 millennia ….  it is significant that so many of history’s empires and epochs of national dominance lasted about 250 years.
    • Because of America’s uniqueness and its deliberate similarities to ancient Israel, a comeback scenario is real.  Even prominent political scientist and religious agnostic,  Charles Murray, insists that the American republic can only survive with a revival of the religious values that the Founders depended on.  The indomitable Christian warrior, David Lane, through his @AmericanRenewalProject continues to enlist thousands of courageous pastors and millions of their followers in bringing Biblical wisdom into the public square. There is hope. 

More Info:

Quality Management

  • Law of Variation – American Society for Quality. 
    • The Law of Variation is defined as the difference between the ideal and an actual situation.
    • An ideal situation represents a standard of perfection—or the highest standard of excellence defined by stakeholders, including direct customers, internal customers, suppliers, society, and shareholders.
  • The quality management principles, methods, and tools represent proven approaches for reducing variation from the ideal.  They are applied to improve the quality of the products and services provided worldwide. Products and services are developed to meet a need (s).
  • Two major organizations that support the development and application of the better methods and tools include the American Society for Quality (ASQ) and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).
  • The basic tools of quality are taught and applied at the K-12 level. The basic and advanced tools of quality are taught and applied by adults throughout the world.
  • Taguchi Loss Function.  The Taguchi Loss Function is an accepted principle within the quality profession.  It states that the closer a product or service is to the ideal (nominal, optimal) the higher the quality and the lower the cost to society (stakeholders).
  • W. Edwards Deming was a world-renowned leader in quality management. He supported Taguchi’s conclusion and  reinforced the point:  “Anything less than optimization of the whole system will bring eventual loss to every component in the system” (W. Edwards Deming, The New Economics, p.53)
    • Deming also reinforced the aim for improvement: “If I had to reduce my message for management to just a few words, I’d say it all had to do with reducing variation”  Ref: Henry R. Neave, The Deming Dimension (Knoxville, TN: SPC Press Inc., 1990), p. 57
    • Deming’s contributions to improving the quality of products and services provided worldwide were recognized in Fortune magazine as being among the 20 that have shaped the modern world of business and in U.S. News and World Report as one of nine turning points in history. The top turning point was identified as “The Apostle Paul, whose preaching and eloquent writings led to mass acceptance of Christianity.”
    • Deming was a devout Christian and supported a secular (non-religious/spiritual) approach in his consulting, teaching, and publications.  In the first edition of his last book “The New Economics for Industry, Government, Education, he was subtle in using the nonsecular term  “metanoia” to describe the needed transformation. “The word metanoia is more suitable than transformation. Metanoia is a Greek word which means penitence, repentance, reorientation  of one’s way of life, spiritual conversion (emphasis mine).”  (Deming, The New Economic, first edition, p 95).
      • Deming died in 1993.  Later editions of The New Economics  replaced the term metanoia with “The First Step.”
    • Deming’s secular-based strategy has not resulted in any significant degree of transformation to the new philosophy.
    • Deming identified four common components that have always been integral to making and sustaining a successful change in any area and at any level. On a personal level, think about a change you made that resulted in an improvement:
      • Motivation  – Why the need for change?  Did the motivation come from within (intrinsic) or was it driven by an external reward such as money fame, praise, and prizes?
      • Action.  What did you do?  What was the process?
      • Feedback.  What information was used to assess the results?  Did you achieve the expected result?
        • The “What’s New?” is being able to answer the question with an understanding of common and special causes of variation. Deming estimated that without this knowledge, 95% of changes can lead to no improvement.
        • Test your knowledge of the variation principle
      • Learning – The Story – what do you tell others about the experience? What knowledge was gained?
    • Deming referred to the four components in the context of a system that could lead to profound knowledge. And Knowledge can lead to Wisdom.  Deming identified the components as consisting of Psychology (Motivation), Systems (Action), Variation (Feedback), and Knowledge (Learning).
    • Deming developed the Plan, Do, Study, Act (PDSA) cycle to help guide improvement efforts.

Application at the County Level of Government – The Brown County Leader Network

Supporting Information

PDSA Apologetic-Based Examples

  • Motivation: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved” (John 3:16-17).
  • Action:  God gave His only begotten Son who provided the example for perfect, taught, provided examples, recruited disciples, was crucified, died, buried, and was resurrected.  His life validated prophecies in the Old Testament and his life and works are documented in the New Testament.
  • Feedback.  For over 2,000 years, individuals have accepted the truth of Christianity and embraced God’s plan for them. Many in turn have shared the gospel and brought even more people to Christ.
  • Learning.  The Apologetics Master Program at CCU is an example of building a capability to expand the number of apologists to reach even more people. And with current communication technologies, there are EVEN more opportunities to reach more people by providing the right message, at the right time to the right audience.

Additional Information:

My book (PDF): Success Through Quality – Support Guide for the Journey to Continuous Improvement by Timothy J. Clark.  An introductory but comprehensive overview of the history, methods, and basic tools of quality.  Examples include personal, family, society, and government.  The book was published by the American Society for Quality – Quality Press.

The text includes an expanded description of variation that was accepted by the American Society for Quality and included in their glossary: “What is the Law of Variation?


SuccessThroughQuality.com – articles and application examples:

2023 Biblical Worldview Survey – 4%

Post at LinkedIn. 

American Worldview Inventory 2023 Release #1: Incidence of Biblical Worldview Shows Significant Change Since the Start of the Pandemic, Dr. George Barna, Director of Research Cultural Research Center at Arizona Christian University Release Date: February 28, 2023.

  • In fact, the first national study of Americans’ worldview in the post-lockdown era found that the incidence of biblical worldview declined to a mere 4%—down one-third from the 6% recorded just months before the pandemic started in 2020.

Could those with a Biblical worldview be much higher than 4%?  Variation (variety) is a natural part of creation that identifies that everyone and everything is unique – one of a kind.

The Bible describes perfection as all needs being met. Given that perfection in this life is not possible, aren’t Christians expected to work together to reduce variation?  The U.S. Founding Fathers understood that perfection is not possible but identified that working towards “a more perfect Union” was a needed direction.

  • The Bible teaches that God reveals His knowledge by three ways:
    1. Internal Revelation. He reveals Himself by an internal revelation to the reason and conscience of each man.
    2. External Revelation. God reveals Himself by an external revelation through the works of creation. “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse” (Romans 1:20).
    3. Revelation of Jesus Christ. The Lord reveals Himself by the unique revelation of Jesus Christ, which confirms and completes the other revelations. For God “has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds” (Hebrews 1:2).

The quality profession with members located throughout the world has validated through the Taguchi Loss Function that the closer any product/service gets to the ideal of “more perfect” as defined by the customer, the higher the quality (more needs met), the lower the cost, and the less overall harm to the individual and society. A customer need (such as better health) can be in alignment with a human need identified in the Bible.

Do you believe that more perfect products and services that result in outcomes where all customers (and citizens) are satisfied with no harmful effects are a good thing?  Would you expect those answering Yes to be higher than “4%”?

The Barna survey also identifies that Most Americans (68%) consider themselves to be Christians which implies that they believe the statement made by Jesus Christ:  “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6, NIV.

Of Christians, how many recognize that their “good works”, e.g., the continual application of their God-given talents, gifts, and capabilities in alignment with their purpose, including their response to opportunities and trials, will be judged, recognized, and rewarded?

A major difference between a Christian and a non-Christia n is the source document for the moral standard being used to identify the right (more perfect) things.  For a Christian, it would be the Bible. For non-Christians, it would be someone or something else which could lead to better arguments as to which belief system would produce the best results with the least harm to others.

Supporting information – on variation and application of the quality principles, methods, and tools.

U.S. Debt to GDP 1929 – 2022

Debt to GDP Ratio 1929 2022

Post at Linkedin.

US National Debt by Year, By Kimberly Amadeo, Updated on January 18, 2023. Reviewed by Robert C. Kelly,  Fact checked by Emily Ernsberger.

Reversing Course – Learning from the past. In 1946, the U.S. Debt to GDP ratio was 119%. This was at a time following WWII when national resources were dedicated to the war effort. This ratio was exceeded for the first time in 2020 at 129% and was 123% in 2022.

After WWII, the U.S. owned half the world’s markets. Pent-up demand for manufactured goods created a middle class and led to reductions in the debt-to-GDP ratio to as low as 31% in 1981.  Global competition and failure to understand and adopt the better quality management methods pioneered by W. Edwards Deming (that ironically were classified during WWII), continue to contribute to a loss in American productivity and competitiveness.

Ironically, although the quality methods were de-classified after the War, they continue to be a well-kept secret in America. The solution? Apply the better methods that will result in what Deming referred to as a Chain Reaction – improve quality, costs decrease, productivity improves, capture the market with better quality and lower costs, stay in business, create jobs and more jobs.   The additional context is provided at: https://successthroughquality.com/

April 21, 2020. U.S. Debt to Surge Past Wartime Record, Deficit to Quadruple, By Christopher Condon and Dave Merrill

US Debot projection 1940 to 2025

Christian Nationalism – A Simple Test?

How Much of a Christian Nationalist Are You? Take This Simple Test. Scott Hogenson | Jan 29, 2023

Post at Linkedin

A different question? What actions by individuals and groups produce the best results for everyone? Variation is a natural part of creation. The Constitution identifies the aim of the U.S. system of government as working towards “a more perfect Union.” There will always be a gap between the current reality and the “perfect” situation.

How do “We the People” (top management) define more perfect? What feedback is needed to assess results? How will we know that a change will result in an improvement?

A Christian worldview supports the premise that actions motivated by love result in more needs being met. This leads to fewer people being harmed by unmet needs. In contrast, more centralization of political power through the erosion of the checks and balances on power has been proven throughout history to result in more harm than good.

The quality profession through the Taguchi Loss Function has validated that the closer you get to “more perfect,”  the higher the quality and the less harm to individuals and society.   Improvement in any aspect of life all has to do with reducing variation. A summary of the concept at the following: successthroughquality.com

W. Edwards Deming: Aligning Science and Religion

einstein science religion

Updated Jan 27, 2023 

This post at LinkedIn.

Optimal performance in any aspect of life is not possible without a basic awareness and understanding of variation and the inter-relationship between science and religion. The contributions of W. Edwards Deming regarding quality improvement are more commonly known within the management, engineering, and statistical communities.  Deming’s work is not commonly known within philosophical and religious circles.

Albert Einstein on Religion and Science 

  • Objective knowledge provides us with powerful instruments for the achievements of certain ends, but the ultimate goal itself and the longing to reach it must come from another source.
  •  Intelligence makes clear to us the interrelation of means and ends. But mere thinking cannot give us a sense of the ultimate and fundamental ends. To make clear these fundamental ends and valuations, and to set them fast in the emotional life of the individual, seems to me precisely the most important function which religion has to perform in the social life of man. 

Definitions (Briticanna)

  • science, any system of knowledge that is concerned with the physical world and its phenomena and that entails unbiased observations and systematic experimentation. In general, a science involves a pursuit of knowledge covering general truths or the operations of fundamental laws.
  • religion, human beings’ relation to that which they regard as holy, sacred, absolute, spiritual, divine, or worthy of special reverence.
  • philosophy, (from Greek, by way of Latin, philosophia, “love of wisdom”) the rational, abstract, and methodical consideration of reality as a whole or of fundamental dimensions of human existence and experience. 

Clare-Crawford Mason introduced the relevance of Deming’s contributions within the context of philosophy. She was the producer of the NBC documentary “If Japan Can, Why Can’t We?” (1980) which introduced Deming’s work to America. This led to Deming’s book Out of the Crisis (1982). The first edition of Deming’s book, The New Economics was published in 1993.

Collection – Clare Crawford Mason articles- Curious Cat Management Improvement

  • Better Questions, Wiser Answers, Washington Times, July 1, 2007
    • The Deming-Toyota-Baldrige method and systems thinking can improve schools, government agencies or any organization, even military invasions and occupations because it offers new ways to look at the bigger picture. It allows an organization to be greater than the sum of its parts as the people in the system learn to work together more effectively.
    • Why is there no national debate on more effectively managing these critical systems of our society? Why don’t leaders/candidates investigate and discuss new ways of approaching problems? The role of leadership is to identify problems and propose solutions. If new ways of thinking and defining problems are needed, that should be the subject of the presidential campaign.

Not commonly mentioned including by Clare-Crawfored Mason, is that Deming was a devout Christian and would have been heavily influenced by a Biblical worldview.   I provide additional information on the likely effect of this influence in my posts and website.

Additional information:

Deming also acknowledged the influence of C.I. Lewis who was introduced to him by Walter A. Shewhart. In 1986, Deming stated that “Another half-century may pass before the full spectrum of Dr. Shewhart’s contributions has been revealed in liberal education, science, and industry.” (Walter Shewhart, Statistical Method from the Viewpoint of Quality Control (New York, NY: Dover Publications, 1986), p. ii.).

In the first edition of his book: The New Economic, Deming used referenced the term “metanoia” (spiritual conversion).  This term was eliminated in future editions that were published after Deming’s death.  Metanoia and Transformation II – Norman Todd , The Way, 52/2 (April 2013),

  • …  when I read the first edition of Deming’s book The New Economics, I found a short section that described a fundamental change of mind-set on which all subsequent organizational transformation depended. The section was headed ‘Metanoia’. In later editions it is retitled ‘The First Step’.
  • People who knew Dr. Deming well have assured me that he was a sincere, practicing Christian who played the organ in church and composed sacred music. But when I asked at his seminar if he had applied his teaching to the organization of the Church, he looked puzzled and said he had not.

A Perfect Individual Performance Assessment

This Post at LinkedIn.

What is the “perfect” individual performance appraisal or assessment?  The lack of understanding of variation led quality expert W. Edwards Deming to conclude that individual performance appraisals (and grades in school) are among the “deadly diseases” of management.  Variation is a natural part of creation. Mark Hitchcock reinforces that God has identified a two-part individual “performance“ assessment – Heavenly Rewards Episode 70:

  1.  A belief and faith in Jesus Christ result in salvation through grace and eternal life.
  2. Upon our death in this life, recognition and rewards and how we spend eternity are then determined by our stewardship of time, opportunities, and resources earning the accolade “Well done, good and faithful servant.” Good works alone without a belief in Christ “will not” lead to salvation.

Suggested Reading:

Context: Improvement – “,,, it all has to do with reducing variation”

Grades in School:

A comment to the post and my response:

Avoiding Spiritual Plateaus

Post at LinkedIn

There are no spiritual plateaus

Exclusive: Greg Laurie warns readers not to put ‘the Christian experience on cruise control’

Variation is a natural part of God’s creation and represents the gap between the ideal or more perfect and the actual situation.

Variation either gets better or gets worse which makes continual improvement imperative if the goal is better results.

The quality profession through the Taguchi Loss Function has validated that continually reducing variation leads to better quality with fewer negative consequences on the individual and society.

Within the Christian community, a common perception is that continual improvement is more of a “business thing.” The fact is that continually reducing variation is a moral imperative supporting the guidance that there should be no spiritual plateaus nor should learning be put on cruise control.


Great Omission and Great Commission

romans 12 2 renewing your mind

The Great Omission, D. Eric Schansberg on Christ’s Commandments & True Discipleship

Response to the article: True Disciple Making by Ken Adams

Facebook Post of the article and context —  My Response:

Appreciate your examples. Another perspective: Variation is a natural part of creation- God’s design. No two people or things are or will be exactly alike. Variation is a gap between the ideal (perfect) and an actual situation. In the context of the bible, perfection (acceptable degree of variation) is described as all needs being met – Garden of Eden for example. When Adam and Eve sinned, an unacceptable degree of variation was introduced into the world. God’s intent is for us to help reduce it and the bible provides the guidance. The actions that you described are examples of reducing variation.

The So What? The quality profession has identified through the Taguchi Loss Function that the closer any service (an act) or product gets to the ideal, the higher the quality and the lower the cost to the individual and society, e.g., more needs are met; less harm to people as a result of unmet needs. Relevance? Surveys by Gallup, Barna, Rasmussen, et. al., identify downward trends in areas that include the belief in God, church attendance, and biblical worldview. People can abandon their belief in God, but variation is a constant and can shift the discussion and awareness of God’s intent and contrast to other beliefs. In a biblical worldview, God defines the ideal, in quality management, the ideal is defined by the customer and producer, and in America, We the people define the ideal, e.g., what a more perfect union” should look like.

Everyone on the planet has reduced variation and few realize the correlation between their actions and a biblical worldview. Knowledge and understanding of variation can provide a common ground in support of the Great Commission.  A summary of the concepts at the following: SuccessThroughQuality.com.

The challenge? In support of the Great Commission, I advocate for a Christianity, Citizenship, and Quality Management apologetic.  Within the Christian community, feedback has included that quality management is a business thing. Within the quality profession, God is not mentioned, and in America, We the People think our obligations end with the vote and are not aware of our responsibility to learn about and apply better methods for reducing variation from the ideal of “a more perfect Union.”