Business Is Ministry

“There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord.” 1 Corinthians 12:5 NIV.

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Sometimes we cause problems for others without realizing the impact of our words or actions. Those who have a platform to impact others will give an account for their work. This includes Church pastors, Bible teachers, and ignorant believers.

I include ignorant believers with pastors and teachers under the assumption that they are believers but at times may be ignorant of the subject matter. This is so true when it comes to the Body of Christ outside of the four walls of an organized faith community.

Somewhere, someone once taught that Pastors and missionaries are the most important roles in the world today. That CEO’s, government leaders, and moms are secondary in God’s eyes. Yet when one truly understands the Bible and the work of the Holy Spirit, one may want to step back and evaluate the importance of each.

Jesus himself stated that man shall not live by bread alone but with every word that comes from the mouth of God. He didn’t elevate one over the other but considered both important for the human experience.

The church mission is important. So is the mission of business, education, government, etc. If people didn’t focus on building houses, hospitals, schools, roads, clothes, and farms, would we even consider God’s word?

Business is a ministry because business serves the needs of people. The word ministry simply means service. God instructed us to serve one another. We serve one another by providing material and spiritual food for each other. We serve one another by sharing and adding value to God’s creation.

All the gifts of the Holy Spirit also operate outside of the four walls of a church community. The gift of leadership is exercised as a witness within the public forum. Like any gift, it may be used to glorify God or for selfish pursuit. Whether behind a pulpit or a corporate boardroom, the gifts of the Holy Spirit are shared for the means of serving others and glorifying God, or solely for personal gain.

Church is in session outside of the four walls of a faith community for more hours than one hour Sunday morning. The only difference may be sermons are being preached through the attitudes and actions of Christ-following CEO’s, CFO’s, COO’s, senior managers, supervisors, and technicians throughout the day. Instead of praising God through music, these people are praising God through their God-given gifts of service creating new start-ups, jobs, and products for the masses.

Contrary to many pastors who have gone through their denominational, institutional training, there are many different ways to conduct a church service. What they may be comfortable with is simply one way. Could it be possible that a business model led by Spirit-filled believers could also be a church service? A place to worship our great God? A place to learn how faith, love, and hope play out in the real world? A place where the offering is self-sacrificing service to others?

Sometimes we need to take a step back and look at how BIG our God is and realize that the world is our pastoral home. That business is only another way for believers to serve their King, His subjects, and His domain. God’s world, His church, and His people can change the culture around them; but only when the Body of Christ removes the self-imposed limits and allow God’s Kingdom to expand outside the four walls of a faith community.

 

 

What Makes Business a Ministry?

” As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.” 1 Peter 4:10-11 ESV

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What makes business a ministry?

You do!

When you remove your limited view of God, you begin to understand ministry is more than a church thing. Ministry is serving others on God’s behalf. We are all ministers of God (Eph. 4:12). A ministry may either be started by your church, you, a neighbor, an entrepreneur, a social advocate, a government agency, and yes God Himself. It is not just something that takes place through the four walls of your church.

Question: How does God provide for others? Does he regularly create something from fiat or does he work through physical means? How does God feed mankind? How does God cloth humanity? How does God provide shelter?

When one realizes God works through whatever means are available, and that includes the institutions and industries of today, why does one separate the secular from the holy? The real answer is that this divide is a human paradigm and not God’s.

God is holy. Everything he makes is holy. What perverts holiness is man’s separation from God. When humanity walks in rebellion of God the fruit is sin. Secularism is man’s attempt of life apart from God.

Business is a means for God to provides products or services for the benefit of others. It is a ministry that most of us have been called to. Profit is simply a cost for doing business. With profit a business is able to grow better services for the customer. Without a profit, it cannot sustain itself. Without profits, the employees, vendors, lenders, and partners all lose out.

Business in many ways is a community of customers built around a financial model that is self sustaining. When one stakeholder allows greed or fear to enter the community, the outcome causes sin to have its way. This is what causes social conflict between labor and management, employees and vendors, senior leadership and ownership. Instead of mutually submitting one to another for the glory of God, we seek to build our personal empire. The result is competition that destroys rather than builds-up.

When the business purpose is built on a foundation that serves others and glorifies God, one has a healthy model to grow. However, when greed, self-interest, and ungodliness rules, than expect sin to have its way.

When you realize that business was created to serve humanity, and God is its author, one’s worldview opens the eyes for ministry. In my opinion, there is no greater ministry than preaching God’s kingdom and Word through one’s actions, speech, and services within the marketplace.

Whatever your role or service is in the marketplace, you have the opportunity to exhibit God’s Kingdom to your associates. As you excel in your work, you build a platform to speak. Over time, your small niche of people will recognize the Spirit in you is one they would like to attain. Meanwhile, you are ministering to others through the work you do. You may think it is small compared to the heroes mentioned in the Bible. Yet to God ever task you perform for the love of others in his name will be rewarded (Matt. 10:40-42).

Enjoy your business ministry. It is God’s gift to you.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Executive Director & Founder
Marketplace Bible Institute
& Resource Center, Inc
Author of e-Books:
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

Encourage your Friends…Share Today’s Message!

Business is a Ministry

“Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:4 ESV

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There are days when I sit in a church service the preacher seems to indicate that the only place God is working is in their church community. That God’s special blessing is only upon those who serve within their faith community. Somehow, what I do between Monday through Saturday is spoken like a lower-level necessity with the only real meaning to life lies between the four walls of the congregation. Now maybe it’s me, but after all these years I long for ministers whose pastoral is larger than their micro faith world. Somehow it seems we forget that God is attuned to the world and our faith community is only a microscope of a much larger picture.

Take service for example. I get tired after forty some years of listening to preachers emphasize church service over any other type of service. It’s like “church service” is the only service that is approved by God. Whatever else one does outside of the “church” doesn’t compare. Again, maybe it is me, but the Bible doesn’t delineate service into sacred and secular. Humans do. I have witnessed and been included with people who serve to satisfy a personal ego within the faith community. Instead of having God’s Spirit fill the void, they seek status, power, prestige, money, or fulfillment in the name of service.

Within the religious world, we call it ministry. In the marketplace, we call it service. The goal is the same; to provide and care for the people who have needs that we can satisfy. However, “ministry” makes it sound holy; “customer service” makes it sound self-serving. Yet haven’t we seen people within the ministry glorify themselves in service to others? And again, in the marketplace, haven’t we seen the same? Yet within the ministry haven’t we also seen (more than the other) people who serve for the glory of God and for the sake of others? Likewise, haven’t we also met people within the marketplace who serve their constituents and customers for the glory of God and for the real sake of others?

Am I too bold to say that God also created business? That business is a ministry for the economic benefit of others? Jesus quoted that “man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” In the church world we emphasize God’s Word. Outside of the church world, people emphasis the economic necessities. Is one more important than the other? Doesn’t it take both, the Spirit of God and the physical necessities of life to live a full, meaningful life? Maybe it’s time we stop segregating the world into us versus them. That we are more important than them. Maybe it is time we realize that the Triune God considers all labor and service important. That ministering the Word and ministering the food (clothing, shelter, transportation, entertainment, etc.) are both important and necessary. That one without the other leaves a person poor, hungry, and blind.

Therefore the next time someone asks if you want to participate in their ministry because you don’t seem to have one, let them know that you already are in a full time ministry: your business is a ministry for God’s glory and for the sake of others. Or is that just being too radical in Christ for you?

We are rooting for you!

Yours in Christ,

Dr. Mike

Executive Chair, Consultant, Encourager
Marketplace Bible Institute
& Resource Center, Inc
Author of e-Books:
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

Learn. Integrate. Grow.

 

Making Decisions

Our personal decisions have a greater impact into other people’s lives than we may ever realize. When Eve decided to take the forbidden fruit that looked so attractive to her, did she consider the consequences of her decision? In a recent decision that you made last week, did you consider all the people who owned a part of the decision and its ramifications? Probably not. Most of us don’t unless we are reminded.

What the story of Adam and Eve demonstrates is that we all forego a better solution so we may immediately satisfy our personal desires. One effective technique I’ve learned over the years before making any decision is to list at a minimum three other parties that may be impacted by the outcome. From that list, I contact each one for their opinion of the impact of the decision in their world. From their answers, we do our best to develop a solution that will be best for all parties. Some may benefit slightly better than others, but all need to benefit in some way.

Imagine if Eve followed in such a manner. She would have taken the serpents’ statements and asked herself who else would be impacted by the decision. Her list of a minimum of three would include Adam, God, and the serpent. If she had spoken directly with God, He would have gladly given her the consequences of such an action. If she discussed it with Adam, he would have given his view of the situation. Likewise, even though the serpent is a deceiver, one could match his replies with God’s and Adam’s to determine the best course of action. Do you think if she followed such an approach that the world would be in a different place today?

It is a simple approach that has served well over the years for many leaders. The challenge is to always implement the same process each time. Otherwise, the time one fails to follow through is the one event causing one’s world to fall apart. Again just another simple approach to manage the multiple decisions that every leader needs to make. Or is that simply too radical for you?

OUR PRAYER

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Our heavenly Father, Lord, and Spirit: thank you for sharing your heart with us. Thank you for caring enough for us to help learn your values, truths, and purposes. Help us to seek counsel from others who may be impacted by the decisions we make. Help us to seek the answer not only from you, but all others who may be impacted by our decisions. Help us to be honest and caring for all the people and lives our decision impacts. Help us walk with you in the entire decision making process and open our eyes to see and ears to hear the truth and best solutions for all parties involved. Thank you Lord.

 

Yours in Christ,

Dr. Mike

Executive Chair, Consultant, and Encourager
Marketplace Bible Institute & Resource Center, Inc
Author of Great Business Emulates a Good God &
Be Radical…Follow Christ!

Learn. Integrate. Grow.

 

The Joy of Business

Every person and every organization operates from a built-in structure of values. These values are typically built around an internal belief system. Studies have shown that many of the values we carry throughout life have been shaped within us and already formed by the time we reach the age of 8-9 years. Many of these same values and beliefs remain with us until an event or circumstance changes our perspective of life. Only then, we may consciously or unconsciously make a change.

In business, the founder typically sets the values and belief system of the organization. She or he sets the standards that others quickly learn to comply with if they want to be accepted within the business circle. As an organization grows, other leaders step up to influence their values into the operation. Eventually, team leaders learn to work with one another even though they may disagree with the other team member’s belief system and priority of values.

As a Believer in the marketplace, God has allowed us to partner with Him as He works out His plan of redemption while being the means to economically serve others as His hands and feet. As a servant in God’s government, we have new standards that we are learning. Yet we also have older values that need unlearning. God is creating a masterpiece via His Universal Church within the marketplace and is allowing us to participate with Him if we choose.

Why is this critical to understand? Because many of us enter the marketplace with a focus strictly on monetary reward. We strongly and incorrectly believe that the main purpose of business is to make money. So when we make business decisions, we measure the process with the end result solely for a financial remuneration; a return of investment; a monetary payback for our time and effort. Yet is that how God views business?
Without getting heavy into theology, didn’t God give mankind instructions to have dominion over the earth? To manage it and to sustain it? Where in the creation account did God say our economic primary purpose is to make a profit? Yet didn’t Jesus himself quote scripture that man needs bread and the Word of God to sustain himself? So what is the purpose of business?

Isn’t business a ministry that God ordained to provide for our fellow man? Like every ministry, isn’t the purpose to Glorify God and serve others with the talents and skills we have been blessed with? Is it not a joy to conduct business where God is glorified; all stakeholders benefit, and we receive an economic return so we can do it all over again?

As a young, shy man starting out in the business world, I went into the accounting field because I was good with numbers, logic, and able to bring order out of chaos; I didn’t really want to work directly with people. Likewise, I chose the real estate industry because one could work with buildings and tangible property rather than directly with people. A funny thing happened along the way. I discovered that accounting, real estate, and business is all about people. That if one wants to succeed in life, one needs to learn how to communicate, relate, influence, encourage, and lead people. I eventually learned that successful business is about developing long-term relationships with others for their highest benefit. When we were successful in providing for our customers, operated efficiently, the profit we earned was simply the cost for doing business. Our profit margins was the result of the emphasis of the value and service we provided.

Imagine if every business selected a product or service that would glorify God, honestly serve people, and made enough money to stay in business; and continue to do it over and over again; what a wonderful world it would be! When one reaches this point, than one can truly see the fruit of one’s service and product through the eyes of God. Most people would think that this is impossible in today’s world. Yet, is anything impossible with God? The problem is most people run business their way rather than yield and trust a living God who wants you to partner with Him in His mission for the marketplace. Didn’t Jesus say if we seek His Kingdom first, that all these other things will be added to us? Doesn’t that also include our business ventures? Yes there is joy in business when one learns to truly trust and rest in the living God. Or is that too radical for you?

OUR PRAYER

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Our Economic Father, Son, and Spirit: thank you for creating a world that requires mankind’s participation to learn how to relate, cooperate, and serve one another. Thank you for teaching us that the greatest among us is the one who serves the most. Thank you for showing us that business is simply building relationships with others and helping others to attain their dreams to glorify you and serve their fellow man. Help us to yield our business ventures under your authority. Help us to learn to trust you in our business dealings. Help us to be successful in our business careers so we can be your hands and feet in serving others for your glory. Help us be true to you and others in all our business dealings. Help us work with you to redeem the marketplace for your glory and purpose.

Yours in Christ,

Dr. Mike

Executive Chair, Consultant, and Encourager
Marketplace Bible Institute & Resource Center, Inc
Author of Great Business Emulates a Good God &
Be Radical…Follow Christ!

Learn. Integrate. Grow.