Dan Cathy, CEO of Chick-fil-A, states that when business professionals don’t view their business as a ministry, there are consequences:
- They don’t read their Bibles, pray or worship God outside church services.
- They don’t share their faith or make disciples.
- They don’t hold themselves accountable to the same standards of Christian conduct as those they consider to be in “full-time” ministries.
- They don’t activate their spiritual gifts.
- They assume God isn’t relevant outside of the church.
Those business leaders who do view their business as a ministry have integrated their faith and work. “As a Christian business leader, the company you run is the leading ministry opportunity in your life, it’s your platform for ministry, and uniquely given to you by God to use for His glory. Your work – is your calling – and you’re positioned to impact the lives of your employees, your customers, and through them, the world.” (Business On Mission Conference – September 2017). These leaders understand and agree that they are working for the Lord – not for themselves and not for man. God is allowing them to steward His business with a greater purpose than just profits. This is a huge responsibility!
How do you view your business? Are you integrating your faith and work? Have you identified your mission field? How many employees do you have? What about their families? How many candidates do you interview each year? How many customers do you have? Prospects? How many vendors/suppliers do you use? When you add it up, there are a lot of people on your mission field that you can impact when you use your business as a ministry. Here are some practical ways to get started:
- Get to know your employees on a personal level. Take them out to lunch or breakfast.
- Maintain an “emergency” fund with company profits to address emergency needs of employees.
- Allow employees to serve in some “ministry” or non-profit on company time.
- Have a weekly Bible study or prayer time before work or during lunch.
- Get to know your customers on a personal level. Take them out to lunch or breakfast.
- Have a customer open house as a special thank-you and share your company’s Christian values.
- Provide excellent customer service and exceed their expectations.
- Get to know your suppliers on a personal level. Take them out to lunch or breakfast.
- Pay your suppliers on time.
As a Christian business leader, there is another practical way to use your business as a ministry that is easy and will make an incredible difference – prayer. Pray daily for your employees, customers and suppliers. By getting to know them personally, you will know what is going on in their lives and be able to pray for them specifically. This will open the door to other opportunities where you can minister to them and bless them. It may even give you the opportunity to tell them about Jesus! Remember – “Your work – is your calling – and you’re positioned to impact the lives of your employees, your customers, and through them, the world.”
If you want to learn more about integrating your faith with your work, or how to treat your business as your mission field, consider joining a Convene Peer-Advisory Group.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Before becoming a Convene Chair, Bruce gained 25+ years of experience in Human Capital Management, Organizational Development, Leadership Development and Strategy and has an outstanding track record of maximizing revenue, profitability and performance. His expertise includes helping companies improve their organizational health and optimize their financial and operational performance by aligning their business and people strategies.