Foreword: This short article is a mix of business, faith and social entrepreneurship ideation. At a personal level, this is all integrated, but there should be nuggets for any reader. Enjoy 😉
Many of us wrestle daily with what I simply call “aimlessness” in our economic culture. Everything it would seem, from career paths, project management, investments, product cycles and more, is done with a temporary, limited vision. Fundamentally, I disagree that “the purpose of business is to make money”, if only because I believe business existed before money. Business emerges from the concept of vocation–or work. Work is something pure that existed in perfection from the beginning of the creation narrative. God’s anointed responsibility for mankind was the stewardship of his creation. That is business! Business is the wise and compassionate stewardship and management of all the resources of the earth–human, animal and organic. Its about resources and relationships. And what I most frequently see in the culture of most businesses and businesspeople on a daily basis is a lack of purpose.
I read once that “being in business for the glory of God adds the most sublime purpose to your occupation.” The challenge I hear is one of engagement. The issue I see is one of detachment. I have questioned constantly what it is that causes businessmen and women to disengage. Ultimately, I believe it to be a lack of vision that suffocates an individual’s sense of purpose. It reminds me of fighter pilots flying off with a picture of families on the dash. Vision and purpose are a compass that keep us engaged, whatever obstacles may arise.
To be brutally honest, most of us are content to bask in the warmth of a job well done, paycheck cashed, self and loved ones cared for, and tithe paid to the church. Somehow, this feels hollow and empty when considering an anointed life of business. Painting a portrait of a business/businessperson’s ability to erase social gaps and pave the way for the kingdom of God to be manifest in our midst is exhilarating beyond imagination. In my experience across continents, I’ve seen lavish wealth and extreme poverty. I can say confidently that it is not for lack of resources that a significant portion of our world lives with hunger and dehydration as an hour by hour reality. If business was viewed as a noble, anointed calling that beckons us to engage with all marketing, financial, managerial, sales and operational skills to steward the resources of the world to elevate the relationships of the world, we would truly see the kingdom of God ushered in before our eyes.
There are amazing examples of the competencies of communities and businesses coming together and rewriting the social fabric of a society. When business is redeemed to its God-ordained position of “stewarding the resources of the world to elevate the relationships of the world”, the rules are changed–education, government, culture, ethnicity, gender, family, etc. We have not begun to scratch the surface of the latent potential lying within ourselves, our families, our communities, our schools, our churches, our businesses, etc. The God-ordained, Spirit-inspired gifts within us are yearning to attach themselves to God’s vision for our communities locally and abroad. The feats accomplished by human hands (stadiums, super highways, supercomputers, etc) are nothing compared to what lies in store for a community of Christ-followers that endeavor great and miraculous works for His Glory.