When considering the role of business in a given locale or within a nation as a whole, it is truly significant. Whether large sprawling corporations, regional franchises, small local businesses, or “mom and pop operations,” every community is made up of the se purveyors of products and services. Without them, we don’t eat lunch, we won’t get to our meetings, your kids don’t get what they need for their latest school project, and you can’t get the clothes you need cleaned for your upcoming trip. Maybe you haven’t realized before just how important these businesses are that surround us—whether down the street or online.
The effects of business are felt broadly. Consider how many people businesses interact with on a regular basis, from customers and clients to vendors to other business leaders and community influencers. It’s often the business leaders that rise up to address community concerns while also wielding influence in establishing public policy—locally, nationally, or globally. Of Course, they also play a major role in society in generating and distributing wealth.
Although we sometimes like to think so, we really are not the “owners” of our businesses, but rather, the stewards. After all, God is the One Who owns it all and we’re just passing through for a season of time. As disciples of Jesus we are to steward well what He places in our hands: abilities, skills and gifts, relationships, and contacts, platforms of influence, products developed and services created. When put to use under God’s oversight and in obedience to Him, there is no limit to what He can do through business leaders. And when these leaders are willing to team together, they can bring the kind of positive change to their communities that makes a real difference in the lives of people.
Over time, people who have served in the business world pick up along the way that can be passed on to others. In church life, for example, they’re not only the ones you can count on to contribute generously to various kingdom causes, but some also have leadership abilities to rally, organize, and mobilize people into some of those very same causes. Others have certain skill sets that can help meet real needs. Listen to their counsel. It is often sound and practical wisdom that might just help you through a tough spot!
On of the things I love about business leaders is that when they capture a vision, they’re all over it—like bees on honey—to make it happen! They are not only good leaders, but good teammates—you can usually count on them. And, when they interlock with others, they are great disciplers and mentors. If you are called to this domain, you are greatly needed to disciple the next generation of godly business leaders, helping them to understand success in the marketplace through the grid of Jesus’ character, ways, and mission.
Reflection Points: the Character of God in Business & Commerce
*note: you can use this list as a prayer outline this week.
- God owns it all (Deuteronomy 10:14; 1 Corinthians 29:11; Psalm 50:10-12; Haggai 2:8)
- God flexed his entrepreneurial muscle in creation (Genesis 1-3)
- God’s “business model” is rooted in fruitfulness and multiplication (Genesis 1-3)
- He is the Landowner (Matthew 21:33-46), the Wise Builder (Matthew 7:24-27), and the Vinedresser (John 15)
- He expects a return on His investment (Matthew 25:14-30)
- He’s the first creator of goods and services that would meet people’s real needs (Genesis 1)
- He positions people to use their gifts and talents both creatively and effectively (i.e. the story of Joseph in Genesis 37-50, the book of Nehemiah)
- His central focus is the Kingdom, not money (Matthew 6:24-33)
- He cares about those who work for Him (Ephesians 6:5-9)