God Uses Business to Bring You Closer to Him

by Dave Kahle

God uses our businesses as devices to nudge us closer to Him and to build the attitudes and practices that enable our next step up the spiritual growth continuum.

It was 2010, and the financial crises which exploded in 2008 was, at last, reaching my business. My clients, B2B sales organizations, were shrinking and a few were going out of business. Investing in developing their sales force – the heart of my business – was nowhere on their agenda.

Whereas we had done fully-subscribed sales seminars around the country for ten years previously, now we canceled 9 of 10 seminars for lack of registrations. Individual speaking engagements had disappeared, and sales of books and videos had shrunk to next to nothing. Our corporate income declined by 80%.

The business that had consumed most of my time and energy for 20 years was disappearing. It was like a big part of me had withered away and was being amputated.

On the day that I canceled the last three seminars for lack of registrations, I realized that we had nothing booked for the future. I was going to have to lay off most of my staff.

I closed the door to my office and burst into tears. The business that had consumed most of my time and energy for 20 years was disappearing. It was like a big part of me had withered away and was being amputated.

“Lord,” I cried, “what do you want from me?”

Over the next few years, the Lord answered that question. Among other things, He wanted me to grow closer to Him and more mature in my spirituality. And I have.

Of course, our understanding of events is always clearer in retrospect. As I looked back on that experience, one of the lessons is this: God uses our businesses as devices to nudge us closer to Him and to build the attitudes and practices that enable our next step up the spiritual growth continuum.

In my case, I grew more humble and more aware of my dependence on Him. My prayer life multiplied, my awareness of grace and God’s involvement in my life expanded dramatically, my empathy for others increased, and I felt directed to spend more of my time and talents into helping other Christian business people grow Biblical businesses.

God uses our businesses as devices to nudge us closer to Him and to build the attitudes and practices that enable our next step up the spiritual growth continuum.

In the years since, as I have interacted with hundreds of Christian business people, I’ve come to understand the power in a business to shape the owners of that business and to corral them into a closer relationship with God.

The downturns and disappointments bring us to our knees in passionate intercession for God’s intervention. Every Christian business person I know feels a tremendous responsibility for the folks who make their living from the business. Not just employees, but vendors, lenders, and customers all get some value from their relationship with the business, and the owners take that responsibility very seriously. They are not just praying for their personal incomes, but for the economic impact on hundreds of other stakeholders.

On the other hand, the economic blessing that comes with profits and success allows us to bless others – whether they be additional employees in a growing business, shareholders reaping the reward for their risks, or other good people shepherding organizations and works that reach needs beyond the scope of our businesses. “What to do with the profits” is a decision that often requires just as much prayer and spiritual guidance.

A Christian-owned business is one of God’s most effective tools for developing His people.

In either case, the ebbs and flows of shepherding a business nudge us to a closer relationship with the Lord, force us to learn new skills, press new attitudes and understandings into us, and grow us into a higher level of spiritual maturity.

This is, of course, how God intended it. The relationship between an owner and his economic household is a well-established Biblical pattern. God blesses or curses the entire household – family, employees, slaves, servants – based on the actions of the head. Abraham was rewarded for his growing faith by an increasing amount of personal wealth and greater role in God’s plan. The two servants in the parable of the bags of gold were rewarded for their wise investments with a larger responsibility and a closer relationship with the master – just like Abraham. On the other hand, the servant who didn’t invest wisely was cast out of the master’s household.

And that makes a Christian-owned business one of God’s most effective tools for developing His people.

 

This article was first published in Dave Kahle’s Practical Wisdom blog here.

Dave KahleDave Kahle has been a Bible teacher, elder, house church leader, short-term missionary and Christian executive roundtable leader. For 30 years, he has been an authority on sales and sales systems, having spoken in 47 states and eleven countries. He has authored 13 books, including The Good Book on Business. Sign up for his weekly messages here.

More from Dave at: www.davekahle.com and www.thebiblicalbusiness.com.

 

Book - Good Book on Business

Have you ever thought your business was meant to be much more than just a means to make money?

Biblical businesses are God’s first choice as the means to bless mankind, build character, and develop faith.  They hold the solution for much of what ails our economy and our culture.

Join Dave Kahle as he explores what the Bible has to say about businesses and your role in leading a kingdom oriented business.  You’ll uncover Biblical truths that you may have never seen before. Your views on business will never be the same.

Find your place in the movement and unlock the full potential of your business. 

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8 Business Failures: What we Learned

by Larry Sharp

‘Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.’ (George Santayana-1905). In a 1948 speech to the House of Commons, Winston Churchill changed the quote slightly when he said (paraphrased), ‘Those who fail to learn from history are condemned to repeat it.’

I was recently cleaning up some physical files, when I ran across a spreadsheet from 2008/09 listing IBEC projects which provided data on the status of the start-up, metrics for success and other interesting information. I found it curious that many of these businesses we worked with in the first two years of our existence have “failed”.

It reminded me of a conference in Arizona a few years ago, when after I had cited many success stories, a person in the audience asked me, “don’t you guys have any failures?”

Now I would be the first to recognize that “failures” are not really failures, but more accurately experiments in learning. In the famous words of Thomas Edison, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” And so it may be with those early years in IBEC.

There is no perfect assessment of a cause-effect relationship, and I acknowledge that my perspective is personal and anecdotal, however I believe those closest to these situations would concur that what I relate here is at least at least one primary reason for the demise. Here is an effort to “remember the past” with a view to giving reasons for the demise of each dream and a statement of what we learned. I will not provide specific identification of the geographical area nor the persons involved out of respect for security issues and the fact that I do not want to disparage the efforts of anyone.  Read more

40+ BAM Job Opportunities Around the World

Each quarter we post an updated list of BAM Job Opportunities on The BAM Review. Welcome to the November Edition

BAM Company Jobs

 

Consulting Manager – Karisimbi Business Partners in Rwanda

Karisimbi Business Partners (KBP) is a socially motivated management consulting and investment services firm focused on mid-market enterprise development. Delivering solutions for the challenges facing companies in Rwanda and the surrounding region, KBP works directly with promising ventures to ensure business strategy, management and resources are aligned for company growth and success. We are seeking a Consulting Manager to join our growing team of local and expatriate consultants who can provide leadership across project delivery, business development, staff management, and company operations. Download PDF | Visit Company Website

Managing Director – Acacia Accounting in Rwanda

Acacia Accounting Associates Ltd. Is seeing an intelligent, motivated entrepreneurial and CPA certified Managing Director (MD) for full-time employment. The successful candidate will report to the Board of Directors of Acacia Accounting and will be accountable to the board for the overall performance of the firm. In this position, the MD will be responsible for day-to-day operations of the firm, cash flow management, people management, client relations and business development, as well as manage monthly tax filings and bookkeeping for 1-2 portfolio of clients. He/She will be responsible for promoting the vision and mission of Acacia Accounting through the continuous delivery of high quality accounting services. Download PDF

General Manager – Masaka Creamery Limited in Rwanda

Masaka Creamery is seeking a capable and entrepreneurial General Manager to lead the next phase of business development for this c. $1 million revenue business with over 30 employees as the American Founder/CEO transitions out of day-to-day operations. The ideal candidate will bring relevant business leadership experience including previous PnL-level responsibility, preferably in a developing world context, and must commit to remain in the role for a minimum of three years. This person will be responsible for implementing the company’s business plan under the oversight of the Board of Directors and transitioning the entity from a founder-led startup to an enduring growth business with appropriate policies and processes. Download PDF

Various Positions – Woodwork Manufacturing in East Asia

A small luxury woodwork manufacturer with 30 years experience (10+ in E Asia) Company is developing their small factory into a tight Lean system that will be duplicated exactly with small factories in other markets in Muslim areas of East and Central Asia. The company produces in Asia and sells in Asia using American hardwoods. Open positions include: Operations ManagerManufacturing Engineer, a 3D CAD / CAM / CNC Operator, and tailor made Internships for 2 months to 2 years. Contact Email

 

Positions in Multiple Companies – Transformational SME

Transformational SME is a global community that assists Christian-owned and managed small-to-medium size enterprises (SMEs) to grow in size, profitability and wholistic impact across North Africa, the Middle East and Asia. Transformational SME helps companies to identify, recruit, deploy and support entrepreneurs, managers and other professionals for strategic roles. Whether your strength is business management, people development or you have a passion for maximizing business and manufacturing processes, business as mission has something for you!  Most companies have need for competent people with business skills to manage growth and impact. Using your transferable skills and passionate spirit for the Kingdom of God, you can contribute to the wholistic impact of an existing BAM company across North Africa, the Middle East and Asia. For an exploratory conversation contact: TransformationalSME@gmail.com

Operations Director – Manufacturing Company in South Asia 

This opportunity as Operations Director will position you at the heart of a leading missional business for a life-transformation role. The Company exists to bless its local community and currently employs 150 people in secure, upskilling jobs. As Operations Director you will be responsible for lead and developing the operations team with a focus on strengthening the national leadership. Responsibilities include oversight of the manufacturing unit to ensure production and quality targets, as well as implementation of a system of continuous improvement to drive quality standards and achieve operational efficiencies while ensure the factory is a safe and healthy place to work. The qualified candidate will have 10+ years work experience in a manufacturing environment and be commercially minded with strong analytical skills. This position offers a good local salary plus benefits. This Company is also seeking a Finance Director Read more

Still Hot? The Hottest Issues in Business as Mission Revisited

Six years ago, as part of the work of the BAM Think Tank and the lead in to the 2013 BAM Global Congress, we surveyed 200 people engaged with business as mission in some way and asked them the question: ‘What is the hottest topic in the BAM movement today?’ Or in other words, what is the one question they would most like to see answered in business as mission?

The wide variety of responses were grouped into major themes to give a broad overview of some of the most important issues in the business as mission movement.

As we announce the dates for the next BAM Global Congress in 2020, we thought it would be worth revisiting this list. We have grown much as a movement since the last BAM Congress 5 1/2 years ago, though undoubtedly there is still work to do in all of these areas.

Here are the Top 10 ‘hottest topics’ from our 2012 Survey, in reverse order:

10. How do we mobilise more business people? How will business people embrace their calling and get involved?

9. How do we practice biblical, ethical business in the face of the face of hostile realities in the world? How do we maintain our values in the face of corruption and greed? Read more