Many people view business as a secular activity, especially if it does not involve ministry. However, embracing business principals presented in the Holy Bible can help any company prosper in today’s global marketplace.
In Oklahoma a long distance service provider’s mission statement was taken from the Bible. Many scriptures found in the Bible discuss how businessmen should govern themselves and their companies. Most organizations probably use some biblical guidelines, but don’t really understand how to maximize their effectiveness by keeping the physical and spiritual parts of their business plan aligned so they can get the best results possible.
Business management skills from the scriptures
I would like to share few ideas taken from the Bible that every entrepreneur can use to succeed and prosper as the Lord intended. First of all, you must recognize that the Earth is the Lords and everything in it belongs to him, to paraphrase a scripture. We are stewards, managers and caretakers of God’s possessions, so becoming a good steward of his car lot, cleaning service or whatever you have been given charge over must become important to you.
The New Testament records a parable, (Luke 16 ) that was told by Jesus about a businessman who had been accused of misusing his lords goods. If you’re not familiar with the story you should read it someday and mine some of the additional spiritual insights. The manager in the story found out he was being laid off and called in some of his biggest customers and began to discount the amounts they owed on their accounts, hoping to create future opportunities for himself. The owner was told about this practice and called in the manager and commended him for acting shrewdly.
We can learn from this dishonest, shrewd man, if we look a little bit deeper into the situation. What he attempted to do at the end of his employment is something that he should have been doing all along, helping his customers. When I worked as a salesman, for yellow pages advertising, I always offered my skills, in designing effective ads, to my customers whether they were preparing flyers or ads for other print media, because I was concerned with the success of their business and not just selling advertising to them.
Customer service that gives and receives ( The Rebecca Principle )
The Bible can be also be used as a resource to create stronger relationships with suppliers and customers. Are you familiar with the story of Rebecca, that is found in the Old Testament book of Genesis. A rich man sent his chief servant, bearing all kinds of gifts, to find a bride for his son. One day as evening drew near the servant stopped his caravan at a well outside of a town. A young woman came to the well and he asked her for a drink of water.
After she had given him a drink she replied ” I will draw water for your camels too.” When she finished, he took out silver, gold jewelry and articles of clothing and gave them to Rebecca and her family, then asked her to accompany him back to meet Abraham, the Hebrew patriarch, his master, who had sent him on his journey to find a wife for his son Isaac.
One of the spiritual nuggets that can be discerned from this story centers around how this young lady provided more service than was expected and unknowingly opened a door of opportunity so great that her entire family became blessed and thousands of years later her story is still being told. Every entrepreneur knows that providing reliable customer service makes good business sense, but how many recognize that by giving to others, they are sowing seeds and those seeds will produce a harvest of fruit far greater than the few seeds that were planted.
Marketing and managing according to the Gospels
The Long distance provider mentioned earlier, was founded upon the biblical principle of “Seeking first the kingdom of God.” They believe “seeking the Kingdom” means to spread and live the Gospel. So they give 10 percent of their gross revenue back to ministries who have endorsed them. Over the years they have donated millions to feed the hungry, and help ministries who are doing God’s will.
The company, owned by over 800 Christian stockholders and has grown from an idea to an organization whose gross revenue exceeds $100 million per year. The real challenge for every business owner is to recognize that just like every other aspect of life, business has both a spiritual and a physical component and the Word of God is a guide for management, marketing and ministries, even in the 21st Century.