THE MISSION OF A CHRISTIAN BUSINESSMAN
"The Creation of Value through Vision and Commitment"
Several years ago when it became fashionable for businesses to have official mission statements, God gave me this mission statement for our original company. More recently as I studied Marketplace Ministry, He has revealed that this is a good mission statement for any Christian business, Christian businessman or Christian employee. Further, He revealed that as a businessman, your business or job is your ministry. You, businessman, are called into ministry. The call on your life is no less than the call on a pastor's life ... different than a pastor's call, but not less than. You are called into business to "create value through vision and commitment".
Let's examine the mission statement, The Creation of Value through Vision and Commitment, by looking at individual words in the statement.
Creation, creating, or to create, mean to bring individual pieces together in a way to make something of more value than is present in the individual pieces. Creation implies synergism. The whole is greater than the sum of the smaller pieces. It could be paraphrased as "producing", "making", "causing", or "originating", although creation usually implies more of a higher level of thinking. God, and man with God's help, create. Producing usually has more to do with "a production line" or a physical process. Obviously, these lesser processes may be involved, but most of what we do in business is mental and spiritual, rather than actual physical production. Therefore, we chose the word, creation, to say that in Christian businesses value is created by the pieces that we bring together. Some of those pieces are physical, but most are the creative thinking of the people of Christian businesses. Therefore, "our people are our assets". And our people depend upon God's creativity flowing into and through them for their greatest contribution: creation of value.
A most vital part of this statement is contained in the word value. Value means something of worth or something that has worth. Specifically, as value is used here, it means that value that Christian businesses are and will be to society, customers/clients, the company, the company employees, suppliers and God's Kingdom. Let's look at these in order.
Christian businesses create value for society by helping to meet its needs, wants and desires for basic essentials and luxuries and by glorifying God. We provide value to our client by creating what they want to provide to their consumers. As we provide value to society and to the customer or client, our companies profit. The greater our value to society and to our client or customer, the greater is the profit to Christian businesses. At the same time, Christian businesses' management has an obligation, a willingness, a vision and a commitment to increasing the value of our employees. Each employee's value to him or herself, to their family, to God's Kingdom and to society should increases as a result of their employment in a Christian business. Last, but not least, we increase our suppliers' value by contributing to their growth and profitability.
In an even broader sense, part of a Christian business' vision is to increase the value of society and individuals in society through our acknowledgement of the spiritual value of each person with whom we come in contact. Each Christian businessman is called to be a king on earth and take dominion over his kingdom [loving influence area] for the King Jesus in Heaven.
Last, but not least, each Christian businessman is called to use part of his business profit to increase God's Kingdom locally and globally by financing other ministries.
Vision means the ability to see; the ability to imagine. "Vision to see" usually means in the present. "Vision to imagine" usually means simplistically in the future. Both are implied in the use of the word, vision, here. Truthful, accurate vision of the future (imagination) always starts with God. To be true to what Christian businesses are, then owners and managers must know what God's plan is for the business and their lives. Owners and management must spend a considerable amount of time and energy seeking that divine direction.
Vision is the course that has been set and is constantly being set for the company. Allow me to use an analogy. If we were on a boat or an airplane, vision is the course on the chart or the map. It is the focused target. It is usually short-term (near) and long-term (far). It is the knowledge of where we are to go. A Christian business vision is the way that we know to go to create value. The Bible says, "Where there is no vision, the people perish." Less talented authors than the authors of the scripture have said, "If the ship does not have a destination (a charted course), it is likely to get there", meaning "nowhere". Unless the vision is from God, the destination is always "nowhere". Keep your eye on Jesus!
Commitment is dedication to the vision and to the vision provider. Using the analogy of the airplane or the boat, the commitment is the steering or navigation to maintain the course regardless of the wind, its intensity or its direction, or in the case of the boat, the height of the waves. It is doing whatever it takes in order to create the value that the vision / vision provider has defined. Keep your eye on Jesus as He goes ahead of us clearing the way and charting the course. Commitment is doing whatever is necessary to create the value in society, in the client, in the company, in the employee, in the supplier, in God's Kingdom. It is a dedication. It is integrity. It is sacrifice. It is clinging to the vine until there is fruit. It is loving and leading in all circumstances.
The mission of a Christian business or businessman is the creation of value for society, for the business, for its customer, for its employee, for its supplier and for God's Kingdom through a God - given vision of what that means and through a commitment to God to live up to that vision.