I am grateful for a God that hears and answers our prayers. I’m grateful that God has been there for me not just in my personal life, but also in my business. Since the very beginning of my entrepreneurial career, I’ve tried to have God as my business partner and look at my businesses as a stewardship.
In today’s faith episode, I wanted to discuss how we can create a kingdom business—a business centered around God.
Here are some of today’s key takeaways:
- Our business has to be profitable and sustainable if we want to do long-term good.
- We should strive to take care of our employees and their families.
- We can provide value to our customers or community through our products or services.
- We should have the spiritual capacity to find and create a pathway to follow God.
The Bottom Line of a Kingdom Business
Sometimes people call a God-focused business a kingdom business. Business as Mission adapted a definition of a kingdom business as “an enterprise directed by the Holy Spirit and managed by a godly leader that uses its time, talent, and money to meet the spiritual and/or physical needs of the community around them to advance God’s purpose.”
When I went to business school, they talked about a bottom line of profitability and sustainability that businesses need to have. Kingdom businesses need to have this as well, but it also needs three additional bottom lines.
The first bottom line all businesses need to have is profitability. If we can’t make a profit, we can’t sustain a business.
In the world of adoption, where I’ve worked for decades, I’ve seen adoption agencies try to make a difference for good by charging far less than half of the normal market rate for an adoption. They think that by lowering their prices they can make it so people with lower incomes can afford adoption. While this is wonderful, the problem is that their business can’t sustain itself on this lower revenue model.
When you offer a service at half of the normal market rate, what happens? When the price goes way down, the demand for that product goes way up. Those adoption agencies that charged less had a lot of families sign up for their services, but because they didn’t charge enough, they didn’t have enough money to provide the caliber of services that the normal adoption agency provides.
With less profits, the adoption agencies didn’t have the ability to run strong advertising to find an adoption situation for their families. They didn’t have the ability to hire the staff to provide great customer service. If the agency is sued, they don’t have the cash to weather that storm. What ends up happening is those agencies go out of business and the lower prices end up doing more harm than good.
I am not an advocate of charging too little. We need to charge enough that we can be profitable and sustainable because that is the only way we’re going to be able to provide great services to the community.
2. Creates Jobs
A kingdom business must create great jobs so it can provide for its employees. We should strive to take great care of our employees so they can take good care of the people within their stewardship, the people that they love.
If we’re not taking care of our employees, they aren’t going to be able to advance and stay with us, and they’re going to have to leave. That’s another reason why we need to be profitable and charge fair rates—we want to pay fair salaries to the people who work for us. If we charge half of the market rate or less, it’s going to be very hard for us to take good care of our people.
3. Provides Community Value
A kingdom business needs to provide community value. We can provide value to our customers or community through our products or services. For example, we may create sustainable clothing. Not only does our quality of clothing serve our customers, it also helps serve our community by protecting the environment.
We should do our best to provide a good service that makes the world a better place.
4. Centered Around God’s Work
Finally, in order to have a kingdom business me must be centered around God’s work. We should have the spiritual capacity to find and create a pathway to follow God. This likely means focusing on serving those around us to do the best we can to improve their lives.
For example, a friend of mine currently owns around 14 McDonald’s and he is probably the most generous person I have ever met. During the Christmas season, he was incredibly generous in supporting an event to help abused children and I know he’s generously supported many other causes, including the Ronald McDonald House. He uses the success from his business to support others and do God’s work. This is the perfect example of a kingdom business.
Another example of someone that has sought to use their business as a kingdom business is Jim Edwards, the author of Copywriting Secrets and creator of a software called Funnel Scripts. Jim had a son-in-law in the military who was sent to the Middle East to fight. His unit didn’t have enough equipment that they needed and so Jim went to the commander and asked what he could do to help. Through the success of his business, Jim ended up providing everything the military unit was missing.
As we create kingdom businesses, we should strive to be accountable to the bottom line. Are we being profitable and sustainable? Are we providing great jobs so we can take care of our employees and their families? Are we providing great value to our customers in the community? And are we following God’s will? By focusing on these four things, we can create a kingdom business.
9 Elements of a Kingdom Business
In addition to focusing on the bottom line of a kingdom business, we can also focus on the following key elements:
1. Think of our Business as a Calling
We should look at our business as a calling to serve a set of customers. In Mark 10:43-45 it says, “But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister: And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all. For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.”
As an entrepreneur wanting to create a kingdom business, we shouldn’t look at it as a way to be served, but as a way to serve others. We can ask ourselves, “Who are we called to serve or minister?”
2. Center Ourselves Around Christ’s Teachings
The second element of running a kingdom business is to center ourselves around God, Christ, and their teachings. In James 1:22 it says, “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.”
As we go and run our business, as we get into the messy middle of all of this, we need to be doers of the word. We need to center our actions, our doings, as entrepreneurs around Jesus Christ.
3. We Should Use our God-Given Gifts
The third element of running a kingdom business has to do with using our gifts. I believe God has given all of us gifts and I believe we can probably change the world by using those gifts. I think it’s very important that we take inventory of the gifts we’ve been given and we ask ourselves, “Are we using those gifts to build our business and to build His kingdom?”
In 1 Peter 4: 10-11 it says, “As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.”
In other words, God has given us gifts that he wants us to use to be good stewards over the responsibilities He’s given us.
4. Be Willing to Listen and Obey
The next element of running a business is that we need to be willing to listen. We need to seek God’s counsel and we need to obey God’s direction. As 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says, “Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”
5. Act Honestly
The next element of running a kingdom businesses is honesty. We need to act with integrity. Proverbs 11:3 says, “The integrity of the upright shall guide them: but the perverseness of transgressors shall destroy them.”
6. Be Kind and Show Love
The next element of running a kingdom business is kindness and love. We need to show love to our team members and our employees. We need to be kind and show love to our customers to provide an amazing customer experience. We can show love by being involved in social responsibility and causes in all things as we run a business. Let’s use love as a business strategy.
In Matthew 20: 37-39 it says, “Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”
7. Turn to God for Strength
The next element of running a kingdom business is to turn to God for strength as entrepreneurs. We all go through hard times, that’s part of the deal. When we come across road blocks and hard circumstances, we can turn to God for strength. We don’t have to do it alone.
Isaiah 41:10 says, “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.”
8. Provide Quality Products and Services.
The next element of being a kingdom business is that it is essential that we provide quality products and services. Philippians 2:4 says, “Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.”
9. Use Resources Wisely
The last element I’m going to talk about today is using our resources wisely. We shouldn’t waste what God has given us. Proverbs 21:5 says, “The thoughts of the diligent tend only to plenteousness; but of every one that is hasty only to want.”
Thanks for joining me for this episode and I wish you success as you strive to build your kingdom business and focus on doing God’s work. As you strive to do that, I promise you’ll have God’s help.
As Thomas Monson, a church leader, said, “When we are on the Lord’s errand, we are entitled to the Lord’s help.”