In our lifetimes, we will likely be part of building various things. This includes the businesses, organizations and teams we have been given the amazing privilege to create. A significant factor for us to consider as leaders relates to the foundation on which we will build.
When we search for direction in a business decision, it will likely involve aspects of faith, timing and provision. A few examples may be seeking direction on when to start a new product or service, pull out of a territory, add to your team and hire, let go of a staff member not fulfilling the duties of their job, and many others.
God will often use the things not so obvious and last-minute to provide both direction and exactly what we need at each step of the way. This requires faith and confidence that God is ultimately your boss, leader and financial provider. As you carry out and are driven by His purposes within your organization, He will provide the resources you need at exactly the right time.
As leaders, we will experience uncertainties and likely some anxious moments. These ups and downs can go along with business cycles, world and economic events. In these times, stay focused on following God and pursuing first His kingdom. This aligns us with His purposes and honors Him as stewards. When we do, He promises to provide for what we need. (Matthew 6: 8-11) As business owners and leaders, this will require faith. In return, it will lead us to a deeper Trust in God, and will result in obeying Him daily. These biblical principles are illustrated in the Christmas story of Jesus birth as captured in Matthew 1: 18-25.
When you think about your business, it likely revolves around and is driven by one central component: Money. Ultimately this is what the world we live in measures as success. Money is what people work for, returns your business investment, what your vendors seek, and what your customers use to access your goods and services. There is no way around this, nor should we over-spiritualize it. However, what you are driving towards and continually reflecting on will determine your eternal impact. What you are making your life and business ultimately about, and what you are doing with this money may be the most important factor. This is what I will call the Eternal Economics Indicator.
As leaders, we are in positions of power, with access to power. This aligns and puts us in the best possible position for success, and more importantly, significance. In the bible, we read stories pictorializing how Jesus and other leaders viewed power, as one of influencing towards eternity through prayer and acts of humility. While Jesus was on this earth, He influenced many for eternity. His example of seeking the Father in Heaven for Himself and others gives us as leaders a roadmap to follow.
As a steward of God’s leadership calling in our lives, I encourage you to continually pursue the dreams and visions God has given you. Like in the movie ‘field of dreams’, if you build it, they will come. The only difference is that we are ultimately not the one building it, God is. In 1 Peter 4:10, Peter encourages us to be good stewards and use the talents and gifts we have been given by God in serving others. For us as CEOs, business owners, and leaders, consider that this includes our abilities to lead in business and in the marketplace. Our business and leadership roles are wonderful and amazing resources. With this concept in mind, we have the opportunity to care for and point others towards Christ through it. In the Field of Dreams movie, the owner made many sacrifices and fought hard for the dreams he was inspired to build. We have been called to the same leadership pursuit!
As leaders, sometimes our decisions as God’s stewards will require faith. Faith in what He is doing, as well as what He may be guiding us to do. When He calls us to do something of significance in our businesses or teams, it will likely require us to step out and do something that may not make sense. Like Abraham in his time of spiritual testing and preparation, he was told by God to sacrifice his son. Certainly this could not have made any sense to him. Abraham had a choice to rely in his own thinking, or put his full trust in the Lord. Like many things in our lives, hindsight is 20/20, but we can see in reading the scriptures that this situation in Abraham’s life was certainly a test of bigger things to come. We will likely never have to make the choice of sacrificing our child, but there will likely be things we will view as significant in our business that God may be calling us towards bold steps of faith.
A fundamental benefit of viewing our businesses as God’s is that it puts the ultimate line of sight of its success in God. (Psalm 24:1) As business leaders, we have been given a vital role. Our view of God as ultimate owner in this equation allows us to have a biblical view of success. This includes both what we can see, and more importantly, eternal impacts. In Deuteronomy 6:10-12, Moses had a message for the Israelites. He was encouraging them not to forget who brought them into the land sworn to their fathers, and the ultimate source of their blessings. Moses also encouraged them not to become proud and forget the Lord, but to have a healthy fear of the Lord, who provided all they had been given. God had provided a way and brought them out of slavery. (Deut 8: 12-14) Likewise, I encourage you to fear only the Lord. By doing so, we give God the Glory for the things He has done and will do in the life of our businesses and teams.
If you have been following my blog, a common theme is becoming Stewards of our Leadership opportunities. A significant aspect in being a steward is presenting ourselves before God as ready and willing to serve. In this process, remember where God has taken us in the past, and believe that He has great plans for us in the future. God has positioned us and desires to accomplish things for His Kingdom through us. As His stewards, let us walk worthy of this calling. (Eph 4:1) As part of this leadership calling, set the attitude that as for me and my business or team, we will be ready to first serve the Lord. With this mindset, others can be impacted for eternity through our business or team.
In our role as leaders, an important aspect to consider is alignment. As a leader within our companies, we have been given authority over others to inspire and provide guidance. In this capacity, consider that along with this amazing opportunity to lead others, we are also under God’s authority. Our success in carrying out our purpose in the marketplace will be in context to the degree we have leadership alignment. Both with God and with our team(s).