Pursuing Righteousness and Profitability in Your Business

March 2022 Kingdom Business Alliance Meeting

Brian:                    I was at one of the first ever big KBA meetings, if you remember, the speaker was from the Business School at Seattle’s University. He had this great book and he asserted that the purpose of business is to allow for the engaging freely, in meaningful work the need for it, and to provide business services that allow people to thrive.

                                He always talked about the process of making profit followed and not lead as the highest priority. We have spent 10 years doing that and started to see our success. One of the lessons of the challenge is to function and operate, to be profitable, right? To have some kind of emphasis on that but not as the primary goal.

                                But also, that is to empower your team to do the right thing. As your followers, because you have enough profits and you’ve got a little service growth, you’re like, if something goes sideways, which is hard, and the service you did, just make it right. Do that. One frees you from the other. Versus you can be handcuffed to both. You can be constantly kind of cheery, trying to give away all the stuff and not have enough profit to do it when it’s not emotional, but it needs to be done.

                                I think, if they’re on a level where we are in business, there are always challenges to that, right? It’s like the cart and the horse. It’s reinvesting our business, or having the profit to grow the business, having the profit, being as gracious and charitable in all things. Wanting to be all of the things. They all tie in, I think.

                                Looking back, early on, God says, you’ve got to keep trusting, and one of the movies that we have, little kids with the Frozen movie. We know the first one. It probably drove you up the wall, where it talks, Let it Go, we’re hooked here. But the second one is kind of look, we’re redeeming everyone to just do the next right thing. That’s one thing I love about that movie. What a delight. Just keep stacking on right decisions, and then the supernatural, however God can explode your organization. But early on, there are those moments where it’s just like, ah. But this is material need, it’s physical, real-world need. We’re not going to be able to make this happen if that doesn’t happen this way. Hopefully, God will help you harness the experience.

Jim:                        I think, to build on what you just said, and to build is the right term, we need to bring decision making structure to applying righteousness in pursuit of profitability. We need to bring a structure that allows us to take those considerations into account, and not just make them once but consistently in similar like manner. I don’t know about you, but depending on the day, I could be really righteous and really take a strong stance, and then, through a differing set of different circumstances another day, I could be less righteous, when the next situation comes up. Let’s say I just went through a difficult monthly financial review, or I just had a bad issue that came up. My attitude and emotions can change, and I found that with my team as well, we needed to have a structure in place, that we could go back to that would help us make more consistent choices.

I needed to construct a comprehensive set of performance objectives covering the various business areas, that were communicated and shared with the engaged employees, creating alignment around our desired approach to righteousness and profitability. so, employees also could help me as a leader in looking at the circumstances surrounding the decisions we were making and also in empowering them to make the proper decisions.

                                You’re expressing exactly what I found to occur as we continued to grow. I talk about the three horizons of Kingdom Business transitions and bringing our business into Godly alignment.  When we grew from the second horizon to the new third horizon, is when we brought in a more deliberate structure and order to that management decision making process. Thinking through how we were going to create greater positive influence and impact within and outside the business. Think about it, if we’re doing business righteously, justly, and we’re adding value to our customers, who’s coming back to us? The customers are coming back to us! Whose word is going to get out about the high level of service? We had high 87% customer recommendations. Maybe 94%, I forget.

                                But when you do business good, in God’s way, the business grows more on its own. You don’t have to manipulate it. I would encourage us. That’s why I say, I keep coming back to, there needs to be structure, there needs to be order in how we go about building and operating this kind of business, and how we share and engage the team. Yeah, I don’t know how many employees you have, but even if you have one employee, or two, or one more employee than yourself, you need to have a discussion on how we’re going to do business.

                                We grew up to 100 employees, and how we grew was once we put the structure in place, it allowed us to formalize, manifesting this approach to business. That then grew further because of who we brought in, who we were and how we brought it forth. But I would encourage us, to not just use it in a way that is, I’m trying to think of the right term, as a daily decision because our view changes every day. Our emotions change every day. If we don’t have a structure to base it on, we’re going to make conflicting decisions, and then when we make conflicting decisions, the team is then conflicted.

                                An example of this is, and maybe we’ll get a little feedback on this is, in a church setting, are we going to allow an employee who is stealing from us, to stay working in the church? Are we going to allow an employee that isn’t contributing to the message? Are we going to allow, it doesn’t even have to be an employee, it could be a volunteer, who doesn’t manifest God’s righteousness in their interactions with people who are participating in the church, or are in the ministry? No. Why? Because the mission is the Gospel, and the church and the ministry is not going to compromise its mission.

                                Now, there will be grace. There will be lots of grace, but just like, in the ministry of the church, there are absolutes, and in the ministry of the business, there are absolutes. It’s about how we communicate that and how we can manage that on an ongoing basis.

Mike:                    On Zoom, we have Adrian and Dick, called us with an comment. We’re all in full-time ministry. Our life is our ministry. That comment made me think when we heard the singing above the room over there. The song made all who come behind us God’s people. That’s a legacy.

                                Your example, Jim, about the church volunteers or employees that are not looking up toward an employee, that sets a precedent that, moving forward, people who are coming behind them, and if that’s not the example we want to have, that lays a long-lasting legacy of good, or something you don’t want to have. That’s a really big thing to keep an eye on. You can’t just put something on a part, and keep notes.

Jim:                        Right. Well, we’re here to influence the society. We want to positively influence the society. There are enough examples of inconsistent Christian living that turn people off. Yeah? What’s the saying? Larry, you’ve taught on it before, is we want to preach the Gospel, and if necessary, use words.

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