The Business as a Ministry: Maximizing Kingdom Impact
An Expansive Corporate Social Responsibility Vision for Christian Business Leaders
As CEOs, business owners, and executives, it can be easy to view stewardship as simply tithing on the profits of the business. We think, “Tithing is a good thing and most businesses do not even come close to doing that.” That may be true—and tithing is a great place to start. However, for businesses truly living out the Business as a Ministry (BaaM) vision, tithing is not a great place to stop. We are stewards of the whole business, not just the financial parts. When we expand our thinking beyond tithing and typical corporate social responsibility, we will find creative ways to leverage all aspects of our BaaM efforts. After all, God does not just want our money—He wants us to rethink how we do business.
The Assets, Levers, and Potential Kingdom Impact of a Business
We have all likely heard the term “stewardship,” commonly used in reference to our financial decision-making. Biblical stewardship, however, is a matter of identity—who we are, Whose we are, and the implications of that worldview. We can give nothing to God because He owns everything (1 Corinthians 10:26). As business owners, He has entrusted us to steward all of the assets in His businesses to maximize Kingdom impact.
The typical small business owner has the opportunity to impact more than 5,000 people every year, including employees, families, vendors, customers, and industry peers. In addition, that same business owner stewards multiple assets, including cash, equities, real estate, facilities, equipment, people, relationships, and operations. When leveraged intentionally, these assets become powerful engines to unleash exponential cycles of corporate generosity.
When we delegate a task to an employee, we expect the task to be completed as instructed and the result to fulfill our desired outcome. Similarly, if our businesses belong to God, then we are managers with delegated authority, accountable to Him to define success. Our performance will be uniquely assessed (Romans 14:12) against our execution, motives, and the kind of treasures we accumulated.
Recently, C12 CEO Mike Sharrow created a video for the National Christian Foundation, one of C12’s Strategic Alliances. Watch this video to expand your thinking about the assets, levers, and potential Kingdom impact of a typical small business.
Drawing upon Jesus “Loaves and Fishes Principle” in Matthew 14, we can maximize the Kingdom impact of our businesses and pull the levers of generosity for God’s glory. Creative corporate giving can advance the work of Christian ministries in our communities and help us fulfill Jesus’ second commandment—to love our neighbors (Mark 12:31).
New Edition: A Strategic Plan for Ministry
As Christian business leaders, we have a high call to meaningfully live out our faith in the marketplace. Our culture, permeated by the sacred-secular divide, separates the worlds of business and faith. And yet, we know that God did not call us to be part-time disciples. We are accountable for all He has given us—and that includes our businesses.
A veteran of the marketplace ministry movement, C12 founder Buck Jacobs served as a senior leader in the S.H. Mack Company in the 1970s. The company had a faith-integrated mission, and Jacobs’ experiences with the organization caused him to realize the powerful opportunity leaders have to make a Kingdom impact. Jacobs devoted the rest of his career to equipping Christian CEOs and business owners to live Christ-centered lives and maximize the Kingdom impact of their businesses.
In A Strategic Plan for Ministry, Jacobs applies the disciplines of strategic planning to help us develop a robust ministry plan in the marketplace. Originally a workshop, this classic content is now available in book form. Each chapter guides readers from biblical and business concepts to practical implementation—a process that has helped thousands of CEOs and business owners maximize their Kingdom impact.
Click here to read the first chapter, “The Field: A Parable.”
May 12, 2023