I am feeling some tensions as I begin to integrate mission and business goals together in my business operations. What tensions have you felt and how have you overcome them? What practical tips or mindsets (truths, practices, principles) have you found helpful?
This is a great question and a common one. You are in good company!
First, let’s think through where the tensions may be coming from. For example, if your business partners or key managers are not believers or do not understand Kingdom Business that creates one set of tensions. Or, if you are burdened with the hangover of the “sacred-secular divide” that creates an entirely different set of tensions. Another source of tension is simply not being sure how to do solid business planning with a missions or kingdom purpose.
Second, let’s think through each option.
My Partners/Managers Don’t Get Kingdom Business
If there isn’t alignment on this foundational part of your business at this time don’t despair. Take a discipling approach—patient education and demonstration can go a long way to helping your team see the eternal picture. Perhaps some reading and discussion meetings. Perhaps video training. And lots of prayer. Lots of prayer.
I’m Not Comfortable with Integration…Not Totally
We all struggle with the remains of the destructive illusion of sacred vs. secular. The good news, though is that since it’s an illusion it only exists in the mind. Soaking your mind in the truth of Scripture and some excellent writing/teaching is the answer. Books like Every Good Endeavor by Tim Keller and Business for the Glory of God by Wayne Grudem are great places to start.
I Just Don’t See Integrated Goals Working
This is the simplest tension to address. I generally advise BAM entrepreneurs to start with a Kingdom Purpose/Impact Statement rather than the traditional Mission or Vision Statement. Tell me how your business is going to make a difference for the Kingdom. From there I advise that you limit your overall goals to no more than 5; goals need to be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Recorded, and Time-Oriented). Some of your goals will be financial (revenue, gross profit, net operating profits, etc.); some will be territorial (geography to be served, number of locations, etc.); some will be service or product oriented (new products to be introduced, etc.). And some will be kingdom-oriented (disciples launched, victims rescued, businesses started among the poor, etc.). By blending these various types of goals, you have moved toward integration and by limiting them to 5 or fewer you have moved toward achievement.
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