Just as there are spiritual disciplines for individuals, so are there spiritual disciplines for Christian businesses. In this article, we look at that idea. This is a concept for those who are interested in growing closer to God through your business,
We are all familiar with the basic disciplines of a Christian life – scripture reading, prayer, fellowship, etc. But, what about Christian businesses? Is there a similar group of spiritual disciplines?
Yes! A Christian business has a God-given role in the Kingdom, and, just like an individual, will be far more effective if it adheres to certain spiritual disciplines. Here are my nominations for the four most important.
4 Spiritual Disciplines for Your Business
1. Acknowledging God’s ownership
We know that the universe is God’s, and everything in it. He created everything we see, us, and our businesses. In the book of Ephesians, he tells us: Ephesians 2:10
For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (Ephesians 2:10)
Those tasks that God created in advance for us to do includes the careers and businesses in which we find ourselves. Just like he gave Adam his career, “to work and care for the Garden,” and then gave him his first job, ‘to name the animals,” so, too does he give us our jobs and our businesses.
While we may understand this from a Biblical perspective, many of us never really consider it from a practical point of view. We look back at the events which shaped our directions, and consider the decisions we have made, and conclude, in the moment, that we did it ourselves.
It’s only in retrospect, years later, that we look back and see God’s hand in it.
That’s unfortunate because it robs us of an opportunity to experience success and God’s favor in a greater way.
In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.
It is important to God that we acknowledge him and his work in our lives. That early acknowledgment of God’s presence and work in our lives is often followed by a supernatural level of success. Abraham did and became the wealthiest business person in the bible. David did and became the greatest King of the Hebrews.
The discipline of acknowledging God in our business often manifests in our vision and mission statements, in the introductions to our meetings, in the opening of our employee events, etc. Once we grasp the idea and commit to the discipline, we find multiple ways to manifest it.
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. Philippians 4:6
While prayer is undoubtedly expected of every Christian, it has a special place in a Christian business. Businesses typically have more employees and touch more people than most individuals. That opens the possibility of groups of people – rather than just individuals — praying for the same thing under the auspices of a Christian business.
While the exact mechanism of how our prayers impact events remains a mystery, it is generally believed that the more people praying for something, the more likely is God’s intervention in the situation. Five people praying for something together, for example, has more power than one person. I have seen dramatic answers to unified, multiple-person prayers, and I’m sure many of you have as well.
A group of Christians, those who work in the business and are led to join together, then, represents a powerful force for the Kingdom within the business.
Creating a regular, volunteer opportunity to pray together is a spiritual discipline that could change people’s lives and the impact and trajectory of the business.
Not only that, but I have seen multiple stories of individual business owners and executives who make it a practice to ask permission of their Individual employees to pray for them, and then do so. The stories are full of positive results.
Prayer, in many forms and expressions, is an oft-neglected spiritual discipline of a Christian business that can dramatically impact the business and the lives of those associated with it.
3. Spirit Planning
But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.
Because the role of a Christian business has for generations been denigrated by the religious establishment, many Christian business people believe that a business has nothing to do with spirituality and the Kingdom. The research I did in writing The Good Book on Business indicates just the opposite. A Kingdom business is established by God as a powerful force in the Kingdom, with multiple roles and responsibilities.
It only stands to reason that the Holy Spirit would be involved in the decision-making, strategy-creating process of that business – if we invite Him. If we want him to play a greater role in our businesses, we must create the space for Him to operate.
And that means acknowledging him, asking for involvement in the planning and decision-making, and then being sensitive to the indication of his direction.
That process is not a one-time event, but rather the result of discipline that is initiated by the business principals and impacts the entire organization.
In one sense, this is sub-set of number three, above. The emphasis is a little different. With spirit planning, we invite the Holy Spirit into our planning process. Our day-to-day decision making, however, can exist without reference to the plans we have made.
So, the decision to terminate an employee, hire someone, take on new customer, do business with a new vendor, buy a piece of software, etc. are all common decisions that occupy the time for many of us. When we build the habit of stopping and asking for the Spirit’s direction, and then listening and looking for his response, we do so by exercising the discipline that leads to the habit.
These four spiritual disciplines are uniquely organizational in that the apply to the workings of a business or organization and will expand your impact and move you closer in your relationship with the King.