Excerpted from The Good Book on Business by Dave Kahle
HomeCoders is Josh Roley’s company. Josh has four sources of income. In this, Josh finds software developers who want to work from home and matches them to employers who hire them. Sometimes the employer hires the developer and Josh makes a percentage of the transaction, and other times they work with the developer on a contract-to-hire basis. Using Malachi 4:6 as his focus, Josh feels that he is doing good work, as well as providing good income for his household. This start-up business takes about half of Josh’s time and provides more than half of his income.
A second income stream comes from his work as a home-based salesperson for a business run by one of his friends. This company sells reciprocating pumps to a national market over the web and via phone. Josh works from his home office as a contractor to this business, and it provides almost half of his income and a little less than half of his time.
He additionally has a small income stream for commission sales work for a former employer. He spends one or two days a month nurturing relationships he created in his previous job, and it provides a small percentage of his income.
The final stream of income comes from projects the family creates that intentionally involve Josh’s children. He has six children, ages five months through 11, and is committed to developing an entrepreneurial spirit in them. The family raised dogs, for example, with each of the older children making the decision to invest $50 into a stud fee. They each netted $350 out of the project, and had responsibilities to help care for the animals. The family has paid some Amish neighbors to raise grass-fed cattle and then sells them by the quarter. The next step in this project is to raise a steer or two on their own.
This combination of home and family-based income streams provide the family with an annual income of six figures plus.
Developing economic sense in his children is something Josh and Shane, his wife, are passionate about. Each child has a bank account and is guided in making investments that bring them a potential return. The dog breeding business is one such example, as is the grass-fed cattle. This year, the kids are creating a vegetable garden, and the family will buy the vegetables from them at market rates.
Josh has a vision that his children will be able to buy their own homes, for cash with no debt, by the time each is married.
“Home” has a big part of Josh’s vision in how to live a Christian life in these times. Both he and Share were ‘good church kids’ growing up, attending public schools and a Christian college. A pretty conventional upbringing. He recounts how the Lord moved him to this position via his wife’s illness. Just prior to their being married, Shane was diagnosed with a life-threatening connective tissue disease. The prognoses, with the medical doctors, was 20 years of medication, sterility, and an early death. She did some research, decided to radically change her diet, and within six months she was healed.
If the conventional wisdom was so far away from the truth in this instance, they reasoned, what about other areas of life? What other blessing might they be missing by mindlessly buying into the world’s system and paradigms?
Armed with a quest to find God’s truth for their lives, Josh and Shane have realized that, “There is something terribly broken in the way Christians are living today.”
They have arrived at:
- A home-based business for Josh,
- Homeschooling for the kids, and
- Home church for the family.
Josh reflects on the intimate involvement God has had in their lives, and the role his decisions have made on building the family’s faith. To have six children, for example, takes a growing faith in God and the willingness to trust him. “You need a big God on your side to provide for us” Josh reflects.
He tells how the Lord has guided them along the way. One dramatic instance occurred as Shane wanted to move near her family. After a time of prayer and seeking the Lord’s will, they felt the Lord was directing them to ‘move to Deerfield.’ Wanting to be obedient, they put their house up for sale, Josh gave notice to his employer, and the family started looking for a home in Deerfield, Michigan, near Shane’s parents. Door after door closed in their attempt to move, and eventually, they gave up, thinking that maybe they had misunderstood the Lord’s leading.
A year later, they were led to purchase the home they now have, in Deerfield Township. They had no idea there was a Deerfield Township in West Michigan. In the Fall of 2008, in the midst of the housing crises, they sold their home in 7 days and bought their current home – 3 acres, 4,000 square feet, a perfect home to raise 6 children, and in the midst of Amish country.
“You can’t plan your way into God’s favor and grace,, ” Josh says.
Josh and Shane are continuous learners. Josh is constantly reading books, listening to podcasts, and interacting with websites to enhance his skills and business concepts, as well as to expand his view of how the Lord works in the household’s life. Josh had a mentor for about a ye and was a member of a Truth@Work Christian Executive Roundtable, where he was surrounded by Christian business people who held him accountable and provided a support group. Josh recounts how he took a business opportunity to the group, and the assembled wisdom was not to pursue it. Josh credits that advice with saving him thousands of dollars and lots of headache.
An interesting adjunct to Josh’s efforts to build a God-honoring household is the family’s involvement in a house church. Four families meet together, often in Josh’s home. As is typical of home churches, there are no positions, no programs, and no doctrinal statements. The families meet together, have a meal together, pray, sing and share in a free-flowing, unscripted gathering that approximates Paul’s teaching in I Corinthian 14:26. Their focus is to spur one another on toward love and good works, Hebrews 10:24.