Article originally hosted and shared with permission by The Christian Economic Forum, a global network of leaders who join together to collaborate and introduce strategic ideas for the spread of God’s economic principles and the goodness of Jesus Christ. This article was from a collection of whitepapers compiled for attendees of the CEF’s 2018 Global Event.
We share Darin’s whitepaper in anticipation of the new 2019 CEF whitepapers launching soon!
— by Darin Owen
OUR VIEW ON HOW TO START, BUILD, AND GROW PROSPEROUS COMPANIES.
- What makes your company distinctively Christian?
- How do you integrate spiritual principles into your company?
- How are you maintaining your Christian focus while adapting to cultural changes?
- Is God’s way of doing business different to man’s way?
- Does God’s way work in business?
- What is business excellence?
- Are there ways for us to challenge ourselves to a Godly business excellence?
I know there is an obvious answer to the question, "Is God’s way of us doing business different from man’s way?” I believe the first thing we must be absolutely clear on is that "GOD’S way of doing business IS DIFFERENT to man’s way."
Once we have a deep and real understanding and belief of this, we will naturally put into practice what the Word says about how we should do business- and this ranges from how we handle ourselves, to how we influence people in our place of business. You would be astounded, however, by the number of businesses run by amazing Christians who believe that church and business are separate, who believe that faith and the presence of God is exclusive to Sundays, and don’t integrate what the Word says about work in their businesses. The incredible thing is that, when we apply God’s principals to our businesses, we see God supernaturally open doors and His hand on our workplace- moving powerfully right throughout the week- Monday to Friday.
Having had the privilege of running my own businesses for the last 30 years, I must say, that the understanding of seeking out the understanding of Jehovah-Jireh has changed my attitude and outlook; and how I engage in business. I now know and have a confidence that my Lord, our Lord, is my Provider, not only in my family life, but in every aspect of my life- including my daily business life.
This belief has freed me to lean on God- whether it be in simpler straight-forward decisions or in extremely difficult business decision making- it has been an incredible rollercoaster of fun,that has built and increased my faith in Him. He is a good GOD. He loves us. He wants to be involved in every aspect of our lives and when we understand this, and understand that all of our success comes from Him, we will realize that all the glory and all honor is His.
With this somewhat obvious, and yet sometimes not so obvious revelation in hand, I started doing some practical things in my offices/companies. 10 years ago, I decided that I was going to run my businesses on God’s agenda- on His plan and provision- so we implemented the following actions:
We put large signs up that said "Thank you Lord for our business, from grateful hearts." I wanted our staff and the companies we deal with, to know what we stood for. In so doing, they would hold us accountable.
We started prayer meetings in the office twice a week for half an hour. The whole company was invited, but it's not compulsory. We found that those who were Hindus and Muslims joined us, as we stood praying to Jesus Christ, to have his hand on our company, companies, the staff and their families.
Everyone on our workforce knows that we are a Christian company. This means that where there was a grey area before, it doesn’t exist for our company anymore. If an employee, at any stage is confronted with a bribe or commission, he is now absolutely clear on our standing. In most cases exposure soon follows, and we as a company are given the opportunity to offer Christian counseling and lives are changed.
When we face a crisis or difficulty, there is comfort in knowing that all we can do is pray. This has been such a testimony to those who work around us, especially the non-believers. Perhaps the single most important thing that has impacted the spiritual integration of our business has been the testing of the tithe.
This testimony is one of ours, and it is in no way meant as a form of condemnation: We have owned and run one particular company for 24 years. For the first 15 years the turnover of this company was ± 10 million consistently each year. It experienced profits of approximately 500 000.00 a year. Understanding the nature of that business, we as partners were content with their ability to generate this amount of profit.
Nine years ago, I asked the company’s board if they would consider tithing from the company. I understood that we tithe personally on post dividends, so this would possibly be considered a double tithe. However, I had no agenda in doing this, but to express sincerity in honoring of our Father God. The company had profited for years; it was a great little company and all was good. Still, I simply asked the question, "What if we tithed out of the company and honored our Dad in heaven, just because we can".
We are all familiar with these words from MALACHI 3:7-11 “From the days of your fathers you have turned aside from my statutes and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you, says the LORD of hosts. But you say, 'How shall we return?' Will man rob God? ...“ I shared these verses with my board excitingly, but a little reluctantly they/we decided to tithe as a company on the net profit annually. It was a huge step, as not all of the board members were active believers.
Immediately we started seeing a supernatural growth in the company. I am not talking about one year good, one year bad here. Rather, year on year our profits miraculously increased between 30 to 37% per year. Let me emphasize, however, that nothing had changed in how we did business from the previous 15 years.
We had the same customer, same business, same product, same staff; but suddenly increased orders started rolling in. It was nothing short of a miracle. That company, now 9 years later has never missed an increase of profit of between 30% and 37% consecutively year on year, compounded.
This experience has been the most incredible joy. It has been and continues to be the most incredible journey. We were, and are, so excited! Tithing is happening now in three of our companies. We are so encouraged at how alive, active, and real, the Word of our Lord is.
I have been in many different businesses over the last 30 years. My personal business principles have been molded into:
1 - Engage with a posture of humility and gratefulness (honoring our Provider), Jesus Christ always;
2 – Put the Lord and His word, first, above any business expertise; and
3 – Ensure you are always building an atmosphere and environment of generosity and generous hearts, by measurable giving, tithing and open hands within companies.
We have seen incredible impact and growth in our businesses. We have been left with no other explanation, but to continue to say "OUR KING, IS ALIVE AND GREAT, HE IS FOR ME, NOT AGAINST ME”. Always, everywhere, Monday to Sunday.