1. Prayer Team
Gather a prayer team, who will commit to praying for the business at least once a week. Provide them with a weekly list of challenges and upcoming decisions.
Once you commit to this, the members of the prayer team will eventually appear. I have a group of about eight people who have committed to pray for the business on one day each week. I send them a prayer list every Saturday morning, with the expectation that they are lifting my issues up to the Lord. This process of compiling the weekly list keeps me focused on the most important things, forces me to commit to them on paper, and gives me the confidence to know that prayer surrounds all the major decisions and events in the business.
While prayer is an instinctive response to the overwhelming world will live in, by formalizing it and making it a part of your business routines, you move to a higher level of communication with God than if you leave it to the impulses of the moment.
2. Rewrite your foundational documents, acknowledging God in them.
We’ve all heard about the value of creating a vision, mission and values statement for the business or our profession. I suspect that most Christian businesses have such a set of documents. What is often missing, however, is a written, formal acknowledgment of God’s involvement with the business.
Matthew 10:32, 33: 32 “Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. 33 But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.
There is a sense of humility and confidence that comes from the act of acknowledging God’s ownership of the business. The fact that you are in the position you are in whether it be ownership, executive position, sales responsibility, or professional practice, the truth is that you were put there by God’s involvement in your life. When you acknowledge that, in writing, you take a stand and make a commitment. Everyone who reads those documents, whether they be a part of every new employee orientation, the information pack you give to prospective employers, your website, or posted on the lunchroom wall, will know exactly where you stand.
That requires a bit of humility on your part. By acknowledging God’s ownership and involvement in the business, you naturally give him the credit for whatever success that business has, instead of yourself. But there is also a sense of freedom and confidence that comes with that. If God is for you, who can be against you?
So, make the issue of the exact wording of these documents a matter for the prayer and prayer team, and then craft the words that seem best to you and inspired by God into your foundational documents.
3. Work diligently at creating a Christian business culture.
Wikipedia defines corporate culture this way:
Organizational culture encompasses values and behaviors that contribute to the unique social and psychological environment of a business. The organizational culture influences the way people interact, the context within which knowledge is created, the resistance they will have towards certain changes, and ultimately the way they share (or the way they do not share) knowledge. Organizational culture represents the collective values, beliefs, and principles of organizational members and is a product of factors such as history, product, market, technology, strategy, type of employees, management style, and national culture; culture includes the organization’s vision, values, norms, systems, symbols, language, assumptions, environment, location, beliefs, and habits.
For the Christian businessperson, the culture of the organization is where the values, attitudes, and behaviors of the principals ooze out into the organization and ultimately influence everyone’s behavior. The principals set the standard. Culture, when done well, proceeds from the top down.
Here’s a simple approach to get you started. Use this phrase often,
“Because I’m a Christian, we are going to …”
This should come as no surprise to anyone, as they already know you are a Christian organization (see #2 above). This language, then, makes the connection between your beliefs and your expectation for everyone’s actions. It gives the glory to God, and when done sincerely and repetitively, will move the company’s attitudes, beliefs, and actions to a place that will shine your light more brightly.