If you want your faith to be an integral part of your business, there are a few key points to consider when building a faith-based business. When I decided to start a business, I didn’t know how to incorporate my faith into my business. In fact, I didn’t even know that I could mix my business with my faith. But the deeper I got into setting up my business, the more I realized that because my faith is who I am, there was no separating the two. And isn’t that the way it should be?
Matthew 10:32-33 Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.
This verse really spoke to me in the beginning of my faith journey. I was driving down the interstate when the Spirit laid this verse on my heart. From that point on, it’s been very important to me that I am transparent about my faith in Christ in all I do. My faith defines who I am.
So when it came time to start a business, I knew I wanted to put Christ at the center. I wanted to be intentional about building a faith-based business. This is not a typical business model, unless you are running a church or ministry, so I didn’t have many well-known businesses to use as an example. The following points are what I found helpful when building a faith based business.
Use The Gifts You Have Received
1 Peter 4:10 Each of you should use the gifts you have received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.
As a business owner, my desire is to use my gifts and experiences to serve others with the hope that the people I encounter will experience God’s love and be drawn to Him. I try to do this in my daily life, but this should also be true in my business life.
Ever since I was little, I have had a love for things to be organized. It wasn’t until my early 30s, however, when the idea of starting an organizational business was planted in my brain. Because I was in the throes of full-time motherhood, I didn’t do much to pursue that dream.
Rather, over the years God provided opportunities for me to hone my skills and develop my leadership skills. I clipped newspaper articles, and kept the dream alive in the back of my mind.
Because of growth in the online business world, I am able to work from home which gives me the flexibility that I want and need. When I was in my 30s, this wasn’t even an option.
When we use the gifts God has given us, we are serving and honoring Him. He has given us these talents to do His work. And now is a great time for women, especially in the online world. He is calling all of us to serve Him and make an impact in the world.
Learn To Trust God’s Perfect Timing
Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
God doesn’t need our business to serve Him. Rather I believe He uses our businesses to grow us. It is the tool He uses to bring about the change in our life as He sees fit. He uses it to mold us and shape us so we are prepared to do what He has called us to.
We all make plans for our business. It’s the smart thing to do so our business grows and prospers. But we need to remember to hold onto our plans loosely.
Proverbs 16:9 In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.
When we have a new idea for our business, we most likely develop a timeline or project plan. We want our plan to happen now. While it’s important that we take the steps to move forward to complete that plan, we also need to remember that we may have to wait for the leading of the Holy Spirit for all of the pieces to fall into place.
This is not easy. It’s not easy to surrender our plans to the Lord. Remember, though, God will use that situation to grow our faith to depend on Him.
When I find myself in a situation where I’m anxious for something to happen immediately, I recall the story of God’s promise to Abraham and Sarah to give them a son. Sarah was old. She began to doubt that she would ever get pregnant.
When she didn’t conceive right away, she had her maidservant, Hagar, lie with Abraham. When Hagar got pregnant and eventually gave birth to Ishmael, there were all kinds of problems between Sarah and Hagar. The problems continued even after Sarah had Issac, the promised child. By trying to control the situation and not trust God to carry out His promise, Sarah brought trouble into her life.
If I’m truly trusting God with my life and my business, I’ll think differently when something doesn’t work out as planned. If I push for my way, I may find myself in a difficult situation in the future.
God Will Provide
2 Corinthians 9:8 And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.
If God has called you to do something, He will also provide you with the skills and materials you need to complete the work. This doesn’t just happen as you get deep into your business. This happens from the start. He gives you the idea to start the business and the goals to make it succeed.
I’ve had several times in my life when I’ve felt God calling me to a new position. After saying yes, a sort of panic has set in.
“What was I thinking by saying yes? This is too much work. I can’t do this!”
Each time I obey the leading of the Holy Spirit, God blesses me by providing all the things I need to successfully do what He has asked. It is in those situations when I learn how to trust God with everything.
We have to be diligent about continually recognizing God’s work in our business. If we become lax about giving Him credit, we may begin to believe the success we experience is all our doing. The reality is, however, that every good thing comes from God. If we succeed in our business, it’s because of Him, not us.
Follow The Leading Of The Holy Spirit
If you want to glorify God in your business, you want to be sure you are following the lead of the Holy Spirit. When Jesus ascended to heaven, he promised the disciples the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Learning to listen to the leading of the Holy Spirit takes time and practice. If you are just starting to run, you probably won’t be able to run a 5K your first time out. Listening to the Holy Spirit is no different.
When you first invite the Holy Spirit into your business, you need to make space to hear him. This can happen during times of prayer, but it can also happen while you are being still. When you feel a nudge that you suspect is Spirit led, check with another believer before making a final decision.
Most importantly, don’t quench the Spirit. When we start to ignore what the Holy Spirit is saying to us, His voice becomes dim because we are out of line with God’s plan for our lives.
You must be purposeful and intentional in your pursuit to allow the Holy Spirit in your business. If you are interested in learning how to invite the Spirit into your business, I highly recommend Our Unfair Advantage by Dr. Jim Harris.
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What Building A Faith-Based Business Looks Like
Matthew 6:33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
Running a faith-based business does not mean you have to talk about Jesus in every other breath. But it does mean that you are seeking the Lord’s guidance in your business and acting as a witness to the people you encounter in your business.
Some things you can do to reflect God’s love in your business include:
- Be honest when dealing with others
- Don’t be afraid to admit mistakes
- Love others (I love the saying “Don’t turn souls into sales.”)
- Pray always
- Have little to no debt
- Always seek direction from the Holy Spirit
Lastly, keep the Word of God close to your heart. Hang notecards around your work area to remind you of His truths. Or, even better, commit them to memory so you can take His Word with you wherever you go.
Whatever you do, be persistent in making your faith an integral part of building a faith-based business.
Colossians 3:23 – Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart as if working for the Lord, not for man.
P.S. I’ve read several other faith-based business books. If you’d like a list of those, drop a request in the comments or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Likewise, if you’ve read some great books about faith and business, I’d love to hear what those are.