I often get asked if God really wants us to be in business. Let me share a story and we’ll look at a famous business owner from the Bible.
Heart breaking story about missions and business
I am mentoring a new entrepreneur. When he went to new church with some friends he was told that he was evil for doing business. He was told that he should be doing missions instead of wasting his time building a business.
My heart sank when I heard this statement. One, because I know this entrepreneur and his heart is totally on mission with God. He is one of the most enthusiastic evangelists I know. Two, because this other person does not understand business and the power it has for touching lives for God.
Missions and Business
We often think that missions is going to a foreign country, preaching at a large event and having a large crowd come to know Jesus. There is nothing inherently wrong with that thought. There is nothing wrong with touching lives with large events that reach unreached people. It is in the Bible.
Missions is going where people are and touching their lives for God, plain and simple. It could be a preaching event, entertainment event, standing on a street corner, or wherever. Missions are not ‘out there,’ missions are everywhere we go.
I want you to really think about where people are. Every day people go to work. Every day people meet in the marketplace either as an owner or employee. Everyday people buy things and every day you could have an opportunity for doing missions in your business.
Missions in the Bible: Paul’s journeys
I love when people point out that Paul traveled to do missions in the Bible. Yet, if you do a deeper study you find some interesting facts. First, he traveled on the major trade routes and often started in the market place during breaks with other business owners. He spent time in each region and did not just go for a week or a day. He always took time to understand what was happening in the culture and engaged them where they were, in the marketplace.
Keep in mind that Paul was a tentmaker. Paul made tents as he went along on mission. That is how he paid for many of his missions. (See Acts 20:33-35) Paul wanted people to know that what he was doing was for God and he was paying his way. He even paid the way of the people he brought along with him and often quoted that he worked ‘night and day.’ (See 1 Thes. 2:9; 2 Thes. 3:8)
Yes, he asked people to contribute to God because he knew the power of giving, but that money was sent to churches. He did not want money to interfere with the message he was spreading. He worked hard and impacted lives. He gave value, made connections and shared God’s word as he went.
Business is a mission. Quit thinking of missions as something other than impacting lives for God. Everything we do is a mission. The way we treat a cashier and the way we drive all becomes an impact for God. If we view our lives and our business as a mission, we will live by a higher power and drive our lives to impact others for Him.
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