(Summary of The Kingdom Summit 2015 session by Cliff Stewart)
If we run a business ‘humbly’ and we don’t make much profit, can we say that is because we are running an ethical business? No. What if our business uplifts the community in many ways but engages in shady dealings on the side? Is that ethical? No. What if we tithe regularly, take care of people, profits and the environment and get a good triple bottom line? Is that good enough? It might possibly be good to an extent, but the standards that we are held accountable to as Christian business people are different.
There is no ethical situation in a business that we cannot find the solution for in the Bible.
So in order to understand what ethical business is, let us start from the basics.
WHAT IS BUSINESS?
In Hebrew, the word for work and worship is the same. It’s called ‘avodah’. So when we use our hands and mind to work, we are actually worshipping God. In Luke 2:49, when young Jesus was found in the temple, He said that He was doing His father’s ‘business’. The word for ministry and business in the Old Testament is ‘melakah’. So, if Jesus in His ministry was doing business, then business is ministry and work is worship. So if we think of business as ministry, then it’s quite easy to make ethical decisions in business.
PRINCIPLES OF ETHICS IN BUSINESS
Now, let me share a few Christian principles on ethics in business.
- Relationship with God - We must have a personal relationship with God especially through our prayer life and Bible reading.
- Tending to our employees - We must be able to tend to those in our care, that is, our employees. We must be aware of our physical, relational, spiritual and emotional needs; it’s called ‘self-care’. We need to model self-care to our employees. At the same time, we need to be careful that needs do not exceed our capacity. A business leader can’t do everything by them self, they need to delegate and replicate.
- Treat all with the proper dignity and care - We must treat those in our care with dignity in a loving atmosphere. We must promote consideration and maintain healthy boundaries, uphold confidentiality and truth.
- Be an encouragement in word and deed.
So essentially, if we take care of people in our business ethically, then the rest of it like policies, profits and processes will fall into line. Policies, profits and processes are crucial and must be embedded into an organization mainly be modeling. It is like a pyramid effect. What happens at the top of the pyramid at the leadership will happen at the bottom of the pyramid. So what we have and are, our employees will catch hold of.
But if we say one thing and do another, then our employees will catch on to what we do in the long run.
We have to build our ethical business on a solid, stable ground. Let us look at the key things required for a solid foundation.
- The Word of God - Every business ethical situation can find its reference in the Word of God. It is written in black and white. We can always go to the Word of God and get an answer for every issue.
- The principles of God - God is a very principle-oriented God, so the principles of God will guide the ethics of the organization.
When we actually build an ethical platform, it will allow us to call down the blessing of God. Building an ethical platform allows us to pull down heaven into earth. It helps us fulfill that line in the Lord’s Prayer – Your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. The blessings of God is a result of following the principles of God.
WHAT WOULD JESUS DO?
Several years ago, there was a popular tag line – WWJD meaning ‘What Would Jesus Do?'.
In my teenage years, my mother would ask me - ‘Would you do what you do if Jesus walked through that door? Would you do what you are doing now, would you think what you are thinking now? Scripture says that nothing is hidden from Him’.
So, would we do the business practices that are currently in the grey area or on the GAG list, if Jesus were to walk through the door right now? Or would we do the things that we were going to do on a Monday morning? Or if Jesus was sitting in the boardroom would this decision be made anyway or would it be changed and how would it be changed?
On Friday, when the session was opened, a trigger was pulled. As the trigger nation, we have a huge responsibility. We are the source and the trigger. It is going to erupt all over continent of Africa. The prophecies are clear and undeniable. When the fire of God’s word through ethical businesses starts blazing across Africa, we can testify that it is because of the Nigerian believers.
THE KINGDOM SUMMIT 2016 - Register now!
This year, The Kingdom Summit 2016 will be held at The King's Court, Lagos, Nigeria from 21st to 23rd October 2016, featuring top experts, leaders, speakers and panelists from around the world.
The theme for this year's summit is: Thriving in Turbulent Economic Times
Do not miss the opportunity to attend this conference and take away 'Kingdom Strategies' for your work-life and business.