A corporation is a person, just like you or me. Someone had a good idea and worked hard enough to create products, services, and employment and investment opportunities for others. That corporation is an extension of the personality and ministry of the owner. Both the person and, by extension, his or her company have a ministry calling and a destiny. The corporation is simply a way to leverage that purpose on a much larger scale, for better or for worse.
Corporate Ministry – In recent years there has been a temptation to view large corporations as generally evil and selfish. “Corporate greed” is the buzzword. Some companies, like people, are amoral, but businesses are naturally drawn to integrity and quality in order to maintain their employees and customer base. Harold has written a great book, Compassionate Capitalism that addresses The Spiritual Roots of Capitalism – the title of a recent newsletter. The bottom line is that creative entrepreneurs in free markets are effectively the spiritual engine that gave us all of our modern conveniences and technology. A false definition of spirituality (dualism) has prevented us from being appropriately thankful for the way God has used these people. Right now I am using some really good software that I got from Bill Gates. Thank you, Bill. And I’m thinking about getting my next phone from Steve Jobs.
The Template – Right now I’m enjoying a cup of coffee that I got from Jeff Ericson – our interview is on the link. He is a great example of someone who has defined the ministry of his corporation – Camano Island Coffee. Jeff is working with third world nations to teach people how to create wealth. He partners with ARGOS to obtain a loan for land, on which Jeff then helps groups of families to raise coffee that he can then purchase and resell. The resulting profit to the families changes their identity in a remarkable way. At the moment, ARGOS has 42 villages around the world, consisting of 30 to 100 families each, raising coffee. His farmers are Catholic, Hindu, and Muslim. Now, if you do the math, he’s touching the lives of about 10,000 people on the farming end. You have to add the distribution system folks and all the coffee drinkers like me who get blessed, too. See the leverage one entrepreneur can have in the Kingdom? When you buy coffee from Jeff, you’re helping him reach the next 10,000 people with the good news, economically and spiritually. It’s a ministry that is self-sustaining because there is a profit.
Can others do the same thing? They already are. Business plans always have a purpose statement. The one thing I learned in Warsaw is that business people who don’t know the Lord are naturally hungry to connect with their larger purpose in life, their destiny. In a business conference,we told them about the Kingdom and the opportunity to be involved and leverage their business for ministry, and they jumped all over it. Our goal was to help Christians get a vision for business. We were surprised when 40 people got saved. God is connecting hearts with purpose. In the business realm, that extends to connecting companies with their calling. It’s a very exciting season and it’s filled with the promise of prosperity and ministry.