Believers in Business

We recently launched a marketplace ministry at Koinonia, to provide a network of support for those among us who are involved in business.  Pastor Steve shared these thoughts at our launch night on April 7, about the importance of accountability.

I’m really excited by having a marketplace ministry at Koinonia. In biblical times the marketplace was where the important events happened and where decisions were made. Key events in the lives of Paul and Silas, and Boaz and Ruth, to name a few, happened in the marketplace.

In my early working years, from paper route to Dairy Queen, Stelco and Bell Canada, I never considered myself in business though I was involved it. I didn’t see that my witness as a Christian could affect the company; I just showed up and did my job as best as I could. When God called me to Pastor I didn’t feel qualified, but that kept me hungry to learn and to grow. I know that God qualified me, but my sense of inadequacy always pushed me forward to keep learning and growing. In 1996 at a conference I went to an optional marketing meeting because I thought might hear something that would help some of those back home. While I learned some good things, more importantly I felt that the Holy Spirit told me to mentor the business people at Koinonia. I spoke to Larry Wood when I returned and he told me that I needed to understand the language of business. The first business book I read was “Good to Great” by Jim Collins, and I’ve read many business books since then to help me to better understand the business world.

Do you have a plan for learning and growth? What courses do you want to take, what do you want to learn, what books do you want to read? I try to read what I feel I need to read, not what I necessarily want to read. My goal is to read a book each week, and while I have not hit that goal, I do read a lot more books and this helps me to learn and to grow.

One thing I have learned is that products are simple compared to people. I need to learn to deal with people well. Doing business with each other is about relationships and we should endeavor to that well.  There are pros and cons to doing business with each other, but ultimately life is better when we work together.

Some thoughts on accountability:

Accountability Flow Chart

God is the one who gives responsibility, with accountability and the expectation that we will walk it out with integrity. For those given responsibility, He also gives authority which is always given to us for the benefit of those who are under our authority. In our world many people want power without the responsibility, but we should look for those who are willing to carry the responsibility first.

In order to protect our integrity, we all need accountability, which we need to put in place on the good day so that it’s in place for the bad day, when we need it. Authority is given to those who have the responsibility and spiritual authority releases the power to act. All action is to flow out of authority coming from responsibility which we are to carry out with integrity and accountability.

Accountability requires us to disclose things which we would rather not. This is not fun, but if we are more concerned about results then we will be accountable. When we go through this process we will need to decide if we will respond in humility or pride? Will we in humility be willing to reach out to others around us? We are going after accountability and integrity. We want men and women who are serious about their walk with God and their walk with each other and who realize we need each other and that we need to talk more to each other than we often have in the past.