HIGHER THINKING BLOG

Business as Mission By Kehinde Ojo

Do you consider your business as mission?

Calling ten of his servants, he gave them ten minas, and said to them, ‘Engage in business until I come’  (Luke 19:13, ESV)

The story is told of a group of people who lived near a coast. After years of observing shipwreck at sea and the resultant loss of lives and properties, decided to do something about it. They built a shelter to cater for the victims very near the coast. Someone else suggested they include a café and provide immediate relief to those rescued. Another person suggested that snacks be added to the drinks served. Since shipwreck do not happen that regularly, there was a suggestion to sell the snacks and drinks while on standby. The business grew so well such that when the next shipwreck happened they did not pay attention! The original purpose of establishing the shelter was therefore defeated.

In the Luke story, the charge of the Master was for the servants to engage in business until he comes. Therefore the primary focus of the servants was to make the most of their investments while waiting for his coming. The motivation for excelling in their business was to impress him on his return with their profit margin. Certainly, they were not expected to run their businesses at a loss. However, it was also NOT profit at all cost irrespective of means!

So, the essence of the business is not the ambition of the servants but the pleasure of the Master.

It is then not business as business but business as mission in the light of his coming! It is this understanding that enables us as believers and leaders to use our various businesses at home or abroad as a tool for service. Ideally the questions Christian businesswomen and men should be asking God is ‘what do you want me to accomplish for you this through business and how should this business serve you and your purpose?’.

One major issue that we ought to resolve quickly as leaders in our different endeavors as well as other areas of our lives is the question of ownership. Who owns me? Who owns my business? Who owns my profession? Who owns the resources that have been placed in my care?

These are pertinent questions in the lives of leaders today. The hunger for significance has never been more palpable than in the 21st century! Most people in and outside church crave for attention and are eager to make a name for themselves. There is a strong desire to be in the BIG League.

Achievement instead of faithfulness becomes the motivation for success. In 1 Corinthians 4:2, Apostle Paul stated categorically “..it is required in stewards that one be found faithful”.  As we seek to serve God in different sectors across the globe, we must choose faithfulness above anything else. Our desire to achieve often expose us to various forms of temptation that has the potential to erode our values and discredit us thereby rubbishing our faith on the altar of convenience.

I hope this article will help you to revisit your calling irrespective of your ‘posting’ and challenge you to view your call in relation to faithfulness instead of achievement or how much money and resources that you have. The goal is that you and your circle of influence can close this gap and refocus leaders in your leadership space.

Ultimately, the commendation is not “well done profitable servant” but “well done, good (faithful) servant! (Luke 19:17, NKJV) .

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Kehinde Ojo is the Indigenous Support Development Director for International Fellowship of Evangelical Students (IFES).

 

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