In Luke 12:48, Jesus states that “From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded.” Business owners in the United States have been “given much.” According to Payscale, the average salary of a small business owner in the U.S. was $70,000 in 2020, placing them in the 71st percentile of wage earners in our country (DQYDJ.com) and the 99th percentile in the world (politicalcalculations.blogspot.com)!
A Christian business owner could be compared to the servant receiving five talents in the Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30). We believe scripture teaches (1 Timothy 6:17-19 ; 2 Corinthians 9:6-8) that God has blessed business owners because He has work for them to do (1 Peter 4:10). Following the three steps outlined below to develop a business generosity plan can help a business owner maximize their unique stewardship opportunities.
Step 1: The first step in building a business generosity plan (Matthew 7:24-27) is to prioritize the ongoing health of the business. If the business is healthy, the business generosity plan will have a greater likelihood of engaging in sustainable generosity. We teach that accomplishing this begins with focusing on the following four business themes found in scripture:
- Legacy (Matthew 5:14-16) – Leaving a lasting impact
- Wisdom (Exodus 18:1-27) – Applying knowledge to reduce the risk of uncertainty and increase the chance of success
- Leadership (Deuteronomy 31:1-13) – Helping others grow and perform
- Stewardship (1 Corinthians 4:2) – Managing well the resources God has provided
Step 2: We believe that God has blessed business owners with the following five “talents”: employees, customers/clients, vendors/suppliers, profits, and brand/influence. The second step in building a business generosity plan is to develop a plan to begin stewarding each of your five talents. We encourage you to listen to how the Holy Spirit moves in your heart to determine the unique approach that fits best with your business:
Talent 1 – Employees (Colossians 4:1; Ephesians 6:9)
Examples of stewarding this talent include implementing a workplace chaplaincy program and starting a “share it forward” foundation.
Talent 2 – Customers/Clients (Titus 2:7-10; Matthew 5:40)
Examples of stewarding this talent include providing excellent customer service and connecting a charitable contribution to a client’s purchase.
Talent 3 – Vendors/Suppliers (Titus 2:7-10; Matthew 5:40)
Examples of stewarding this talent include seeking to source raw materials from the developing world and hosting a vendor appreciation event with a Kingdom message.
Talent 4 – Profits (Proverbs 3:9; Luke 12:13-21)
Examples of stewarding this talent include providing generous benefits and matching employee giving.
Talent 5 – Brand/Influence (Proverbs 22:1; Genesis 41:46-57)
Examples of stewarding this talent include donating time and talents to local ministries and hosting career days for community youth.
Step 3: The third step in building a business generosity plan is to put the plan into action. Depending on the action items you feel led to implement, work with organizations that can help you execute your plan. Some examples include:
- Marketplace Chaplains/Corporate Chaplains of America (Employees)
- FCCI/C12/Convene/Truth At Work (Customers/Clients/Influence)
- Partners Worldwide (Vendors/Suppliers)
- Ronald Blue Trust/ National Christian Foundation (Profits)
Here are some questions to consider as you reflect on how this information applies to your business:
- Does your company have a written business generosity plan? Why or why not?
- How does your company intentionally steward each of its five talents?
- What best practices would you like to add to your plan?
- What help do you need to implement your business generosity plan?
Understanding the Kingdom perspective and evaluating your business are the first steps. Developing and implementing an actionable plan that pursues this perspective and meets needs across generations follows.
Would you like personalized guidance as you think through creating a plan for your business? Ronald Blue Trust’s Business Consulting division leverages biblical wisdom and practical expertise to advise business owners as they seek to faithfully steward the companies with which they have been entrusted. To learn more, visit our website.