The main focus of the business/ministry plan is to ask one another “What business are we in?” “What services do we provide?” It is the place where we get to define our business, what are our intentions, and then how we intend to meet those intentions. This is important to define for many reasons. In a business partnership our intentions are everything. Knowing what the individual roles are, and how you fit into the mission of the company is the essence of what the company is about. There are too many people who narrowly ask “What’s in it for me?” instead of seeing the big picture. They can’t discern what they are suppose to be doing or what they should be open to or what God wants them to do. They are stuck on defining what business they are in without a full understanding of how diverse their field is, what the true needs are, and how to utilize one another s strengths to achieve God’s purpose for the company, the customers and the founders.
Let Your Yes be Yes and…
We can’t be so arrogant with flippant attitudes to say “no” without a full disclosure of what we might be saying “no” to. We have said ‘no” to producing info-mercials and we have also said no when the client had connections that were less than “equally yoked.” Yet if we had the capacity, the where-with-all, the talent, and it paid well, we have said “yes.” What is a distraction to the mission? That is the question, which doesn’t so much have an attitude “What’s in it for us?” Sometimes what is a benefit has nothing to do with money. I write a weekly column that I make peanuts on, but I have solid readership and it does help optimize our base for our websites. It also provides a ministry answer, a promotional answer, and an indirect marketing/public relation’s answer to promoting Christ in our lives, our work and our community.
I’d Rather be Naive
It is like the transparency issue. I have been called naive in that assessment from a former vendor. What could I loose by not opening my books, working with interns, or brainstorming with a client? I’m not concerned about “protecting intellectual property,” it won’t break us if someone deviously copies a script, song, book, or process! I have no problem with copyrighting our vast materials, discussing in public what our intentions are, and operating on the “manna principle.” That is being reliant on God to trust us with more because we have been faithful to His call. A business that operates in secret operates from a weak standpoint and is usually hiding something. I have severed relationships with some of those overly controlling businesses who operate more out of fear and control than trusting in God. So in this section of the business-ministry plan we need to ask ourselves “What business are we in?” “How can we best help people?” And define who we are.
The Absence of Malice is the Addition of Growth and Learning
There is no reason for a person to to take offense on asking these questions. I write and publish this column from a standpoint of answering some pretty tough questions regarding integrity and ethics in business. When I spoke with my partners and associates it was a time where we had to look at the history of Envoy Creative Media, and there are mistakes that I have made in business and in ministry. It is important to learn from our past mistakes and who we have aligned ourselves to. The warning to others in my other articles on this subject were motivated by growth and learning. The sadness of the posted offended was a clear example of their insecurities and the main point of being “uncorrectable.” As I continue to run Envoy Creative I also welcome critiques and correction. I have learned much from creative and business push back when it is done respectively. Sharpening iron is rarely a pleasant task and so many times it is painful. Yet the growth and the learning achieved by the banter is worth the pain.