IBEC Ventures -- Consultants for BAM/Business as Mission
Subscribe | Send us an email | 610.659.9929

Work – to the glory of God

Monday, November 30, 2015

“Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”  
I Corinthians 10:31 NASB®

Work when done for the glory of God changes everything.  Do you believe that?  

For some, work is drudgery.  We all know the person who comes to work not one minute early and can’t wait to punch out.  This person puts in his or her time expecting only a paycheck. If work is all about the money, work isn’t done for the glory of God.  

Some enjoy work but for the wrong reasons. Some have something to prove and work is where they strike out to prove their worth. They will never stop trying to prove something.  Some see work as a means to gain power and position, likely for the same reason as the previous person. They will never have enough of either and nor do they work for the glory of God. 

When God created the earth and all that is, He looked at what He made and said it was “very good” and then He rested from His work. When we look at our labors as something God intended for us to do, we find there is high value in our work, regardless if it’s cleaning toilets or leading a company. Through our efforts we fulfill God’s design, each of us made as the image of God. God did everything with purpose and excellence – and – He did it with you and me in mind.  

I appreciate the one who cleans the toilets, don’t you?  We need the one who leads a company but he/she can’t do a thing without others working “the line”. Work must be about serving others and glorifying God and not about us. Our needs will be taken care of when we have this attitude.

As we begin another week, remember that work is a privilege, a privilege to serve the customer, co-worker, company and clients – doing every aspect of the task with excellence and all for the glory of God.  With this attitude – everything changes! 

Dave Kier, Board of Directors, IBEC Ventures and Owner and CEO for DFS Feeds in Newell, Iowa.  

Learn more about Dave's experience and servant's heart in this brief biography on our website. You can contact Dave through this email: info@ibecventures.com.

Thanksgiving reflection: what a privilege!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

As I think about this upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, I can't help but reflect upon how God has blessed me throughout my life.  It certainly begs the question...Lord, how can I possibly begin to repay all the ways you continually bless me on a daily basis?  Parents who have always been there for me, coupled with my beautiful wife and incredible daughters, truly make me the "luckiest man alive".  So...I find myself struggling with the incredible challenge of trying to give back, to somehow illustrate to my Lord and Savior, how grateful I am for what He has done for me. 

When I first joined IBEC, God opened my eyes to a world that I was either oblivious to, or one that I just didn't take the time to notice.  You see, like so many others in this world, I was brought up in the business world where, unfortunately, faith took a back seat. The idea of integrating faith into the workplace was nothing more than a facade...until I had the opportunity to see Business as Mission work firsthand here at IBEC.  As I reflect upon the powerful impact IBEC has had on me, I need to take a moment and give thanks to my amazing colleagues and partners who have opened my eyes and made me a better person since I joined the team.  While it is impossible to thank everyone who has contributed to IBEC this past year, I would be remiss in not recognizing the following: 

  • To our consultants who continually strive to make a difference in the lives of the unreached every day.  Their passion to utilize business as a tool to create jobs and change communities is not only contagious, it is powerful! 
  • To our Board of Directors and Leadership Team who humbly come together as "one" to create a roadmap of success that focuses on one common goal...to build God's Kingdom through the gifts he has bestowed upon us. 
  • To our consultative partners (mission agencies, churches, Kingdom-focused businesses, ex-pats who desire to take their gifts overseas, and nationals who desire and need our support and help) who have made us stronger not only as an organization, but  in our own personal journey as well. 
  •  To our financial supporters who continue to believe in our mission and why we are here. 
  • To the incredible consulting and training opportunities that are in front of us in areas like Africa, India, China, and Thailand.  And, for the opportunity to reach our young people on college campuses throughout the U.S. as well. 

IBEC has not only opened my eyes to the positive impact Business as Mission can have in this world, but it has unveiled a "crack in the armor" regarding my own personal life that lay dormant for so many years. Through God's grace and His perseverance, my eyes have been opened to see firsthand the impact that the creation of jobs can have in this world. Jobs create hope, and through this transformation, lives are changed.  Throughout this process, the power and love of Jesus Christ is revealed.  And, as a result, souls are saved! What a privilege and honor it is to be serving our Lord in this capacity...and to be seeing His love manifest itself in some of the darkest places of this world each and every day. 

Business as Mission for the rest of us

Monday, November 16, 2015

Michael Baer has written another book following up on his 2006 Business as Mission: the Power of Business in the Kingdom of God.  This time, in 2IC: Business as Mission for the Rest of Us, he clarifies that we all can – and should – be involved in Business as Mission.  Even those who are not the boss can make an impact for God’s kingdom through business – and Mike shows us how.

He asserts that the principles of BAM are the same for those who report to somebody else as for those who own the business, but the applications are quite different.  He uses two prominent Biblical characters who were not the boss but as “Second in Command” (2IC) showed how to make a gigantic difference for the Kingdom – Joseph and Daniel.  While none of us is a Joseph or a Daniel, we may labor under adverse circumstances while trying to make a difference for God and we can learn from them.

A few key thoughts from the book are relevant to those of us who are 2IC:
  • There is no “sacred-secular” divide, only one integrated Kingdom under the limitless Lordship of Jesus Christ.  The Bible affirms the sacredness of all things (Colossians 2:16-20).
  • Business is a good thing from God and a high and holy calling – as high as any other.
  • Instead of a “called” and “uncalled” in the church there are only the called – there is no hierarchy or value pyramid of callings.
  • Christ is much more than just a personal Savior.  He is also the great Healer, the King, the Shepherd, the Provider, the Guide…the Redeemer, the Liberator, the Judge, etc.
  • “I believe that one of the next great moves of God is going to be through believers in the workplace” – quoted from Billy Graham.
  • It is critical, once and for all, that the church embrace and teach the doctrine of vocation so that those in business or any other profession feel and enjoy the confidence that comes from knowing “I am called by God…”
  • The world needs to see the gospel as much as it needs to hear it.
  • Daniel was known for excellence of character and excellence of work.
  • The first lesson from Joseph is the wonderful truth for all of us.  Our lives, our calling, our jobs, our roles as “not in charge” are all part of an incredibly grand divine plan.
  • There are four categories of people in business:  international entrepreneur, international employee/manager, domestic entrepreneur, and domestic employee/manager.
  • Daniel and Joseph demonstrate that those of us who are not the boss are not a “lesser breed” – we are not consigned to a subordinate role.  This is Business as Mission for the rest of us.
I encourage you to read Mike Baer's book for yourself and reexamine your calling and role with Business As Mission from a Second In Command perspective.

Larry Sharp, Director of Training, IBEC Ventures

Share this post:  

7 business lessons from the 2015 World Series

Saturday, November 07, 2015

I have loved sports all of my life and I love to watch major league sports especially at the culmination of the season.  This year’s World Series was no exception.

Sports may be a metaphor for life – and for business.  Remember the Aaron Rodgers commercial in the school classroom when several professional people were being introduced to the class.  Aaron said “I play football” and a student responded, “That’s not a job.”  Well it is a job for the hard working players; and in the celebratory days after Kansas City won the World Series, I found it interesting to reflect on how this winning season took place.

The answer to how the Royals became world champions carries the metaphorical prescription for success for small businesses, Business as Mission companies included.
  1. They have the resolve to never give up. “This is the kind of team Dayton Moore put together,’’ Lorenzo Cain said. “He put together guys who never give up, never quit…” 
  2. There is a solid work ethic.  Again player Cain said. “We always play hard.”
  3. Preparation is vital.  “I went to bed almost every night thinking about this moment, and being ready for my brothers and my team and my family,” said utility player, Christian Colon.  “… I was prepared for it.’’
  4. They learned how to manage failure and patiently take the necessary time for success.  It was a long, painstaking process that included seven consecutive losing seasons under the watch of General Manager Dayton Moore - until the Royals turned the corner in 2013.
  5. They accomplished more with less.  The Royals are a small market team and they had limited resources.  Fifteen of the 30 major league teams had higher payrolls than the Royals.
  6. Team character and harmony was very evident.  “You want to have guys who have the character traits to be great teammates,’’ said Moore, “If you focus solely on yourself, it’s really going to beat you up. So you have to be a great teammate, pull for your teammates and try to do something every single day to help your team win.’’ Edinson Volquez is among the Royals who points to the team’s harmony as one of the reasons for its success, especially in dire situations, and evidence of that esprit de corps can be found in Cain’s moving reaction to Colon’s heroics.
  7. Humility at the top.  General Manager Moore passed along credit for the Royals’ first championship in 30 years to the players, the coaching staff and the scouting folks…at no point did he mention his role in assembling a resilient team that pulled off an unprecedented eight comeback wins this postseason, but the Royals players know better.
So for small businesses (the Royals are big business in one sense but small in another) it may take leadership humility, patience with failure, character and harmony on the team, willingness to be make do with few resources especially at the start, solid preparation, hard work and a determination to “never give up”.

Larry Sharp, Director of Training, IBEC Ventures

Share this post:  

10 BAM agribusiness values that translate worldwide

Monday, November 02, 2015

I recently visited an interesting dairy farm in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.  Our friends knew that I had a farming background and loved good ice cream so after attending a cattle auction, we drove through the autumn countryside to the Lapp Valley Farms, a family owned business which produces milk and cream for a top quality ice cream and other products of the milk. 

I was intrigued with the posters on the wall as we observed milking time in the spotless barn.  I immediately thought of entrepreneurship, good business and business with a mission.  Note the photo of one of the posters, and its six bullet points.  My thoughts on these values:
  1. They are committed to the local community and creating jobs for them.
  2. Their product is marked by high quality; they are proud of the high levels of protein and calcium in their milk.
  3. They are environmentally careful and do not use unnatural products such as hormones.
  4. As good business people they know what the customers want.
  5. Visitors observe a cleanliness value indicating a commitment to excellence.
  6. They desire to bless their customers and place high value on honoring their Lord with all activities.
All that I observed that day demonstrated a model business in Pennsylvania which is transferable to overseas operations which are similar in nature.  The farm operation:
  1. Is sustainable and profitable;
  2. Is creating value for the community through a quality product and job creation;
  3. Values and works toward spiritual capital and service;
  4. Respects the environment and protects the product.
Through our travels and meetings with other BAM-focused organizations and individuals, we see a huge need for BAM agribusinesses, especially in the 10:40 window countries where IBEC focuses. We believe that helping to apply these principles and business models to emerging BAM agribusinesses around the world is a worthwhile endeavor and we’re grateful for the growing number of partners and consultants coming alongside us to do just that. If you have agribusiness expertise that you could share with emerging market BAM entrepreneurs, we would appreciate connecting with you; just send me an email at larry.sharp@ibecventures.com. Or if you know someone who might be interested in working with us on agribusiness projects, please share this using the share buttons below.

Larry Sharp, Director of Training, IBEC Ventures

Share this post:  

Donate Twitter Facebook LinkedIn Youtube Vimeo

IBEC Ventures -- Consultants for BAM/Business as Mission