Keeping the end in mind? Good idea – but it may be more about the Journey (A Business as Mission reflection)

Matt lives in a crowded city in Asia’s largest country where his business demands a driver to take him from place to place.  Naturally he has become close friends with the driver, Wang Wei who had plenty of opportunities to observe Matt’s family and he saw something quite different from what he was used to, and he wanted that for his family too.  He kept watching and then began talking to Matt about what he was seeing.  There were plenty of conversations before Wang Wei became a true follower of Jesus.  Matt now is privileged to disciple him in his new life in Christ.

I had visited a mid-sized business in this same country some years ago and observed how God had used Matt to help a business flourish with clear Quadruple Bottom Line results.  He returned to his home country to complete an MBA and renew his interest and experience in property sales and management.  I knew that he would be a success in this new endeavor. so my conversation with him turned to questions related to his journey, his driving passion, and how he got to where he was in his faith-work understanding and in the integration of his mission in life with workplace success.  He shared five noteworthy principles.

  1. Spend Time with God-Fearing People in Church, Family and Community

Matt is a multi-talented guy with various skills.  He had learned another language and he had lived in another culture. And he wanted to make a difference for God in the world, so he asked people to pray with and for him. As he talked with family and friends, an opportunity opened to work overseas, and they advised him to move in that direction. And he did.

  1. Look for People to be your Mentors

He knew what a mentor was (a person who encourages another and provides a model that stretches one toward a higher level, empowering the mentee with their positive influence) and he knew that everyone needs a mentor. He cited a mentor after college and another two mentors in Asia. From these people, he learned to depend on God, the important skill of listening, plus the value of relationships.

  1. Find Ways to Serve and Even Mentor Others

While working in a large western city, he decided to get involved with immigrants in his city. He learned about non-Christian religions, and talked about spiritual things with them. Even years later in the story cited above, Wang Wei was one of those he was mentoring. 

  1. Keep Flexible and be Willing to Learn

Matt reflected with me on the various jobs he has had as a “job taker”. There, he learned to be under authority and demonstrate Kingdom values, such as faithfulness, timeliness, respect, excellence, encouragement, etc. Matt has also been a “job maker”, managing more than one hundred people in another language.  He did so with a servant’s heart, and learned how to empower them, provide familial help, love, care and many more kingdom values.

  1. Open Your Eyes to Human Need and Do Something About it

While on a business trip in his Asian country, Matt learned of a ministry to survivors of human trafficking. As an entrepreneur, he knew where he could be of help and he set about helping to start a business as a means to restore survivors, helping them find hope through their job. He also helps fight human trafficking with his business profits.  He saw a need and did something about it.

I came away from talking to Matt dreaming of the same involvement for all young people entering their careers in the marketplace. Most will enter the job market seeking to integrate their faith with their work, and following these principles will be of help in their pursuits.

Larry W. Sharp, BAM Support Specialist, IBEC Ventures

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