The last three blogs have highlighted the Triple Bottom Line of a BAM (Business as Mission) business.
- The goal is to be profitable and sustainable
- The business creates jobs and other community value
- Spiritual capital is created – Kingdom values and a pathway to following Jesus
I find it helpful to have practical models which help envision concepts like the Triple Bottom Line.
This week I received an email from a member of the leadership team of an offshore design company in Asia. IBEC had helped them in the early years and now four years later Susy writes that it has been hard to take a wage from the business but all other expenses are being paid from the business including hired employees and rented space in a modern office building. They continue pursuit of full profitability.
Secondly, the business has five employees – that is five families with a job and income, children with food and clothing and an option for a better future. A few days ago Chuck Colson wrote this entry in his BreakPoint blog, In Celebration of Labor: The Value of a Good Day’s Work. It provides a God-honoring view of work.
Thirdly, employees are seeing what Kingdom values look like in the workplace. Susy writes this week:
“Sometimes I think that my godliest moments are when I am doing what we call ‘spiritual work’: studying through Romans with my friend A, praying for a friend, or planning a purposeful event. But when an employee performs poorly and I have to stay late to re-do her work, am I patient? When an important client complains, do I trust the Father or worry and trust my own abilities? These situations are everyday crucibles, in which the quality of our inner man is tested”.
A friend recently asked Susy a faith question and she shared a book by C.S. Lewis with her – Mere Christianity. She is reading it and the friend texted and said she had read up to page 59 and has lots of questions.
Another better known example of a kingdom company which has achieved long term profitability, more than 100 jobs, and a clear pathway to following Jesus can be seen in this clip, Barrington Gifts – Why we do what we do! on the IBEC website. “Your work can be ministry. Work is worship.” This is the Triple Bottom Line in action.
Larry W. Sharp, Director of Training, IBEC Ventures