Action Steps to Get Started
1. Start with a group of business people who need to talk.
What’s the solution to business owners who feel forgotten or neglected?
According to the Small Business Administration, in 2018 there were 30.2 million small businesses in the United States. According to CNBC, in 2020 7.5 Million small businesses were at risk of going out of business permanently.
Many entrepreneurs have fallen on hard times and are possibly ready to turn their hearts to GOD, but with such overwhelming numbers, the laborers are few. Also, many who have lost their jobs are considering starting a business, but do not know how. Some who are widowed, single parents, divorced, mature, or medically challenged, feel forgotten as they take on the challenge of a business, seemingly, by themselves. Tell them they are remembered.
Instead of having the business owner search the internet or get advice that may be contrary to your faith teaching, why not incorporate the GOD-centered business curriculum into your overall ministry or business strategy. The purpose of forming a group of business leaders is to provide support and love for those who feel isolated.
2. Present the framework.
The GOD-centered business owner dreams bigger than herself. Her business is about people. GOD guides the business and guides the business owner to the people to serve. You can come alongside by presenting this curriculum to your congregation or to the local business owners GOD sends your way. Here is an overview of the seven weeks of the class this book features:
Week 1: Dream Bigger—Allowing GOD to stretch you to achieve HIS vision for your business.
Week 2: Remove the Trash—Modifying your leadership style to align to GOD’s passion.
Week 3: Seek Wisdom—Depending on GOD to identify and fill gaps in resources and skills.
Week 4: Go to the Desert—Breaking GOD’s vision into small pieces to plan and prepare for resilience.
Week 5: Emerge Different—Being led by GOD to price and market your expertise in your industry.
Week 6: Kingdom-First Mindset—Gaining confidence from GOD to tell versus sell.
Week 7: Lead to Promises—Living GOD’s promises through outstanding customer service.
This class is designed to help the presenter as well as the recipient learn about GOD and follow HIM. This structured method is flexible for all business types. It is meant for business owners to work together with their customers to discover gaps in their business strategy versus guessing at blind spots. It can be used as a one-time seven-week class or an ongoing group that goes through the information in ten-week increments, with classes three or four hours per week.
Through this class, business owners will learn how to retrofit or create a resilient business that withstands life's obstacles and grows with purpose. As you walk with them during this class, you can remind them that they are called to an incredible work. You’re here to walk alongside them just as CHRIST does.
3. Select instructors.
The best instructors have T.I.M.E.
eachable:The willingness to learn something new is highly important.
nnovative:1. Very creative people or 2. GOD has given them a business idea, but maybe they don’t know how to get going with it.
otivated:Dependable and available to teach consistently for 10 weeks (three weeks of preparation time; seven weeks of instruction). One to two hours of preparation time is also needed each week.
xcited:Holding attention takes enthusiasm and excitement. A passion for making CHRIST known is required.
Imperfect people are required.
The best instructors also know they aren’t perfect. People with rough edges are those who feel they do not have themselves together. Encourage this group that imperfect people are required. Explain to the reluctant that even if they aren’t good at speaking, have failed over and over, or have some other barrier but still have a passion for making JESUS known as the only answer to salvation and earthly problems, then they are great candidates to lead a group through the GOD-centered business class.
4. Pray, prepare, practice and produce.
Encouragement is desperately needed. Please pray for the business leaders in your congregation or community. Some work so hard, they have no time for anything else. Transformation is needed from a business-centered life to a GOD-centered business that gives life.
Sample Prayer for the GOD-Centered Business Community:
Dear LORD, please bless this community with YOUR wisdom. Fill this group with YOUR HOLY SPIRIT, making the experience special and filled with power. Amen.
Here the instructor accepts the “Prepare with a Promise” and “Prepare by Accepting GOD’s Call” terms, and does the required exercises in the first week of the ten-week program.
Prayerfully Prepare by Understanding the Exercises Before Teaching
Prayerfully Prepare with a Promise
Groups need structure, especially busy people. Committed instructors are necessary for true transformation. Cancellations happen, but too many cancellations destroy a group. The following promise is taken by the instructor.
I promise, to the best of my ability, to be prayerful, patient, prepared and punctual during the teaching sessions.
Prayerfully Prepare by Accepting GOD’s Call
Throughout the methodology I will sometimes call the instructor a teacher. In Ephesians 4:11, teaching is listed as one of the gifts of the Spirit, and therefore is a calling. It is more than volunteering. Called people consider the work GOD has given them to do to be a very high priority in their lives. The assumption is that each teacher would be serious, but a calling is a promise to GOD that you outwardly accept the responsibility for guiding a vulnerable flock.
People are vulnerable and need to talk to others who are trustworthy. Realize that many who are hurt, may not trust those who sound like they are helping but seem to be insincere. That is why it is important to take the teaching position seriously. James writes about it: “My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment“ (James 3:1).
GOD takes the role of the teacher seriously. HE will bless those who are open and honest. If you chose to be a teacher, be honest and admit that you don’t have all of the answers. (But have a plan in place to seek more information.)
I promise sincerity in presenting GOD’s word, I promise to the best of my ability to teach with gentleness and patience, I also promise to the best of my ability to be open, honest and transparent when teaching this class and any class related to GOD’s word.
Part of the journey is discovery versus knowing all of the answers. Everyone involved with presenting the information should become familiar with the content of the GOD-Centered Business methodology.
Even if you are not presenting but instead are supporting the class, you should be familiar with the methodology. Identify areas where there are gaps in understanding and discuss them with the team involved in the class before presenting the material to participants.
Before teaching, it is important to check your own motives and possible blind spots that can hinder the success of the participants absorbing the information.
The following exercises from chapter 2 can aid in self-examination:
Exercise 2—Identify the Root to Remove can help you self-examine behaviors that may block success.
Exercise 3—Stabilize Your Leadership Style by Filling the Heart is a leadership adjustment exercise that can help you change the blocking behaviors.
Exercise 8—Plan to Address Internal Issues is a problem identification exercise usually performed by business owners to list issues to address.
Exercise 11—Forgiveness is an overview on how to forgive
Exercise 12—Forgive Them is an exercise to forgive people and be a better leader.
Exercise 13—Seek Forgiveness is an exercise to ask for forgiveness and be a stronger leader.
Some people like to do in-depth study of all the information as part of their preparation. Others like to prepare just before presenting. Whatever your style, being prepared is important to keep the group engaged.
Before teaching the class do Exercises 2, 3, 8, 11, 12 and 13 of “Remove the Trash.” Also, review all class materials.
Perfection is not required— this could not be stressed enough. Practice, however, enables the instructor to become familiar with the information. The instructor can hold a practice session with your staff or he can practice at home by himself.
In either case, jot down notes to give feedback or provide suggestions. Practice time doesn’t take seven weeks; rather, it is to be used to discuss how to present the information and to answer questions that may arise.
Ready to begin the journey? This is a continuous improvement program. The more you do it, the better you will become. Produce the fruit of the Spirit and your efforts will return to you with abundance.