I spent the first three days of last week in an entrepreneurial teacher certification course through Nehemiah Project International Ministries. If you haven’t heard about Biblical Entrepreneurship, a curriculum developed by Patrice Tsague and taught worldwide, I hope you’ll check it out. BGW has a special partnership with them and we are excited to bring this program to as many of our projects as we can.
In the teacher training, we each took turns teaching different parts of the curriculum. I chose to teach on the section entitled, “Understanding Biblical Profit.” I felt that it was a unique opportunity to tell a few stories from my life, since I have gone after both worldly and biblical profit.
I first pursued success through my own power and might through the development of hotels, bars, restaurants, and casinos. My partners were out of the gambling capital of the world, and my life with them was limitless. I could do or have anything I wanted, with just the snap of my fingers. But it had a very, very limited value. Through God’s grace (though I didn’t recognize it as that at the time), I lost absolutely everything and found myself at the deep pit of despair.
It was then, in 1986, that I was finally able to see the Lord and recognize Him as my personal Savior. God taught me about obedience and stewardship. He put the everlasting value of the Kingdom of God on my heart in a way that every other kind of wealth fades away.
In the first half of my life, business was started to make a profit – it was the goal and objective, it was my reason for being. It was my god. In the second half though, I became engaged in business in order to serve others, in order to teach them about the stewardship. And above all, it was in order to serve God.
As you consider where your ministry or business is headed, I wonder if you are confident that it is firmly in a biblical direction. If not, what would need to change in order for that to be the case? If so, how can you teach others about it?
Everyone who has ever been in business has made lots and lots of mistakes and would love to have a do over. Unfortunately we do not get many do overs in business or in life. This is especially true with our families. I let profit – unbiblical profit – control every aspect of my life. The net result was not only an incredible bankruptcy, but the loss of my marriage and being able to watch 4 of my children grow up. I let the temporary attraction of riches overrule the things that have longterm and everlasting value.
As we have built and molded and shaped BGW over the years, we have learned a lot. At the beginning of this year when we sat down to discuss where we are headed, we talked to the young architects on our team about the importance of prioritizing their walk with God and their family. As we made decisions about how to help them do this, I wondered how the pastors and Christian leaders we work with are committing to prioritize their relationship with God and their families this year.
It is so easy to get caught up in travel, in finishing the tasks before us in any given week, in the triage of pastoral care, etc. And when we finally get to our beds at night, we collapse, then pull ourselves up the next day and do it all again. My challenge for you all, and for my internal office, is to examine your own lives, and the changes that would need to be made in order for you to steward this life God has given you for the long haul.
In Hebrews 12, we read that we are to run the race set before us…with endurance. This life isn’t a sprint, but a 100-mile ultra marathon. How are you training? What sustenance are you relying on? What is your pace? By considering these things, and allowing others into your life so that they may keep you accountable, you are on the right track – you are headed in a biblical direction. You’re on the road to biblical profit.
If you want to learn more, I’d encourage you to get in contact with us to learn more about participating in a Biblical Entrepreneurship course, or hosting one at your church.