Are You Building a Successful Marketplace Ministry?
April 18, 2014
When it comes to building and growing a successful company, CEO’s and business owners can easily list the key ingredients: a well conceived strategy and plan, key metrics, on-going customer service; innovation regarding products, services and delivery methods.
The challenge for CEOs called to lead companies as God’s stewards is to see daily business as an opportunity for ministry, not solely from a pragmatic perspective. It can be difficult to follow this path when our culture only celebrates the secular aspects of business (e.g., pursuing “The American Dream”).
One of the most common problems in establishing an effective workplace ministry is a lack of consistency. Some focus on ministry for a season, perhaps related to a specific event, project, or obvious need, but soon after become distracted. Urgent business priorities often suspend ministry efforts until circumstances permit. This is like tithing only when you’re doing well versus being faithful with your first fruits through the ups and downs of life.
C12 member CEOs and business owners strive to thoughtfully integrate ministry elements into their normal business model to regularly serve and engage their stakeholders and minimize the temptation to be distracted by daily business challenges. But this transition can be difficult.
C12 member, Tony Orsini, says, “When I began the journey as a business leader, I was in control of everything and thought I had it all but I did not live until I surrendered to His will and used my gifts for His purpose by bring my faith into the workplace and transforming the way I lead as a follower of Christ. I have finally found my calling,” says Orsini, founder of Orsini Healthcare in Chicago.
Tony had become a Christian in 2006, but decided to keep his business and private lives separate. Like many Americans, he tried to live by differing sets of values at home, church, and at work. As an entrepreneur, he had previously started a company focused on delivering quality and comprehensive nursing care that was valued by patients, physicians and medical facilities. Orsini Healthcare grew into a successful and respected company. Then, in 2010, everything changed, thanks to being challenged by a local Chicago-area C12 Group Chair and that year’s Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit.
Orsini Healthcare now reflects not only Tony’s faith but also a new, God-honoring mission for all to see: “…a faith-based healthcare organization that has dedicated our heart and soul to acting justly, loving mercy, and walking humbly with all those who have entrusted us to care for their lives.”
In 2009 Orsini Healthcare annual revenue was just over $20 million. Today that number has jumped to near $100 million. During the same period, employee turnover declined sharply and active ministry to those the company touches through daily business ramped up sharply.
Under the leadership of its unashamedly Christian CEO, Orsini Healthcare has developed a clear vision of its God-honoring purpose and Biblical core values “…to lead our employees, patients, and business associates in the direction toward understanding the love of Jesus Christ. We also aspire to be good stewards of the resources that God has entrusted to us.” Orsini Healthcare’s unifying mission and vision statements serve as a source of inspiration and accountability for employee and team members.
So are you building a successful marketplace ministry?
The C12 Group helps Christian CEOs and business owners hold true to the call of leading excellent companies as God’s stewards, but also recognizes that sometimes we fall short in serving our stakeholders from the eternal perspective.
Does your company’s mission statement speak to your greater purpose… the ‘why’ that underpins your life and work? Or, is it a generic, politically correct sentiment, dealing solely with the secular dimensions of business that any firm might say? If so, consider retooling your mission statement. In the process, consider C12 Group’s overarching credos:
Building GREAT Businesses for a GREATER Purpose... Pursuing Performance God’s Way... and Priorities are what we do; everything else is just talk!
To be effective, your mission needs to be integral to your decision-making process and serve as a guide and inspiration in conducting business at all levels. Here’s a quick ‘how-to’ guide:
Start with a solid statement of purpose that’s concise, inspiring, and helpful in decision-making and stirs a sense of ministry that actually excites you.
Use it as a focal point and screening tool when interviewing applicants and building your leadership team. They should embrace and be excited about your purpose and values, and be able to explain how they’ll contribute as a team member in such an environment.
Require each employee to memorize it, including every new hire in their first week. Get personally involved in promoting and reinforcing this practice.
Refer to it in each staff meeting; Lead by applying, teaching, using timely examples, and celebrating those who personify these principles whenever possible.
Print it on plaques, literature, and business cards; Display it in your reception area, offices, meeting rooms, stationary, websites, and newsletters.
Be willing to be “a broken record”, especially in the beginning. Enlist your key staff to do likewise and help you to deeply implant it!
Remember, above all, walk the talk because your team is watching and following your lead!
About The C12 Group
The C12 Group is America's leading executive roundtable for Christian CEOs and owners building great businesses for a greater purpose. C12 Members gather monthly for a unique, proven peer forum to engage in worthwhile continual learning, brainstorming, intentional accountability, and to share proven best practices, combined with eternal perspective. Members also receive monthly counsel through one-on-one sessions, an annual business review, and an online library of high-impact leadership tools. Founded in 1992 by Buck Jacobs, dedicated Christian author and CEO, C12's mission is to change the world by bringing forth the Kingdom of God in the marketplace through the companies and lives of those He calls to run businesses for Him.
Christian CEOs & Owners Building GREAT Businesses for a GREATER Purpose ©2014.