Christian Business Leaders Breakfasts

The Christian Business Leaders Breakfasts for the year are now history.

Our special thanks to Buehler's Cooking School and Restaurant who hosted pastors and Christian business leaders from our area. We were privileged to use materials on the subject "Doing Business God's Way" by Dennis Peacocke of Strategic Christian Services. Also contributing were 3 very special community guest speakers.

An excellent by-product of our attendance was growth in our understanding of Kingdom business principles. As well as the ability to connect with other Christian leaders from our area.

The following are some notes from our discussions:

Biblical Principles of Business and Work Exemplified in the Life of Cyrus Hall McCormick- Stephen K. McDowell, Building Godly Nations, The Providence Foundation, 2003

  • Pg 254

  • 1. Work is a Holy Calling and, therefore, we should love it and work hard.

  • Cyrus saw his work as a holy calling and, therefore, loved to work. He rarely recreated. “He was the most laborious worker I ever saw,” said one of his secretaries. In his later life, Cyrus McCormick remarked that “I expect to die in the harness, because this is not the world for rest.” His strategy for work was: one thing at a time, and the hardest thing first. “He followed the line of most resistance. If the hardest thing can be done, he reasoned, all the rest will follow.”

  • Pg 255
  • 2. Business is a means of serving and blessing others.

  • Cyrus built his business upon a number of unique ideas. One was a written guarantee. The idea of a free trial and refund to dissatisfied customers was new. This reflected the Biblical ideas of serving and trusting the customer, seeking not chiefly personal profit, but providing the farmer with a machine that saved him labor and produced greater profit for him. He was caring for others and desired them to benefit from his invention.
  • A second idea he used: Reapers sold at a known price. Since the bargaining method was the norm during his day, he announced his price in ads so the buyer would know exactly what he would pay beforehand. He treated all men equally, showing no partiality to any.
  • A third idea was the customers’ good-will. Foremost of concern to Mr. McCormick was the well being of the farmer. That is one reason he extended them credit and allowed them to pay for a reaper with the money that was saved during the harvest. He said,” It is better that I should wait for the money than that you should wait for the machine you need.”
  • A fourth idea was servicing the machines he sold and carrying spare parts to replace any worn or broken. A business will grow by caring for people and seeking to serve your customers. The spare parts business grew with the reaper sales.

  • Pg 257
  • 3. Business must be built on integrity and godly principles.

  • All that we do in life should be done as unto the Lord. As a business leader or employer we should certainly carry out our work in a manner that reflects godly character. As everyone involved in a business, especially the leader, does this, it will provide a foundation for success. McCormick displayed many godly traits in his personal life and in his business. He also sought to provide the best product possible to his customers.
  • Any job Cyrus set out to do, he did with great thoroughness . He labored diligently to be exact in his labors and did not settle for second best or 90 percent. He also exerted the same amount of labor over all his endeavers, large or small.
  • Another of McCormick’s unique business ideas- the field test- reveals his integrity. Cyrus wanted the customer to see the product up front, to know what they were getting. So he initiated field tests against rival manufacturers to show farmer the value of the reaper and to compare between competitors.

  • Pg 259
  • 4. Business growth comes from encouraging individual initiative and seeing that all involved benefit from the fruit of their labor.

  • Another unique idea was a responsible agent and regional warehouses.
  • McCormick enlisted agents who went out to the people and flooded the country with his machines. His agents were not mere employees, but partners who were in charge of their own area and benefitted or suffered based on their own performance.

  • Pg 261
  • 5. Incorporating your family into your business is a means of building wealth generationally.

  • Cyrus’ family produced weath in him who, in turn, passed it on to his family. The atmosphere of Cyrus’ family produced the inventer and businessman. His father worked with him in his early years on the farm factory. After Cyrus started his company in Chicago, he quickly made his brothers partners with him. When his son became old enough, he was brought into the business, and after that his grandson. Cyrus and his wife passed on their wealth and riches to their children.
  • McCormick’s son, Cyrus H., worked for years to get the leading men who made farm machinery to join together, enabling them to be more productive. He finally succeeded in 1902, when the five leading manufacturers joined to form the International Harvester Company.

A Christian Economy will Flow from the Heart of Man Outward- Mark A.Beliles & Stephen K. McDowell, America’s Providential History, The Providence Foundation, 1989

Pg 194- Christianity produces internal liberty in man, which is the foundation for a Christian economy. The internal change of heart that Christ brings produces Christian character and self-government which is necessary for an economy to be prosperous. Christian character and self-government produce:

  • People who will not steal. Billions of dollars are lost each year by American businesses to theft by their employees. This theft is much greater than by non-employees.
  • People with a strong work ethic who will labor hard and be productive. This will cause an economy to grow.
  • People who will save and invest to acquire greater return later.
  • People who have concern for their posterity and will seek to pass on a greater estate than they received.

The truth of the gospel also imparts new ideas and creativity to man which assists him in increasing his material welfare. This occurs as man creates new and better tools. In addition, man gains the understanding that God has given him an abundance to rule the earth and if he seeks His supply, he will find it.

Past discussions continued:

What have we discovered in our quest to understand God's way of doing business?

These five questions arose demanding our attention.

I. What is the prevailing philosophy of our business?      

Two major philosophies were identified to be dominating our culture today.  

Capitalism: A riches oriented system with a "Darwinian" survival of the fittest mentality and strong profit motive.

Socialism: A state oriented system that declares the individual a pawn of the greater good. All welfare flows from the state and all property belongs to the state.  

II. Does God really have a way of doing business?       

Yes! God is offering us an alternative to the worlds systems left-right, capitalism-socialism single paradigm of economic possibility.  

Kingdom Economics: A wealth and obedience oriented system that is multi-generational in planning and focus. Realizing that God owns everything (Psalm 24:1), He has given us dominion and stewardship responsibilities (Gen 1:26-28), and He desires His will be done on earth just like heaven (Matt 6:10).   Instead of asking God to join with us in our businesses, God is asking us to join Him in His. He wants all of His people stewarding all of His creation. And the beauty is He has en-gifted each one of us with talents, skills and abilities to fulfill this mandate.

III. What is a pattern for a Christian business owner?      

Romans 12: 2 says to not be "conformed to the pattern of this world". But what scriptural pattern does God offer?  

Consider Psalm 112 as a possible answer. This psalm describes beautiful characteristics a Christian business owner can emulate in their interaction with God and man.

Blessed_is the man_who fears_the Lord, who finds great delight in his commandments.(NIV)

Wealth and riches are in his house, and his righteousness endures forever.(NIV)

Good will come to him who is generous and lends freely, who conducts his affairs with justice.(NIV)

Surely he will never be shaken... He will have no fear of bad news; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord.(NIV)

IV. Christian integrity, excellence and work ethic, is it for today?     

The "spirit of excellence" found in the life of Daniel. (Daniel 6:1-11) was the topic of discussion at our March Breakfast. Excellence was found to include a sense of duty and accountability to the living God, not selfish, self serving motives; diligence, instead of negligence; honesty and integrity, not deceitfulness or corruption.

Although these qualities propelled Daniel to the 2nd highest position of the ancient Babylonian empire, they are definately applicable today.

V. Wealth and Riches, is there a difference?

Doing Business God's Way- Dennis Peacocke, REBUILD, 2003

Pg 32 "Riches" are perishable assets which Christ warned us not to improperly focus upon as the primary goal of our labors. Riches can be initially gained with or without ethics and morals.

"Wealth," on the other hand, is primarily achieved through the skills, spiritual knowledge, and character developed in obeying God's ways of approaching resource management. Riches are something we have, wealth is something we are. Our job is to put into our hearts what is treasure to God, which is the wealth He has for us in Christ. Then we properly let the riches that God chooses to give us take their appointed course in or lives according to our calling. Wealth will pass through death, but riches will not.

These points provided our guests with very informative and stimulating discussions.

To help with some of our past discussions, we enlisted the help of an expert on the subject "Doing Business God's Way", Dennis Peacocke, pastor and businessman, who has authored the book of the same name and has been speaking on the subject for over 20 years. Dennis' materials have assisted us in our understanding of this vital area of influence.

If you like to would like to find out more about Dennis and Strategic Christian Services, the non-profit organization he serves as founder and president, follow this link to his website and an article he has written entitled Co-Managing the Earth: The Foundational Work of the Christian Marketplace Ministry appearing in the Nov/Dec 2003 issue of Business Reform Magazine.

This article is a must read and will give a great foundational look at the premises set forth in the book.