“The earth is the Lord’s and all it contains, the world and those who dwell in it” (Psalm 24:1). The foundation of biblical stewardship is the tenet that everything belongs to God and that He permits us to manager or steward what belongs to Him. We own nothing. That includes our very lives. Additionally, He promises to hold us accountable for how well we steward that which He has entrusted to our care.
As a business owner, we constantly need to look at everything that we have and ask ourselves if we are stewarding them to the best of our abilities. That includes our relationship with God, our marriages, children, employees, customers, vendors, and our time and finances. We know that we will be held accountable for how well we steward His resources. We also know that to those who steward well He gives more but to those who do not steward well, even the little that they have will be taken away (Luke 19:26).
First and foremost, we need to be asking ourselves if we are stewarding our relationship with God to the best of our abilities. Are we setting aside some time each day to grow in our relationship with Him? Has our devotional time become a time of obligation or do we really get greater delight in our time with Him than in anything else we do in the day? If our relationship with Him is becoming stale, we can cry out to Him to give us the grace to restore the passion that we once had for Him and truly place Him at the center of our hearts and lives.
When reviewing our employees, we need to take a look at our employee benefits and ask ourselves if we are compensating our employees as we would want to be compensated. If we cannot afford to compensate them the way that we’d like at the current time, do we have a plan to grow our employee pay and benefits at a rate comparable to the growth in our revenue? When was the last time that we did a benefits review to see where our compensation package fits within our industry? It’s generally a good idea to review the company’s entire compensation plan at least once per year and receive input from third-parties as to ways to improve our benefits package while maintaining or decreasing our overall expenses.
Along with our employees, our customers are one of our most valuable resources that we steward. Along with looking at our customers for referrals and increased sales and growth, it’s a good idea to constantly be asking ourselves how we can provide greater value to our existing customers. Two companies that do this quite well are Apple and Microsoft. They are constantly looking to improve their existing products. This keeps their existing customers loyal to them and helps them dominate the market they are in. Successful companies are always looking to see where they can provide more value while maintaining or decreasing overall expenses.
In the next article we’ll look at some more practical ways to ensure that we are stewarding His resources to the best of our abilities.
Jeff Ahern is an author, public speaker, and former Naval Officer who has provided management consulting and business process improvement services to Fortune 500 and Government clients for over twenty years. He is co-founder of Sozo Services, Inc., a spiritual advisory firm helping business leaders succeed and achieve their personal and corporate goals by using Biblical, Spirit-led solutions.