LET'S BE ABOUT OUR FATHER'S BUSINESS!
Do you know that show Shark Tank?
My family and I have learned a lot about the structure of business, increase, profitability and return on investments (ROI) because of watching this show.
There are certain key points to consider in determining whether or not a business is successful - and a successful business has a high percentage of being a sound and profitable investment. Some of the things to consider are:
1. Valuation: This is determined by the amount of money an owner has into the business (to start it, develop product, cost of inventory, current investors, etc.), then, take into consideration the annual revenue and the rate of growth over the duration of time the company has been in business. The greater the revenue the greater the valuation.
In other words: What have you put into it, and what increase are you getting out of it?
2. Profit: A company's profit is determined by how much it costs to do business, make the product and pay all employees or investors, subtracted from what the consumer pays for the product or service. The profitablity margin then is that space between what the consumer determines the product or service is worth and the actual production costs.
In other words: Is the consumer value of what you do worth more than the actual costs?
3. Equity: If you have someone willing to invest in that company, then their portion of the profit is determined by the equity the owner is willing to give them according to how much money the investor is willing to spend to buy a portion of the company. So, if an investor spends $100,000 for 10% equity in a company, the company is valued at $1,000,000 and for ever dollar of profit the company makes, the investor will get 10% and the owner keeps 90%.
The other day I had my regular conversation with the Lord about ministry growth in terms of members and revenue coming into the ministry in relationship to the various ministries and services to the community that I'd like to do as a Church, but still cannot yet.
And, since it is our first ever "Outreach Month," and because in last week's service I mentioned we have a 90% tithing rate because of our small membership; I had two other thoughts that I added to my regular conversation about the Church finances:
- How to reach more non-members with an understanding of Church partnership
- How to reach more members with an understanding of how tithing helps them
And God said to my spirit: "Why don't you try?"
What, say what!? ...ok, I'll try:
In Luke 2:49, a young Jesus told his earthly parents that he needed to be about His "Father's Business." At the time, He was found studying in the Temple with the Elders.
But by Acts 6:3, the Apostles tell the early church to appoint well-abled deacons to handle the "business of the church" while they attended themselves to prayer and the administration of the Word of God.
So - there is church business. Any pastor who has started a new church plant with no assistance from a parent organization should know first hand, starting a church is exactly like starting a business. (And if they don't, they may have done it wrong!)
Jesus makes many parables relating the Kingdom of God to various aspects of business and money management. One of my favorites is the "parable of the pounds" in Luke ch. 19 in which the Good Master says to his servants "occupy until I come." To "occupy" means to "do business!"
If each Believer knew how to treat their Christianity as a business, then they too would have to take the principles of Valuation; Profit; Equity and ROI into consideration!
Welcome to the SPIRITUAL SHARK TANK!
- This is the Father's Business! He is the "Parent Corporation" - pastors and their churches should be "Franchise Owners" operating eating establishments to feed you with knowledge and understanding. (Jeremiah 3:15)
- You are both the consumer and the investor! Most investors in the Tank have more incentive to take an interest in the company when they have a connection to it. Do you like eating at your restaurant enough to pay your bill and tip well?
- What Valuation do you give the Word of God (the product) and the Kingdom (the company)? Often times in the Tank, the Owner gives the company a higher valuation than the investor is able to see, or willing to accept. But when the investor sees a valuation that is as high as the owner's, both know it's a win-win scenario! Well, God has a HIGH - if not PRICELESS - valuation on His Word, His Kingdom and The Church who is the BRIDE of His Son, Jesus! If you value the Kingdom enough to go to church and get fed as a consumer, do you feel the product is worth investing in the ability for others to come get fed as well? Remember, this ratio can determine your profit margin!
- The greater your valuation, the greater your profit! Luke 6:38 "Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again." When you value the Kingdom of God greatly and forgive in equal measure, forgiveness is given to you 30, 60, 100 fold. When you put a high value on the Kingdom of God and pray in equal measure, that which you are praying for will be given unto you beyond measure. When you value the Kingdom of God as being priceless and you speak in equal measure to the lost and unbeliever about the treasure of God's word, you store up treasures in heaven so great than when poured out it cannot be contained! And when you give your tithe and offering according to the valuation you have of the Kingdom of God, you will receive finances, wealth and tangible resources in equal measure - poured out from your treasures in heaven!
- That means your Equity is based upon what you put in and the percentage you've determined you'll withdraw. God, the Owner of it all is asking for a 10th (a tenth) of your income in exchange for 100% equity in His company, the Kingdom of Heaven!
- But if you've determined you cannot tithe at all - your financial and spiritual equity is based upon the measure of your giving. And sorry, 0% of $0 is still... 0 (zero, zip, zilch, nada) - robbing God? Technically, you're robbing yourself!
- But, if you've determined that you cannot really tithe, but you can give what you can, when you can or a little of what you make, then your return on investment is measured back to you a little bit at a time, here and there in equal measure to your ability to give.
- But if you are determined to give 10% of all your increase, then your ROI is increased back to you 100%! You get 100% protection on the 90% of your remaining finances, so that the enemy will not devour it or devour you!
- But... bringing your tithe AND offering according to Malachi 3:8 is over and above! It speaks of not just trust in God, but it shows your investment into partnering with God for the growth and building of His Kingdom. Giving "over and above" shows you have an over and above valuation on all God's Word says, and God will measure it back to you over and above as well - opening his treasure in heaven like Malachi 3:10 says, and pouring you out a blessing - good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over! That's over and above 30, 60, 100 fold! That's the 1000 times greater of Deuteronomy 1:11!
That's when you see your 10th (your tithe) and your over and above offering give you a 100% return on your investment! Here's what you get:
- 100% (or more) of your giving returned in your finances
- 100% (or more) of an ability to be a blessing to others
- 100% (or more) of an increase in the fruit of your righteousness (2 Cor. 9:10)
- 100% (or more) of God's supernatural favor in all other areas of your life
- And 100% credit before the Throne of God for that all your pastor and church are able to do for the Kingdom of God through your financial giving, prayers and support.
But it sure does make dollars, cents, common sense and spiritual wealth for Christians to fully invest in the Kingdom of God and be about the Father's business His way!
Praying your power, love & peace, ya'll!