Returning to the Essentials
The global pandemic has changed everything about our lives. People have lost jobs, businesses have closed, and as many work from their kitchen tables trying to navigate the new realities COVID has brought, we realize that money is in short supply.
Individuals and business owners are quietly grappling with challenging questions as we consider the power money has over our lives. How much do I really need? How will I provide for my family? What if I don’t have any money left? When I look back on my life someday, what will have mattered the most?
Coming Back to What Really Matters
Engaging these questions points to what we value or treasure in life. The truth is money will fail us. When the markets crashed in 2008, banks around the world relied on their relationships with governments to bail them out. In the past year, banks and businesses again called on their governments to cushion them from complete collapse.
We need to put our trust in something that is bigger than a paycheck. When Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta led the country in a National Day of Prayer, his public address acknowledged something powerful: “Even science needs God.” Similarly, maybe we can remember that our finances, careers, and life callings also need God.
Moving Beyond Survival
Times of crisis call for a different response in order to survive. Businesses are largely designed to put money in people’s pockets in exchange for labour or expertise. But that may not be possible as markets plunge, cash reserves dwindle, and many places where we spend our money are shut down.
Yet our relationships and the intangible value they hold cannot be shut down. Their value cannot easily be plotted on a spreadsheet or graph. Our relationships with fellow human beings can offer love, support, and steadiness, even during tumultuous times.
So, what else can we share besides money? Consider Isaiah 11:1-2 (MSG) “A green shoot will sprout from Jesse’s stump, from his roots a budding branch. The life-giving Spirit of God will hover over him, the Spirit that brings wisdom and understanding, the Spirit that gives direction and builds strength, the Spirit that instills knowledge and Fear-of-God.”
Freely You Have Received; Freely Give
As Kingdom Business entrepreneurs, we have access to the life-giving Holy Spirit of God. Here are some sustainable forms of wealth that we can share with our employees, our families, and our neighbors:
As a leader, help your community remain physically, mentally, and spiritually healthy during this time. There is a lot of knowledge coming from credible sources such as the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the World Health Organization (WHO). Remember, you will still need your workforce to be strong and healthy after this crisis has passed. You need to be spiritually healthy as well. Maintain your own personal connection to Christ through daily scripture reading. This way, you will have deposits of life-giving wisdom from God’s word.
Demonstrate compassion. If someone seems to be struggling, is there a way you can help? If not, consider connecting them with an equipped staff member like HR, a healthcare provider, or a counsellor.
Offer guidance. As a servant leader, find creative ways to make it easier for people to understand the information they are receiving. Use the technology available to you to communicate to your teams. Make phone calls, send emails or video recordings to share useful and encouraging information.
Muster and demonstrate fortitude. People may be in fear during times of uncertainty; do not intensify their fear. Be honest yet confident about the measures you are taking to deal with the situation, in spite of the impact on your business. Stand by your people.
Think positively, creatively and broadly. As a business leader, you are likely to have access to useful information, people, and resources. Tap into your network of business leaders and the wider Sinapis alumni network to find out how best to deal with the current situation. Now is the time to build up our reservoirs of knowledge and to share what is true and useful with those in our spheres of influence.
God’s Love and Grace never runs out
COVID has awakened us to the fact that we may have put too much trust in our jobs, our businesses, and the money we make. We now see how fleeting these things are and how little control we have over our lives. Money may be in short supply, but God’s Spirit is infinite.
God is, and always will be, in control. And unlike financial markets, the deposits of the Holy Spirit are bound to bear fruit. May we all take comfort from Galatians 5:22-23 (NIV) “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”