Thursday, March 4, 2010

Kingdom Purposes

A couple of weeks ago, someone asked me for Belay Enterprises’ kingdom purpose. I was participating in a round table Convene discussion with several CEO’s from for-profit companies. I thought this was where my non-profit business as mission organization was going to shine.

Of course, our kingdom purpose is Belay’s mission statement, so I shared that we aimed to partner with the church to create businesses that employ and job train individuals rebuilding lives from addiction, homelessness or prison. That was easy.

Or so I thought.

But then the moderator asked me to dive in deeper. He challenged me to share what I thought was the fundamental eternal purpose of Belay Enterprises. If as followers of Christ, we believe that God created the universe and as a result is the only true owner of everything, then all organizations whether for-profit or non-profit are ultimately owned by God. We are merely stewards responsible for achieving the best out of the resources God has temporarily given us.

I went away from the meeting challenged to think deeper about the fundamental kingdom purpose of our organization. I came back to the group a few weeks later with a clear sense of it by elevating one of our previous value statements to its true position as our fundamental purpose: our organization seeks to transform and rebuild lives with Jesus through employment.

And by arriving at that clear definition, I have found that everything we are doing has a new sense of order and priority. Our mission statement remains the same but flows naturally from our organization’s fundamental purpose.

I’ve made no secret in this blog about how many different projects we are drawn to in our quest to create employment opportunities for ex-offenders. But the reality is that one organization can’t do everything. To lead is to say yes to some things and no to a lot more other things. But in all things to know exactly what God wants our organization to produce. All along I knew our kingdom purpose, but sometimes it takes someone from the outside to help remind.

Ahh, the joy of clarity.

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