Cautiously I shuffled into a small building called the Firehouse Community Center located on the Southside of Oklahoma City. Typically I don’t venture this direction. It’s run down and honestly gives me the creeps. But I felt led to lean into a cause that pulled at my heart; human trafficking. In fact, the center’s location was chosen because it is in “The Track,” where trafficking occurs as well as drug related crimes, homelessness, poverty issues and childhood neglect and abuse. God takes us to uncomfortable places.
Despite my tight stomach and nervousness flowing through my veins, I could sense God’s presence in that place. The Firehouse is used by No Boundaries International as a place of fervent prayer and worship and as a resource for outreach to the destitute community.
When I heard the story of Dr. Lori Basey, the President and Co-Founder, I felt convicted for my own lack of generosity in my life. Her credentials as an Occupational Therapist and Trauma Therapeutic Intervention Specialist are impressive. However, she gave that up as a career to pursue the spirit driven tug on her heart to found this organization. Even before she knew what it would look like or how she would grow it.
This is the kind of story that so easily feels aligned with the principles of generosity and loving others that are found in the bible. But what if you feel called to a for profit business? Maybe your business isn’t something that is spiritual or deeply impactful on the surface but you feel like God has given you your talents to share with the world and you want to be obedient. But sometimes you wonder if you are being selfish or ungenerous by pursuing something that doesn’t fit the traditional “full-time ministry” mold. This leads to feeling less than, guilty or even consciously or subconsciously limiting the success of your calling to help you feel more aligned with what is easier to accept as God’s will.
However, I want to point out another part of the story. Dr. Basey’s husband who is a dentist. As she left her career to pursue the ministry she felt led to, God blessed His practice. Could he have lowered his prices? Maybe turned his dentistry practice into a ministry in itself to serve needy families with their dental needs? Perhaps. He may use those gifts at times for free or heavily discounted services, but what did Dr. Basey say about it?
His flourishing dentistry practice is what makes this organization possible.
This indicates to me that rather than limiting his financial success, he gladly received God’s favor and used it for what him and his wife felt led to do, which is to grow No Boundaries International.
I love this story because it shows a beautiful union of two people following the role God led them to. Some people are called to give up their careers and the money and do something scary. Others are called to grow a business that supports non-profits. The people I serve and find tend to feel much more comfortable with the former calling. There’s less doubt about whether the calling comes from God.
My encouragement to you is to recognize that God has and does use BOTH roles. We can create boundaries for our generosity within our businesses to empower us to follow God’s lead which will have the greatest impact instead of listening to the enemy accuse us of not being altruistic enough.
What do these boundaries look like?
When it comes to business decisions, such as “should I pursue a for profit business?”, “how should I price this product or service?” or “how much should I give through my marketing strategy?” check in with yourself to see if your decision is coming from:
*I feel God leading me to this
*I am strategically doing this
*Comparison and negative feelings like guilt and fear
Obviously if you feel specially led to start a business...do it! If God has placed a price on your heart...go for it. If God says to giveaway certain content in a certain way...always listen.
Oftentimes a generous strategy is strategic. You may have a low priced offer not because you are resisting money, but rather you want to find out who you are connecting with the most or a million other reasons. You may offer something without an opt-in not because you think asking for an e-mail address is too much but maybe because your goal is to spread the value to as many people as possible, even if they aren’t that committed to using it.
However, if you are basing a decision off of someone else’s journey or someone else’s calling, get back in your own lane and ask God what YOUR role should be. If you find yourself suppressing what God is saying because there’s guilt that it seems too good of a blessing to pursue this dream business or to charge that amount, pray, be still before God and journal that out. Focus on scriptures that share about how God loves to bless His children and on abundance to help you see that when you receive that does not mean you are taking from others. God is limitless; there is plenty of blessing to go around. Ask yourself if you are empowering or disempowering others through your decision.
Another great option is to check in with a Christ-Centered community or friend that holds the same values you have about creating an impact and income. You are always welcome to join the community of believers that have gathered in my group The Courageous Christpreneur.
Leave a comment with your tips on how to use generosity to grow your business without limiting your mindset or results!
I went in depth with the questions to ask yourself as you make business decisions in this YouTube video 7 Questions to Maximize Your Impact and Income for the Christian Entrepreneur.
Btw, if you are interesting in learning more (or maybe supporting) No Boundaries International, you can find more here.