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.
There is much to be learned from this and I’ll bullet point them in a minute. But first, you need to know more background on how it was possible for her to give up her career to maximize her attention to this ministry. 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.
It took faith for her to step out of her role. She didn’t know what would happen as she did.
When God calls you to a path, God provides a way for you to trek it
When God provides, use His provision as an testimony of His goodness and faithfulness so the impact of His provision spreads even more (Dr. Basey shared this story and here I am share it with you now. What if she had withheld these details? How limiting that would have been.)
While starting a non-profit easily feels aligned with the principles of generosity and loving others that are found in the bible, it’s also important and necessary to fund it. The value you add to the world with your work is not less than or more than whether you are an employee, an entrepreneur, or someone doing work without getting paid. Could her husband have lowered his prices? He could have turned his dentistry practice into a ministry in itself to serve needy families with their dental needs. He may use those gifts at times for free or heavily discounted services, but God used His prosperity as the provider in the family to fund the calling in Dr. Basey’s heart.
For those who love Him and are called according to His purpose, God uses your talents to glorify Him share with the world in a variety of ways. The key is to be obedient to His specific calling in your life, in your current season and to do all things with excellence. Dr. Basey performed with excellence in her career and then in her organization. Her husband performed with excellence in his career and that provided a foundation on which God blessed him with prosperous favor.
It is not selfish or ungenerous to pursue something that doesn’t fit the traditional “full-time ministry” mold. 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 is not actually helpful to giving God glory or serving others. It is unnecessary, unfruitful and just plain unfun.
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. Some are led to provide for the family so the other half can raise influencers for Christ. Some of these things can feel more spiritual and Christian. My encouragement to you is to recognize that God has and does use ALL roles.
If you are called to a for profit business I have some ideas for you on how to create boundaries for generosity within your businesses while following God’s lead on how to have the greatest impact. This is in contrast to 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.
Leave a comment with your own story, tips or questions about money mindset, marriage, financial provision and faith!
Btw, if you are interesting in learning more (or maybe supporting) No Boundaries International, you can find more here.