Teaching the next generation basic business principles is essential in any type of faith-based curriculum for school-aged kids so they can succeed in the business or small business world and still have their faith, whatever faith they have. Understanding how business works opens their minds to broader possibilities on how to earn a good living when they grow up. These principles can be used with equal felicity by those seeking to be excellent employees and those wanting to become entrepreneurs.
Spiritually minded youth brought up in the Christian tradition have the benefit of being more motivated in any business than those who have little faith. This is because they learn through devotion for youth programs created by their church that their work should be viewed as an opportunity to honor Jesus. In business, this philosophy of being a good servant to the Lord can be expressed by serving customers with goodwill, managing assets with good stewardship, building a business team with a sense of fellowship, and only embarking in small business ventures that contribute real value to the community.
A person of strong Christian faith can infuse any business principles with greater power for good than unchurched people. However, its good to keep in mind that the amazing power of faith works wonders in other religions, too, like Judaism and Islam. Every major religion has their share of avatars, apostles, and prophets. The point is that a person from any faith has a better chance at doing well in business once they are schooled in the basic principles of solid business practice
Let us take a look at 7 business principles that correlate with a faith-based approach:
- Character and reputation. Success in business life is based on winning people over to your point of view. However, in order to get people to know, like, and trust us, we need to be people of sound character. It’s difficult to get referrals if we don’t have a good reputation in the community.
- Influence and persuasion. While we often think of spreading the word as a way of sharing truth, the power to influence people is a powerful one in the business world, too. The better a person gets at marketing and sales, the easier it will be to generate leads and convert prospects into customers.
- Fellowship and goodwill. Companionship, sharing, and caring are all important factors in any religious community. In the world of business, this same attitude of friendship can be expressed at conferences, business meetings, and company events to nourish goodwill and cooperation.
- Diligence and discipline. The idea of diligence in all manner of things is part of the standard of a spiritual-minded person. It can be expressed through daily readings of scripture. It can be expressed by staying true to one’s word and following through on promises. And it can be expressed by doing the right thing even when it’s awkward or inconvenient.
- Support and encouragement. Spiritual-minded people like everyone else in the world have their share of trials and tribulations. Some pastors even say spiritual folk may be tested even more than others. When we go through periods of suffering, it’s easy to begin to lose faith in providence, and this is where the support and encouragement of others who share our faith can make a world of difference. In the business world,our bosses, co-workers, and customers need our support and encouragement as well as they go through difficulties.
- Progress and growth. In trying to follow in the footpints of Jesus, we are always hoping to make progress and to grow spiritually. This aspiration can also be expressed in the business world. We hope to get better at the work we do and get promotions. The business we work for, whether or not it’s our own or someone else’s, is also focused on growth, which it measures through the metrics of profit and loss, influence and marketshare.
- Continuity and succession. In John 14:12, Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.” Essentially, in that statement, he was introducing the idea of a succession strategy. In business, too, when someone builds a successful business, they devise a succession strategy, choosing someone who can carry on their work after they have left the business. After choosing the next leader, they provide mentorship so that this future leader will be able to handle the reins of power with a sense of mastery.
Learning faith-based principles, common business principles, and practical everyday skills can all work in a beautiful synergistic way to create a happy and successful business life.