Many Christians feel like the only way they can serve God and do His work is through official ministry roles in the church. But God wants to co-labor with us in every area of our lives as entrepreneurs, not just on Sundays.
Co-laboring with God means partnering with Him in your daily work, family life, health, finances, and more.
In our recent podcast discussion, Ray Edwards told me:
"Everything is sacred if we have the eyes to see it."
When we recognize that God cares about all of our life's domains—not just the spiritual ones—we can start to co-labor with Him daily.
Here are five key things we can learn from God specifically as an entrepreneur:
1. God is a Risk-Taker
As Ray said, "God bet our future on us. And he knew what would happen and he created us anyway." Creating humanity was a huge risk, but God took a chance on us. Entrepreneurs need to be willing to take risks to achieve their vision.
2. God is a Creator
God invented the idea of private property. He invented the ideas of ownership of buying and selling. God created the universe, the earth, and everything in it. He crafted humanity in His own image. Entrepreneurs tap into their God-given creativity to create new products, services, and businesses.
3. God Invests in Things That Will Produce a Return
He's always looking for a return on investment. This concept of an ROI is threaded throughout Scripture; for example, when you plant something, you can come back and expect there to be fruit. God gives us talents, gifts, and resources and expects us to steward them well to produce fruit and a return on His investment. Likewise, entrepreneurs choose where to invest their resources for the greatest return.
4. God Values Relationships and Partnership
Ray said, "God didn't need us, but he made us. He didn't need to do anything for us, but he did everything for us. He doesn't need us to pray. Because he already knows, but he invites us into that relationship." Even though God didn't need our input or co-labor, He desires relationship and partnership with us. Entrepreneurs understand the importance of relationships, partnerships, and collaboration.
5. God Sees the Big Picture
As the all-knowing Creator, God has a master plan that spans all of eternity. Entrepreneurs need to have vision and see opportunities for the future that others can't see yet. While others get stuck in the details, entrepreneurs keep the end goal in sight.
God demonstrates all the essential qualities of an entrepreneur: risk-taking, creativity, vision, and a willingness to invest for the long-term. By following His example, we can develop an entrepreneurial mindset and build influential businesses. But we must be sure we are doing it all for His glory rather than our own selfish gain.
When God is our source of inspiration, entrepreneurship can be an act of worship.
Where Do We Start?
Co-laboring with God begins with spending time in prayer and understanding what He is doing each day. This means we first need to be able to observe what God is doing? What is God saying at this moment? God is always at work around us, but we need to intentionally look for Him and ask Him for direction.
Make prayer and meditation a daily habit and start asking God what He wants to do with your life, family, work, health, and finances that day.
Look for opportunities in your ordinary tasks to follow God's leading. As Ray put it, "looking for those opportunities to step into the stream of what God is doing in all parts of our lives is what I see as co-laboring with God."
Maybe God wants you to encourage a coworker, be patient with your kids after school, pick up litter in your neighborhood, or donate your time/money to a good cause. Little acts of obedience each day add up to co-laboring with God.
Treat each person and task as if you were serving God Himself. Ask God to show you how to serve and love others in a way that honors Him. Make an effort to see situations from an eternal perspective. When your motivation shifts from selfish ambition to partnering with God to serve others, every area of your life can become an act of worship.
Co-laboring with God leads to greater meaning, purpose, and intimacy in your relationship with Him. While ministry involvement is important, God's work extends far beyond the walls of a church. He wants to partner with you in your daily life to advance His kingdom and shape you into the person He created you to be.
Ask God each day to show you how He wants to work through you, then make an effort to follow His leading in all areas of your life. That is how you learn to co-labor with God.
Let's raise the Standard!