There is a call to be a provider in the world and it’s a noble calling. Mostly it’s men who bear the responsibility of being a provider for their family. But, entrepreneurs have that same responsibility.
Christian business owners bear the burden of providing financially for their family and employees; providing jobs for the community; providing money, goods and services for their church, community, and ministry that relies on them for donations.
Through all of this provision, most people don’t stop and ask the business owner how they are handling all of this. In Church, the business owner is expected to have a say in maybe the financial matters of the church, or they’re leaned on to provide big donations for the next capital campaign. This inherently is not bad, because the Church wants to use the gifts of its members for the edification of the body.
However, I believe this has resulted in two primary expectations for Christian business owners from the Church and themselves, which can be dangerous:
Of course, none of this is verbalized, but if you look close enough you will probably see the subtle message that is communicated from the Church to the Christian business owner.
Now, I have not met one Christian business owner who has ever complained about being leaned on for donations because they are wealth-givers; they have been called to give and they absolutely love to give. But, if the church only views them as a means to their next building project, what kind of culture, relationship, and pressure does that create for the christian business owner?
I don’t think this has been done on purpose, nor do I believe that pastors intentionally use Christian business owners for their money. In fact, I think this culture is created by both sides, both the business owner and the Church.
In case you don’t feel this way: You are more than your love offering and building donation. You are loved for who you are as a Son of God.
More than anything the Church needs you to be who you are. But, what we need to do is stress that more than your love offering, we need your love for God.
Proving My Identity As A Giver
As a giver myself, I have seen this issue creep up in my own life. I wanted to be known as a giver, but what I didn’t realize was that I had given satan an area of my heart that made me co-dependent on being a giver.
Suddenly, my business dried up and I could feel my “identity” as a giver start to disappear. I didn’t feel as important anymore or valuable. This apparent failure meant that I couldn’t prove my identity as a giver anymore and that I was no longer Mark Santiago Entrepreneur and Wealth Giver, but I was Mark Santiago, a guy that goes to the church.
This had nothing to do with my church or the ministries that I gave to, but everything to do with my heart and my attitude towards success in business.
Providing Provision Himself
For you to truly be a provider, you have to provide Provision Himself. During the period of my business drying up, I learned that ultimately, what God wanted from me more than anything else, was that I would provide Him for my family and church.
Jesus didn’t just call your business to be fruitful so you can write a check, He called you to create a business that provides Him to the world.
We need you and your business, but we need you to receive God’s love for who you are first, so that when you release His provision it’s not from a place of “proving” your identity as a successful business owner or giver, but living from your heart as a Son of God.