This session is not to take the place of the due diligence and business plan, but merely looking at steps to take from a biblical point of view. Many books have been written on the subject, but here we would like to focus on informed decision making and how the church can help.
1 Identified BusinessOpportunity
You have either identified a business, or are thinking of buying/starting a business. If one follows the process diligently that is preached form our pulpit with regards to decision making, then the ultimate decision of whether to buy/start or not, should become easier and potential success not guaranteed – but at least have a better chance of success.
2 Decision process:
Step 1 Pray
“For the Lord gives ________and from his mouth come ___________and ____________” (Proverbs 2:6)
“Pride only breeds quarrels but __________is found in those who take _____________” (Proverbs13:10)
“Commit to the Lord whatever you do and your _______ will __________” (Proverbs 16:3)
Step 2 Seek wise council
Find a minimum of 3 other persons that are “wise” in the biblical sense and will give you unbiased, wise advice. It is preferable to have at least one of the counselors who knows something about the business you are preparing to enter.
- It is critical that you listen
- That the wise counselors you seek are relevant to your situation.
- Do not reinvent the wheel.
“Plans fail for ____of _______but with many ____they succeed.” (Proverbs 15:22)
Step 3 Do not rush your decision
- Most mistakes come from making a quick decision. Think of instances where a salesperson has told you of this bargain, never to be repeated, too good to be true…..
- Do not feel or allow yourself to get pressured into a decision – if God wants you to have it, no-one can take it away.
- By the same token, do not procrastinate. Get as much info and make an informed decision.
Step 4 Must have peace when the decision is made.
This is the peace that “passeth all understanding.” If the decision you have made leaves you churning and feeling uncomfortable, as opposed to buyers remorse, then it is probably the Holy Spirit talking to you. Get out of the deal. (it is important to give yourself a legal exit point. e.g. buying a house – subject to you finding a bond)
Step 5 Must be backed up by the Word.
A fairly simple process here. An example – buying a bottle store – most definitely going to “cause people to stumble.”
Step 6 Common sense
- A vital ingredient that is often overlooked.
- Would you open up a Spaza Shop next to Pick ’n Pay?
1 Do NOT expect the counselors to make the decisions for you – it is your duty to weigh up everything and then action or not. You are the one who will either succeed or fail and take the given consequences.
2 Do NOT assume because you have followed the process, you are entitled too succeed – God might have other plans. We are trying to minimize risk.
3 Do NOT abuse persons who are offering to help.
4 Do NOT pay lip service to the process – ie follow it, but not really follow it through in terms of ongoing support.
5 Do NOT ignore advice given – test it against others – particularly when there is no consensus on a topic.
6 Do NOT use same type advisors – look for a variety in terms of skills and strengths.
There are many folk in the church here at NCF who can help in the initial stages – from advice to possible practical things like financing, rental space and partnering. It is important to note that should you go to an accountant for help within the church, he/she is in business and should be treated as such. Do not expect them to give you 5 hours of their time for nothing. Should they choose to help free of charge or at minimal cost, that is their prerogative – use discretion.