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The 3 Bottom Lines of Business

For the Christians in business we should measure our success by three bottom lines: Economic, Social and Spiritual.

  • Economic. We need to make a profit or we won’t be able to stay in business. Making a profit is expected from God’s point of view. Isaiah 48:17 says, “Thus says the Lord, your redeemer, the holy one of Israel, ‘I am the Lord your God who teaches you to profit, who leads you in the way you should go.’”
  • The Social bottom line focuses on how we can be a blessing to our community and those around us.
  • Spiritual. This bottom line occurs when we use our business to influence our employees, vendors, customers, and even our competitors for Christ. As author Stanley Tamm said, “My business is my pulpit.”

Pete Ochs is a great example of succeeding in all three bottom lines. He bought a bankrupt manufacturing company in a small rural Kansas community. His biggest challenge was the small labor force, and he needed workers to be flexible to work from 20 to 40 hours a week. Pete and his team prayed for the Lord to give them creativity, and He did!

Pete asked the warden of a state prison located in this town to allow him put the manufacturing plant inside the prison. The prisoners were earning 70 cents an hour working, and Pete wanted to pay them $10 an hour. The first $3 would go to the prison to help pay for their room and board so the tax payers benefited. The prisoners could spend the other $7 any way they wanted.

Remarkably, most the inmates have sent most of what they earned to their families – so wives and children benefited. The inmates also learn a marketable skill that will help them get a job when they are released from prison so society wins. Pete and his team have loved and cared for their workers in very tangible ways, such as, holding inspirational meetings twice a month. Four times a year Pete provides a lunch for the prisoners and their families, he’s started a seminary inside the prison. Many of the inmates have been introduced to Christ.

Oh, and by the way, the company has been profitable because of the flexible work force. The warden is pleased because if there is a disciplinary problem with an inmate, they are disqualified from working for Pete and earning a good wage. The culture of the entire prison has changed. That’s the triple bottom line in action.

Warmly in Christ,

Howard Dayton

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Business God’s Way

Dear Friends,

This journey with Bev’s cancer is a journey of faith in Christ. As I mention in my last blog, Bev’s excruciating pain was and is still gone! We praise God and thank you for praying for this relief.

However, when we met with her oncologist several days ago, we learned that the “markers” in her blood were elevated. 35 is normal, she had 48 a month ago and 58 now. The doctor promptly ordered a bone scan which she will undergo today. We should find out the results tomorrow. The blood tests are not always accurate, while bone scans are.

We remain supremely confident that our heavenly Father is in total control, and are trusting Him for her healing. As always, we need your prayers.

I’ve been working with a wonderful group of business people for about a year on the Business God’s Way materials. There is such a need for those in business to understand how the Lord wants them to use their platform in the marketplace to influence Continue reading Business God’s Way

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Starting A Business

Dear Friends,

A couple of things to share with you today: An update on my wife’s fight with cancer and the first in a series of insights that will help those starting a business.

First, we met with Bev’s radiologist to try to solve the debilitating side effects she was experiencing from the radiation treatments for her bone cancer. Thankfully, the doctor recommended suspending the treatments.

Here’s what we are praying for her: that the hormonal treatments would put the estrogen dominate cancer in remission. Bev continues to be overwhelmed with the kind prayers for her full recovery. We know that the Lord, “Will never leave us nor forsake us” (Hebrews 13:5).  And we have total confidence that He is able to bring her back to full health.

The Compass Business God’s Way small group study is close to completion. In each of the six chapters, we have a brief section for those who are or who want to start a business. Here’s the start-up section from Chapter 1:

What do you have in common with Sam Walton, Steve Jobs, and Bill Gates? Plenty, if you’re starting a new business. Your business may not grow to the size of a Walmart, Apple, or Microsoft, but every business is begun by an entrepreneur who has a vision. The French word entreprendre is the root word for entrepreneur and it means “one who takes a risk.” Let’s face it; it’s risky and takes courage to start a business from scratch. A friend is fond of saying, “I learned a lot about business through trial and terror!”

Every new business also starts small; many on a dining room table or in a garage. I’ve been involved in two business and two ministry start-ups and it’s Continue reading Starting A Business

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Update: European Conference

Dear Friends,

Many of you prayed for the trip to Germany and my participation in the Europartners conference in Berlin; THANK YOU! The trip was memorable and the conference could not have gone better.

First the trip: We sat waiting on the tarmac in Atlanta for about 30 minutes while the mechanics were replace something and some of the passengers on the flight were becoming restless and starting grumbling. And then it struck me: 100 years ago, a trip to Berlin would have taken weeks by boat and then train. 200 years ago, the same trip would have been extraordinarily dangerous taking months by a wind-powered ship and then horses.

Our flight was scheduled to take about 8 hours . . . and some passengers were complaining about a 30 minute delay!! Two hundred years ago, after 8 hours on their trip, the passengers would probably still be seeing the land of America.

It is easy to take for granted the advances in travel and communication–Skyped almost everyday with Bev to stay connected with my dear wife. Imagine, for no cost I was Continue reading Update: European Conference