How can our businesses help further the Great Commission?
John believes the greatest gift we can give to people is not financial but eternal – the gift of sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ. That’s why John Sikkema has partnered with Jossy Chacko from Empart, a global ministry that brings social and spiritual transformation to some of the world’s most disadvantaged and unreached communities in Asia, impacting 6.5 million people a month through its initiatives. John regularly takes business people on trips to North India where they are exposed to Empart’s ethos and undertake hands on leadership and training, serving others and being part of God’s redemption purposes.
These mission trips help business people see firsthand the dire situation that many face without the knowledge of Jesus Christ. It is a perspective that gave one of Halftime Australia’s participants a 180-degree change in his business perspective. John recalls an owner of a trucking business that was about to throw in the towel as his business was only breaking even. After travelling with John to North India and being exposed to the great need for the gospel in this region, the businessman decided to not only keep his business but grow his operations, aiming to sew $1 million profit into the Great Commission. Not only did he achieve his goal, the Halftime Australia participant went on to plant a church in his hometown in rural Australia.
John can recall numerous examples that testify that it is never too late to build a business on purpose! Creating a business that expands God’s Kingdom requires business owners and entrepreneurs to be people who are clear on their purpose – to be able to answer the question “What I am to do with my life?” For those who are followers of Jesus, there is no clearer guidance than the Great Commission.
It is a message that Halftime program participant Jossy Chacko has fully embraced and credits the lessons that John shares in building a business on purpose as being instrumental in the development of his not-for-profit organisation Empart. It is also a message that John wants people to be passionate about at a local level as well. John encourages all who are engaged in secular work to be involved in evangelism and share Jesus as they go. This means our faith is not separate to our work life. It means that what we do for a living does not consume all of our quality hours and as a consequence our investment in the Kingdom of God is not limited to the leftovers.
John goes even so far as to say that Christians in the marketplace have the greatest potential to become the best harvesters as they are surrounded by unbelievers in their working lives – colleagues, customers, suppliers or board members. As John experienced after receiving a renewed vision of the harvest field 20 years ago – allowing your faith to take over every part of your life including your business and career, will give you a new passion to demonstrate Christ’s generosity, persona and attitudes towards those you come across in your working hours.
Your business can be a catalyst for seeing God’s purposes come about in the world. Through Halftime Australia, John Sikkema has been able to reach people with the Good News in the marketplace as he helps people discover their true purpose and calling in God. The transformation that John experienced in his own life and business has been multiplied many times over as business owners and entrepreneurs start to build a business on purpose, working from a place of joy and desire to serve God.
Resource The Kingdom of God: We can prosper to resource God’s Kingdom purposes
There can be a big downside when we pursue success as an end in itself. Just ask John. On the outside he looked like he had it altogether – a beautiful wife, an architecturally designed house overlooking the beach and golf course, and four kids in private schools.
However, John will admit looking back, the cracks were showing to everyone but him. He was a workaholic, burdened by a lot of personal debt, plagued by migraine headaches and confronted with a wife who wanted a divorce unless things significantly changed. It was a verse in the Letter to the Ephesians that was instrumental in helping John to see through the fog of disappointment and grief he had caused himself and others:
God did not want John to be overwhelmed with regret – He wanted him to know that He had a better narrative – one that would redeem the brokenness that came from making success an idol. Getting a hold that we are made in God’s image and that the Creator has prepared good works for us to do before we were even born is revolutionary for many people, says John. Once this truth dawns on business owners and entrepreneurs, they are eager to learn their new job description!
In another pearl of wisdom that John shares in his training – pursuing God and His Kingdom purposes means we embrace our role as custodians rather than owners of God’s resources. When Christians wisely steward the resources God gives us and create wealth that is sewn back into the Kingdom of God, then real societal transformation can start to take place. It is the case of both the sewer and the reaper rejoice. As the gospel shines into the lives and communities that have never heard the Good News and you witness the impact of co-labouring with God for His Kingdom, new purpose and meaning will be poured into your life and business.
If you want to read more on this topic: In Part 1 John shared his journey and the importance of building a “Business On Purpose” which supports advancing the Kingdom of God and unleashing spiritual and social transformation both at a local level and global level.
About John Sikkema
John Sikkema is a business entrepreneur, author and thought-leader who is passionate about motivating and mentoring business leaders and organisations to discover their purpose and achieve their dreams and vision.
He is the Executive Chairman of Halftime Australia, a values-based executive coaching organisation addressing the growing hunger and need amongst Australian business leaders and owners to pursue more than just success. He is also the Director of Halftime Global Partners, Halftime Institute, Dallas, Texas USA.
Founder of Garrisons Financial Planning and Author of ‘Enriched, Re-defining Wealth’
Today, he sits on various boards, which includes his position as non-executive Board Chairman of Prime Value, a Melbourne-based funds management company.