I’ve owned three businesses in the last few years. I’ve also held a high level executive positions that have had me on the road on a very regular basis. I know from experience that it can be harder to live on mission in everyday life when you are in a different city or country every week on business. Or when you have to run to Costco in the middle of your missional community gathering to grab milk for your coffee shop because they ran out.
I’d like to share a few things with you that were helpful to me when I was on the road and/or very busy at work. Remember, these only apply if you are not working too much or neglecting your relationship with Jesus and your family.
1. Use your gifts and skill sets to benefit your church family
If you own a commercial real-estate business, represent your church family. If you’re an attorney, draft documents they’ll need. If you own a coffee shop, help your church’s coffee shop become the best coffee shop in town.
2. Mentor and/or coach key leaders in your church family
If your church family has an elder or deacon that leads in Operations/Finance/HR/Organizational Strategy, these guys are, often, the lone rangers on a church staff team. Identify who these leaders are and offer to meet with them once a month.
3. Your financial gifts are important
If you’re the Vice President of of a large company, you probably won’t be at all the training opportunities, Sunday gatherings or missional community gatherings through the year because you might be closing business deals in Asia or Europe. However, your large paycheck helps support the advancement of the Church’s mission. Please remember to model tithing for your church family every month.
4. Prayer is very important
If you find yourself on many business trips throughout the year, make an effort to press pause on your favorite podcast sermon and and simply pray. Pray for your wife, your kids, your neighbors, elders, deacons, your larger church family, your city, your state, your country, the world, etc.
5. Live on mission in the everyday life
You may not be able to be at all the neighborhood BBQ’s this summer because you are opening a new restaurant or closing a major deal in another state, but do not let this be an excuse for not living on mission in the everyday life. Your life just looks a little different than the person who works a 9-5 job at the bank down the street. You will get to work with people of influence so be ready and willing to use every opportunity at work to live on mission. Living on mission does not mean you’ll passing out bible tracts before a business acquisition meeting. Jesus came to serve, not be served. Use this truth as your foundation for making decisions in your job or business.
Be upfront with your family, missional community and church leadership about how much time you are going to be able to invest and how you are plan on using these five things (among other things) to support the work that God is doing in your church family. Communication is key. If little or nothing is communicated, you may end up feeling guilty for not doing what everyone else is doing. You may become upset with your church family for not understanding and the church will wonder why this person is not all in. However, if you clearly communicate what you are going to do, why you are going to do it, and when you will do it , there will be less room for a mess.