Building a faith-based business: My perspective

Building a faith-based  business: My perspective

Recently, I was asked to share Sound Stewardship’s story with the Unconventional Business Network, a community of leaders who conduct their businesses using biblical principles. 

Sometimes people struggle to integrate their faith into their work. If they haven’t talked about how their faith informs the way they do business with co-workers or clients before, it can be hard to know how to start. Will it sound inauthentic if I start talking about it now? How do I communicate what I believe in an honest and sensitive way—especially in the workplace? Here’s what I’ve learned about building a faith-based business. 

I began Sound Stewardship on February 2, 2004, after a long period of prayer and asking God where I should start this new venture. Kansas City rose to the top and that’s where it all started. Financial planning is a business based on relationships, but my wife and I only knew three people in Kansas City. It took a lot of trust to make the move and we knew it would mean building a network from scratch. 

Because I was starting a new business alone, I could begin with total transparency. No one knew me or had any preconceived notions of who I was. So I could lead with my faith from the very beginning. I was free to say: I’m here to provide rock-solid financial planning and counseling from a Christian perspective. My ultimate goal is helping my clients give generously. That’s what I came to do. 

I was—and still am—very upfront about the fact that Sound Stewardship’s advice is based on biblical wisdom: Live within your means, avoid using debt, build an emergency reserve, have a long-term plan, be diversified, think beyond yourself and give generously. That openness helped us find clients who were interested in applying those time-tested principles to their financial lives. And it has helped us build strong, long-lasting relationships with them. 

That doesn’t mean we only work with people who think and believe exactly like us. Wherever our clients are on the spiritual spectrum, whether they are Christians or not, we use the same biblical principles to guide them. We’re not afraid to talk about God, and they know that we pray for them weekly. We create a safe environment for our clients, where they know we care for them on a deep level and truly want the best for them. 

If you want to build a faith-based business, my best advice is to live a faithful life. You can only take your staff as far as you’ve gone yourself. Commit to your own spiritual disciplines, and be transparent about how you structure your life around your beliefs. Lead by example: That’s the very best way to start to integrate your faith into your work. 

Want to talk more about how to apply faith-based principles to your financial life? Schedule a no-obligation appointment with one of our wealth advisors.

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