To Uganda, I Go

Context

Tommorrow I will be boarding a plane with five other people and we will be traveling to Uganda. We have been meeting, planning, and fundraising for the last five months in preparation for this trip. It has been both challenging and exciting. Once there, we will be hosting three business conferences to teach the local Ugandans about creativity in business, budgeting, finances, marketing, and sales. Basic business principles are a huge need over there as most of the Ugandans have to start their own businesses in order to generate income. There is also little access to the internet, so many Ugandans cannot simply look up basic business information. Business and leadership teaching is highly sought after, and these conferences have been very well received when past North Central students have gone over there. To say that I am excited would be an understatement.

Basic business principles are a huge need over there as most of the Ugandans have to start their own businesses in order to generate income. There is also little access to the internet, so many Ugandans cannot simply look up basic business information. Business and leadership teaching is highly sought after, and these conferences have been very well received when past North Central students have gone over there. To say that I am excited would be an understatement.

Epiphany

The other day, while I was meeting with my team to prepare for this trip, I had an epiphany. As a Christian in business, I find that there is a misconception that is sometimes forced on me. That same misconception is also prevalent in the church. The misconception is that as a Christian in business I am in business simply to witness to my coworkers and make money so that I can tithe that money to the church. Fulfilling the Great Commission is the reason that Christians conduct business, so the logic goes. While witnessing and tithing are good and Christians in business should strive for those things, that is not the main reason why Christians are in business.It would seem to me that Christians often forget about the Cultural Mandate. The Cultural Mandate, found in Genesis 1:28, is God’s marching orders to humankind to fill, subdue, and rule over the Earth. A theological point that I would like to make is that the Great Commission is

It would seem to me that Christians often forget about the Cultural Mandate. The Cultural Mandate, found in Genesis 1:28, is God’s marching orders to humankind to fill, subdue, and rule over the Earth. A theological point that I would like to make is that the Great Commission is subordinate to the Cultural Mandate. We as Christians create disciples so that they can fill, subdue, and rule over the Earth in Jesus’ name. In that same vein, God uses business as a tool to assist human beings in filling, subduing, and ruling over the Earth. When businesses prosper, the economy prospers and people prosper as well. The size of the economic pie is increased when businesses do well and human flourishing occurs.

Not only is business a tool used to assist human flourishing, it is also a tool that God uses in reconciling the entire universe back to himself. There is an individual reconciliation that goes on in the believer because of Christ, but there is also a cosmic reconciliation that God is interested in (see the New Heaven and New Earth in the book of Revelation). When businesses prosper, the world looks a little bit more like the New Heaven and New Earth that God is interested in.

As Christians in business, our job is simply to do our work with excellence as if working for the Lord (Col. 3:23) and in doing so we fulfill the Cultural Mandate. If we get the chance to witness to our coworkers then that is an added bonus. Christians in business also participate in God’s reconciling work in the universe when they perform their jobs with excellence and integrity.

Conclusion

As I go to Uganda, I will go with God’s cosmic reconciliation at the forefront of my mind. I am not simply going and teaching business. I am going and I am participating with God in his work here on Earth. People and families are changed through the successes of business. My job as a Christian in business is not secondary to Christians who work for a church. It is this epiphany that my team and I will carry with us and teach in Uganda.

God cares about what we do in business.

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