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I remember in 2010, I was supposed to be a part of a tour that would allow me to speak in different cities in the U.S. During that time I was excited and was just learning the ropes about marriage and relationship coaching and really starting to branch out and meet different people. Never Again Ministries was taking off and people started to notice us. I met with the organizer of this tour over the phone and she had so much knowledge and charisma she had me sold!
My wife and I were really excited because this would be a great platform for us to launch the ministry throughout the states. We had to pay a certain amount of money every month for marketing, promos, advertisement, etc. I didn’t mind paying the money at the time because I thought I was sowing into something that would promote Never Again Ministries. We were faithful throughout the year making our payments until one day everything changed.
Without going into details about what happened, the tour was canceled and the promoter kept everyone money. Instead of using wisdom about the situation, she let greed get in the way of what was right. It caused angry feelings among the other speakers and her reputation was destroyed. I believe one reason she went about business the wrong way was that she had bad advisers (or she wasn’t accountable to anyone) and she was already embarrassed because the tour didn’t work out the way she planned it.
If she would have operated in wisdom and integrity no matter the cost, she could have saved her name and kept valuable friendships. Choose a good reputation over great riches; being held in high esteem is better than silver or gold –Prov. 22:1 If she would have applied wisdom to that situation before everything got out of hand using insight she could have thought like this and reacted accordingly:
I’ve worked too hard to establish myself and I won’t let this situation hold me back. Next time I just have to do better, go into prayer and get around trusted people who have my best interests. I would rather take this financial loss and refund people’s money so I can save my name and keep my hands clean before God.
Although I was highly upset over my financial loss I understood I had to get over it or bitterness would have spilled over into our ministry. One person defined wisdom as knowing what to overlook. I can’t afford to operate in bitterness because of where God plan on taking our ministry. We had to lean on Joel 2:25-26 to get us through. Ironically, we use Joel 2:26 for Never Again Ministries: The Lord says, “I will give you back what you lost to the swarming locusts, the hopping locusts, the stripping locusts, and the cutting locusts. It was I who sent this great destroying army against you. Once again you will have all the food you want, and you will praise the Lord your God, who does these miracles for you. Never again will my people be disgraced.
Going through that situation taught me a lot because I know what it feels like to be on the short end of the stick. Our ministry operates with wisdom and integrity. I realize as Christians everyone is waiting for us to make a mistake so they can say, “See, that’s why I don’t go to church” or “I don’t deal with Christian businesses because the last time…” I once heard a pastor say, “just because you ate at a bad restaurant doesn’t stop you from eating somewhere else.” It’s a dying world out there. People are looking for hope because they have been let down time and time again from people whom they trusted only to be let down again.
We live in the age of the “life/marriage/relationship coach” where everyone is giving out advice and half of those people can’t manage themselves. Yet they want others to pay them for something they can only teach but cannot live. With the internet, anyone can have an online business without any training, schooling or mentorship. On their website they have a PayPal button “PAY NOW” but lack trustworthiness, wisdom, etiquette, honesty, integrity and productivity. On the other hand, there are some great businessmen and women I have met on various social networking sites that honor God with their business and lifestyle. So, if you have a tough time with trusting businesses over the internet, I know there are some true people who follow through with their products and services. If you feel in your spirit God has called you to entrepreneurship here are some tips that helped us along the way:
- Get a mentor and learn as much as you can. With the internet, there is a load of information you can learn from.
- Sow where you want to go. If you desire to reach where others have been or where they are going, give to them! My wife and I give to ministries we believe in and God has blessed us. While the earth remains, Seedtime and harvest –Gen 8:22. Giving is vital to helping your business flourish.
- You must have wisdom, honor, and integrity if you want to run a successful business. People want to know if you can be trusted
- Be a self-starter, have a strong work ethic and have discipline. These are vital to running a business. There will be days when you don’t feel like it but do it anyway.
- Never be afraid to ask! Dr. Dave Martin said in his book 12 Traits of the Greats “Why are people so hesitant to ask for help? Perhaps they are afraid of exposing their weaknesses? Once we learn to get over our pride and ask for help we have truly overcome an obstacle that has held so many businesses back from prospering.”
Good comes to those who lend money generously and conduct their business fairly –Ps. 112:5
Listen to Who’s Running Your Church Pt. 2 with Jennifer Wainwright on PodcastBuffer