The Building Blocks of Spiritual Capital
Research from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reveals that starting a business and staying viable is getting harder. One-third of new businesses fail to survive for three years and only half make it to their fifth anniversary. To measure and evaluate a company’s strength and ability to survive, business owners use factors such as financial capital, which measures hard assets, market capitalization, inventories, operating cash flow, and creditworthiness. Another factor is a company’s intellectual capitalrelated to the cumulative knowledge and experience of its people, designs, and processes. Finally, organizational capital stems from the combination of our reputation, culture, goodwill, leadership, creativity, and responsiveness to our markets.
Beyond these three customary areas, could a lack of Spiritual Capital — how does the motivation, core values, and work ethic one receives from a strong relationship with God — also impact our business success and survival?
Measuring Spiritual Capital
As Christian CEOs and owners, we are very concerned with each measure of capital, especially as they relate to building a strong platform for our reputation and testimony in the marketplace. Christians with an eternal, Biblical perspective use a uniquely additive set of metrics to evaluate success: spiritual capital. This is the sum of the spiritual experience, longevity, competency, reputation, and ministry effectiveness achieved through our businesses. Consider the following contributors to building and sustaining vital spiritual capital in business:
- Spiritual Reputation: What is the perception of our spiritual commitment, activity, and ability? Do other Christians perceive us as positive role models leading a Christ-centered business? Do we have spiritual authority rooted in an active, Christ-centered faith? This is a powerful indicator of having positive reputational strength within the body of Christ.
- Spiritual Leadership: Are we deeply committed and passionate leaders? How does our leadership impact the strength of the company in the spiritual capital dimension? Great companies are led; they don’t just happen spontaneously as the product of committees. While leadership quality refers to the entire team, it normally begins with the one who draws others to a shared vision.
- Spiritual Creativity: How do we measure up with respect to ministry innovation? Are we constantly looking for creative new opportunities to model and express God’s love in and through our businesses? Over time, our constant development and deployment of ministry efforts will produce spiritual capital like the tiny mustard seed becoming a tree!
- Spiritual Heritage: What we believe largely determines what we receive in our relationship with the Lord. Where does your faith lie when it comes to operating a business and overcoming hardships? As Christians, we have a special heritage — a spiritual heritage. When we came to Christ, trusting in Him as our Lord and Savior, we became members of God’s family and have, ideally, lived accordingly.
- Spiritual Storehouse of Eternal Fruit: Are we building up earthly treasure or eternal treasure?Jesus said to “store up for yourselves treasures in Heaven” (Matthew 6:20). How well are we doing this with our business, time, talents, and money? When we live sacrificially for Jesus’ sake – serving Him by serving the body of Christ – we store up treasure in Heaven. Even seemingly small acts of service do not go unnoticed by God and serve to create spiritual capital.