Leaders of Kingdom Businesses (“KB”) seek God’s will for the deployment of their company’s resources into ministry in such a way as to bring glory to Jesus Christ.

In early 2016 seven Christian businesspersons agreed to meet, study and pray about how a for-profit business such as ones they lead might best establish or increase Christian ministry as part of their business operations.  Central to these discussions was the matter of how to measure and thus have accountability for such ministry activity.

The primary conclusion of these meetings is that there are methods of accountability for ministry performance in Kingdom Businesses, and when applied this accountability results in more and more appropriate ministry activities.  This paper is a report on those deliberations and is written with the hope that it will elicit informative responses and debate.


Businesspersons are readily familiar with the use of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles and ISO standards of quality, and these have been effectively applied to business management.  Human resource and talent management methods have also been used to great benefit.  Over the past five decades, numerous organizations have developed instruction in the application of biblical principles to the management of for-profit businesses, and especially over the past two decades we have seen the emergence of for-profit businesses operated on biblical principles that have stated a desire to achieve both financial goals and intentional ministry goals (i.e., have a ‘ministry bottom line.’)

However, whereas the operation of an excellent, biblically-principled business led by competent business persons has benefited from the existence of metrics and performance reviews that hold management accountable to achievement of the company’s financial goals, the application of measures of performance and accountability to the ‘ministry bottom line’ has been much less evident.  Under these circumstances, ministry has a ‘bottom line’ in name only, and there is no clear definition of progress or achievement.

Therefore, to achieve appropriate goals of the ministry efforts of a KB, it is proposed that leaders should define a strategy for ministry, set ministry activity goals, plan and execute ministry activities, apply operational measures (metrics) to ministry, and hold themselves accountable for meeting their ministry goals.


As mentioned above, seven businesspersons met to discuss how a Kingdom Business might monitor its ministry.

The group agreed to confine the definition of a KB to one that has employees and offers products or services to customers in exchange for a sufficient amount of money to have a positive cash flow.  Furthermore, a KB, in its regular course of operation, employs biblical ethics and pursues two “bottom lines,” one financial and the other ministry.  It was the ‘ministry bottom line’ that was primarily addressed.[1]

There is a business adage that says ‘if you cannot measure it, do not expect to attain it.’  And, in the normal course of daily business activity, the group agreed that they monitored the marketing activities conducted by their companies, they measured the sales activities of their sales people, they measured the efficiency of their production lines and the quality of the products produced, and they accounted for the costs of their overhead.

The group agreed that in the hearts and minds of a KB leader there is the desire to conduct ministry and to have a ‘ministry bottom line’ in their business, but in their collective experience, KB’s do not plan, measure, or hold themselves accountable to a ‘ministry bottom line’ nearly so closely as they do their ‘financial bottom line.’  A primary reason for this is that metrics and accountability, while considered essential for the financial side of the business, are not used and generally not felt necessary or appropriate for the ministry side of the business.

The general consensus of the group was that, were they leading a Kingdom Business, it would be appropriate, effective, and feel normal and comfortable for them to apply business-like methods to the ministry side of their KB, including metrics (measures), and, with the aid of these metrics, both make adjustments to the ministry activities and hold themselves accountable for performance of the ministry activities.  It was agreed that having accountability would result in better focused and more intentional ministry than any in the group were experiencing at present in their workplaces.


(1) What Ministry Might a KB Offer?[2]

God’s Word directs Christians to offer and conduct four types of ministry: evangelism, discipleship, mercy (helps), and prayer.  The sovereignty of God in these ministries and the responsibilities of man in conducting such ministries (generosity, obedience, faithful stewardship and perseverance) are made clear in Scripture.  All four ministries are possible within a KB.  The table below may be helpful in giving definition to these ministries:


Type of Ministry Methods Persons Targeted for Ministry Helpful Terms Measures of Activity
Evangelism Proclamation of the Gospel, Focused Prayer Non-believers (unreached) Persuasive Proclamation with Power; Obedient Lifestyle Programs; Relationships;


Bible & Literature Distribution

Discipleship Bible Study; Personal Time Accountability Believers, Especially New or Young Believers Spiritual Growth Programs;

Fruit and

New Churches

Mercy Provision, Protection, Education, Relief, Justice All Persons Having a Presence in Their Midst Program;

Relationships with Opportunities for Evangelism

Prayer Individual, Group (two or more) All Persons, Especially for the Ministries Praise, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication Regularity, Requests, What is Prayed, Answers


NOTE: This paper will not cover all ministry types that a KB could undertake.  Instead, from this point onward, we will consider a ministry of Evangelism, defined as proclamation of the gospel to persons with whom there is ongoing relationship. [3]

(2) To Which People Should Ministry be Targeted?

In any business, for the product or service being offered, it is proper marketing discipline to define the targeted market segments (defined as the potential customers most likely to find value in your offering.) Likewise, a KB should define the targets for its ministry efforts.

In the normal course of operating a KB there are five possible targets for Evangelism. We will list these in descending order of potential for Evangelistic Ministry based on access and the frequency of meaningful points of contact that one might have with targeted persons.

  1. Best: Employees and, through employees, their families. This is far and away the best target for ministry.  Availability to them is more frequent than any other target: they are within reach every workday.  Meeting with them and training them and coaching them and evaluating them is a normal part of their job description.  They want to be given their company leader’s attention.  They receive their livelihood from being good employees, and they rely on company leadership to train them to be just that.  Additionally, the employee gets to observe the behavior of their leader.  Extending a relationship beyond the employee to their family is quite possible.  The building of meaningful relationships with employees and their families is a necessary practice for a successful business whether the intention is to minister unto them or not.
  2. Good: Vendors and suppliers. These people want to be with company leadership because they want to earn (and retain) a company’s business.  There are many more people in this targeted group than are recognized at first.  In addition to those who sell materials for manufacturing or other supplies needed to operate the business, there are those who offer services: the landlord of the office building; the cleaning crew; the company’s accountants or lawyers; the IT specialists; the persons from whom office supplies or printing is purchased or equipment is leased; the company’s bankers, including the teller.  Unlike a consultant or lawyer who charges by the hour, these people are willing to spend time with company leaders, and, in the normal course of business, there is a meeting with them monthly or more often.
  3. Good: Trade associates. These are people who gather to discuss issues pertinent to a specific industry or, in the case of Rotary or Lions, to business in general.  These key leaders are looking for solutions to life and business problems.  Leading a KB gives affinity with trade associates, and meeting with them is an opportunity they value.  Trade associates include the chamber of commerce leaders and staff along with others who are in the same or a related industry in the same city or country.  It also includes persons who produce industry trade shows and persons who conduct continuing education. It could include government officials whose job is to promote (or regulate!) an industry.  It could include persons from the media who report on business and persons who instruct business education in local universities.  The frequency of meeting with these persons will be less than vendors, but the gatherings may last longer (some running for several days), and these gatherings often include opportunities for networking, small discussion groups, serving on committees, or times at meals.
  4. Customers. This is often misperceived as a good target simply because of the number of customers a business may have and because some of them are repeat customers.  Coffee shops, movie theaters, and retail stores of all kinds (clothing, food, automobiles, appliances) may have many customers, but these customers come to shop or buy, not to talk to the leadership, at least not for a lengthy discussion.  If, however, the KB is consultative and the customer comes for counsel or advice or information, (examples: language training, business training or consulting, legal or accounting services) then its customers/clients would be a target market.
  5. The general populace or community. Being a good corporate citizen may include participating in a community event (fund raising, clean-up of a park, building a home for the poor) and be advantageous for building a business’s brand, but such events are not generally repeatable.  Networking done in these events is brief and may not lead to any follow-up meetings. However, community events may be a very effective opportunity to serve alongside your employees (see above) thus providing a relationship-building time away from the office.

(3) What KB resources are available and how can they be most strategically dedicated to the ministry?

All resources are limited, but often, due to improper planning and design, insufficient resources are dedicated to ministry and resources that could be employed in ministry are overlooked.  Guideline: plan with generosity and with wisdom.

Every KB has at least seven possible resources that could be applied to ministry:

  1. A KB should commit a certain amount or percentage of its cash flow to be available for ministry opportunities and programs.  It should be clear what amount of financial resources are budgeted for each ministry effort.
  2. Most KB’s will have offices.  This provides places where ministry meetings with targeted people can take place or in which training for ministry can be conducted.
  3. Brand or influence in the business community. A KB will develop and protect its name, its reputation for quality, its faithfulness in paying all accounts and compensating its employees well, and the reputation of being a great place to work.  Together this will yield influence, and influence can lead to not only business opportunities but also being sought after as an example or an advisor to others.
  4. Core processes or methods of operation. A KB may not have a patented product but it has proprietary intelligence such as: the process by which it manages its projects; how it makes its office efficient; how it collects its receivables; how it identifies, recruits, trains, and motivates employees to become more valuable to the company; how it does performance reviews; its ability to design marketing that properly positions its offerings; and how to use information technology to control operations or employ social media.  These abilities can be identified and applied to the ministry activities.
  5. Special talents or abilities of employees. A KB may find the Lord has brought to it employees with exceptional abilities. Identifying and employing these talents (musical, sports, art, organization) may enhance ministry.
  6. Businesses have some process by which they do training.  Furthermore, there may be training equipment and facilities as well as a person on staff skilled in training.  Because ministry will require equipping (training) prior to the activity, this is a resource that could be assigned.
  7. Time—the most precious resource. Ministry is often expected to be done in ‘spare’ time.  In a KB, ministry will, and quite rightly should, require more time than lunch breaks and weekends and evenings. This resource must be scheduled and expected to be expended on ministry.

Based on the resources available and the people targeted for ministry, there is required a strategic design of the ministry activity so that the resources are best applied.

In our example of a KB wanting to have an Evangelistic Ministry focused upon a targeted people, the KB should conceive and plan a non-threatening opportunity (where no one will lose friends, family, or reputation) where a perceived need (entertainment, food, sports, training, fellowship) is met such that there is opportunity for Christians to create and build relationships with non-believers to whom the gospel will be proclaimed in a relevant, understandable, and persuasive manner.  To the extent possible, this ministry opportunity/plan should occur in a normal course of conducting business.  Additionally, as part of the design and plan for the ministry there should be included future points of contact so that relationships can deepen and trust can be built.

While the previous paragraph presents a general statement of strategy for Evangelistic Ministry, following are some examples of the allocation of resources that could create a well-designed ministry where relationships can be created and developed.  This brief list is in no way complete but is intended to exemplify a few ways a KB might use its resources to create opportunities that could lead to evangelism:

  • Build out a clean, comfortable break room where employees can have lunch and Christians can visit with and get to know employees. (The space may also be used for company meetings or training.)
  • Offer training (perhaps right after or before work) in personal budgeting or family finances or healthy, affordable meal preparation.
  • Have a vendor appreciation day to which you invite all vendors and suppliers of goods or services. Feed them lunch.  Get to know them more personally.  (NOTE: this ‘appreciation day’ does not have the feature of repeated points of contact, but it enhances the future points of contact when these vendors make calls on the KB.)

In the development of ministry alternatives evaluation of the decision whether or not to proceed should include the number of non-believers expected to participate, and personnel and resources available to be applied (compared to a budget for the event.)  Subsequently, the chosen alternative must be submitted to careful planning: people must be assigned to lead the implementation, dates must be set, a budget of money, people, facilities, and time must be established.

(4) What metrics will indicate that the KB is pursuing ministry?

Measures and metrics answer questions about what happened.

In the Evangelistic Ministry examples above, there would be budgets, dates, and people assigned.  The conducting of a ministry event according to its plan is itself a form of a measurement of ministry achieved.  But what is more, ministry plans are made in expectation of certain results (how many and who will come, how many new relationships could be initiated.)  Such expectations, when compared to a record of the actual event and its outcome (how many came, who came, how many relationships were begun/with whom, what follow-up is planned/has begun) is a form of metrics against which to ask questions such as how did this compare to our expectations, should we repeat this, and if so, what changes would improve the event and its results?

In turn, the sum of the budgets and plans for all ministry activities over a given period of time (e.g., a year) provides measurement of the amount of the KB’s resources that actually are being used for ministry, and this can be compared to the planned amounts or percentages of resources.

As indicated in the Table above, measures of activity (metrics) for Discipleship, Mercy and Prayer Ministries could include frequency of meetings, who attended, what was studied or prayed, what fruit has been seen, and what answers to prayer have been realized.  The important thing here is that, taken together, when all ministry activities are reviewed and discussed (and there should be a specific, scheduled time for such ministry review and discussion) accountability for the “ministry bottom line” of the KB as a whole occurs:

  • Has the KB been obedient to apply its resources to ministry?
  • Was this done under consistent, informed prayer? Were those prayers answered?
  • In what ways did the activity serve those targeted for ministry?
  • Was the KB faithful to follow up with relationships formed, to persevere?
  • How, as faithful stewards of the KB’s (actually of God’s) resources, should the KB go forward from here? (A flow diagram of this process is provided further below.)
  • How was the Lord glorified?

Because building relationships is so important, a few thoughts on measurement of relationships are in order.  In business, great sales forces use some form of Customer Relationship Management process and records.  This also works when building relationships for ministry.

Following are some suggestions for Targeted People Relationship Records (TPRR) to be maintained and reviewed (for accountability) on a regular basis (no less than monthly.)  The extent to which TPRR information is maintained and reviewed regularly is an indication of the commitment to a ‘ministry bottom line.’

TPR that appear below in italics indicate information that will not be readily available but will be very valuable in building a true relationship:

  1. Basic Contact Information: Name, Nickname, Phone, Email, Birthdate
  2. Employment or Company Information: Workplace, Title or Position at Workplace, Tenure, Direct Report, Critical Issues or Concerns in Their Current Work
  3. Spiritual Markers
    1. Marital Status: If Married, Spouse’s Name, Birthdate; Length of Marriage; if Un-married, any Prospects; Divorced
    2. Family: If Children, Names, Ages; Any Children ‘On the Way?’; For each Child, any Special Issues? Upcoming Events in Children’s Lives (Plays, Graduations, Marriages)
    3. Religious Affiliation: Active?; Devout?; How Does Their Religion Come Up in Conversation?; In What Ways does He/She Observe their Religious Holidays, Festivities?
  4. Meaningful Points of Contact
    1. Date, Location. Event (Normal Course of Business, Meal, Birthdate, Child’s Event, etc.)
    2. Did You or the Target Initiate the Meeting? Did You Give a Gift or Pay for the Event?
    3. What Was Discussed? What Was Learned About Their Spiritual Status?
    4. How Did This Compare to Your Objective for This Contact?
  5. Objective for Next Contact
    1. Purpose: What Need Will Be Met by Meeting Again, and How Will This Upcoming Contact Afford an Opportunity to Discuss Spiritual Matters?
    2. Will Materials Be Presented: Bible, Other Literature, Website?
    3. How, Specifically, Will You Pray About This Next Meeting?
  6. If No Further Meetings/Contact Are Planned: State Reasons..

(5) How Should KB Ministry Be Managed?

Below is a flow diagram of the steps involved in design and management of the ministry efforts within a KB.  This process is quite familiar to business leaders and should be applied to ministry much as it is with marketing, operations, and other strategic disciplines of a KB.


KB Design and Management Flow Diagram



Kingdom Business leaders should use their experience and expertise in business management to develop goals and strategies for their ‘ministry bottom line.’  They should then plan ministry events that will achieve those goals and collect data that monitors progress.  This accountability will result in more and more focused ministry.[4]


[1] To be clear, there are a number of related issues worthy of discussion that will not be presented here:

  • Business as Missions. KB is a specific sub-set of a much broader universe of methods of using business as part of missionary efforts.  Because this is well addressed elsewhere, this paper will not discuss the broader range of BAM methods.
  • Financing KB companies. Suffice it to say, in whatever manner the KB is financed, control (i.e., ownership) must be exercised by Christians.
  • Church planting. The position will be taken that a KB will seek to make disciples.
  • Differences between KB and traditional missions in their policies and practices.
  • Theology of work or salvation. The position is taken that God is sovereign over His creation, for the Christian there is no divide between sacred and secular, and whereas a Christian conducts ministry unto others, the effectual call to faith in Christ and other ministry fruit is of God.
  • Social and sustainability ‘bottom lines’ are not addressed.

[2] Providing employment, meaningful and purposeful work, and quality products and services can be a blessing, and when done with biblical morals are, in a sense, a ministry.  These are ‘givens’ for any KB and, in this paper, will be assumed to exist.

[3] To fully discuss the design and implementation of the activities of ministry within a KB, it will be necessary to focus on just one of the four ministries listed in the preceding table.  The principles and methods discussed, however, can be applied to the other ministry types.

[4] When thinking about Kingdom Businesses, the following articles have been helpful: