This business of following Jesus is all about breaking apart the false assumptions this world has fed you.
Here’s one false assumption: The basic purpose of a business is to make a profit. That’s so obvious that most people take it for granted. It’s also completely evil. In Christ, the whole purpose of a business is to provide for human existence. Don’t assume that wealth is inherently good (Luke 12:15). Material possessions are merely tools for the glory of Christ.
So the revolutionary radical truth here is that, in Christ, you start a business with the goal of employing as many people as possible and providing them a living wage. People always have priority over profit. A business has to make a profit in order to grow, not in terms of revenue itself, but revenue as the means to adding staff.
And the way to do that is to serve human need on the other side of the business: the customer. Seek to meet human needs and God will be inclined to prosper your business. The whole point is making things better for as many people as possible.
Of course, “making things better” does have a distinct definition that is also radically different from what this world wants you to believe. That’s the whole business of understanding the otherworldly goals of our faith in the first place. God calls us and awakens our awareness to the higher realm so that we can recognize what it’s all about. Nothing in this world is a goal unto itself — nothing. We aren’t trying to make this world better; we are trying to show why this world is so awful. We are trying to highlight the difference between sin and righteousness, to clarify for folks what makes our Creator happy.
So you want to serve the customer first, and that means you fatten your lower staff first, not the management. You add management when the staff gets unwieldy — and you prefer promotion from within the staff. Invest in the people. If your company seems to serve the purpose of training people only to lose them to other businesses, fine. It’s all about the people, not your profits. If they won’t stay to enjoy your people-oriented atmosphere, you didn’t need them in the first place. Bless them as best you can and send them off.
But the bottom line is people, not property. Make those employees your family. Their welfare is your welfare. Make sure your accountants understand that you don’t worship Mammon. The whole purpose is to have a place where people can grow and prosper, to become strong enough that they managed to do well even if you someday have to shut it all down. View the survival of the business as something beyond your control and handle well the things you do control. Do what’s right and trust the Lord.
This is a part of the wider context of what it means to follow Christ.