Each year as I approach another birthday there is something I am keenly aware of—time marches on. Generations come and generations go. There is always a new generation waiting just around the corner, but we must never forget that each one is vital to its time. Consider automobiles; the first car did not look or operate like the ones we use today. The first automobile was a sign of progress and a huge step forward for society. I remember my first car; it was a 1955 Volkswagen Bug convertible. It wasn’t pretty and it wasn’t in very good shape, but it got me from point A to point B. That’s what it was made for and the cars of today are still made to do this very same thing. This fact is true for airplanes, electronics and so many other items still in use today, they continue to serve the basic purpose for which they were created.
From the beginning of time society has been “progressing,” and bringing with it “new” generations; new ways of thinking, new ways of seeing and even new ways of doing things. Thomas Jefferson wrote, “Every generation needs a new revolution.” We must have a passion to progress, and expand otherwise we begin to regress and eventually die without building and leaving a legacy for the next generation to move forward with. As Dorothy M. Neddermeyer once said, “Life is ten percent what you experience and ninety percent how you respond to it.”
This progression regarding cars, airplanes, electronics and other items is also true for Kingdom Economics. The foundation has not changed, but as new generations enter society their understanding of this subject becomes cloudy and more unclear. After reading so many published variations it’s not a surprise to me that this generation is desperately seeking what works and what doesn’t.
I know I may have lost some of you at the words “Kingdom Economics.” Perhaps you’re thinking, “I’ve heard it all before, this is just more material to sift through.”
I have been helping people and companies in the area of Financial Wellness and business development for over 30 years, and people today are still yearning to live in economic freedom. I have traveled the world, experienced a lot of my own challenges and spoken in hundreds of venues and I myself am still learning new and improved ways to help. I have always believed that at its core Kingdom Economics is about giving and receiving. As you dig deeper, you find it is about much more than placing money in an offering plate and receiving back some unbelievable sum of cash or unexpected goods.
A “kingdom” is an empire or domain and as such it is “the territory over which a king rules.” The second word, “economics,” is not quite as simple. It’s a SOCIAL SCIENCE and not a financial one as many might think. It focuses on more than just dollars and cents. It deals with the most serious issues facing society today which include poverty, inflation, unemployment, spending, economic growth, etc. Economics also addresses various problems facing individuals such as wages, taxes, and cost of living. We are all affected by economics in some way. At its root economics is “the study of societies and individuals and how they allocate resources in order to satisfy basic needs and wants.”
So you see, by combining the words Kingdom and Economics we cannot relegate our understanding to one single concept such as giving into an offering. It must be expanded to include its broader meaning; the production, management and distribution of wealth, goods and services, and isn’t it interesting that each of these areas is covered in God’s Word. Concepts such as: work, capital, productivity, wealth and trade are all economic principles addressed in the bible, and as leaders it’s critical to understand how all of them work together.
The word economics finds its meaning in the ancient Greek word, oikonoma, and it means “the management of a household” or more to the point; “the rules of the house.” That brings us to the question:
WHAT IS KINGDOM ECONOMICS?
“The laws of God’s Kingdom as they relate to the production, management and distribution of His wealth, goods and services.”
The words production, management and distribution are economic terms, but they align themselves with the following terms that I’m sure you are familiar with: increase, stewardship and generosity.
Generosity is definitely at the root of God’s biblical plan of progress and growth, but the resulting flow is not from some huge sum of money that falls out of the sky into your life because you give an offering. Generosity is the “key” that unlocks a powerful force…the ability for each of us to be producers and managers in a free market society.
The servant with the 5 talents of money understood these 3 foundations of economics:
1. “I have something I must put to work to produce something more.”
2. “I have produced more and I must now manage what was created.”
3. “I must look for opportunities to distribute what has been produced.”
By following these 3 foundation principles this servant embraced something else that is vital to “all” economies everywhere…
THE ENTREPRENEURAIL SPIRIT
This spirit is at the core of Kingdom Economics! It must be restored to the culture of our churches, and this generation because at the root of every successful, growing society and economy is the entrepreneurial spirit, even in God’s society! Lester Thurow, the well-known economics professor from MIT said, “Without entrepreneurs, economies become poor and weak. The old will not exist, the new cannot enter in.” Establishing the entrepreneurial spirit within this and future generations must be embraced, taught and developed in establishing God’s Kingdom.
© 2015 Patrick Ondrey / www.patrickondrey.com
PATRICK ONDREY is the CEO of The Onderson Group, a multi-faceted consultancy, financial services and real estate company. Ondrey has decades of experience as a CFO and CEO, pastor and trainer and is the author 12 best-selling books. www.patrickondrey.com / www.onderson.com