My Business, My Mission, My Reflections: The Business of Redemption (Pt. 2)
(Dear reader, Doug Seebeck lays the framework for redemptive business in his Part 1 blog. Please read that here.)
In 2 Corinthians 5, Paul lays out his case very rationally as an attorney would to prove a case. Yet it’s so full of excitement and passion that he proclaims he is not out of His mind—he is just out of his mind for the Good News of what he has finally discovered! He is a believer at last!
Jesus Christ died for all; therefore, all died. And Christ resurrected, therefore, all have a new life, including all of creation! It truly does set the world free! Paul proclaims that God is imploring us to be Christ’s ambassadors, carrying this message and ministry of reconciliation to the world.
As believers, we have a life-long calling to be ambassadors of reconciliation for the flourishing of humanity and all of creation. Reconciliation is relational; it is also an accounting term to ensure “the books” are in order; weighing scales are true; to put into balance what is out of balance.
As businesspeople, we have a more specific calling. We are called to be redemptive. Redemption is a business term. It means to restore something or someone to its/their rightful place. We redeem bonds at full value, for example.
Because Jesus Christ redeemed the world, and imparted us with his Spirit, we are called to be redemptive as well! God’s dream for the world is alive and well, and His long arm of justice and righteousness is unstoppable until redemption is complete.
In 2021, our global network of Partners prayed, discerned, and worked hard together, to create a redemptive strategic plan called Vista 2030; we also want to become much better Partners with God to fulfill His dream for his world—all His creation.
It is not my vision, it is not our PW staff vision or our Board of Director's vision. We listened intently to our local community partners and the business owners and entrepreneurs they serve. It is their vision, and we are now proud to say it is our vision together.
And just what is that vision?
Our goal is to achieve one million business owners connected to the PW network by 2030. One million “lights”—lights on a hill, multiplying impact as ambassadors of reconciliation, seeking redemptive relationships in the marketplace. One million redemptive business owners, employing a total of three million people, lifting and sustaining 15 million family members out of poverty and into the flourishing God desires. 15 million joyful faces, more fully reflecting their Creator God! Remember these numbers 1—3—15. You’re going to see and hear about this goal a lot!
And here is a testament to what I’m talking about. I saw redemption happening all over India on my recent trip there. Despite the terrible suffering from COVID, loss of lives, jobs, income, and savings, the progress, energy, innovation, and abundance of sacrificial love in our network of Partners is startling and undeniable and defies the national statistics. The light is absolutely overcoming darkness!
Udayveer Singh (picture here) is the founder and CEO of Hi Speed Industries PVT. LTD in New Delhi. We had the privilege of visiting his factory with 15 other local businesses, government, and foundation leaders.
Udayveer supplies desperately needed good-paying jobs to over 5000 team members; it was incredible to walk through the plant and meet so many of them, seeing the creation of beautiful, high-quality school bags, backpacks, laptop and luggage bags, and ready-made garments of all types. The joy, pride, and fellowship of the team members working together were infectious!
I’ve said this before and will say it again now: “Visions start with individuals and last through institutions”, and Udayveer indeed started with one single sewing machine, through a $20 loan from his pastor and our local partner leader, Chalapati Sake. In our business meeting with the other 15 leaders from the community, prior to the tour, Udayveer wanted to give honor to those that helped him on his journey: God, his parents, and his teacher/pastor. I was reminded of Jesus himself being revered as a great teacher.
Chalapati (picture here), as founder and leader of our local partner (LCI) Art Ministry, serves countless entrepreneurs like Udayveer. Being with Chalapati felt like being with someone hardwired into the Holy Spirit. Everything I heard him say, everything we saw is exactly as Jesus commanded his disciples to do. Go on your way, proclaim the kingdom of God, do everything I taught you, and grow the number of believers.
Chalapati is living light, leaven, and salt with the message and ministry of reconciliation, in the community God has entrusted to him, and Udayveer is putting it to practice as a redemptive business owner. 70% of the 5000 families who can better flourish by being on Udayveer’s team, are part of the organic church, all grown naturally in relationship, and partnership. The other 30% are in loving community with them in the workplace.
Chalapati excitedly shared how the paved street on which we walked was mud, sewage and a health hazard before. Wherever the believers are planted, everything improves, surely and steadily, and what he wants most is to get our “called to redemptive business training” out to more communities in the Hindi language. That, and small loans, seed funds, that can add fuel to their fire of local savings. The return on investment is exponential and eternal!
The team members of Hi Speed earn five times the minimum government wage, enjoy profit sharing, and can grow and develop as far as they wish, including starting their own businesses whenever they feel ready. And because Udayveer personally knows how one sewing machine began the economic transformation in his life, he provides sewing machines to 700 women, providing them the opportunity to work from home. They come to his factory to get the materials and design needed, complete the pieces on order when the kids go off to school or at night after they have gone to bed, return the finished product, and collect the materials for the next batch of orders. It is setting the economic captives free!
As we finished our tour and entered the lobby, an architectural model of a modern high-rise apartment complex greeted us. When we inquired about it, Udayveer enthusiastically exclaimed: “This is our vision for our team members, that every one of them can own one of these apartments, it will be a community-owned venture.” I have no doubt that it will come to fruition.
I left that building with the words of Jesus ringing in my ears: “I tell you the truth, there will come a day, in fact, it is already now when people no longer worship on the tabernacle on the hill, or the temple in the valley, they will worship in spirit and truth”.
Hi Speed Industries could just as easily be named Hi Speed Community or God Speed Partnership; it is truly a reflection of God’s purpose and dream, to bring heaven and earth together in the New Creation, everything and everyone finally redeemed forever.
I am always a little careful around politicians and reporters, always wondering what to say, how much to say, trying to keep my mouth shut, which, for most of you who know me well, is an extremely hard thing for me to do.
But Mr. Satish Upadhyay, the local government leader, must have been equally affected by our time together, for as we walked out the door, he grabbed my hand, and said: “I want to partner with you, worldwide.”
We really do all long to do the same thing, because this is how God created us, redeemed us, and empowers us with the Spirit. Let’s keep working together to be redemptive agents for the Kingdom, until heaven and earth are one again.