My wife likes the TV series, Call the Midwife; it is a little too blood-and-gory for me, but, I must say, I feel like a midwife for businesses.
During my first visit to a chiropractor he asked, at the end of the exam, "So, what do you do?" "Oh, I am a corporate chiropractor!"
This led to a conversation about a key thing I do: coming alongside existing businesses and helping them align with truth, or at least with an amazing purpose. Some of the companies we work with describe themselves as faith-based, some as purpose-driven.
Being a chiropractor happens after a regular old business sees the light or, as one client put it, gets a "born again." Just as Christian parents do not automatically give birth to Christian children, likewise Christian businesspeople do not inevitably have businesses that further the business of what some call "the kingdom of God."
On a trip to Morocco, which is a kingdom, I realized how little Westerners know about living under the rules of a king. It was also a stark reminder that we think our careers, businesses and economic pursuits are our own, and not for the good of anyone else's kingdom.
It is hard work getting an autonomous, all-about-me, business to come into God's Business Portfolio. I recently spent a week casting vision for a Christian leader who had not yet discovered the kingdom purpose for his business. I had to think about what scripture says about his industry; I prayed, I PowerPointed, I shared perspectives, I spoke prophetically, I proclaimed life-purposes for him and his household, I laid the case for kingdom purposes surpassing a man-sized legacy. I travailed, coached, encouraged, and even added a little godly pressure. This is the work of a midwife. It is deliberate, takes investment and skill.
Not every birthing process is successful.There is a haunting verse in Isaiah 37.
This day is a day of distress and rebuke and disgrace, as when children come to the moment of birth and there is no strength to deliver them.
Before we can “chiropract”or align, we often have to bring to birth. Next time you are tempted to complain about how hard your business is, ask the nearest mother what she remembers about giving birth... and whether it was worth it. Some things take an effort, involve some pain. This is particularly true for a business that serves eternal purposes.