Many of us view work as a burden, but God says it is a gift.
It is a gift because through work we learn about God and his creation. Marketing is simply a form of work. It is also an opportunity to glorify God.
Brother Lawrence summed it up well with, “… our sanctification did not depend upon changing our works, but in doing that for GOD’s sake, which we commonly do for our own.”
Arguably, the most common activity we engage in is working since we must feed, clothe and protect ourselves and others, so why not use work to glorify the creator? I see three marketing-related opportunities to glorify the Lord: stewardship, recognizing God’s role and relationships.
Jesus said the greatest commandment is to love God with everything and others as yourself. Good stewardship is a way to show love.
The Parable of Talents illustrates that we are not to be timid about producing returns, but taking reasonable risk brings glory to God. At the same time, we must keep in mind our neighbors and the rest of creation. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is becoming the mantra of today’s business with many marketing departments stumbling over themselves to develop the correct positioning. For the Christian, CSR should not be a new perspective but an illustration of biblical stewardship that glorifies God.
Just as important is recognizing that we can do nothing apart from God. Proverbs 21:31 says, “The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but victory rests with the LORD.”
There is a fine balance between using gifts and talents to their fullest extent and keeping pride under control. Satan is the quintessential example of a being that had everything but let it go to his head and failed to understand that he also was simply a creation of God. The field of marketing in its quest to generate customers is constantly under this threat. We glorify God by intentionally acknowledging that he is the source of whatever possessions or success we have.
Marketing is founded on the creation of mutually beneficial relationships. A typical perspective is that marketing abuses relationships. Abusing relationships in the quest for profit is a disregard of Jesus’ command to love God and others.
When I glorify God at work, I manage resources and relationships in accordance with his precepts. If I do not, I am in a state of sin. Relationships with people begin with a right relationship with God.
Henri Nouwen in talking about Christian leaders said, “Their leadership must be rooted in the permanent, intimate relationship with the incarnate Word, Jesus, and they need to find there the source for their words, advice, and guidance.”
Leaders with this heart find ways to ensure relationships are mutually beneficial and glorifying to God.
Customer interaction is the basis for marketing. The techniques we use to position product capabilities, what and who we sell to, and the quality we build in, are all a function of our relationship with God the creator. Glorifying God through the stewardship of resources and viewing people with the same love He shows us, keeps marketing centered on relationship-building that not only satisfies the parties within the exchange, but honors God as well.
As Paul encouraged the Corinthians, “(Many) do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever” (1 Corinthians 9:25).