when market values and kingdom values clash

In trying to figure out how to turn an idea into reality, 1 of the unavoidable questions is one of value.

One way it’s asked is, “Does it add value?” The “it” refers to the idea, be it a product or a service. The assumption is that if the idea has value, then we should find the resources to make it happen. But, who determines the value?

One management guru named Drucker asks 5 essential questions about an organization seeking to fulfill its mission and increase performance. Right in the middle is the question, “What does the customer value?” The inference is that an organization serves a customer base, and if the customer values the organization’s offering, then the customer would pay for it. Value is thus monetary value, or market value, as in what the market of customers is willing to pay.

Yet not every product and service can be financially sustained by market value. There are things that should happen because they’re a kingdom value.

Many activities with Kingdom value will bear fruit and show forth results. It’s easier for donors to see the value of financially supporting these activities, because they can see the results. This is where market value overlaps with kingdom value — donors want to see results.

But, there are also kingdom activities where there are no measurable results, no investment return, no visible fruit. At least not in the short-term time-frame of a quarterly or annual report.

Yet, these kingdom activities should be done because it’s the right thing to do, it’s a good thing to do, it’s an intrinsically valuable thing to do. Researching to find a cure. Experimenting to discover new possibilities. Prayer. Prophesying. An idea that would bear fruit in a future generation.

So how can an idea of Kingdom value become reality when (financial) resources are scarce because it doesn’t match market value? Might take more than a leap of faith.

Photo credit: cohdra from morguefile.com

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