“Give a man a fish; you have fed him for today. Teach a man to fish, and you have fed him for a lifetime. Teach a man how to establish a fishing business; and you not only feed him for a lifetime but bring benefits to his family and the community.” This is the philosophy behind the new book titled Model Steward Canvas, authored by Dr. Ken Long, which seeks to “help Christians, particularly in developing countries, build their business skills and capabilities.”
The book comes after the Stewardship Ministries department’s extensive interaction with church members while conducting stewardship programs. The department has found that Church members worldwide have the desire to support God’s final mission in sharing the Three Angels’ Messages with the world, but many face a dilemma – a lack of financial means to do so. It is this problem that the Stewardship Ministries department of the Seventh-day Adventist Church has set out to solve through the launch of Model Steward Canvas, a new, practical, and biblically-based book promoting Christian entrepreneurship.
Author, Dr.Ken Long, expressed that “The Model Steward Canvas aims to inspire people to start a new business to improve their financial position as well as the finances of their immediate family, their broader community, and also to support God’s Kingdom.”
THE IMPORTANCE OF STEWARDSHIP
From the very beginning of Earth’s history, God gave humanity the responsibility to be stewards – to rule – over all other earthly life He created. In Genesis 1:26, “God said, ‘Let us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.’” In this statement, God as our Creator, and our divine purpose to be His stewards, is realized. Being made in God’s image, He created and redeemed us for abundant living.
Furthermore, as expressed by Aniel Barbe, associate director of the Stewardship Ministries department, the importance of true stewardship is vital during these last hours of Earth’s history. “Worship is at the core of the final test for God’s people (Rev. 14:6-13). And…finance is the fiercest competitor to true worship (Matthew 6:24). [True] stewardship helps us to stand in resistance to the allurement of false worship.”
According to Dr. Long, “If we understand what stewardship is really about, it means that everything we have received from God – our time, our talents, our finances, our influence, and our business – we will use to bring glory to God. While Jesus never said, ‘I am the Model Steward,’ He lived a life consistent with this theme – He single-mindedly followed God’s will. He had an abundance mindset. He lived a life filled with sacrificial giving. He lived a service-filled life. He lived a life of compassion. The challenge of the Model Steward Canvas is to start and run your business with these stewardship life philosophies guiding your business.”
WHY THE MODEL STEWARD CANVAS?
Ellen G. White expressed, “[God] has placed in the hand of his servants the means wherewith to carry forward his work in home and foreign missions” (Ellen G. White, Review and Herald, Dec. 23, 1890).
The goal of the Model Steward Canvas and its accompanying workbook, according to Barbe, is to provide practical and “proven management principles for those contemplating or pursuing self-employment while emphasizing the importance of doing business from the standpoint of a steward.” It also provides practical suggestions for transitioning “one’s workspace into a missionary platform (Model Steward Canvas, p.13).”
The book provides a one-page business plan which “works through the fundamental elements of a business or product, structuring ideas in an easy-to-understand way.” The Canvas is a visual chart with several important elements:
- Description of the business
- The vision and mission
- Business Values
- Targeted Customer Segments
- Customer Value Proposition
- Business Goals
- Stakeholders, key partners, resources
- Staff Management Approach
- Financial Approach - Pricing, Profit, Dividend Strategies
- Scriptural Imperative
As emphasized by Dr. Carlos Biaggi, a Ph.D. Associate Professor and Dean for the Faculty of Business Administration at Middle East University, “If you are thinking of using your business for God’s glory, this book is a must. Dr. Ken Long does a wonderful job converting the Business Model Canvas—a validated tool in the business world—into the Model Steward Canvas, an easy yet powerful tool to design your business model with God’s kingdom at the core. God will use this book to inspire you to surrender your business and your heart to Him and bring many to His kingdom in the process.”
To learn more about the Model Steward Canvas and its author, and download your free digital book and workbook, click here. Subscribe to the Stewardship department’s magazine/newsletter and get regular updates from their department here.