02 May 11 strategic ways to Get Started As A Kingdom Consumer
I want to begin by commending you for making it this far. Many are sadly too overwhelmed or lazy to care about how they spend their money. But you made it this far! The good news is that with a little effort on the front side, you can make a lasting impression on the marketplace through your daily purchasing habits. In another post I suggested that Christians should be responsible about where they spend their money. Naturally, the question that follows is, “Okay, but how?” Have no fear, solutions are here! Well, it’s at least something to get you started. Therefore, without further ado… 11 Strategic Ways to Get Started as a Kingdom Consumer!
1. It’s not all or nothing
If you are worried that you will never be able to REALLY tell everything that a corporation does… you’re probably right. No worries though. You don’t have to know everything about every company to make some generally smarter decisions about where you spend your moolah. Take a deep breath. One step at a time in the right direction is still one step at a time in the right direction. Step one is simple. Accept that you don’t have to be perfect to move in a positive direction.
2. Sometimes it is the lesser of two evils
Disappointing as it may be, the fact is that many Christians have abandoned the marketplace, especially on a proprietor level. As such, we are frequently left with few choices, none of whom represent God in their mission, vision, and values. For a time, we may have to pick between the lesser of two evils.
3. Always fill the house
Remember, it’s not just about cutting things out. When we cut things out without replacing them, they tend to come back stronger and meaner. Make sure that for every brand you cut out, you find a replacement (unless otherwise directed by the Lord).
4. Tag Team It
Connect with some likeminded friends. Each person take a different topic. Come back together with your findings and put a list together. Then share it with others. You can start a movement in your sphere of influence! Cheesy as it may sound, you can be the difference you want to see! You can be the spark that starts the fire.
5. Look for no-no companies
One way to get started is to look for what I call no-no companies. For me, one of the biggest issues (if not the biggest issue) we face is the travesty of legalized and celebrated abortion. Using this as an example, it is not difficult to find out who has given money to certain high profile abortion providers. Seriously, just do an internet search (remember to double check your sources. Just because it’s on the internet doesn’t mean it’s true). Perhaps you are passionate about LGBT issues, child labor, or the environment. Whatever your no-no issues may be, start by cutting out and replacing companies who clearly violate your ethical values.
6. Pick common purchases (groceries, restaurants, coffee, toiletries, gas, banking)
After cutting out the baddies, look for items that you purchase regularly. It’s helpful to get started on impact areas. I’m not going to buy a new car every day, so I can hold off on figuring that one out. However, I will be buying gas to fill that car. I do buy groceries every week. I do keep money in banks every second of every day. There are many common purchases that you can focus your research on to get started.
7. Check your recurring bills
Next, look for items that you purchase monthly. You may have these setup for recurring auto payments.
8. Shop local
It’s great to support local businesses. It’s wonderful for your local economy. It is a great way of establishing relationships and knitting the community together. It’s also easier to learn the character of the owner and the corporate environment established by the leadership.
9. Connect with companies owned by people at your church
In the process of shopping local, connect with those around you (especially the ones at your church). Find out who owns a business in your community. As a bonus, if they are tithers/givers, odds are good that some of the money you spend on their products or services will be filtered back into the church and its various ministries. (Beware, just because they go to your church doesn’t mean they do good things with their money and business. But it is a starting place).
10. Once You’ve made your list, check it twice
Of course things are always changing. As companies become increasingly political (this is only the beginning), more and more companies will change their stance based on political movements and momentums. Commit to periodically double-checking to see what has changed. Perhaps a third option will arise and allow you to move to a great option instead one of your lesser of two evils.
11. (Bonus)Be Creative
While we are all consumers, we are also producers. There is perhaps nothing better you can do than use your creative gifts to impact your sphere of influence for the glory of God. It’s what He made you to do. Whether an owner, manager, or a first level employee, God will give you strategy to make an impact in your personal arena. Listen to Him. Be bold. Make a difference. Represent and steward as an ambassador for Christ!
Well, there you have it. You now have access to 11 Strategic Ways to Get Started as a Kingdom Consumer. Imagine how it will feel to know that every dollar you spend is like sowing seeds into a ministry that you can believe in. What a difference! I want to challenge you to not only do this for yourself, but to also become a champion of this cause in your circle of influence. Share this article with your friends, use it as a blueprint to outline a strategy, and then make it happen. You are a Change Agent. You are a Kingdom Consumer. Go forth and teach others to how to glorify God and bless the world through responsible purchasing habits.