Business leaders feasted on the wisdom and encouragement from Ken Eldred and Paul Kim.
Contributed By Sherie Ng
|PHOTO COURTESY OF SHERIE NG
The Marketplace committee members, along with the CGI-Asia Conference 2010 booth exhibition business owners met on May 29 for an exclusive breakfast round table with two highly successful spiritual giants in the marketplace—Dr. Ken Eldred and Dr. Paul Kim, for an exchange of intellect and a booster shot of courage & confidence for business missions.
In reply to the question of how one can propel his business to the next level, entrepreneur, philanthropist, CEO of Inmac and founder/CEO of Living Stones Foundation Charitable Trust, Eldred gave four key points: Power of Movement, Power of Multiplication, Power of Replication and Power of Television. Encouraging the attendees to build bridges and connect church with culture, he related the story of a local church which so astutely met the needs of its community that it soon started to work in partnership with the Governor to improve the living conditions of the community.
He shared about the “puppy in a cage” syndrome. In a research conducted at Stanford University in the 1980s, scientists put a puppy in a cage, each day tending to its needs by providing it with food, water and toys. And each day, after eating, drinking and playing, the puppy would make a few rounds to stretch its body. At the end of the year, the scientists released the puppy from the cage and observed it. It got up, stretched itself and sat right back down.
Even though the bars had been physically removed, the invisible bars still remained in its mind. This illustrated the mindset many people have when it comes to envisioning the impossible. Eldred stated, “Jesus cannot do what He wants to do if you do not take those bars away from your mind. Yes, life is not simple, business is tough and so is spiritual life. Satan is ever ready to put those bars back into your life. Have faith to believe that our outrageous dreams are not impossible for God. In fact, with God all things are possible, if only we are willing to remove the invisible bars in our mind.”
He then related a story about two apple sellers who were making their living by cheating; tampering with the weights. When God impressed upon these two men that He hated dishonesty, they repented and turned back to Him. Business started to expand and all the other grocers in town approached them for the secret to their business. The two men then instituted a network, whereby anyone who wanted to know their secret to success and business growth first had to confess Christ as Lord and follow all the 144 rules as found in the Bible. This network soon grew to what was known as To God Be The Glory Grocer Network. As more and more grocers flourished in their business, the town soon grew in population and became a bustling city of commerce, and eventually the seeding field for world missions and the financial hub of world economy—this is the story of how London came to be.
Kim, executive director of Church Growth International, managing director of Parakletos Ventures, venture capitalist and ministry pioneer, was then asked what success meant to him and how does one transition to new levels of performance and breakthrough? He replied, “Someone once asked Warren Buffett what constitutes true success. The biggest fallacy of man is to equate material wealth with success; we often think that being rich is equivalent to being smart and successful. Sometimes that is true, but not all the time. Buffett says that a person is truly successful if the people whom he wants to love him, truly love him.” Kim then went on to share about how he counts himself blessed and successful because his pastor, Dr. Yonggi Cho, his best friend, Eldred, and his wife and children all love him deeply—to him, that is success; where one’s primary relationships are all planted on the solid ground of deep, intense, godly love.
Transitioning to New Levels of Performance and Breakthrough
Kim then shared his personal testimony, from drug addict to philanthropist, entrepreneur, chairman and board of directors for many high-tech companies in Silicon Valley, as well as a ministry pioneer of the world’s largest Yoido Full Gospel Church. Rehabilitated by a teen challenge ministry in his youth days, he went on to Bible school and upon graduation, founded and pastored a thriving youth ministry before moving on to practice law.
He shared that it is important to be sensitive to hear the voice of God. “Sometimes in life, God sends people to speak to you but very often we are too busy to listen,” he said. At one of his major transition points in life when he was a highly successful lawyer, someone from the world’s most prestigious and largest venture capital companies approached him to become a venture capitalist. He did not heed the call, only to eventually go down the path of being a venture capitalist “after going around in circles in the wilderness.” Today, Kim continues his mission to fund and build successful businesses with the right talents and opportunities. He has groomed many successful multi-million dollar businesses and businessmen through his VC work.
On the other hand, he admitted to being a “control freak, needing to organize everything and be in absolute control of every situation.” God had impressed upon him that He Himself went through six days of creation work, birthing Man with His very breath, resting on the seventh day. Kim encouraged the businessmen to trust God and take time to rest in His presence and hear His voice.
Endorse and Encourage the Mission of The Marketplace
Kim was inspired and impressed with the level of camaraderie and friendship in the City Harvest business community. He encouraged them to grow in this kind of relationship, citing from Hebrews 10:24-25: “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another. “We need to create platforms where Christians can build thriving business relationships, and in so doing, spur one another unto greater good works to advance the cause of the kingdom.” He suggested that The Marketplace extend its ministry in engaging the business world and extend its mission by building “vertical industry fellowship forums.”
Kim went on to share that he does conduct his business networking with an agenda but God always uses his business skills and opens doors for him to build relationships with the upper echelons of society all around the world. He does not abide by a principle of doing business with Christians only, but he does what is fit for business. Through his business relationships, he has been able to lead some of the world’s most powerful and influential people to Christ, including one of his business partners, named on the Forbes top 40 list in China, as well as owner of the largest retail discount chain stores in China.
All left the breakfast with an enlarged vision for missions through business, inspired to drive growth and encouraged to deepen relationships in the business circle.