Best Practices in Redemptive Methodology

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Every business we invest in is part of God’s redemptive work in the world - bringing the reality of the Kingdom into closer focus. Some businesses provide goods and services that obviously make people’s lives better: a longer-lasting mosquito repellant or educational software for inmates. Their primary impact happens through the products and services they provide and it is easy to understand how they're fit for impact investing.

But what about the Believer making great tables who intentionally lives out a plan for using the very business itself as a force for God’s redeeming work? This type of business makes the world a better place by the way it conducts itself even if its product or service isn’t specifically addressing quality education, poverty alleviation, clean energy, or freedom. While there may not be anything inherently transformational about the widgets a company sells, it nonetheless has a positive impact on employees, vendors, and its community.

We desire to invest in those enterprises and need a way to describe how they further our charitable purpose. Thus, we created a category called “Redemptive Methodology” to describe these unique organizations.

The idea of Redemptive Methodology borrows heavily from Praxis Labs’ concept of a “redemptive entrepreneur”, or one who seeks to embody the gospel in creating and building a venture that leaves a meaningful impact on the world. As David Blanchard has said in describing redemptive entrepreneurs,

"As fallen creatures, we take seriously and humbly our own sin and the brokenness of the world around us. Our endgame is for our venture to be an agent of redemption as we act as the hands and feet of Christ in the world, knowing that He is “making all things new.”
REDEMPTIVE METHODOLOGY defined
An enterprise whose primary positive impact on the world happens through the way business is conducted. Its leadership, being rooted in Christ, follows the Spirit to intentionally participate in God’s transformational work in the lives of employees, vendors, & customers while creating sustainable value.

Businesses built by these kinds of entrepreneurs live out the Gospel through great business practices: paying vendors on time or early, paying fair compensation, providing quality service/goods at fair prices, standing against corruption, and practicing good environmental stewardship. They have satisfied, repeat customers and high employee loyalty.

Christian leadership, on its own, is not enough. Scripture is clear that personal faith will result in changed behavior, which Paul calls “the fruit of the Spirit.” A CEO or group of senior leaders shaping a company with their personal faith can expect to display evidence indicative of spiritual health. As a corollary to the idea that “faith without works is dead,” the fruit of the company will provide the data points for measuring its impact. 

Just as it takes roughly 5 years for a new apple tree to bear its first fruit, we cannot wait to look at the fruit of a business to determine whether it is fit for investment. Thus, we are creating a set of best practices to help early-stage ventures understand how to run a "Redemptive Methodology" business. As we vet enterprises, we can likewise use this set of best practices to determine if a potential investment belongs in our portfolio. The goal is to describe a common set of behaviors that if practiced regularly over time could be expected to result in the kind of fruit the business exists to create. Below is a start to that list. Let us know if you think we should add or change anything. 

Additional Resources

Our blog is full of stories of companies putting into practice the ideals of Redemptive Methodology. Check out the list of blogs below. 

Also, our friend Henry Kaestner, CEO of Sovereigns Capital and co-founder of Bandwidth.com, started a very helpful site https://www.faithdrivenentrepreneur.org. Lots of great articles, podcasts, etc. Check it out!!


Best Practices in Redemptive Methodology

The following collection of best practices is not meant to be exhaustive but a starting place for companies desiring to enhance or describe their redemptive practices within their company. Minimum requirements are noted with a star. Please let us know if you have other ideas that we should include.


IMPACT ON EMPLOYEES

  • Pays fair compensation*
  • Jobs created and/or training for marginalized or underserved populations
  • Corporate chaplain service
  • CEO or other senior leader(s) regularly participates in spiritual disciplines
  • Flu shots, wellness programs
  • Marriage enrichment
  • Employee Assistance Programs
  • Conduct regular performance reviews*
  • Exercise hiring and termination practices that honor individuals*
  • Profit or equity sharing

IMPACT ON VENDORS

  • Pays bills on time*
  • Honors contracts*
  • Builds relationships that foster opportunities to interact with the Gospel

IMPACT ON CUSTOMERS

  • Satisfied, repeat customers*
  • Provides value (quality service/goods at fair prices)*
  • Truthful advertising/marketing*
  • Advertising/marketing built on a redemptive storyline (i.e., not selling to people’s fear or hunger for power, money, fame, sex, etc.)
  • Builds relationships that foster opportunities to interact with the Gospel

IMPACT ON COMMUNITY

  • Stands against corruption*
  • Owners and/or employees volunteer services in the community
  • Intentional relationships built with ministry/ church/ community leaders
  • Contribution of finances, goods, services to NGO’s, local churches

IMPACT ON ENVIRONMENT

  • Basic environmental stewardship practiced*
  • Clean water provided
  • Waste reduced
  • Improvements in natural resource management

Stories of Redemptive Methodology