The question we should all ask ourselves is “What is the best way to evangelize businessmen and professionals?”
The Lord said “Go and spread the Good News of Salvation!” With this command, each one of us is expected to be a disciple of Jesus in whatever situation we find ourselves in. More so for us as members of the BCBP, we are expected to be effective evangelizers in the marketplace. But the question is how does one begin to attract other businessmen into the Brotherhood, people who cannot be swayed by emotional appeals to the heart, who have been trained to act on the basis of facts and reason, who have grown and accepted the traditional way of separating the business world from the personal and the spiritual.
I remember a story of a new member who said that the reason he decided to join the Brotherhood was because of the exemplary behavior of a member and classmate of his which he thought was so refreshing and exhilarating to witness. The situation was the simple payment of the correct tax on a sale of a property. The BCBP member insisted that he will pay the correct capital gains tax and there was no need to undervalue the sale as is typical for many real estate transactions. This new member was attracted to join the Brotherhood simply because of this particular action of his classmate and member of BCBP to do what is right. It was the aroma of an honest and ethical behavior that proved effective and attractive in inviting him to join BCBP.
Good examples have twice the value of good advice it is said. Even Pope Paul VI in his exhortations said that the “witness of life” is so fundamentally important in these modern times. We need credible witnesses in the marketplace.
And so it should be for all of us members of the BCBP. To be effective evangelizers, we need to be credible witnesses of honesty and professionalism, to be the “best” businessmen and professionals we could possibly be, to adhere to the best practices of the industry we operate in.
We should view our business and profession as a vocation, a way of life of doing excellent work because in so doing we are able to glorify God. Excellent work contributes to the common good and ultimately builds up the Kingdom of God. The commonality of good ethical and excellent business practices is what will attract other businessmen and professionals to join our community.
Some practical ways of practical discipleship in the marketplace are:
– We should conduct our business and exercise our profession with the highest level of integrity and justice, always adhering to the principles of doing what is right even when it is painful to do so.
– As BCBP members, we should never be satisfied with second best. We should remove from our psyche and mind-set what many Filipinos practice “Puwede na ‘yan !”
– We should always strive to improve our craft, to always search for new knowledge and expertise, to stretch our limits because things can always be done better.
– We should always present a positive image of ourselves. If you operate a store, make sure that the store is clean and orderly, worthy to be called a store owned by a BCBP member for after all who wants to buy from a store that is dirty or deal with a disorderly office. If you are in a service business, you should provide the best service to customers. Be nice and gracious to customers, even the cranky ones.
– Whenever we have to write a letter, submit reports, or prepare documents, we should make sure it is well written, grammatically correct, without typo errors. They create impressions when people read what we write. We must always put our best foot forward.
– We should access and use the latest technologies and practices of our industry. A BCBP member has to be always up-to-date in his practices and methodologies.
The marketplace provides many avenues and opportunities for BCBP members to become credible witnesses. Our ethical behavior is of course a mighty witness to others. But we must not also underestimate the positive impact we create from the ordinary day to day actions of striving to be good businessmen and professionals. Together, they reflect an implicit truth of what our Lord wants – that we should sanctify our work because when we do so, we give back all the glory to his name. Our performance in the marketplace reflects a deeper truth that we are co-creators of God in making our world a better place, that we labor to achieve what is good for ourselves and others, the common good. When we do, the Lord will be pleased and say “Well done, my faithful servant!”