From the Worldwide Faith News archives

[UMNS-ALL-NEWS] UMNS# 179-United Methodist makes business successful using the Bible

From NewsDesk <NewsDesk@UMCOM.ORG>
Date Wed, 29 Mar 2006 17:18:19 -0600

United Methodist makes business successful using the Bible

Mar. 29, 2006 News media contact: Linda Green * (615) 7425470* Nashville {179}

NOTE: NOTE: A photograph and audio are available at http://umns/

By Linda Green

He began by teaching a Sunday school class how to apply biblical principles to create a blueprint for success in life.

The concept evolved into a book that has been recommended as required reading for chief executive officers across the country.

David L. Steward, the chief executive officer of St. Louis-based World Wide Technology, was overheard one day talking about using the Bible as a map for a fulfilled life. He was asked to teach a Sunday school class on those principles at Union Memorial United Methodist Church in St. Louis.

"I said, 'Gosh, how am I going to do that, when I have a difficult enough time getting to church on time?' But busy people always find time to do what's right, (and) my wife and I decided that we would agree to teach a Sunday school class every week."

Those lessons eventually became Doing Business by the Good Book: 52 Lessons Straight from the Bible. The idea for the book was "not about making money," according to Steward, whose company is reported to be one of the largest African-American-owned enterprises in the country, but "about sharing the word of God."

With all proceeds going back into the church and the community, Steward considers the book as a way of "giving the milk of God." He said he is "hopeful that the seed that is sown will lead people to the real meat of the word of God."

The Sunday school class he currently teaches at Salem-In-LaDue United Methodist Church includes politicians, business leaders, teachers and attorneys who are interested in biblical principles and how they relate to life, he added.

"These principles work in life," Steward said. "We talk about business principles ... (but) life is the business, it is God's business."

Spiritual principles, whether used in business or personal relationships, lead to "a fulfilled life, a fulfilled business, a fulfilled profession and a fulfilled perspective."

The lessons are the same ones that he has used to build his e-commerce company into a billion-dollar global enterprise. Steward believes one can be in business and still be a Christian. "This book will be a significant read for changing people's lives, and I am hopeful that a blessing will come out of this," he said.

52 lessons

The book's 52 chapters were written to coincide with the weeks in a year. "People are slow readers, and they really want to study the principles and to take it slowly," he said. "I thought it would be easy for them to read six pages a week."

Chapters, accompanied by scriptural passages, include: " Integrity - "A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favor is better than silver or gold." ( Proverbs 22:1)

" Good Leadership is Love - "This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you." (John 15:12) " Good Leadership is Serving Others - "...(W)hoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you must be slave of all. For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many". (Mark 10:43-45)

" Being a Customer-Driven Company - "In everything, do to others as you would have them do to you." (Matthew 7:12)

" Consistency - "Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen." (Hebrews 11:1)

Steward said the exciting part of sharing his principles is showing how the Bible is as applicable today as it was 2,000 years ago. "There is not one circumstance that you cannot find in the word of God that won't resolve issues and challenges that you might have in life," he said.

During classes and in the book, the central and most powerful point is love. "God is love and love is God, and when you represent Him, and you make decisions in love, decisions that help people ... you have a quality of life and a joy and a peace that passes all understanding," he explained.

United Methodist Bishop Ann Sherer is among the 29 people offering praise for the book in an accolades section. "Concepts like respect, love in action, fairness, care and concern for the well-being of his employees and customers are the priorities of Dave Steward's life. Here is a book that both teaches and inspires," she wrote, while serving as bishop of the Missouri Area. She currently leads the Nebraska Area.

Former President George H.W. Bush wrote the foreword.

A duty to serve

Steward, 55, considers himself richly blessed. His life, he said, revolves around a personal and scriptural adage: from those to whom much is given, much is required. He added that his last name is a reminder of one of God's messages: to be a good steward over what God has provided, at home and at work.

He founded World Wide Technology in 1990 on a shoe-string budget, with four employees. He said he faced financial risks and struggles, had a will to succeed and built the business on scriptural principles. Using lessons taken directly from the Bible, he has created a $2 billion company, with visions of "revolutionizing" how people conduct business in the future and building up to a $10 billion company.

Being chief executive officer is a tremendous responsibility, he said, and his primary task is serving people well and making the company even more successful.

"Success to me is making this place (world) a better place to live because I existed," Steward explained. "Success to me is providing jobs and opportunity and value to suppliers and customers and to those in my community, (and) knowing I have improved the quality of life because I put them first."

Sacrifice is a word he keeps before him - the sacrifices people made to make him who he is today and the sacrifice and gift of God's son so that people will have life everlasting.

"I always at the end of the day look back and think: Am I living my life worthy of that kind of sacrifice for me ... to have the privilege and honor to represent him in the capacity and leadership role he so richly blessed me (with)?" Steward said. "I am hopeful that I can say, 'Yes, I did honor him that day in my giving, in my caring, in my leadership, in sharing what I have been so richly blessed with.'"

*Green is a United Methodist News Service news writer based in Nashville, Tenn.

News media contact: Linda Green, (615) 742-5470 or ********************

United Methodist News Service Photos and stories also available at:


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