Building a lasting, Kingdom-focused investment group


By Pieter Faure

More and more contemporary writers refer to the value and importance of a core purpose as a key to attracting the right people and building a great organisation. In reality, the world is just discovering what Scripture has taught us for millennia: ‘Where your treasure is there your heart will also be.’ (Matthew 6:21).

Mergon always had a sense of purpose, or ‘calling’, but it was only in the last few years that we’ve really started to place that calling – to be catalysts for Kingdom impact – at the centre of all we do.

For us, being catalysts for Kingdom impact refers to our passion to:

– see the good news of Christ shared and people being discipled to become Kingdom ambassadors.
– transform culture by inspiring redemptive stewardship of God-entrusted resources.
– see the poor and marginalised uplifted, filled with hope and experience dignity restored.
– bring about reconciliation and peace in our nation and beyond.

We actively communicate and cultivate this calling and recognise that each person in our organisation, from receptionist to CEO, has a unique opportunity to relate to it and express it, in different ways, in different spheres.

The result for our organisation is that:

1. We are taken out of the centre, as we surrender our own ambitions for something greater than ourselves, and remind ourselves that we are merely instruments in the hand of the Master.

2. It changes our decision-making priorities, becoming our true north as we filter everything through the lens of ‘how will this facilitate increasing Kingdom-expansion impact.’

For example, our investment mandate is specifically geared towards our calling to ‘generate growing, sustainable distributions for maximum Kingdom impact.’

3. It breaks the sacred/secular divide, ensuring that we do not regard those team members who engage in business as ‘secular’ and those who engage in ministry as ‘sacred’. Rather, we are all part of the Kingdom Expansion team. As we put calling at the center, we continue to discover the expanding nature thereof, we find new and diverse ways to give expression thereto, and we continue to grow towards becoming the fullest and truest expression to which God has called us.

A counter-culture of stewardship

A culture of biblical stewardship — our shared set of values, beliefs, and behaviors — underpins the character of Mergon. It applies to us collectively and individually and finds expression in three ways:

1. Being ambassadors of Christ compels us to:

– be relational – distinguishing ourselves by purposefully caring not only about outcomes but also for the people with whom we work.
– be servant-leaders – using our influence to serve, equip and encourage.
– be above reproach – act with integrity in all we do.

2. Being faithful with what we’ve been entrusted with and expressing it through our core values:

– humility (teachable; stewards – not owners)
– courage (innovation, risk, conviction)
– mastery (diligence, excellence)
– partnership (building together, no power plays)

3. Being dependent – committing ourselves, individually and corporately, to work from a place of relationship with our majority ‘Shareholder’. We enquire of Him and wait on Him, trusting He will guide us through wisdom, unity and peace.

Though seemingly obvious, it is highly challenging to live out this culture authentically in a world of complex negotiations and tough funding decisions. The extent to which we remain true to these tenets has a direct influence on our credibility and impact across all spheres of engagement.

Commissioned to be catalysts

Why catalysts? A catalyst is a small dose of substance that, when released into the right environment can cause a disproportionate effect: scripture talks about a small seed sowed to yield a great harvest.

We ask ourselves how we can leverage that which has been put in our hand — funds, knowledge, experience, networks, and relationships — to facilitate a disproportionate impact. This has led to various groundbreaking strategic and innovative initiatives and partnerships. As we mix our endeavors with faith we entrust them back into God’s hands with an expectation that He can do so much more than we can ask or imagine.

Despite many challenges, we have successfully transitioned from a founder/entrepreneur-led business into a sustainable, next-generation group that is committed to being effective instruments for the Kingdom.

We trust that our journey and the principles briefly shared here will encourage fellow entrepreneurs to prayerfully consider how they can facilitate similar transitions. What you have heard, entrust these things to faithful men who themselves will be able to teach others. (2 Timothy 2:2)

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