Former Minster Bank president speaks about incorporating religious principles into business


By Kyle Shaner - kshaner@aimmediamidwest.com



NEW BREMEN – Former Minster Bank President Mark Henschen encouraged business leaders to let Biblical principles guide them in business and life during a Business Impact Network lunch Thursday afternoon at Faith Alliance Church in New Bremen.

Henschen, who spent 35 years in the banking industry including 10 as the Minster Bank president, shared the principles he followed during his career with men from throughout the region.

“As we go through these things, what we’re thinking about is how can I incorporate this into my business, how can I incorporate this as a leader in business, and these principles that we see start to frame the mind of God,” Henschen said. “I think that is the mind of God, that the flow is what we’re after. God’s blessings should be used to increase our level of giving, not just our standard of living.”

Trent Fledderjohann, lead pastor at Faith Alliance Church, has hosted the BIN meetings for about one year. Approximately 20 men attend each quarterly meeting, which provides networking and fellowship for business leaders in the community.

“It’s a chance for guys to grow spiritually, it’s a chance for guys to network professionally and just learn from other people,” Fledderjohann said. “A lot of it is just encouragement, knowing there’s other men out there trying to glorify God in what they’re doing, and I think that has a huge impact in the work space and families.”

Henschen’s principles combine ideas he developed during the past 30 years along with lessons he’s picked up from others. He said the word of God through the Bible can help guide business leaders.

“I think it’s enhanced by Christian principles,” Henschen said of business. “The beauty of what the Bible teaches is that it’s not just been isolated into one person or one group. It’s not a forced distribution of assets. It’s a loving flow of sharing and helping and investing in others.”

Among the five principles Henschen discussed, he said the lynch pin for Thursday’s speech was “success is not determined by what we retain (the money we have or the property we own) but by that which flows through us.”

The focus of business tends to be getting bigger or determining how much someone possesses, Henschen said, but he encouraged attendees to look at parables from the Bible for guidance. Henschen spoke about the parable of the rich farmer from the Gospel of Luke who stored possessions for himself but not for God and the rich young man from the Gospel of Matthew who didn’t want to give up his Earthly possessions.

“So when it says don’t store it up here, send it ahead, what you’ve got here is temporary,” Henschen said. “Again the success here is not determined by what we retain.”

Henschen, however, said having wealth isn’t sinful. He talked about the parable of talents and the servant who buried his talent instead of using it to earn more for his master.

“I think the Bible clearly says anywhere you are is appropriate because you can handle it if you’ve got the right attitude,” Henschen said.

“It doesn’t say the sin of more; it says the danger of more.”

Other principles that Henschen discussed included “the importance of building a process to make (wise) decisions,” “God allows us (our faith) to be tested,” “God will provide” and the “value of setting challenging (specific) goals in every area of your life.”

Henschen sets spiritual, family, vocational, financial and social goals, which helps establish balance and priority.

“When you’re setting goals, you’ve got something to look forward to, something to keep you focused on what you’re doing,” he said. “I think one of the key things that you get with setting goals is it helps you establish both a priority and a balance. And if we think about those five areas and we start to think about priority and balance, they don’t always remain separate; some of them overlap.”

Individuals’ spiritual lives really aren’t separate from their everyday lives, Henschen said, and he encouraged everyone to live intentionally and not waste or hoard. That’s a philosophy he holds in regards to finance and the wisdom he has to offer.

“You just don’t want to hoard things up or not utilize what I’ve been blessed with so I feel that it should have flow, anything I pick up should be able to be utilized and flow through me to somebody else,” Henschen said.

Men who are interested in joining the Business Impact Network can email Fledderjohann at trent@faith-alliance.org.

“I just encourage the people who are in positions of influence to find a community that can encourage them and to use the position that they’ve been given by God to positively impact people,” Fledderjohann said. “That’s really the heart of what we’re after.”

By Kyle Shaner

kshaner@aimmediamidwest.com

Reach this writer at kshaner@aimmediamidwest.com.

Reach this writer at kshaner@aimmediamidwest.com.