Five Kinds of Capital

Mike Breen, leader of 3DM ministries, has an interesting way of framing the spiritual demands of people in the marketplace. Business people, by and large, feel disenfranchised with church.  Because they have significant competencies, professionals are sought after for their ability to make sense of complicated issues.  Yet, when they come to church, we ask them to change diapers or run lights, and it feels like they’re just being asked to fill a slot.

We have to start thinking about how we can invest in them to make them better people.

Breen outlines five kinds of capital investments for business people.

  1. Financial Capital- Marketplace people are going to understand investing their finances and getting a return.  Our task is to teach them what kind of returns matter.  We might consider kingdom returns, ecological returns, social returns, educational returns, cultural returns, etc.
  2. Intellectual Capital- What ideas, skills, competencies do we have that we can invest? How? Where?
  3. Physical Capital- Where and how are our time and energy best spent?
  4. Relational Capital- How do we invest in the relationships we already have? How can we invest those relationships in something bigger?
  5. Spiritual Capital- How are we investing our faith? What kind of returns can we expect from the prayers we’re praying and how do we know they matter?