What Exactly is “Christian” Business?

Mar 1, 2021, Written by Rachel Miley

What Exactly is “Christian” Business?

Your company may fall into this category. After all, you are a Christian and you own a business. You decided that your values should be incorporated into your work. So there you have it, Christian business?

If you’re reading this blog, you may know that at Crossroads we identify as a Christian business coaching team. You may be wondering what that even means? Is there some sort of client Bible study? Is cheesy Christian rock playing in the waiting room? Will we create a prayer accountability chart for you to complete each session?

Yikes.

The practical application of Christian values in a business setting may not be straightforward. So let’s break it down a little bit.

Christian business is about allowing faith-based values to determine your decisions, structures and priorities within your work.

As a professional, there’s a lot of things that you are already doing. You have to take care of financials, marketing, personnel, customer service, growth paths and a variety of other business responsibilities. Christian business means allowing Biblical values to inform all of these activities that you’re already doing. And it’s kind of that simple and complicated at the same time.

Oftentimes you see businesses not quite getting this, and adding on new responsibilities to try and make their spirituality overt to outsiders looking in. They put scripture on the walls and be sure to have the prayer request box visible. There’s nothing wrong with these things! But I want to make an argument for a different kind of faithfulness.

What if faithfulness means more about your personal accountability to God in the decisions you’re making and structures you put into place in your company?

For example…

Financial Values

As a Christian in business, what if you sit down before you work on your financials and ask God genuinely to help you trust Him to provide for you and your company. Then, as you go through the tedious excel sheets and projections, you don’t allow the temptation to compromise or elevate your own comfort to lure you from ethical decision-making. As a Christian in business, this isn’t about getting ahead or simply making more money. It’s about honoring God. So when you do finally make it through all those numbers, what if you make a point to consider ways you can be generous. Because all of this isn’t really yours, after all, is it?

Marketing Values

There are endless opportunities to spend more dollars through a variety of avenues in the digital marketing world we’re navigating now. As a Christian in business, what if it looks like taking a little extra time to ensure that the products you’re buying, systems you’re using, and means for communicating aren’t compromising your values in some way. To ask a few questions about whether your marketing actions are at the expense of another person or business. To make sure that your communications are honest and forthcoming, not selective or half-truths to promote your business’s self-interest. Marketing as a Christian means trusting that God’s way is better, regardless of what best practices may say.

Management Values

As a Christian in business, what if living out your values means being a gracious, forgiving, kind, honest and intentional boss. Not continuing to allow for underperformance and other personnel issues, because that’s not loving either. But taking the time to communicate clearly about expectations, having honest but kind conversations about performance, and holding employees accountable to the values you have instilled from your own example.

The Better Way

All of this to say, what if being a Christian business owner has much more to do with your personal pursuit of God than you originally thought? This is a heavy burden. There are new levels of accountability for you. You must be willing to do the harder work of personal holiness and a deeper relationship with God, rather than simply pushing values to the front that your business doesn’t fully understand behind the scenes. It may seem a little daunting, but the Bible does promise that it is the better way.

We totally get that this is still a nuanced concept- unique to every person and business. Part of what makes it complicated is that there’s not a rule book necessarily. There’s no “do XYZ to honor God in your business” plan. So that’s what we’re here for. To help you discern what God’s best may be for the many different aspects of your business that you are working through. Schedule an appointment with one of our coaches for practical and experienced help.

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Lisa Milliet says

    Just wanted to say that our team was having a conversation just yesterday about how to better incorporate our values into our day to day actions. This was inspiring and helpful so I shared it. Thank you.

    • Sue Miley says

      That is so good to hear Lisa! Rachel, the author of the article, is my daughter I have told you about. She will be so glad to know it was helpful.

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Rachel Miley

Rachel Miley serves clients as Crossroads' Marketing & Communications Strategist. Her desire is to meet clients’ goals through effective and innovative content development, strategic planning and coaching. A prior career in the non-profit sector has brought Rachel to Crossroads with a mindset of creativity and resourcefulness. Her desire is to help individuals discover how to glorify the Lord in and through their work.

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