I have had several clients tell me that they think they can get in trouble if they talk about their faith or mention God to their employees, vendors or customers. They feel that since they are not selling a religious product or service like a church or a Christian bookstore, they are not allowed to mention God or Christ or quote scripture, etc.
In most small businesses it isn’t necessary to discuss God or quote scripture, but believing this myth gets us into the mindset of checking our faith at the door for fear that we may slip and bring God up in our business. I don’t know about you, but I don’t think I could get through 8 hours of work not mentioning God. To do that I would have to start distancing myself from Him and building up walls because right now He is a part of everything I do.
Believing that you are not allowed to bring your faith into your business is the seed that begins to minimize our relationship with God and keeps us from integrating the character, the wisdom, and the guidance of Christ into our business.
In some cases, we know that we absolutely want to build the foundation of our business on God’s Word and God’s Will. Then we try to implement it and hit roadblocks where we think we will get in trouble legally if we continue.
It is not against the law to develop a culture around your Christian values. It may be against the law to discriminate that you will only hire professed Christians. However, you can say that the core values of your business are things like:
- Honesty and integrity (Thou shall not lie)
- Serving others.
- Not allowing profanity.
- Closing on the Sabbath.
- Policy against lawsuits, etc.
You can even tell your employees that you feel your business is God’s and that you are just a steward. Jesus wants us to be “in the world”, just not “of the world”. So hiring non-believers is a good thing. That gives us an additional opportunity to be a light to God. And you absolutely can hold them accountable for being honest and not cussing, etc. An employee does not have to profess Jesus as Lord and Savior to follow or possess these core values.
But, I personally think it is only fair that they know what they are getting into. You should tell new employees “who you are” so that if they do not want to be a part of it they have the appropriate information to make that decision. You are telling them up front that these are the values that you will be running your business on and that, to work here, all employees must adhere to them. You are not telling them that they have to profess faith in Christ to work for you. But, if these values are also important to them and they see how well these values work in your business, they may seek out Christ for themselves. That is “being a light”!
I work with many small business clients who are following the Lord in their work. They have Christ-inspired core values for their business and I have found in recruiting for these companies, their stated values are a selling point, not a deterrent.
How do you live out your faith in your business? Is this an issue for you?