What is Christian Business?

Apr 4, 2011, Written by Sue Miley

What is Christian Business?  Does it mean you have a fish symbol adhered to your door?  Do you have to have to be selling bibles or something specifically religious?

Are you afraid to classify your business as a Christian business because it will send the message that you are selling a religious product or that you are going to try to preach to anyone who walks through the door?

I think there is a lot of ambiguity in the term Christian business.

Since I want to help Christian businesses I have given the term quite a lot of thought.  And by the way so have many of you.  In keyword research, Christian business is a high traffic key word.

Christianity and faith are not visible descriptors.  By definition, faith is believing in something that you cannot see, feel or touch.  If you lined up ten Christian men or women there is not a physical characteristic that shows that they are a Christian.

And, although there are universal symbols that represent Christianity like the cross, all Christians do not where a cross 24/7 as their membership card or stamp.

It’s All About Our Heart

This brings me to my opinion that there is not a physical, visible, single requirement that labels the business Christian.  For the term Christian business to have meaning, we must look at the heart of the owner or culture.  The heart is very much the key to what makes a Christian person a believer, therefore, it makes sense that it would also be the main definer of a Christian business.

A Christian business is any business where the heart of the owner or leader is following Christ.   If the individuals have put their faith in Jesus then, to me, they have a Christian business.

What Will People See or Notice?

How does the world know you are a Christian is a questions that has been pondered for centuries?  I believe the same question can apply to a Christian business.  Just as there are many different types of believers at various stages along the spiritual growth path, there are as many different forms of a Christian business.

Let’s look at the two main categories:

  1. Selling Christian Products or Services – some businesses are transparently Christian businesses because they actually sell a Christian product i.e. a Christian book store, Christian jewelry store, a Christian counselor or Christian school.
  2. A Christian in Business – the product or service isn’t a religious product, however, the company is run by Christian people.

Either of these may define themselves as Christian businesses.  However, I think their is a key component that is necessary in both to really be considered a Christian business.

Foundation of Christian Values

That key component is a “foundation of Christian values”.

It doesn’t matter if the concept is a bookstore selling books on Christian topics if the owner of the business is treating their employees like slaves, not paying their vendors, and not following ethical practices.

This is where the heart comes in.  If the heart of the owners, managers or culture is a heart for Jesus, then the foundation of the business will be built on Christian values.

Christian values include things like:

…..treating others as you want to be treated

…..being honest and fair (ethical) in all business practices

…..giving back to the community in some way of volunteering time or services

…..striving for quality that would glorify God.

These are just a few.

People will see this even though it isn’t a visible Christian tattoo!

God Absolutely Cares About Our Business

There is a common misconception among Christians in business that God doesn’t care about our business.  That business is all about money and money is the root of all evil.

This just isn’t true.

Everything is a gift from God.  Everything.  He gives us our gifts and talents.  He also provides us with our business opportunities!  He wants our businesses to be another light in a dark world.

The Christian Business Edge

These myths cause many Christian business owners, Christians in business, or however you want to phrase it, to miss out on the gift of being a Christian business.  We are heirs to the throne.  We have an advantage that the secular businesses don’t have.  We have Jesus!

He works through our weaknesses!

He is there to pray to and look to for strength!

He provides us with wisdom and direction through His Word and the Holy Spirit’s guiding.

He gives us meaning in our work when we do work that strives to glorify Him.

We earn success in more ways than just monetarily, we have many other Kingdom metrics to succeed by.

If your heart is for Jesus…..If He is your Lord and Savior….if you own your own business…if you strive to follow Jesus as the Lord of all of your life including your business….

then you are a Christian business!

Take advantage of this today, just as eternity began the day you accepted Christ, it was also the beginning of your business becoming a Christian business.

So what are you going to do with this?

Matthew 5:15
Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.

Matthew 5:16
In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

Are you going to put a bowl over the fact and hide, or are you going to shine and be an example, a city on a hill, for other Christian businesses to follow God in their business?


For specific help in building a foundation of faith into your business sign-up now  for my 6 week system The Christian Business Edge. If you have questions, or when you sign-up, feel free to email me with questions or comments – sue at christianbusinesscrossroads.com!

Reader Interactions


  1. David Rupert says

    An amazing summary and analysis. I like what you say about not just sticking a fish out on your sign and calling it good. You have to “live the fish”

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Sue Miley

Sue Miley MBA, MA, LPC helps small business owners build successful businesses on a foundation of Christian values. After 20 years in business, and 10 years as a Christian counselor, Sue uses a combination of faith, business and psychology to help clients in business and in life.

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