What Makes Business “Christian”?

I’m going to do a few posts on creation next week—no, not creation as in the story of origins, but as in the part we play in creating things as bearers of the divine image.

But before beginning those posts I want to ask simply what makes a business a Christian business. It’s a straight-forward question, but just to get things started, here are a few possible answers, which readers may embrace and defend or reject; alternative proposals or combinations and nuances are also encouraged. So let’s begin.

A. A Christian business is one which is owned/operated by a Christian person or persons. This answer is more about the claim to Christian identity on the part of the owner(s) than about anything dealing with the business itself. It might be defended by pointing to ones’ identity in Christ, which makes anything one does Christian by extension.

B. A Christian business is one which displays Christian symbols in advertizing, on the premises of the business operations, on the product, or in any other publicly recognizable way. This makes the case very clearly that what we do is an offering to the Lord, who provides for all things.

C. A Christian business is one which operates on principles drawn from the Bible. These principles may or may not be prominently displayed, but are nonetheless diligently promoted in the company’s culture.

D. A Christian business is one in which specifically Christian products are made. Whether pencils or vans, they are designed specifically with a Christian consumer in mind.

E. A Christian business is one wich is used primarily as a vehicle for witnessing; it provides opportunity to share the gospel, and does so by opening doors which might otherwise be closed to the one(s) who operate the business.

That’s a short list, and it leaves many things unaddressed, but it’s only intended as a conversation starter. An additional question to consider is whether you make a concerted effort to make purchases of goods and services from Christian businesses, or whether that form of selectivity should be encouraged.

Waiting to hear from you.

3 thoughts on “What Makes Business “Christian”?

  1. In my mind a Christian business is one where the owner seeks to lead using the biblical model for leadership. That his actions serve as a witness to others. My pastor talks about the 4 key mindsets of leadership: Highly intentional, Wisely Strategic, Profoundly Self-aware, and Deeply Surrendered. A person following these four mindsets would then, in my mind, have a perspective on Christ and seek to honor God through his business. The rest of the business would hold to a similar set of core values that would reflect obedience to Christ. This would be idea of a Christian business.

  2. I’m not a fan of the term “Christian business” anymore that I am of the term “Christian Music”, but I get it.
    A Christian who runs a business, should be doing so with the same principles that all Christians are to live by.,so I’ll agree with “c”.
    “whatever you do, do it as onto the Lord”
    I deal with several businesses that are run by Christians, without the fanfare.( No pictures of Jesus hanging on the walls with the title CEO underneath the frame. ) They are very succesful, offer top notch products, and are well respected in the business community. The owner’s of one of these companies meet on a regular basis to pray for their employees. they don’t announce it, they just do it. This was told to me not by the owners, but by one of their employees. He said this with the utmost respect for his bosses. “ They even pray for us, they want to know how our families are doing, they care.” That ‘s just one example of how a “christian busineess” should be.
    On the down side, here are some things, in no paticular order, that really bother me concerning this subject:
    1. Businesses that use Bible verses or the name of Jesus as part of their marketing. (I’ll get a lot of business from christians if they know I’m one of them!)
    2. Hiding behind the “christian” lable and offering poor quality or service, expecting people to just “forgive” sloppy work.
    3. Customer’s who expect special treatment (price breaks) because they are christians too!
    4. Churches and ministries that expect free work because “It’s for the work of Lord.”
    I have more to say on this, but there is work to do and deadlines to meet.

  3. what would you call the businessmen of the temple? Hiding behind the pharasees and making a buck in the name of sacrifices given to god. does that make them anymore special than someone who raises livestock for a living , one who does not approach the temple at all? Does food that has been deemed “kosher” have any intrinsic value better than its competition in the marketplace? or is it all just “eye-candy” to make the consumer feel special?

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