How to be a Good Christian Small Business Owner
As a Christian business owner, you are going to want to run your business according to the same top-level principles you live by in your personal life. Do not attempt to run a Christian business without placing God at the center of it. By staying true to Christian ideals and doctrine, your business will honor Gods principles as a true Christian business. If the Christian is truly committed to Jesus Christ and serving his purposes, then business will be conducted according to his principles and guidelines.
Ecclesiastes 9:10 – Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.
Given this fact, we cannot claim business success is antithetical to the Christian faith. The point is, it is not guaranteed that being Christian, or even doing your best to love and obey God, will make you successful in business. If you follow the principles and guidelines laid out below, you can also have Christian success in business.
If you want to have a Christian business flourish, you need to work on your confidence. Your passion for God and a willingness to do what is right is a crucial component of every Christian wanting to run a Kingdom-building business. Your passion is what brings joy in serving the Lord through your business.
I challenge you to find ways to maintain your passion, so that you will be able to continue working in your business, and keep using your business to achieve your goals and honor God. Adding value, improving the quality of life, enriching communities are all ways in which businesses can honor God. Clearly, businesses can either be used to glorify God, or they are so out of step with what God wants for mankind that Christians need to stand up against their devastating impact on society. Too often, churches minimize the role that those involved in business can play in advancing Gods kingdom.
Deuteronomy 8:18 – But thou shalt remember the LORD thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day.
Obviously giving to ones church and ministries is a good and needed way of doing Gods work, but within the corporate realm there are a number of ministries that are accessible. As a Christian, you can (and should) apply every aspect of your faith to all that you do, including running a business.
Working these essential Christian principles into everything, from operations to long-term strategies, could help you glorify God in the daily grind of your job. Putting it into practice may prove challenging at times, but it is important to prioritize this aspect of running your business according to Christian principles. Regularly studying the Four Gospels is a good way to stay on track when you want to run a business on Christian principles.
Make it clear that you are trying to run a business on Christian principles, and be open to explaining what this means to others. If we apply our Christian beliefs to how we do business, instead, we focus on sustainability, serving others, and eventually, long-term profitability. One of the Biblical principles Christian leaders should be following is building businesses with purpose, profit.
Colossians 3:17 – And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.
Building businesses with biblical principles requires changing your perspective. My friend Steve Garber understood that biblical principles could inform how we run a business, taking the spotlight off self-centered, unethical, and short-term tactics to turn a profit. Ultimately, starting a business with a solid set of ethics and principles can benefit you in many ways, even outside of the fundamentals of Christian witness and faithfulness. The correct approach to solving customer problems might not always be the most profitable one for the entrepreneur; we never drift away from biblical labor ethics as long as the Lords honor through our businesses remains the primary motivator, rather than profits.
Christians have a powerful theological and biblical case for challenging the dominant secular perspective that businesses only exist to maximize short-term profits and shareholders wealth. I am not saying people cannot have a values-driven business beyond Christianity. What we have to be focused on is not whether or not we have Christian businesses, but whether or not we have Christian businesspeople that are infusing their beliefs and principles into their business. Since Christians are living to serve God and to live the principles outlined in Scripture, we need to be especially intentional about running our businesses well.
Christians are not called to run a job that is average, rather, Christians are called to do all their work to perfection, honoring God. When you strive for perfection in all things, you are well on your way to hearing about the good you are doing from your employees, customers, and from God. If you are a Christian business owner, you provide high-quality products for customers, and this is reflecting Gods goodness.
For Christian entrepreneurs, giving something back to the Lord shows both your appreciation and acknowledgement for his gifts, but it also shows your continued confidence that the Lord will continue to provide and guide. Tithing is a big part of Christian living, but going further and giving back to your community will do much to strengthen your business, your reputation, build loyal customers, and foster the kind of environment that you would like to live in.
Matthew 6:24 – No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
I would like to take this idea one step further and talk about the power that we are not seeing when it comes to running your business from the scriptures. I also found it contains the best principles for building a successful business. Now, there is a lot more than just hard work required if you want to build a successful Christian business, so we are going to cover a few of the other key things that you will need as well, but I wanted to start off by talking about hard work because it is often underemphasized by some Christians. Jeff Van Duzer, JD, currently the provost of SPU, provides Christians a framework in his book Why Business Matters to God (and What Still Needs Fixing) and a presentation summarizing the book, which provides Christians a framework to think through the basic purposes of business and how businesses can serve the greater good.