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What is a Christian Business?

Updated: Jun 21, 2022

Isn’t running one just like running any other business – except we need to be honest, display moral values, and avoid cussing?

Great questions! But why do people raise them at all, if the answer is obvious?

Well, is it ‘obvious’? Take a deeper look: maybe it’s not.

You see, many Christian business owners have come to realise that the ‘how to’ of business must take a definite second place to an understanding of how God sees business.

Approaching business with a view like the one in the header, only gets us into the same game (and gives us the same results) that everyone else is involved in – just, perhaps, in a ‘nicer’ way! And is that really the world-changing reason why Jesus chose obedience to the point of death on a cross (see Phil. 2:8)? Just so we could have a ‘nicer’ life and business? One that, in other ways, is really very little different from everyone else’s?

Admittedly, most of us have never thought of ‘Christian business’ any other way, and we have no other example to follow. But don’t you – like many others – feel let down by such a description of ‘being in business as a Christian’? Isn’t it too lame, too powerless?

Such an approach means we end up running our businesses for Him, when actually He wants us to run them with Him. And there’s a huge difference:

Working with Him means we have to get to know Him – not merely intellectually, but relationally: as our confidante, provider, business leader, CEO and friend – all of which is, by the way, entirely possible. In fact, Jesus longs for us to learn what His voice sounds like, to embrace His call, hear His views, ideas, and strategies. If that’s not the case, why did He say –

“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.” (John 15:4);

– and –

My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.(John 10:27)?

For many of us, that’s a radically new way to think of conducting business – but it’s an incredibly exciting one once we put it into practice: God turns up! He shows the way (in fact He is the Way, John 14:6). Guided by Him, our businesses experience miraculous intervention . . . they change for good.

Operated with Him at the helm, our businesses can now become far more than merely a ‘commercial business, skinned with a layer of morals or ethics’. Their very foundation changes. We build on Jesus Himself, who reveals the characteristics and power of His Kingdom to us as we do.

It takes courage, guts, and faith. It invites us to rethink the whole idea of what our businesses are and can be. They genuinely can become expressions of His Kingdom, on earth (see Luke 11:2).

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