This article about business and the church was originally posted on 10/13/15 – the day of The Borough’s launch. I had a talk with someone recently about another article, entitled “5 Reasons Your Non-Profit Church Should Start a For-Profit Business.” My friend raised a question about the difference between an organization starting a for-profit, and an individual starting a for-profit. For the sake of bringing more clarity to this exciting relationship between business and church, it seemed a good idea to re-post this article.
A church planter whom I greatly respect once said, “We want to build a church that truly establishes people in the faith, and helps them make a lot of money in the process.”
Now, if that didn’t raise a suspicious eyebrow for you, I’d wonder about you. It certainly made me uncomfortable to hear the words. A church trying to make money? If that’s not a wolf in sheep’s clothing, I don’t know what is.
However, as I listened more to this man’s vision, I realized his motive was not greed. Rather, it was a holistic approach to taking care of his flock.
Before you shut down the idea, read on. I promise you’ll at least begin thinking in a new light concerning the role of business within the church.
Business Provides Life Opportunities for People
- The entrepreneur himself
As an individual begins on the road of the startup, so many options become available to him/her.First and simply put, he/she stands to make very good money if he/she is successful in the work. This provides for their family and allows a greater propensity for generosity toward others.Secondly, the work can be very satisfying. We were made to create as we have God’s image within us. When we work to solve problems in our communities by creating new products or services, we scratch an itch that we didn’t know we had. We weren’t made just to consume what others make.
- Providing good work for those who have only bad options left
Check out this business in Hawaii called Seed Restaurant. And pay special attention to the video down at the bottom of the article.Seed Restaurant is connected with a local church. Part of their mission is to provide jobs for former prostitutes, convicts, homeless people, etc. As they are given this opportunity, they learn skills to become successful in the workplace. They gain discipline, people skills, and financial wellness. As they connect in the business, they are automatically connected to a source of spiritual development as well. The leaders of Seed Restaurant invest greatly in the lives of these people.It’s really a beautiful picture of the church helping others to develop in life. Businesses like Seed Restaurant give hope to people who have none.
Business Provides Spiritual Opportunities for People
In the church, there are already entrepreneurs who are successful in business. Often times, church leaders shy away from approaching those people because they don’t want to seem greedy.
But this is the wrong way to look at it.
In a previous article, we dealt with the ways we view successful business people incorrectly in the church.
If we can get past the stigma of possibly appearing like we’re money-hungry, then we’ll realize that a great opportunity exists. Most times, these people just wish that a church leader would approach them and ask to develop them spiritually.
Some people just have a knack for being able to make a lot of money in whatever they put their hand to. We have to develop these people in their spiritual giftings, as much as we develop people whose giftings are shepherding, teaching, etc.
Business Necessarily Puts You in the Community
In business, you have to interact with customers. You will naturally develop relationships. This provides you with the opportunity to love your neighbor.Take part in your local Chamber of #Commerce. Do #community #outreach programs. Click To Tweet
If you’re locked away in the church office all week working on a sermon, you miss the great privilege of being among your people.
Business Spurs Your Local Economy
Businesses stimulate the economy. As the church creates businesses which reach out to those less fortunate, as well as create streams of revenue that are being pumped into the local economy, everybody gains. Your community becomes more well off than before.
This is a good in itself.
Business Connects You With Other Leaders
As stated above, entrepreneurs should participate in the local Chamber of Commerce and other organizations that put the private sector leaders in the same room.
When this happens, you never know what kind of connections you’ll make.
I’m not saying that we should take advantage of the system and manipulate people so we can make more money. I’m saying these connections are valuable on a spiritual level.
Who knew that the owner of Guitar and Things down the street was a Christian who was unconnected to any church? And the guy who is a part-owner of Local Groceries has been trying to put together a bible study for months? And the lady who manages a Domino’s franchise has been considering suicide lately due to depression?
You just never know. Those business connections might just be the most important thing in becoming an entrepreneur.
The Next Endeavor
As churches in America, we do well in training people in spiritual matters. But we can’t let that be our only focus.
We are commanded to love our neighbors, to take care of the poor, and to meet urgent needs.Let's keep our eyes open to all the ways we can #serve the Body of #Christ. May all praises be… Click To Tweet
Also published on Medium.