Many entrepreneurs are starting a Christian business but they can be unsure of how to incorporate their faith into their business.
As a Kingdom entrepreneur myself, I can tell you, it is not easy.
But definitely not impossible.
And I assure you, all worth it!
One of the most important things for Christians in business is to make sure that their business is not only profitable but also ethically sound and righteous.
With this mindset, they can make sure that they are contributing to the Kingdom and living up to their Christian values.
Whenever I tell someone that I am a Kingdom entrepreneur, I almost always get the same kinds of questions.
I think so many of us are brought up to believe that business is for some reason evil.
Or that we must be poor in order to be more righteous.
But I believe these things couldn’t be further from the truth!
So with that being said, here are some of the common “myths” I hear from fellow Christians when it comes to talking about business.
Myths That Discourages Entrepreneurs From Starting a Christian Business
Ownership of a business is not pleasing to God
Like I said, I think a lot of us are raised with the belief that business and entrepreneurship are evil in themselves.
And unfortunately, this does get proved true more often than not with all the shady, money-driven business owners that are definitely out there in the world.
However I don’t think it’s right to apply that to business as a whole.
I mean, Apostle Paul was a business owner, right?
And it’s one of the lessons from the life of Paul!
He’s one of the greatest examples we have of what it means to live life as a devoted follower of Christ!
So I think what really matters is your relationship with your business and the money it provides.
For example, if it takes priority in your life and if it becomes part of who you are…
Or if by working so much you’re neglecting your relationship with your family, friends, and the Lord…
Then that’s where owning a business becomes a problem.
However, if it’s simply a vehicle for you to do great things…
Like fund your ministry work, give back to the needy, and donate to worthy causes…
Business can be an amazing way to become a better Kingdom builder!
When done for the right reasons, it provides us so many opportunities to imitate His love, wisdom, and kindness.
It’s just that we must find the strength to say no to temptations and make sure our business always remains secondary to the things that matter most.
It’s not right to ask for money in exchange for a service
A long time ago, we would have traded one good or service in exchange for another.
But I would argue that, if things were still that way today, many transactions would either be unfair or entirely wasteful.
In fact, thanks to the fact we have money to operate with today.
I can purchase a product or service while easily advancing the welfare of the person on the other side of the transaction!
Similar to the first thing we talked about, it all comes down to what kind of business owner you want to be.
Are you overcharging for your products or services — or worse, misrepresenting them — just to gain an extra profit?
Or do you price your goods fairly so that all parties can walk away having benefited from the exchange?
In this second case where we use business to advance the welfare of others…
I believe that it’s expected of us to buy and sell from one another!
But as Christians in business, it’s on us to make sure that it’s done fairly.
“And if you make a sale to your neighbor or buy from your neighbor, you shall not wrong one another.” (Leviticus 25:14)
Hiring employees means taking advantage of others
I think that employment can be looked at one of two ways:
a) It’s either an expense that you feel forced to pay in order to keep things running…
Or b) it can be an opportunity to do good for someone else and give them the means to glorify God too.
The first way represents employment how it’s often viewed — a situation where one person is being exploited so that the business owner can profit.
And in this case I’d agree that employment is not pleasing to God.
But what about when fair wages are paid, and in a timely manner?
What about when the employee is earning everything they need (and possibly more) to provide for their family and do their part in building the kingdom?
When the agreement between employer and employee is fair and just, both parties benefit.
And in the best agreements, love and friendship between both parties can develop and results in them both wanting to do good for the other.
I’ve seen these 3 myths hold people back from starting a Christian business time and time again.
But the truth is, if you’re heart’s in the right place, starting a Christian business can be an amazing vehicle to build the kingdom and serve others.
And since I’m a Kingdom entrepreneur, here’s another question I get asked about a lot:
Do I follow/support/advocate the prosperity gospel?
The short answer is no – I do not.
Not only that, but I believe that it should be avoided.
Now… do I want to provide a life of safety and security for my family?
Do I want to have the means to give back to others and donate to worthy causes?
Yes! Of course I do!
But when it comes to prosperity gospel…
I just don’t agree with the belief that holiness and wealth are related.
And I don’t believe that wealth, abundance, and material possessions should be thought of as rewards for faith in Jesus.
The ability to have a relationship with Him.. to follow in His path and spread His love to others…
These things are the reward in themselves.
And any reward there is to be had for being a faithful servant definitely is not waiting for us here on Earth.
I think the Book of Job serves as the perfect example of this.
Job was considered one of the most righteous men of his time.
In fact God himself says: “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.”
Yet in Job 1:13-19, we read that God let Satan take away Job’s material wealth anyway — going even one step further and taking away his children too.
If the prosperity gospel held true… would Job not have been blessed with further riches and health, given how righteous he was?
Where were the material blessings that were “owed” to him for being a good servant?
You see, it took Job losing everything to learn a very important lesson:
God is not obligated to respond with any sort of material reward in exchange for our faith, and that He is above all sovereign.
We see another response to those who preach the prosperity gospel in 1 Timothy 6:6-11:
“But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”
Is it wrong to want a better life for your family? Must we be poor in order to be righteous?
Of course not!
But “wealth” and holiness should not be thought connected, and riches definitely shouldn’t serve as a motivator or a sense of entitlement to the other…
Plus, there’s a huge difference between wanting security for your loved ones or wanting the means to go out and serve…
And wanting private jets, million dollar homes, and luxury cars.
If anything, I think that these items are wasteful and do not show good stewardship.
I also believe that flaunting wealth and possessions as a display of how much one has been blessed is only a display of pride and greed…
And asking others to follow in that behavior is only pulling them further from the true path God sets out for us.
And since we’ve been talking about Christians in business and what does the Bible say about entrepreneurship…
I discovered a great book recently that’s filled with a TON of really interesting insights into what it’s like to be a Kingdom Entrepreneur.
“Business for the Glory of God” is the title of the book.
Here are a few of my favorite take-aways from the book that will guide you in your journey in starting a Christian business:
1.Sometimes people think of ownership of property as a kind of “greed” that is morally tainted, and they imagine that in a perfect world people would not even own personal possessions.
But the Bible does not support that idea.
When God gave the command “You shall not steal” (Ex. 20:15), he affirmed the validity of personal ownership of possessions. I should not steal your car, because it belongs to you, not to me.
2. When we work to produce (for example) pairs of shoes from the earth’s resources, God sees us imitating his attributes of wisdom, knowledge, skill, strength, creativity, appreciation of beauty, sovereignty, planning for the future, and the use of language to communicate.
In addition, when we produce pairs of shoes to be used by others, we demonstrate love for others, wisdom in understanding their needs, and interdependence and interpersonal cooperation (which are the reflections of God’s Trinitarian existence).
3. In fact, the Bible does not view positively the idea of retiring early and not working at anything again. Rather, work in itself is also something that is fundamentally good and God-given, for it was something that God commanded Adam and Eve to do before there was sin in the world.
4. [Shady business] actions should not be swept under the rug, but should be subject to the process of personal confrontation and church discipline that Jesus outlines in Matthew 18:15-20
5. Good stewardship, in God’s eyes, includes expanding and multiplying whatever resources or stewardship God has entrusted to you.
Surely we cannot exclude money and material possessions from the application of the parable, for they are part of what God entrusts with each of us, and our money and possessions can and should be used to glorify God.
Again, those are just a few of my favorite insights that I took note of while I was reading.
Overall this was a fantastic book and I was able to read it in an afternoon, so I highly recommend you check it out especially if you’re seriously looking at starting a Christian business.
Cory Long is the owner and CEO of Yroc Consulting, a local digital marketing company based in San Angelo, TX that specializes in online marketing, SEO, web design, and social media. He has worked full time in ministry for 17 years. Bought several products teaching how to make money online but never found success until he found this model. Five years later, he has a 7-figure Digital Storefront business and has taught hundreds of people how to do this successfully for themselves.