I used to think running a church or non-profit was like the “ultimate Christian work” on the planet. I held these social entrepreneurs up in high esteem for the work they were doing.
That being said, I would then look at my business as playing a lesser role in the grand scheme of things, but I wasn’t about to close up shop and start a church, so I’m kinda stuck with this.
I’d put in extra volunteer hours and do web and graphic design work for the church so that I could feel I was contributing significantly like these pastors were.
Many Christians entrepreneurs have the impression that church workers — especially evangelists, missionaries, pastors, priests, ministers and the like — have a higher calling than other businesses.
There is little in the Bible to support this impression. Instead, because of priests and nuns given so much importance back in the middle ages, we’ve been conditioned to think those jobs are holier than non-spiritual work.
This thinking is what causes us to think “how do I find significance in my industry?”
In the Bible, God calls individuals both to church-related and non-church-related business.
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters,
Colossians 3:23 NIV
God’s guidance can occur just as strongly in non-church-related jobs and professions. Non-church business ownership is as much “full-time Christian service” as church work. All Godpreneurs are called (that is, commanded) to conduct everything they do, round the clock, as full-time service to Christ.
The only businesses that do not have equal status in God’s eyes are those that require work forbidden by the Bible or are incompatible with its values.
For example businesses requiring stealing, false witness or greed, usury, damage to health, or harm to the environment are incongruent with God’s heart for the world. This is not to say that people who own these types of businesses have lesser status in God’s eyes. Businesses of this sort might be the lesser of two evils in some situations.
If your business is inconsistent with God’s values, you can
- seek to determine if it is necessary (and possible) to change businesses
- do your job differently
- or take action to correct injustice in your current industry or workplace
While you should be thankful for all the people God has called to full time Christian work, you should also be thankful God has put you in your industry doing the business you’re in right now and has a reason.
We need to continue to hear his call in our business life and learn from other Christian business owners on how to creatively partner with God in kingdom work.