As a former nightclub promoter, I'm well aware of the culture of alcohol as a social lubricant. Not only was I a party promoter, but my branding agency also serviced nightclubs, bars, and strip clubs with graphic designs and websites.
However, when I came into a relationship with God, I realized that alcohol had a way of changing someone's mindset to the point of total disregard for sober decision-making.
I had to flee from everything where alcohol was involved. I couldn't take my employees out to the club. I had to cancel my yearly trips to Las Vegas. I didn't want to promote that lifestyle to my friends, family, co-workers, business partners, or clients.
In short, I didn't want to influence those around me to drink and party anymore. Instead, I wanted to be Jesus to those around me and promote a Christian lifestyle free from alcohol.
How can we operate as Christians in a business world that promotes happy hours, trips to Las Vegas, and alcohol-induced outings as we network and strike deals?
As Godpreneurs, we can't say that we do not care what others think about how we operate our businesses and live our personal lives. That would be rather selfish on our part, as we do not exist alone in this world, but we share our lives with employees, clients, business partners, and the marketplace around us. As followers of Jesus, we are called to love our neighbor. Our intention should be for God to think good things about how we conduct ourselves as Christian business owners, but there is no way to please Him without loving people.
How do Christian business leaders living in the world show the most love? God's word says we must learn how to live well in our business communities.
Paul's letter to the Ephesians has guidelines for living a wise life in our community.
The Bible says:
"Do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart." (Ephesians 5:18-19)
Paul's intent is not merely a reference to alcohol. Anything that can control, harm, or hurt a Christian needs to be handled with extreme care.
Paul's positive alternative to being drunk is to "be filled with the Spirit." Just as drinking a great deal can cause a person to be controlled by wine, focusing on the Spirit can cause a person to be filled or controlled by the Spirit.
What does being filled by the Spirit look like? It doesn't seem to be some highly charismatic display of emotion. Instead, Paul says to share psalms, sing, be thankful, and submit to one another. Ultimately, being controlled by the Spirit is living in a manner worthy of God's calling.
Godpreneur, it is far better for you to enjoy God's presence than earthly pleasures. Instead of taking clients out to drink or getting drunk with co-workers at happy hour and doing what leads to depravity, you should come together to enjoy God's presence to bring God's love.
What does this look like in the practical sense?
I went with my partner to pray over the new construction of a client's building
I prayed over an employee's move to a new country
I ministered to one of my employees about her marriage
I went to the movies with the men from church (which included clients of mine), and we enjoyed ourselves without alcohol
As Christian leaders, we need to be filled with what brings life and strengthens our faith. The Holy Spirit will help us walk our entrepreneurial journey with Christ and lead those around us to walk with Christ.