For Christian professionals, entrepreneurs, and business executives, living one’s Christianity in the marketplace is a constant challenge.
One of the problems is that there isn’t a readily available set of guidelines. What does it look like to run a Christian business or profession?
To fill that need, I’ve put together this set of specific business practices which are common among Kingdom businesses. Some of these can be tied to specific verses in the Bible, but most are based on Christian principles – “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” for example.
Not surprisingly, many look a lot like good business practices, regardless of their Christian derivation. This list is dynamic in that new practices are developed regularly. The same list next year may look a bit different.
So, if you are wondering “What, specifically, does it mean to live out one’s Christianity in the marketplace?” use this set of Christian Business Practices as an answer.
Christian Business Foundations
- Has a well-written Vision, Mission, and Values document which mentions the role of God in the business.
- Has published those documents to every pertinent group (Including employees, vendors, customers, prospective employees, other stakeholders.)
- The employees are able to articulate the basics of those documents.
- As a fundamental strategy, continuously pursues excellence in every aspect of the business and proactively seeks to expand the influence and impact of the business for the Kingdom.
- Leaders in key positions are believers (unequally yoked.)
- Entire management team regularly recognizes and praises employees.
- Regularly invests in the training & development of employees.
- Plans carefully.
- Regularly brings the Holy Spirit into the planning process.
- Takes care of employees’ needs above and beyond financial compensation.
- Attempts to personally know each employee.
- Hires slowly and carefully.
- Regularly prays for and with employees, for customers and business success & impact
- Terminates people professionally and with dignity.
- Pays people at or above market rates.
Christian Business Sales & Marketing
- Seeks to continually grow the business.
- Focuses on well-defined target markets.
- Accurately describes the products/services in marketing collateral.
- Proposals are clear and accurate.
- Does not over-promise.
- Keeps promises made.
- Trains sales & marketing staff in the company’s values and holds them accountable for adhering to them.
- Does not accept business that violates values.
- Honestly reports delivery and quality status.
- Always seeks to quickly resolve any differences.
- Does not criticize/bad-mouth the competition.
- Pricing is fair and reflects the value of the product/service to the customer.
- Seeks to develop long-term relationships with good customers.
Christian Business Finance
- Has a moderate amount of debt, if any.
- Pays all bills within terms.
- Gives a portion of time and moneyto charitable causes.
- Adheres to honest financial and tax reporting.
- Regularly reinvests profits into the growth of the business.
- Treats vendors fairly and with respect.
- Seeks positions of visibility in the industry, above and beyond the company itself (trade associations, chambers of commerce, etc.)
- Has an organized company based ‘ministry’ program designed to benefit the community.