My experience to date has been nothing short of total disbelief. How can the church say it supports it's congregations when they won't or can't minister to business people? or have they chased them all away?
Is it because life is simpler if the status quo is maintained (i.e. the pseudo poverty mentality of the organised church) and business people can just pick up their faith like anyone else.
I am surprised at the lack of interest the Church has in general towards business and business people.
We Don't Catch our Food!
It's quite apparent that this world system uses money. We no longer go out to kill for our supper. We go to the supermarket. God knows that we need to use money. However, the church wants the financial support of business people but keeps the business owners at a distance, perhaps for fear of them attempting to run roughshod over the leaders.
As a result, the Church ends up getting only the offerings and occasional tithes from the few. Not serving or supporting businesses ultimately serves no one.
Whilst the majority of business owners are male, there is another factor about the lack of men within the church too. See the book and website Why do men hate going to church.
The Poverty Angle Again
When a business person hears from the pulpit that Jesus was poor, he or she is made to feel dirty having created a successful business.
The supposition that Jesus was poor flies in the face of the business person needing to generate profits. The two do not seem congruent.
The church is expected to teach wealthy people what to do with their money, however this contrasts with the overall poor teaching on finances, which seems brings out the Piper-esque lambasting of the prosperity gospel and again serves no one.
See the article Jesus: The SME from Nazareth
Bigger Business, Bigger Problems
For a business person thinking about God, Jesus, faith and any other matter relating to Christianity; looking at the options in the church, it doesn't seem very palatable.
The analogy of a young pastor performing a funeral, even though he may not have experienced death in his own family does not hold true when talking about businesses.
Small businesses must maintain activities and income or they don't eat! For larger businesses, they, simply have larger problems or more zeros!
Take a look at your business-self?
- Ignore the comparisons with the prosperity gospel when it comes to business and finance. It is not helpful.
- Start to understand some discipling basics:
- Get rid of all unforgiveness
- Start praying out loud for your business, staff and family (silent prayer is thinking!)
- Study the Bible to see what it says about money and finance
- Meditate (think about) on the word and ask for God's direction
- Just because you want to do something, it might not be what God wants for you. This applies to large and small decisions. Pray for guidance out loud and wait patiently for the answer. Don't rush at what you would like - evaluate each option. Listen for the small quiet voice. Follow what it says.
- In everything, prayer and petition. Prayer is to be spoken out loud and petitions are in writing. As business people, whatever is being planned, make sure it stacks up in writing. Once this has been clarified then we are to speak out our requests.
- Find people who can support you in prayer, specifically about business. It says in Mark 6:6 that Jesus could only perform a few miracles because of their unbelief. Don't surround yourselves with unbelievers!!!
- Find people who can act as advisors see Proverbs 11:14 and 15:22
- Encourage faith based business networking at a church or in the local community area. Christians already have a code of practice that non Christians can experience!
- Business people have a duty to make themselves aware of spiritual warfare within the business community, individuals and families. We have been given the power and authority to take dominion over the enemy, Satan and his demons but, because business people have not read, learned and understood these teachings, they have become subject to the whims and wiles of the enemy instead of being victorious and succeeding.
One Christian plus God is a Majority
As Christians, we should be the most successful and peaceful business people on the planet. The rest of the world should be looking to Christians for guidance. Instead we are operating in a world that blindly puts money before God - because that's how it's always been!
The summer of 2014 will never be forgotten as a time when Islam stepped up its persecution of Christians. I guess there's no such thing as bad press. However, whilst our Christian brothers and sisters are being executed, we in the west can't even get our act together to demonstrate solidarity in business to help one another.
The time is upon us to demonstrate to the world that there is something special and eternal about being a Christian business person and that we are able to set the standard by which others will follow.
We are commanded to help, encourage, guide and advise each other. Therefore we need to identify ourselves to each other and then form small groups that can meet regularly pray together, lest we forget that prayer is more powerful than a gun or a business plan - how else can the word of God be put into practice.
We are to ask for wisdom and God will always give an answer. Our job is to listen out for the answer and to act. He won't do it for us.