I get many opportunities to talk to other Christians that own or operate a business. When I try to explain to them why they should be using their business to impact people for eternity, I sometimes get a blank stare. They often ask me questions that indicate they have significant misconceptions about Christian business. Today, I want to dispel 5 of the most common myths I have encountered regarding Christian business.
The problem is that many people, even Christians, misunderstand what the Bible says about being a Christian. This is even more true when it comes to being a Christian in the business world.
As a result, they often associate Christianity with weakness, laziness, and blind faith. If you have been in business for any length of time, you know these qualities don’t add up to business success. So when I explain my efforts to run a Christian business, the response is not always very positive!
Let’s take a look at the 5 most common myths you might encounter or even believe yourself. Once we dispel these, I think you might have a much better picture of what your business should look like (and what it shouldn’t look like!).
Myth #1 – Christian Businesses should hire anyone!
This is a very common myth and it is rooted in the desire to be kind and fair to everyone. Do unto others what you would have them do unto you, right? While that last statement is true, it does not equate to a wide open hiring policy!
First of all, it is not fair to the applicant to hire them if they are not a good fit for the job. They will never get fulfillment from a job that does not fit them. By not hiring this applicant, you will “help” them move on to find the job that IS a fit for them. You may even choose to assist them in this search if you see enough potential in them.
Not only is it not fair to the applicant, it is not fair to the other current employees to make them work with someone that does not fit the job. This will only increase their load and cause other issues. Of course, the final damage is to the business itself. It is tough enough to run an efficient business without having to work around those not fit or qualified for their jobs.
Myth #2 – Christian businesses should say yes to any request!
I cannot specifically say where this myth originates, but it certainly exists. Sometimes you get a local sports team looking for a sponsorship. In other cases it is a customer looking for an excessive amount of free products or services. You will even have employees ask for difficult exceptions to company policies.
I certainly believe we should try to accommodate requests to the extent that we can and when it makes good business sense. Sometimes, we might do it even when it does not make business sense (but we know it is the right thing to do at the time)! However, for us to say yes to (virtually) every request is impossible.
There are times when the only wise answer is, “No.” A Christian business owner must accept this and not let guilt take over. Jesus did not say yes to every request. Neither should we. Do the best you can, but don’t fall prey to this myth!
To Be Continued!
I have run out of room for today, but will finish with the last three myths about Christian business in my next post. I hope these have been helpful to you.
Have you believed either of these myths?
Do you see how accepting these myths as truth can limit (or destroy) your business?
What are some other myths you have encountered?