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Can a business be Christian?

By Buck Jacobs - Chairman and Founder of C12 Group Can a business be Christian? Of course it can! In the same way that a school, or a family, or a genre of music or literature can Christian, so can a business. For years I have heard the spurious arguement that since “a business can’t go to heaven” that the use of the term Christian applied to same is invalid. This is nonsense. The word can and is completely properly used as an adjective, to modify and further clarify a noun, And it is amazing to me that every one of the pious critics that I have encountered who declaim the term when used to describe a business have no trouble at all using it in the previously mentioned contexts and others. This distraction is not helpful. The question is not really can a business be a Christian busines but how and what does the term mean?

When we use the term Christian as an adjective to describe a school we understand that a Christian school is an organization that teaches things like math and science etc. but, because of the modifying adjective, we know that it will do so with a Christ-centered worldview, striving to express and apply Jesus Christ’s teaching and functioning under His direction and Lordship and accepting His values. A Christian school will be judged academically using all the criteria that the world uses but also by an additional measure of obedience to the Biblical standards and principles it professes. A business is simply an organization as is a school, an organization gathered to work toward producing a predetermined result. Providing an education in the case of a school, providing a valuable product or service in the case of a business. Either can only be dedicated as Christian by the organizing authority or owner(s) and once made the commitment relieves no obligation to provide quality or value in its primary service or function. Use of the modifier Christian merely gives information as to how and by what standards it plans to do so. The organizaion will strive to act coherently with the values of Christ as it functions.

So, the term is proper but is it appropriate? Can we flawed and struggling humans perfectly apply the ways of God in Christ in an organization? Of course we can’t but does that mean that we shouldn’t try? Or should we wait until we have it all together before we claim to represent Jesus Christ or to be called by His Name?. Do you know of a perfect church? A perfect Christian song? School? Family? Novel? No, you don’t and I don’t either. But we both know that our God has chosen to shine His light through earthen vessels wherever He places them, individually or gathered into groups. Wherever. God is not limited and His Kingdom extends to our businesses. The question isn’t can a business be a Christian business but “how ?”

Buck Jacobs is the Chairman and Founder of the C12 Group. Like-minded Christian CEOs and owners across America and around the world are meeting together on a regular basis to learn “how to” and to help one another apply God’s ways in “Building Great Businesses for a Greater Purpose.” Visit www.c12group.com for more information.

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posted by Justin Forman | 6.03.2009 - 7:39 AM


No. A business cannot be "Christian". But it's people can.

The term used as an adjective to describe anything other than a human-being is incorrectly applied. How else can any creation other than a human being be "Christ-like" ... what else has the capacity to love?

People are the ones that sing the music, write the novel, operate a business, teach in schools and the like. People are the ones with values and principles. People love. People can be identified as "Christians" because of presence of Christ in them operating by the power of the Spirit according to His divine purpose. Anything without all three is less than divine.

Incidentally, God isn't as concerned about our business as much as He is that we are about His.

Kings Counsel
commented by Blogger Dale, 2:54 PM  

I'm interested in comments on this theme regarding a pharmacy. In this example, some of the services seem to be in violation of principles held by some Christians, yet the people that desire these services are the very ones whose worldview we seek to engage.
Also, since I am a pharmacist, anyone have any ideas on how I might put my knowledge and abilities to use in a BAM setting?
commented by Blogger John, 8:31 AM  

Regarding my previous post. I neglected to enable comments to my e-mail address. Sorry for the mistake, but, please feel free to contact me.
commented by Blogger John, 8:38 AM  

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