There's a recurring question I see Christian entrepreneurs asking online -- “How do I keep my faith a part of my business?” It's a good, important question, but I believe that sometimes we are overthinking it.
Psalm 19:3 says:
"The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they reveal knowledge.
They have no speech, they use no words;
no sound is heard from them.
Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world.
In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun."
The heavens proclaim His glory, without speaking a word. We don't have to put scripture on our website and declare that we are Christians. These are perfectly fine things to do, don't get me wrong -- but the Bible says they will know us by our love (John 13:35), not by posting scripture. If others will know us by our love, we need to put more emphasis on actually practicing what we preach. Doing this with our clients and colleagues is how we keep our faith in our business.
There are two women that come to mind when I think about faith being a part of business: Cheryl Bachelder and Carrie Underwood.
Cheryl Bachelder is the current CEO of Popeye's, which is not a faith-based company like Chick-fil-A. But, Cheryl is a passionate follower of Christ and is setting a fabulous example for other business owners. Cheryl recently spoke at my church, and I was blown away by what she shared with us. As I was sitting in the audience listening to her share about her career and life, one thing stuck out to me most in terms of how her faith influences her career. When she took on this role at Popeye's, she had a relationship strategy. We've all heard of business strategies, marketing strategies, blogging strategies -- but, relationship strategies?
Her relationship strategy was how she handled the care and management of her employees and restaurant owners. For me, this spoke hugely of her faith because, as Christians, we are called to love and serve others. This very intentional strategy was her practical way of doing so.
Carrie Underwood, as you probably know, is a country music artist. Since her start on American Idol, she has never been shy about her faith. While overall, her music is not centered around the gospel, she has had a few songs that include her faith. Carrie is a great example of being “in” the world, but not “of” it -- especially in a “dark” industry.
By the way they lead others, treat people, and conduct themselves, the faith of these ladies is evident. These women realize their job is their mission field. You don't have to work in a church or be a missionary to lead others to Christ.
So, to keep your faith a part of your business: be yourself.
Your faith is part of you and your life, and you are part of your business.
What are your core values, and how do those impact how you do business? I wrote out my core values last year, and posted them on my website. These are my core values as a person, but they influence how I market myself, how I do business, etc.
What are you passionate about? How can you serve the Kingdom with that? For me, as a designer, that doesn't mean I only work with churches. I work with all kinds of people. But, I give slight discounts to churches, and I do prayer cards for missionaries completely free. I know some people who are very passionate about overseas missions, so they donate a percentage of their profits to charities.
One of the things that stuck out to me the most when I heard Cheryl speak was her description of leadership in business. Cheryl shared that as business owners, and Christians, we need the courage to boldly go forth in our business, but maintain humility to serve others.