Do pastors and clergy see business as a ministry?
I was at the inaugural Writers on the Rock Christian writers conference (Writers On The Rock Facebook Group) and it was BIG HIT!! There was the initial hope a year ago of having about 50-60 people interested in learning more about Christian writing.
174 showed up!! God is good, and people are hungry for more!
We’ve managed to have the same number three years in a row. It was very well put together by a few that worked very hard to make it happen. I’m thankful for everyone that helped, especially a BIG SHOUTOUT to David Rupert.
But having said that, I have to say that my attendance was well worth the time. I was able to connect with a number of Christian writers as well as see what the Christian writers landscape was about. Like John the Baptist, I have never connected with Christian writers before, so you could say I have been in the desert eating locusts and honey. Now I’m not equating myself with any Biblical character, just giving a biblical description of where I am coming from.
Christian Content Chasm Conundrum
The image of Moses parting the Red Sea is not about me as Moses and parting the sea, but it concerns the large chasm between both the church and business. This chasm is the subject of my newest book HWJDB: How Would Jesus Do Business? The image takes on a different take with the discussions I had with individuals both prior to and at the Saturday event. Let me explain.
Clergy and lay people
When it comes to discussing with anyone in the leadership of a church or others that are “well known” in the Christian community about the same subject regarding business, nearly 100% of the time comments and questions are ignored. I talked with three during the conference that are “in ministry” and when I began discussing the parable of the talents, they had that smile that said “God Bless You!,” but didn’t care one iota. It is nearly unanimous. The subject is: How would Jesus do business and how does the church see its role and business see it’s role? It’s not a nice position at the moment.
[When there is] “an unspoken word that says workplace believers are second class citizens spiritually by the words and actions [of others],…we commission missionaries in public services without ever commissioning workplace believers as having equal importance,…and we equate ministry with their activity in the local church, we are saying the rest of the week at work is not ministry.” (How Would Jesus Do Business?, page 6-7)
Business as ministry?
Why not see business as a ministry? Why not see any work, one’s job, as a ministry? How many hours does one spend at church versus spend at work? A few hours at church? How about 20-50 hours at work? Who has the greater impact over someone’s life in the number of hours spent in connection?
The CEO has the greater impact because of the number of hours they connect with those in their charge, not a pastor.
Now this is in no way is a dig or a condemnation of the church, the clergy, or lay people. But these questions ARE trying to wake up the church to explore this revealed information that is desperately needed by the Body of Christ. In my experience, I find businesses desperately hungry for this information. In fact, I asked a solopreneur if he would ever ask his pastor for help if he was having trouble with his business? “NEVER!!” was his answer. If the Christian Body is hungry for this content, why is the clergy not meeting this need? Can a Christian business be the light to the secular business world? A full time ministry?
Of course it can! But will it?
Business owners and startups
Standing in line for lunch on Saturday I began a conversation with a lady (God connected us, that’s for sure!). We talked while getting our food, but then I talked a little more about my book’s content. Exiting the line she wanted to know more and knew exactly and agreed with what I was talking about concerning the content of my book. I gave her a proof copy of the latest version of my book to look over. While we ate she looked it over. When I was almost done with my lunch and finishing my conversation with my neighbor I saw a $20 bill where my plate use to be. She decided to buy it. Why?
Because she has said that her husband was in business and he was being mentored by a secular business person, but considered about 90% of the content this mentor were giving him was not from the Biblical perspective. He was somewhat desperate to find good quality business content from the Bible.
Hence the reason for his wife buying my book, and the reason why I wrote it.
Clergy and Business Reconciliation
So here is where the Moses and the Red Sea image comes in to play. Somehow the Body of Christ, i.e. the church, has created a “parting” between both the church and business. One wall of the parted water is the church, the other wall is business. This chasm, probably from Satan himself, has used Christian religion to split the two sides rather than seeing how God sees business, as a moral case for doing good for others.
This needs to change. From a parting to a reconciliation and joining up between the two “walls of water” for the betterment of the Body of Christ. While I am in no way saying I’m Moses bringing the two halves together, I am saying that I am challenging the two sides to come together, where they are meant be. Together. As one. It’s as if in the past the “spirit” was saying to the “hand” in an snobby sort of way, “we’re better than you.” When in reality the spirit and the hand need each other to work together harmoniously for God.
Jas 2:17 Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself.
Faith and works, i.e. spirit and physical, are like hand and a glove. They are together, not separate, but equally important to the task and work at hand.
Buy my book, read it, contact me. Because I’m working on changing the Christian landscape concerning Christian business and God has been leading me in this endeavor.
To God be the glory.