Each of us is born with unique God-given gifts and talents. Our gifts are expressed through hobbies, how we spend our free time and our choice of vocation. What happens when you’re called to use your strengths and talents to start your own business? How do you continue to honor the Lord along the rocky road of business ownership?
When an individual makes the decision to start a business, he or she believes there’s value in, and a need for, the goods or services to be provided. Taking on the massive challenge of starting a business — the financial risks involved and vast amounts of time and dedication needed — requires a sizable leap of faith. It’s faith, along with vision, that propels the entrepreneurs among us to forge ahead when others hold back. This makes taking the leap an important first step for success as a Christian entrepreneur.
How to Start a Business With Christian Ethics
While all businesses are different, the Christian entrepreneur should keep in mind a few universal principles. Following these steps can help you balance your desire for professional success with your commitment to glorify the Lord in everything you do.
Remember From Whom All Blessings Flow
Establishing and running a business requires confidence, and, some would argue, the self-assurance entrepreneurs need can turn into arrogance and self-reliance.
Lean on scripture to stay grounded. A reminder to remain modest is stated in Deuteronomy 8:18: “But remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms His covenant, which He swore to your ancestors, as it is today.”
Honor God With Hard Work
God calls on His people to work hard and not squander the talents and strengths He’s provided. All the noble men and women of the Bible were hardworking — in fact, many were working when they were called by God.
Again and again throughout scripture, God calls busy people. Romans 12:11 states: “Do not be lazy but always work hard. Work for the Lord with a heart full of love for Him.” This passage demonstrates that slothful behavior is condemned while good stewardship and a desire to work heartily are celebrated.
Be Honest. Be Ethical.
The right way to solve a customer’s problem may not always be the most profitable for the business owner; when honoring God through our business remains our central motivation rather than profit, we won’t ever turn away from our biblical work ethics. Mark 8:36 says: “For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?”
Give Thanks and Give Back
Starting a business isn’t for the weak of heart. When hard work pays off and success is realized, it’s all too easy to forget who to thank for providing the blessings of courage and perseverance. Remember to give thanks and honor to the Lord. For Christian entrepreneurs, giving back to God shows both your gratitude for and acknowledgment of His gifts, and also demonstrates your continued faith that the Lord will continue to provide and lead. Proverbs 3: 9-10 says: “Honor the Lord with your possessions and with the first produce of your entire harvest, then your barns will be completely filled, and your vats will overflow with new wine.”
Reaching a triumphant milestone like achieving your first profitable year, or serving your 100th customer, doesn’t mean the conversations with God should stop. Keep the lines of communication with Him open at all times. Continue to be grateful, keep asking for guidance and always listen. God gives the best advice.
Why Start a Business With an Ethical Foundation?
Ultimately, launching a business with sound ethics and principles can be advantageous in numerous ways, even beyond basic Christian witness and faithfulness.
- A business that adheres to consistent ethical principles may be more likely to attract and retain top talent, especially skilled professionals who share the same values.
- Ethical foundations can also help businesses earn and maintain the trust of their customers and community.
- Rallying behind common ethical principles can help members of the management and leadership team act in a united, cohesive way and maintain high standards of honest behavior from its employees.
- In an era in which it is increasingly important for companies to prioritize corporate responsibility, having authentic values and an ethical foundation can enhance brand awareness and customer retention.
Succeed as a Christian Entrepreneur
While succeeding as a Christian business owner requires a commitment to core Christian principles, it also takes business acumen. A good way to develop both of these competencies is by enrolling in a business program at a Christian college, such as Spring Arbor University’s online Master’s of Business Administration (MBA).
Gain the distinct advantage that comes from earning a top online MBA from a U.S. News and World Report-ranked university. Our faith-based educational program gives you the opportunity for spiritual growth and meaningful learning to make an impact in your life and the lives around you.
Our expertise in graduate-level management education, coupled with your unique desire to learn within a Christian community, represents the exceptional difference you’ll experience as part of the Spring Arbor University family.