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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Three Things About Christian Companies

1. Companies aren't people.
I really appreciate what Jill said: "I don't think a company can be Christian." Such a good point. Christianity is about following Christ, and businesses can't really do anything on their own. However, companies are run by people. And people can, in their businesses, set them up with the purpose of honoring Christ and expanding His Kingdom.

And I get the vibe that we love companies whose owners/operators seek to follow and honor Christ. <smile>

Unfortunately:
2. "Christian" can mean "back away quickly!"
Too often "Christian" organizations do not honor Christ. Here are three ways this commonly happens:
  1. Be "nice" instead of wise
    I know people who have worked for Christian organizations which kept dealing with really terrible people because that's the "Christian thing to do." Personally, I'd rather take Jesus' words in Matthew 10:16 to heart.
  2. Break rules "for Jesus"
    On the opposite side, too many Christians think they can get away with proverbial murder because they're Christian. Somehow "good causes" justify terrible actions. This is ridiculous.
  3. Push a (not so) hidden agenda
    Preach the Gospel? Great! Seek to serve others around the globe? Fantastic. Love people? Absolutely. Conduct business with integrity and good stewardship? Love it. But, with annoying frequency, too many Christian organizations have a far less God-honoring focus. Much like the religious schisms of history, these groups reject large sections of the Body of Christ. This seems counter to what we should be doing. Granted, we need to watch our doctrine, but out of that comes much division. We're too often missing the love Christ talks about. Stick with your stated goals.

Still...

3. Christian businesses support good world-wide.
Several responses to yesterday's post mentioned the great things some Christian businesses have been involved with. These businesses take their hard-earned profits and give them away to causes and opportunities that bless people all over the world and change lives.

Awesome.

Sonlight is a Christian homeschool curriculum company. We strive to run our business in ways that glorify Christ, and so we label Sonlight a "Christian company." We do this through our Stewarship efforts which include things like giving to missions, pursuing ecologically-wise practices and taking great care of employees (read more).

We seek to promote truth as we provide you with remarkable, literature-rich, internationally-focused homeschool curriculum. The end result of which, we hope, will help you nurture enthusiastic, life-long learners who are motivated and equipped to follow Christ wherever He leads and in whatever He calls them to do.

Sound like something you're interested in? Check out Sonlight's Newcomer Packages.

 ~Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Empty Nester

4 comments:

Jill in Kentucky said...

Good post, Luke. I also think that a company run by Christians should seek to serve as an ambassador for Christ in all their business dealings [kind of what you said, but just worded a bit differently].

Michelle said...

I agree with Jill. I also like what you wrote - companies cannot be Christian but can be run by Christians.

One thing I greatly appreciate about Sonlight is what I've read about striving to pay employees a fair wage, and allow them to go home at night.

My experience, and the experiences of family members, is that this is a rare quality among "Christian companies." Whether they are for-profit, or ministries, many times I felt taken advantage of by the company/ministry.

Taking advantage of our work ethic - for example, unrealistic deadlines requiring hours upon hours of unpaid overtime; taking advantage of their position as a ministry - "you are doing God's work, so you should be willing to work late & weekends to get this job done;" etc.

I acknowledge the extra work deadlines require (especially in video production), but this wasn't a once in a while phenomenon. It was nearly constant.

My sister said once, "So-called Christian companies are the worst places to work. They pay less and treat their employees worse than 'secular' businesses."

Unfortunately, I've found that statement to be more true than not.

Which is why I am happy to support a company (Sonlight) which produces a product I love (homeschool curriculum) and supports values I embrace (some of which you've pointed out in your post).

~Michelle

Janet said...

Quote: Too often "Christian" organizations do not honor Christ

Yes, and too often "Christian" people do not honor Christ.

Unfortunately, true Christians are hard to find these days. ;)

Janet

Luke said...

Janet, that is true. Even worse, too often I don't follow Christ the way I should. Thank God for His grace and may it continue to shape us into the people we should be.

~Luke


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