Thursday, July 16, 2009

Business and Religion

Dr. Frances J. Grimke:

"A man should carry his religion into his business, and his business into his religion. He should run his business in accordance with the principles of his religion, and he should be business-like in his religion. The same promptness, efficiency, the same energy and earnestness that he shows in his business should also be carried into his religion. in other words, we should be thoroughly religious in all our business relations, and thoroughly business-like in all our religious relations."

What do you think?

I suspect that most people wouldn't dispute the first half--take Christ with you into business. But the second half? Bring a business-like approach to religion?

Obviously there are ways that business and a business-model-mindset have affected the church, turning pastors into CEO, members into shareholders, and the church into a marketing machine looking for a niche. So, we lament those things. But I wonder if there isn't the need in our church lives for "the same promptness, efficiency, the same energy and earnestness" that would define most of us in our secular employment?

Are we more diligent when we're working for earthly employers than we are when working for the Lord?


David (Marketing Integrity) said...

I agree with the quote and with your post. I have seen in the past 5-years God raising up marketplace leaders to positions of greater influence in minsitry and I see churches being more open to bringing their skills, gifts, and passions into the ministry. There is still a long way to go in this line of thinking but for us to have the greatest impact for the glory of Jesus, we must begin to marry the two together...keeping in mind that it is all about God first and foremost!

Anonymous said...

Perhaps we really should bring ‘the same promptness, efficiency, the same energy and earnestness’ into our service in the Church. At the same time, don’t Americans already place too much emphasis on efficiency that we hope not to bring in an unhealthy manner into our church relations?

Diligence certainly is a virtue, and it makes me happy to see brethren diligent for the Lord. But I’m still not sure about importing this imagery. Your last question is probably the best formulation, because ‘work[ing] as to the Lord’ goes both ways.