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“Whatever your task, put yourselves into it, as done for the Lord and not for your masters”

Colossians 3:23

DO CHRISTIAN BASED BUSINESSES THRIVE?

In this age of political correctness, there are few businesses that step forward and proclaim their commitment to Christ. A few of them are well known businesses like, Tyson’s Food, Chick-Fil-A and Forever 21 who are open about their faith. However, few of the Fortune 500 companies openly espouse their faith commitment.

Lower on the size rung the same is true for smaller companies as well. All this despite the fact that 75% of all workers are Christian. A staggering dichotomy when we think about the reality of the common person.

Almost all American’s have to work to pay their bills and 75% have a Christian faith. A disconnect in most lives for at least eight hours a day.

Certainly over-zealous evangelists have created a stigma in our workplace. It is also true that all workplaces want to be inviting and some wrongly feel that being Christian can make some feel uncomfortable. Losing sight of the value of being openly Christian has for the companies employees and customers.

The facts, however, point in another direction. Christian based businesses have more fulfilled employee morale. By the numbers, Christian based businesses, generally outperform those who aren’t. Christian based business have stronger outreach programs for their communities. In general Christian based businesses are healthier, friendlier, better community citizens and more profitable.

It takes a braveness to be a Christian based business and buck the tide. But these businesses have a powerful ally in Jesus and their own Christian values. Sure we can look at the outliers who have given Christians a bad name, but most Christians believe in humbleness and working hard. Most Christians don’t want to be disruptive in the workforce by being overly zealous. They simply want to work and thrive using their values as Christians. Values of honesty and fair dealing are their motivating goals. Values that put their customers or fellow employees first.

One company in particular has recently caught my attention through a close friend of mine, Jim Steinman. Jim is a faithful follower of Jesus and an outstanding executive. A few years ago, Jim went to work for a company called Powerhouse Retail Services. Jim has loved his experience at the company. The company has experienced massive growth and is stretching further and further to service its clients. Jim loves being busy and productive, but more importantly cherishes his ability to be open with his faith.

When I first heard about Jim’s company, I wasn’t surprised by its success. Hiring people like Jim is always a good start. But like most Christian based businesses, they are always sought after by customers. Both, because of their values driven by Christian principles and from hiring people like Jim.

When I reviewed their employee comments on Glassdoor, I saw a similar theme. The employees love the people they work with and being associated with a growing company. Their only major complaint is that they are too busy and work long hours. In fact the company is so busy, at times it has to turn down new customers.

Powerhouse is in demand because they work hard to satisfy their customers needs. Like most growing companies they are resource constrained. A common dilemma for companies that are experiencing a high level of growth.

Their employees perform at a very high level and with integrity. Something we would expect from Christian employees. My experience tells me that the employees are the principle reason for the surge in growth.

Powerhouse is very open about their Christian beliefs. They invite Christian guest speakers the first Friday of every month to talk with their employees. It isn’t unusual to see Bibles on people’s desk. They also actively support their community with Pay it Forward programs, such as; helping families dealing with autism and combatting food scarcity amongst children. This Christmas the company provided toys for 500 children in need. 300 of the children were sponsored directly by the employees. Pictures of their offices had these Christmas presents waiting for distribution lining the walls

Running a Christian based business seems radical in the contemporary context of our era of political correctness. Many times I am asked how can I be so radical in my views. But these views are not so radical in a historical context, many companies in the recent past have had these values. At the turn of the last century, it wasn’t uncommon for businesses to be openly Christian based. It wasn’t uncommon for great industrial leaders to pursue the business and Christian beliefs.

John Mott, one of the great social and industrial leaders of the 19th century, was a strong Christian committed to giving back. John was a leader in the business world’s social Gospel that was prevalent at the end of the 19th century into the early 20th century. John Mott is credited with starting the Young Men’s Christian Association.

Mott’s business, was apple juices and his company survives today. Maybe it is radical today to be Christian based, but it wasn’t in the very near past.

Being Christian based doesn’t mean we don’t treat other religions as inferior. It doesn’t mean they are exclusive. Being Christian based means respecting our neighbor and their beliefs. This is commonly missed by those who promote excessive political correctness.

Radical, maybe, but not historically. When we consider Christian values they really aren’t that dissimilar from what we want and expect from good employees and companies. Christians are people that work as if “serving their Lord.”

 There is a reason that companies like Powerhouse Retail thrives and it isn’t to faraway from their Christian values.

Blessings, until next time,
Bruce L. Hartman

Photo by Alexander Michl

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