Perspective on a Christian Business

Perspective on a Christian Business June 1, 2011

I was listening to the radio yesterday and heard an advertisement for a local business that was ‘Christian owned.’  It wasn’t the first time that I had heard the commercial, but this time it made me think about something.  Should Christians always try to support Christian owned businesses?  Does a Christian business automatically trump other businesses in service?  Is it a duty for a Christian to support a Christian business?  While these questions don’t require a solid yes or no answer, they do make for an interesting discussion, and I would love to hear your opinion in the comments.  For now, here’s my take on supporting a Christian business.

Supporting a Christian Business

When I hear that a business is Christian owned, I don’t automatically assume that it’s better at customer service or producing a quality product.  I’d like to think that those goals are at the top of any business regardless of their religious affiliation.  Even more, I don’t expect that a Christian owned business would never work on Sunday.

So why would a Christian owned business even feel the need to make known its owner’s religious ties? I think there are two main reasons: connection and expectation.

1. Connection –  It doesn’t matter if the business is a coffee shop, bookstore, hamburger joint, or clothing store – if it’s a Christian owned business, they might connect with other Christians better.  Why?  I don’t have a scientific reason to support any reason, but there just seems to be a connection with people who share similar beliefs – a quality that can certainly flow into business.  If you’re a Christian owned business who wanted to some radio space, wouldn’t you consider a Christian radio station because of its reach?  There’s no doubt that stating your business is Christian owned is a marketing tool that might attract Christians to support you.  Is that wrong? Not in my opinion, but I do think that it makes for high expectations.

2. Expectations – When I hear a business claim to be Christian owned, I automatically formulate higher expectations for the business.  This might be the owner’s goal – to let the customers know that the service they will receive will be of the highest quality.  It’s reasonable to assume that a Christian business would follow the golden rule: Do unto others as you would have them do to you, and there’s nothing wrong with that.  There can, however, be problems if the business doesn’t live up to these higher expectations.  I would even go so far as to say that an unresolved issue might even affect a person’s view on the religious affiliation the business claims to have.

Does it matter what ‘kind’ of business you are?

There are plenty of Christian owned businesses that don’t broadcast their religious preferences.  I would venture to say that most people don’t think twice about a business owner’s religious ties before making a purchase.  Whether you are a Christian owned business or not, I would expect customer service and quality to held at high standards.  For those businesses that choose to use the label Christian owned, I would caution them to strive for even higher service because they’re representing more than their business, they’re a representation of Jesus Christ.  And though that’s true of our individual lives as Christians, I think it’s just as important to realize that before you run with the phrase “Christian business.”

What are your thoughts?  Do you ever support businesses because they are Christian owned?

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