One of the most common questions I am asked is whether I run a “Christian” business. I thought it might be worth taking a quick stab at answering that question on my personal site for those who are curious…

I want to start by saying that I struggle with answering that question because on the one hand, I don’t think a business is an entity capable of exercising faith. So there is a certain descriptive malfunction in calling a business, “Christian.” It is like asking if the car I drive is a Christian car. It doesn’t quite work that way.

But on the other hand, I do understand the spirit of the inquiry. I think the intended question is more along the lines of, “Do you run your business based on Christian principles?” And to that, I would answer an enthusiastic, “Yes – I try to do my best!” I want to strive towards the goal of serving my clients and employees / team, being honest and upright, and working diligently to reflect God’s redemptive love. Yes, yes, yes.

And yet… to be very clear, I don’t strictly hire Christian people – Muslims, Jews, agnostics – they’re all welcome participants. I don’t put explicit Christian insignia around the office or on my business sites. I don’t schedule prayer meetings as part of the business calendar. (Although admittedly, I have been known to use colorful language on more than one occasion. Lord, forgive me!)

Now for the record, I don’t think it is necessarily wrong for a Christian business owner to make their faith more explicit in their marketing or day-to-day operations. Many business owners who do these things have the best of intentions and a huge impact. My decision on this approach doesn’t come from a perspective of right versus wrong. My choice has been more influenced by what I think is wise in this context.

One of my greatest concerns is that people would perceive more explicit demonstrations as being manipulative or exploitive. I don’t think people will have to look very hard or very far to see that I am a (highly imperfect) Christian man – at least I hope that is the case. But when it comes to running my business, the very last thing I want to do is use my faith as a tool for extracting profit. I think that would betray the faith I have and I don’t want to remotely go there.

So do I run a Christian business? Like so many other issues, the answer is, “No, but…” Though I often fail, I will do my best to love God and my neighbor in every context I live in. BUT I won’t do it by putting fish stickers up in the office. I would rather have a spirit of integrity do the work instead. God help me.