There are a lot of principles to consider when we are talking about Christian business principles. It can be something practical like how and what to post on social media or it can be more general guidelines that guide day to day activities.
When I talk to Christian business owners, many of the issues that they bring up about being a Christian in business has to do with principles. I have had people ask me if it is OK for them to make a profit. I quickly tell them that if they don’t make money, they can’t help others. Ultimately, it is about how helpful we are and charging what we are worth and their customers can afford.
As far as Christian business ethics, there are a lot of principles to consider. I pulled together a list from various places online. (See links at the bottom.) These are issues that each Christian business owner must consider in their business.
Caring for one another vs competition
If you have a sales team, does competition overtake caring for one another? When a new position opens up, is there resentment from those not hired? How do you structure your business to enhance caring over competition?
Resource Management vs Waste
How do you handle buying supplies and keeping track of what is in stock? How do you care for your employees with salaries and cost of living increase? What happens when budget needs to be cut?
Greed vs Giving
How much money do you give from your business to Kingdom work? At what level does giving change? How much money do you keep in the bank? How much money do you invest in your employees?
Earning Profit vs Helping Others
How do you define the parameters of how much you will charge for your products or services? How do you define the value you bring to customers? How do you help others who need what you have but truly cannot pay for it? How do you mentor young people?
Borrowing and Lending
How does your business handle borrowing? What is the policy for buying new equipment or larger facilities? Do you lend money to others from your business? Do you put money in stocks?
Protecting Reputation vs Attacking Others
How do you respond to negative publicity? What happens when someone leaves a negative comment online? Who is responsible to respond via social media or public events like a news conference? What happens if someone else responds or makes a comment from your company?
Each business has their own set of rules and situations for their particular situation. There are some universal principles which gives us a good foundation to build on. As you can see, there are many other principles to consider, but these Christian business principles should be enough to get you started developing some principles for your business.
EXERCISE: Set aside an afternoon with no interruptions. Take out a piece of paper. Go through each of these questions and answer them honestly. If another question pops up in that category, then put your question and answer on your paper.
What you are doing is developing an ethics and principles document for your business. Keep it simple. You can have each question on a sheet of paper in a binder with a simple table of contents.
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Here are some other online resources I found helpful and may help you as you develop ethics policy for your business: