own a Business?
Then You’re involved
Christian business associations are
growing – and for good reason.
all that we have belongs to God. We hear that notion preached most Sundays, and we regularly rededi- cate our hearts and our lives to Him.
But when we head off to work and devote all those
hours to the office, shop floor or jobsite, what does it mean
to say all that time belongs to God or that entire budget
belongs to God? Is there a problem if that devotion is not
apparent all the time?
Building a strong connection between Sunday worship
and Monday work can be difficult, especially trying to do
it on your own. That’s where a Christian business network
or association can help.
Many of us feel lonely as Christians in the business
world. Others may have found a small group, perhaps at
church, where we can talk with other business people about
work and faith and how they relate. Such groups can be
great, but they can quickly lose their quality or even fade
away entirely when a key member retires or moves away.
There is a solution to the loneliness and the unpredictable health of local groups. Canada has national organizations that support Christian individuals in business and
boost the quality of local gatherings.
Thank God, the word is finally starting to get out. At
the Canadian Christian Business Federation (CCBF) we
have seen our membership explode over the past two
years. Christian business leaders are seeing the benefits
of connecting with each other. They want to rediscover
in practical terms what the Bible says about their specific
Two years ago there were eight groups of CCBF business leaders across southern Ontario who met monthly
for discussion and mutual support. Today there are about
30 groups across Canada, and 2,000 Christian men and
women are regularly connected to the CCBF. Those numbers grow weekly and membership crosses denominational lines: Evangelicals, Mennonites, Presbyterians,
Anglicans, Reformed, Catholics and dozens of other denominational stripes.
Why? What motivates groups of men and women to get
together at 7 a.m. over breakfast and conversation? And
for those who “just don’t do mornings,” why do they want
to belong to such an association? Here are three reasons
I hear most often.
1. They want to belong to a support group. They crave
a sense they aren’t the only ones struggling with business
issues from a Christian perspective.
2. Perhaps the biggest reason is they want to connect
their faith to their business world in deeper ways. When
they find out about CCBF, they often get most excited
about our five-year curriculum of biblically-based study
materials dealing with business or leadership questions.
One such question might be How do you balance your
company’s long-range plan with waiting upon the Lord?
That inevitably leads to a profound discussion on the importance of prayer as you carry out your daily work and
your long-term plans. And if we believe all we have – including our business – belongs to God, how do we reflect
Christ in our business plans?
The CCBF discussion materials also talk about developing courage and taking risks when it comes to growing a business. Is risk taking biblical? Each of the monthly
devotionals provides five biblical references, so there are
wonderful examples of biblical characters who took risks,
and the result of that risk taking.
Those monthly breakfast discussions look at building integrity, managing stress, making decisions, handling power
and influence, supporting and encouraging staff, time management, developing a Christian character, being servant
leaders, the importance of self-discipline, humility and more.
These discussions change lives. One of the recurring
refrains within the CCBF is “If you’re in business, you’re
in ministry.” One young entrepreneur confided he used to
feel pretty good about himself when he gave away a good
portion of his year-end profits to various Kingdom causes.
When reminded his entire business belonged to God, he
decided to include his Kingdom donations as a line item
in his budget. It was no longer an afterthought.
3. People who join CCBF enjoy some practical benefits
as well, such as free advertising at our online jobs web-page, participating in the INturn program that connects
Christian university business students with local business
owners, and enjoying the opportunities that come from
being listed in our online and printed directories.
Whatever business you may be in, an organization such
as CCBF can help you. Don’t go it alone! FT
KEi Th KNiGh T of Guelph, Ont., is the executive director
of the Canadian Christian Business Federation