Chapter 1

There is much to be said when you start to introduce a discussion such as this one.

A lot has been written about Christian Business Principles. So the first question that needs to be answered is probably “Why another set of biblical business principles?”

The best way to answer this question is to tell the story of our journey.

God blessed South Africa with an evangelist – Angus Buchan. A few years ago after
addressing a crowd in Cape Town, he made an altar call. All the new believers who came forward that night were given a book to work through and were prayed for individually. Quite a few men in our community made a first time commitment to the Lord and the question was birthed in my heart, “what will happen to these new believers now’’?

I prayed about this with a few friends, particularly Johann Lubbe and Francois Cronje, and we decided to start a bible study for men. We invited the new believers as well as many of our friends and at the first session we were sitting with a number of Christian men who were ready and roaring to know more about God and grow in their relationship with Christ. First we worked through the Alpha course, but in time we realised that all of the men in the group either had their own businesses or were in senior positions at their places of employment.

The obvious next step was to start a study on biblical business principles and we went to the internet in search of a study guide or workbook. As I typed in the words “bible, God, business, money” Google responded with 60 million (and I don’t mean it figuratively) links to various sites claiming to teach sound, biblical ways to become wealthy – God’s way. Now, on the face of it, that seemed fine, but the question remained – Do I follow God and live a Christian life in order to become wealthy and successful in worldly terms or do I want to follow God because He is God – for no other reason and for no other motive? I
realised that us Christians get bombarded with the message of wealth and prosperity by the Word of Faith-movement. And yes, there are many scriptural references and bases for arguing that God wants the best for all His children. However, the problem comes with our definition of what the best is.

I believe that we so often decide for ourselves what this ‘best’ is or should be. And then we go to God and we try to force His hand in giving us that which we want. I know, because I was there. Today I believe that it should work the other way around. God decides what is best for each one of us, and then it is up to us to hear God speak to us and have the courage to be obedient to His call. This is true success, because the truth is that it is only in His will
that we are free. God is more interested in my character than in my comfort.

Christian success is not in prosperity, not in wealth, not even in survival and provision. Christian success is achieved when we manage – through the grace of God – to be obedient to His call. It is only here that we achieve success and this is also the focus of this publication.

We have chosen the word Shalom to try and convey the exact meaning of Christian success. Shalom means “safe, well, happy, friendly, health, prosperity, peace. To paraphrase Leonard Sweet, safety in business (or life in general) involves playing it safe and taking risks simultaneously. We can know that we are in God’s hands (safe) and that he will give us the strength to do what we need to do (take risks) while He keeps us in perfect peace (shalom) because we are in His will. It is that “peace that surpasses all understanding” (Philippians 4:7) that Paul talks about.

There was nothing on the market that conveyed this type of theology pertaining to
running a business. One night, at our church’s evening worship, it was as if God downloaded data to me and started to unfold a picture in my mind. This ended up as the framework for this site.

Many people have asked me why we do not teach technical skills in a Christian
Business Course. The answer is one that I take from the example God gave us. The Bible is a set of principles by which we can govern the way we live our lives and practice our faith. The Old Testament consisted of many rules concerning sacrifices, ways to treat slaves, wives, children, family and neighbours. However, when reading the prophets, it becomes abundantly clear that God is more interested in obedience than in sacrifice. He looks at our heart-attitude. This can be seen in the life of King David. When his sins are compared to that of Saul, one would have thought that Saul was the better of the two. However,
God saw David’s heart. It is the same with business principles or truths versus rules. We all face different circumstances. None of us are the same, and no two businesses are the same. Our callings differ and our passions differ. If we gave rules, it would remain just that – a few good ideas. However, if we focus on principles it can be applied by individuals in their very individual businesses, because God’s truths stay the same no matter what the
circumstances are.

This is probably a good place to state what this is not. This is not expert advice on any specific technical matter. And we do not focus on profits, but rather on Christian values — first and foremost recognising what Jesus Christ has done for us on the cross. Compared to that, everything else just fades into the background.


One thought on “Introduction”

  1. Excellent! I want to use your material to teach Tanzanians about these principles. I am adopting them.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Christian business principles, based on Biblical Truth