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One of the most common responses we receive at ThomRainer.com is something like this statement: “You can’t run your church like a business.”
I get it. Our goal is to glorify God. Our goal is to make disciples. Our goal is to be faithful to God’s Word.
Goal - Profits - Goal - Principles - Place
Our goal is not to make profits. Our goal is not to adopt secular principles in place of biblical principles.
So, when someone insists we not run the church like a business, I understand his or her heart and intent.
Business - Principles - Church - Practices - Truth
But there are indeed some business principles that correlate with church practices and biblical truth. To say we don’t run our church like a business carte blanche may be a signal that we are ignoring sound and, at least indirectly, biblical counsel. Here are five examples:
Healthy businesses are determined to spend wisely. So should churches. Sound business practices require a company to have systems in place to evaluate expenditures constantly. Frankly, I’ve seen many businesses that understand better why they spend funds than churches do. Too many churches just do things the way they’ve always done it.
Businesses - Accountability - Business - Practices - Accountability
Healthy businesses have clear financial accountability. So should churches. Good business practices include clear and demonstrable accountability to owners and/or stockholders, as well as the Internal Revenue Service. Churches would do well to emulate some of these practices.
Healthy businesses make tough personnel decisions. So should churches. Jim Collins, in his classic book Good to Great, uses the bus metaphor to describe personnel decisions of healthy businesses. He says they...
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