Should our Christian faith form part of our marketing strategy?

Sustainable Entrepreneurship: What to do and what not to do.

Sustainable entrepreneurship is a topic very close to the heart of addVENTURES Business Club. Here today and gone tomorrow is a narrative that we at addVENTURES believe should not be entertained. In our quest of getting to the bottom of what sustainable entrepreneurship should entail and what it should not be, we came across the question about our Christian faith in our entrepreneurial businesses. Should our Christian faith form part of our marketing strategy? We often see companies marketing themselves as Christian companies with all the bells and whistles of so-called Christians. Is this something that we should strive towards or avoid at all costs?

Perceptions and our background

It is no secret that our perceptions are formed by our background and the environment that we hail from. Yes, I do see myself as highly privileged in terms of having had a solid Christian upbringing. Was it too conservative? Possibly debatable, but I would not change anything about my Dutch Reformed upbringing. I can however remember the jokes about singers that turned to gospel music if they could not cut it in the secular world. Whether on not this is always justified is a subject for another debate.

Cringe-worthy Examples of Misused Faith

The article Blessed by Bosasa: Inside Gavin Watson’s ‘cult rituals’ is enough to make me cringe into every molecule of my being. And although we do not want to be pessimistic and only see the negative of faith in business, it does highlight the problem that there are a number of businesses misusing the Word of God for their own well-being and prosperity. Incidentally, did you know that approximately 80% of the South African population proclaims that they are Christians? Don’t hold me to these statistics. Depending on the source in question, the percentage does vary, but it remains high. This does include people that are only identifying as Christians. My sister often talks about people being high and holy and earthly no good. Hopefully, this is not you.

This does however remind me of something my father used to say. “If someone tells you ‘god will bless you’ in a business transaction, you must realize that you have already been swindled. You just need to find out where.’ Let me just add that I see my late father as one of the most solid Christians that I have ever known. This was his experience in the 61 years that he was a bricklayer, builder & property developer. Yes, it is dangerous to generalize. There are exceptions to this phenomenon.

Having Faith vs Using Faith in Marketing

Please do not get me wrong. My question is not whether or not you should trust God with your whole heart when you are an entrepreneur or be in any other type of business endeavor for that matter. It goes without saying that you should strive towards trust in God at all times. The question is also not about whether or not you should apply the fruits of the Spirit in your business. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility, and self-control as per Galatians 5:22-23 should be a massive goal within yourself as far as humanly possible.

No, the question is whether or not you should stand on the street corner and proclaim that your business is a Christian business. I might want to add at this point that my knowledge of the Bible is by a very large margin not perfect, and exactly the reason why I pose the question to you. To get your view and your perception on the question. I would however want to throw in the verse that keeps coming back to me. Matthew 6:6: “But when you pray, go into your room, close the door, and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

Sustainable Entrepreneurship: Faith in business – To share or not to share

Sustainable entrepreneurship is something that we should strive towards with all our hearts. Ultimately I do believe that sustainable entrepreneurship has its roots in the fruits of the Spirit, but I am hesitant to label it as such. I do believe that proclaiming to build a company that is built on Biblical principles could possibly do more harm than good. It could solidly drive away people who are currently finding themselves in a bad spot and are sick of people throwing the book at them. Maybe people should experience our noble intentions first.

But I might be wrong.

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