Ministry Journey Blog

Thoughts on Ministry

09 Feb

Business Principles in the Church

Posted in Uncategorized on 09.02.13 by Merlyn

“The Kingdom of God is not built on business principles.”  Peter Hintzoglou


This is one of the simplest ways I have heard this key truth communicated. One of my greatest frustrations with the North American church is our focus on business principles, corporate values and a general business mentality. Its one of the most profound and dangerous ways in which the world has changed the church. Its one of the most destructive patterns in the church today that is hurting leaders, ministry and driving younger generations from the church in droves. While business principles may be helpful in dealing with the finances of our churches, and may even help us create policies and procedures to help care for and protect our churches, the use and value of business principles in the church is dramatically overstated. The greatest challenges are not the use of these principles, but business principles are seen as Godly, that they are seen as an important part of the church by default and that we do not think theologically about how we do/don’t use or apply business principles to the life of the church.

The current generation of church leaders have been running most of our churches like a business, in many cases unapologetically. The profound devastation this has created, especially with staff members breaks my heart. Having been both guilty of doing soon as well as a victim of this, I speak from a place of great remorse and conviction. The church of Jesus Christ is not a business, nor should the bride of Christ been seen that way. The stripping away of Biblical principles, theology and a Kingdom vision is just as tragic as some of the decisions that we have been making around theology and the authority of the Bible. Hersey is heresy. Business principles often focus on the bottom line and are based in fear and control. The church is a community of faith. The church is focused on relationships; with God, the world and one another. The values of the Kingdom of God are in direct contradiction with the vast majority of business principles that have invaded the church. If we look carefully at the life of Jesus and are honest with ourselves, we have not taken the words, stories and actions of Jesus seriously. We have spent time piously defending ourselves like the Pharisees or in have focused on embracing the principles of the world like Pilate and the other politicians of Jesus’ day. Whether it an unhealthy focus on our own religious or theological superiority like the Pharisees or embracing the business principles of this world like the politicians, we have not focused the life, work and ministry of the church on Jesus. This is more of a confession than it is a condemnation. I have spent many years mimicking the politicians or the Pharisees and not the Christ.


We can all do better. There is hope for us and for the church.


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