The Lord has given me the excellent privilege of hanging out with a lot of business people.
How does the church support them in the marketplace?
It seems to me we speak on the front end and the back end of business spirituality, but not much in the middle.
Front end: We teach about acting ethically and how to reach out to colleagues.
Back end: We teach about stewardship of wealth.
In the middle, however, we’re not really sure how money is made, nor do we always care to know. Just so the stewardship stuff eventually happens.
What would a theology of business look like?
Assuming the Lord Jesus is interested in business practice as a thing in itself, and not only character and witness (front end), and giving (back end), I offer these categories for starters:
- A theology of the marketplace: competition, opportunity, investment.
- A theology of personnel: supervision, development, and “natural” talents (we know what to do with spiritual gifts, but not natural talents).
- A theology of profit, ambition, and social consciousness.
- A theology of business leadership and teamwork.
Integrating evangelical spirituality into the fabric of these practices would take some serious constructive theology. I wonder who’s doing this kind of work?