Business and the Church

As some of you know, the last while I’ve been asking a lot of questions about what the church should  look like. The church is a body of believers with different gifts and abilities to bring the kingdom of God to earth. No matter where we find ourselves, we can grow so much in utilizing and leveraging those gifts!

I was reading Acts recently, and I’ve been trying to imagine what the early church must have looked like. I read stuff like this (Acts 2:44-47):

All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

And just in case that leaves any doubt (Acts 4:32-35):

All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had. With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all that there were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need.

So they sold stuff to give to people in need? Weird! They had everything in common? Strange! Or is it perhaps weirder that here in America, each of us are so busy fending for ourselves (working lengthy hours and struggling to run businesses) that we have no time for kingdom work? (In fact, can I go so far as to say that we have perhaps brought a financial plight upon us because of our independence?)

We do know it is the responsibility of each man to provide for his family, but why did God put diverse gifts within the church? Could it be that God brings businessmen into the kingdom for the very purpose of building kingdom businesses? It’s not a foreign concept for non-profits to start businesses to support themselves. However, do only non-profits do that? Shouldn’t the church be doing more ministry and kingdom work than non-profits? Doesn’t the church have incredible potential for impacting the world if financial and creative resources were made available?

And just so you and I don’t get off the hook, the act of selling possessions and distributing to meet needs is not merely an oddity of the early church. It was an act of obedience to the teachings of Christ. Jesus told His disciples, “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Luke 12:32-34)

There it is. What will be our response?

Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Leave a comment