Saturday, March 3, 2018

Hey Doc … Here in India I am pioneering a church planting ministry. We, are doing some income generating projects based on the people and the places. I would like to request your practical suggestions. How can the spiritual aspect of ministry can be reconciled with business? How can we strike proper balance between business and ministry? Sometimes I am afraid that we succeed in business and fail in ministry. Kindly give me a piece of advice as to how can I have a business mind with pastoral heart.

DRF—It’s so good to hear from you again, dear friend. Your questions remind me of the Apostle Paul. In Acts 18:3 we see that he was a “σκηνοποιός.” While commonly translated “tentmaker,” I prefer the traditional rendering of the Greek word, “maker of stage properties.” Paul made sets and backdrops “σκηνή” for the theater. We get the English word “scene” from σκηνή. Bauer (BADG) notes that translators prefer “tentmaker” due to religious objections of Jewish culture to the theater. Let’s think for a moment, was Paul affected by religious objections? Paul was free, unbound by such thing. Where to better be with those who don’t know Christ? Galatians 5:1 says, “For freedom Christ has set us free.” I like to think of Paul creating stage sets for the theater.

So, you are free to be a “scene maker” a σκηνή. Business can fund your ministry, as long as it is legal! The key is to keep your purpose in mind. The business enables you to live and provide for your family, so that you can do ministry. Define your business hours, then stop doing business. Define your ministry hours, then start doing ministry. Don’t be hassled by religious or cultural objections. In your business, bring the ethic of Jesus’ Kingdom. Immerse yourself in the Proverbs and do business with kindness, justice and with grace. When your ministry can pay your salary, receive the “double honor” of 1 Timothy 5:17. One person recently said to me, “David, in business I have far more opportunities to share the gospel with the unchurched than I do being a Pastor.” Carpe Diem.