Working for a Christian Business
…Or Starting Your Own
Small businesses are the backbone of the American economy. In fact, according to the National Federation of Independent Businesses, 96 percent of all the employers in the United States employ less than 100 people, and are considered small companies.
Today many of these small businesses (and some large businesses) are faith-based, from large Christian bookstores and publishing houses, to “Mom and Pop” cleaning companies and plumbers. What makes these small businesses Christian isn’t necessarily the product or service they offer, but the fact that the owners adhere to Christian business principles and ethics and expect their employees to do the same. Customer find this appealing because they feel the company is more likely to deliver on its promises than secular companies. Many Christian businesses are restaurants, clubs, and coffee shops, where entertainment is Christian music and speakers. If you have an entrepreneurial spirit, enjoy working with people or in a retail environment, working for a small Christian business may be the right choice for you.
You may also want to consider starting or opening your own faith-based business, if you recognize a need in your area. If you enjoy producing unique Christian items or books, working for a large Christian publisher or manufacturer is a good alternative.
Christian businesses come in all types and sizes, and need a variety of employees. Many small Christian businesses are retail stores, restaurants, cafes, or coffeehouses, while others provide security systems, tax advice, or cleaning services. Just as there are limitless possibilities for secular businesses, there is no limit to the type of business that can be faith-based. As long as the business owners adhere to Biblical principles and require employees to do the same, the business is considered a Christian business. Employees are needed to man cash registers, answer phones, cook and serve food, or otherwise help to meet customers’ needs. Larger Christian businesses such as publishers and manufacturers of Christian products hire the full gamut of employees, from sales representatives and executives to assembly workers and maintenance crew members.
The bulk of Christian businesses fall into four main categories: retail stores, food and beverage operations, publishers, and manufacturers. Retail stores sell Christian books and gifts as well as items for the home. Christian coffeehouses offer coffee, tea, some food and snacks, and some offer live entertainment on a regular basis. Christian music clubs offer a place for teens and young adults to hang out, dance, and mingle in a safe environment where no alcohol is sold or consumed. Thanks to digital publishing, there are a number of small to mid-sized Christian publishers operating today. Their mission is to publish Christian books, both fiction and non-fiction, which previously may have not been published by large publishing houses. Christian manufacturers produce Christian gifts, t-shirts, and other items sold in retail stores.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the future outlook for most jobs in the country. It did not provide this information for book and gift stores.
The overall job outlook for book publishers is not bad in the coming years, but certainly not one which will experience growth. The Bureau predicts it will hold steady, not losing numbers, but not gaining any either. If you are seeking a job with a Christian book publisher, you may face intense competition. A more positive outlook is expected for people who wish to work in a Christian coffeehouse or club. In general, the Bureau reports that the number of food and beverage service workers will increase by 10 percent by 2018.
Christian manufacturing jobs may actually decrease, as technologies improve efficiencies and companies require fewer workers to manufacture their goods. Jobs may be available, but there may be increased competition for them.