the sky floor

If You’re a Church, Don’t Act Like a Business

April 2, 2021

The Sky Floor works with several churches in an ongoing capacity, and we frequently create new church websites for our clients. 

It’s Easter weekend, so it seems fitting to share a little about a troubling trend in some churches. (I can gratefully say this doesn’t apply to any of our current church clients.)

If you are a church, don’t act like a business!

It sounds easy enough, but we have run into a business mindset vs. a ministry mindset time and time again. We have sat in meetings where senior leadership referred to church-goers as “giving-units.” We have seen marketing take the place of doing and going. We have seen how the church looks matter more than who they are. 

The bottom line is; how you treat your people matters more than the bottom line. I don’t believe ministries should be in tons of debt. But paying employees well should be a value of the church. 

How churches treat employees is the first place acting like a business rears its head. If you go to church or are looking for one, find out about this as a value – it is valuable in identifying the culture. 

Aren’t There Some Good Things About Having Business Savvy?

Here is a crucial distinction. I am not saying to have a poorly managed budget, staff, building, or strategy. Simply that churches should avoid acting like a business. 

Sign Up to Get Our Latest Posts Tuesdays and Thursdays

No Spam, Period. Just the latest posts.

Please do have a great website. Focus on having a solvent budget. Track and analyze all the metrics you can. But don’t let how you act on that information become more like a business than a church. 

It’s not business; it’s personal. 

The best companies are personal too, but they can sometimes afford to be all about the business, the bottom line. A church should always start and end with the person, whether staff, members, or visitors. The problem with seeing members as “giving-units” is they become a dollar sign and not people. It is a subtle shift, but eventually, the “giving-units” will feel it, and they won’t like it.

The best marketing a church can have is to live out its mission. But not because it is the best marketing. Why we do what we do matters so much. 

A healthy church isn’t a strategy; it is a calling.