A Critical Discipline for Christian Business Leaders

This article was written by Jim Miley and published by Crossroads Professional Coaching


Effective business leaders must have discipline. Effective Christian Business Leaders must have more discipline.

Of the many disciplines that make a strong leader, one stands out in driving an organization to success.

Being a Good Christian Leader Takes Action!

The discipline of acting effectively and consistently over time is critical to the success of an organization. Christian Business Leaders must have more discipline than the secular world to lead from a foundation of their Faith.

In his book, The Obstacle Is The Way, best-selling author Ryan Holiday describes action this way.  “Action is commonplace, right action is not.  As a discipline, it’s not any kind of action that will do, but directed action.  Everything must be done in the service of the whole. Step by step, action by action, we’ll dismantle the obstacles in front of us.”

As many businesses as there are in the world, there are that many business leaders.  Narrowed down to successful businesses, you have fewer effective leaders in driving a business to success.  Narrow the field once again to successful businesses that are led upon a foundation of Christian values and Christian Faith and the population shrinks considerably.

Integrating your Christian Faith fully with running a successful business calls you to a whole different level of action discipline when contrasted with a secular organization.  A secular organization is not bound by any absolute Truth so is free to shift and drift with popular preferences and mores.  The brand can be anything that works.  A business with no consideration for the call for a Believer in Christ can act any way they want, to anyone, internally or externally, as long as it’s legal.

Action as a Christian Discipline

Remember your leaders. They spoke God’s word to you.  Think about the results of their way of life.  Copy their faith.
Heb. 13:7 

Action stands out as critical for the Christian business leader because it is the most important way for you to communicate.  “Action speaks louder than words” is such a common cliché because it is rooted in truth.  Hypocrisy is saying one thing and doing another, and I’ve never heard hypocrisy claimed as an admirable leadership trait.

I do not sit with men of falsehood, nor do I consort with hypocrites. 
Ps. 26:4

Your actions come from what is in your heart, what you believe to be right and true; therefore, it is critical that a Christian business leader witness to their organization in word and deed.  Your actions will determine consequences both good and bad so recognizing the impact of how you act is vital to working at action as a Christian Discipline.  Re-visit Ryan Holiday’s statement, “Action is commonplace, right action is not.”

Is There Wrong Action?

Yes.  Yes is an easy short answer for anyone but the logic supporting “yes” may be distinct for the believing Christian.

Bad results constitute the simple reason for calling an action wrong to the bulk of the secular business world.   Good decisions produce good results, bad decisions produce bad results.

As a Christian Business Leader, you are held to a higher standard; a standard of your actions being consistent with your values as a confessing Christian.  Do you see how the discipline of action for the Christian requires more discipline than a secular standard?   It is not ok to simply achieve good results on terms judged by worldly standards.  We must act to produce good results by Godly standards and achieve results measured by common worldly standards.

It is also very important to recognize that not acting is an action.  Not doing what should be done is the most common form of wrong action.

My experience has been that Christians are commonly wired to not take appropriate action for business leadership under the guise of protecting people’s feelings or avoiding conflict.  If you are active in church leadership or service, I can almost guarantee you have experienced this form of inaction.  Failure to act when it is the right thing to do is common in the business world as well and working your discipline for action is critical to both your faith life and business life as they are one and the same.


What’s the Point?

This is an exhortation to recognize how critical it is for you to take right actions.

A plea to discern between what is pleasing to the unbelieving world and what is pleasing to God.

A reminder that passively taking no action is often a wrong action.

And when praying and meditating upon decisions leading to action, know that the Holy Spirit is here to encourage and guide you to the right actions.

Where does my help come from?  My help comes from the Lord. 
Ps. 120: 1-2