“It was the best of times; it was the worst of times.”
When he wrote those famous words, Charles Dickens may well have been referring to the experiences of those who have conducted business with someone from their own church.
How can you avoid a potentially disastrous business deal with someone from your church? Start by asking these 4 questions:
1. Would I do business with this person if they weren’t from my church?
Sometimes a business person has such low character that we wouldn’t dream of doing business with them in the “real world”, but we will sometimes set aside our discernment simply because we are members of the same church. Always keep your business wits about you before signing the deal.
2. Is this person simply using the church to network for business deals?
Years ago a well-known network marketing organization was sweeping through our church. Our lobby was becoming less a place of fellowship and more a place where people were being “targeted” for invitations to hearing about a “great new opportunity”. Bottom line; don’t do business with anyone using the church as a prospecting pool.
3. Are you approaching the deal with your head or your heart?
No one wants to see someone from your church struggling to keep their business afloat. But sometimes their business is on the ropes because they’re just not good at what they do. Be careful not to become a victim of their lack of experience or know-how.
4. Would our relationship survive if the deal went bad?
Face it; some business deals just don’t work out. Deliveries can be delayed, prices from suppliers can suddenly change, services might just be sub-par. Be honest; if this were to happen could you continue to enjoy fellowship with this person in your church?
Some church leaders I know have a standard policy to never do business with someone in their church. I think such a blanket approach is unwise and unnecessary.
But I do believe that a massive dose of wisdom is required before signing on the dotted line.
After all; there’s more at stake than just a business transaction.
How do you approach doing business with people in your church?