DOES MIXING BUSINESS, FAMILY, FRIENDS AND CHURCH CAUSE INEVITABLE DISAGREEMENTS AND STRIFE?

LIFE Leadership and the Christian faith

Thank you everyone for the great comments, emails and discussion on the first of three articles I am posting on faith and business. Hereimages is the second article that was published by LIFE Leadership member Raymond Abernathy. Please read this article and discuss the reifications of our actions.

Feel free to comment on this article and create a discussion of what is being said. I believe this is such an important topic for people looking into LIFE Leadership to understand.

God bless,

Dan Hawkins

Click here for last article and background on Raymond Abernathy

 

Does mixing business, family, friends and Church cause inevitable disagreements and strife?

A major concern for some Christians is the mixing of relationships and business. Church leaders often cite this as a very real concern when evaluating LIFE Leadership. I too was very hesitant in sharing LIFE with members of my Church for fear that the business of LIFE might interfere with the business of God. For some reason, based upon the traditions of men, I believed that business should be kept separate from personal relationships in order to maintain both. Often business decisions are tough and have to be made for the sake of survival in the market place, and as often the case, the effects of such decisions may adversely impact the people that we know and love. This undeniable fact has destroyed many relationships and has created rips in the very fabric of families and church congregations. Many business owners have sacrificed the individual on the altar of profit, so we naturally think that all business owners are required to act in this manner. We have to walk on a thin line between care of people and the building of the business. We cannot afford to misuse God’s children for the “lusts” of the world, and we are reminded of this in Romans 12:2…

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Since my involvement in LIFE I have heard the leaders promote the idea of people before business, and I have personally seen the founders of LIFE act according to this mantra on several occasions. My wife and I make it a point to tell people not to sacrifice the sacred for the sake of the secular. By design LIFE Leadership has been structured in a way that insolates the members from the tough realities of traditional businesses. We have no employees; no labor disputes, no leases, contracts or lawyers are needed to build the business. LIFE members are free to focus on helping build relationships and equip God’s people with the life changing information. In reality, we have very little opportunities for conflicts to arise, but we are still human, and issues both real and perceived have to be addressed. Over the years, I have had issues with members of my team where personalities clashed, egos ran amuck, and misunderstandings have arisen. I have also had very real disagreements with the founders and leaders that had to be resolved. On each occasion I have experienced a unique graciousness that should inspire all Christians to follow the words of the prophet Isaiah 1:18…

Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

We are called to reason together and avoid the temptation to conform to business practices of the world. Christians must not resort to name-calling, backbiting, slander, or gossip. We should never turn to social media to smear another man’s character. In the world’s business ethics, these sinful ways are all too common but it should not be so for the Christian. On one occasion a few years ago, my brother-in-law and I had some issues with team members from another organization, and the problems were brewing to the point where the relationship was in serious jeopardy. Instead of resorting to name calling, slander or division, we had a chance to sit down with LIFE founder Chris Brady as Christian men and reason together towards reconciliation. We opened in prayer, and we conducted ourselves in accordance to the words taught by Jesus in Matt 18:15-20…

Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican. Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

We left the meeting having touched and agreed to preserve fellowship over feelings, and I believe that in doing so we had a chance to bring God glory. We could have chosen to sue, or slander one another, but we chose people over business. If by chance that we were not able to reach an agreement, then the Bible provides the Christians with stern and simple instructions in regards to moving forward in I Corinthians 6:1-7…

If any of you has a dispute with another, do you dare to take it before the ungodly for judgment instead of before the Lord’s people? Or do you not know that the Lord’s people will judge the world? And if you are to judge the world, are you not competent to judge trivial cases? Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more the things of this life! Therefore, if you have disputes about such matters, do you ask for a ruling from those whose way of life is scorned in the church? I say this to shame you. Is it possible that there is nobody among you wise enough to judge a dispute between believers? But instead, one brother takes another to court—and this in front of unbelievers! The very fact that you have lawsuits among you means you have been completely defeated already. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be cheated?

I have had members of my family, church members, spiritual leaders and neighbors all register in LIFE as members, and I have strived to follow the example of the LIFE founders by maintaining the relationship over the business. I believe that not only is it acceptable for Christians to be in business together, I believe that in doing so in the proper spirit we bring Glory to God. LIFE Leadership offers help in marriage, finances, faith, family, and a host of other aspects of our Christian walk. We would be remised if we did not share that life-changing information with our family, friends and fellow worshippers. And if by chance they decide to join the business for gain, regardless of their ambition levels, we are called to love and accept them as joint heirs with Christ. The intermingling faith, family, friends, fellowship and business are an extension of our calling to be in the world and not of the world. We get a chance to prove the world wrong by showing that there is no difference between ethics and business ethics. We are called to overcome the temptations of strife, conflict and disagreements, and who better to shine brightly with than those that we know and love? Who better to build stronger relationships than our friends and family? Would we be wrong for equipping the teens in our Churches with the information found in the Edge or the AGO subscriptions? What family in America could not benefit from learning the Godly principles found in the Financial Fitness Pack or subscription? What Christian would be harmed by associating with other God fearing people more? And if all these things be true, then why would we not want to be a financial blessing to our friends, family and Church members? We cannot let the potential of strife stop us from pursuing God’s promises of prosperity. We must heed the words of Hebrews 10:24-25…

And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

click here for original article

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37 thoughts on “DOES MIXING BUSINESS, FAMILY, FRIENDS AND CHURCH CAUSE INEVITABLE DISAGREEMENTS AND STRIFE?

  1. Once again, Mr. Abernathy is right on track with his assessments. In studying the LIFE Leadership products and the business model, I have never seen anything that conflicts in any way with what the Bible teaches.

    What I have seen, is many, many, many people that have grown closer to God and furthered their walk with Christ through their involvement with LIFE Leadership. In my opinion, any Pastor or Church that truly understand the LIFE Leadership business will welcome and encourage their congregation to be involved with LIFE…

  2. Well said !

  3. What a fantastic article about dealing with strife in out relationships. Thanks for sharing.

  4. I’ve seen many people testify that they came to know Christ and salvation through this great business endeavor we call LIFE. In my opinion, It is not quite accurate or fair to fully term life as a business because it so much more. Life allows a “nice guy” to become a formidable force in business where in traditional business he may not have had the stomach to succeed because of the nature of fallen man. With the Life opportunity everyone has a chance to succeed and no one is excluded due to their socioeconomic or education status. Similarly, and of course in the utmost sense, God the Father have us his precious son Christ so the we all have a chance at eternal life regardless of our past behavior status. So the Life business is like no other and it’s hard to juxtapose the legacy of life

  5. I’ve seen many people testify that they came to know Christ and salvation through this great business endeavor we call LIFE. In my opinion, It is not quite accurate or fair to fully term life as a business because it so much more. Life allows a “nice guy” to become a formidable force in business where in traditional business he may not have had the stomach to succeed because of the nature of fallen man. With the Life opportunity everyone has a chance to succeed and no one is excluded due to their socioeconomic or education status. Similarly, and of course in the utmost sense, God the Father have us his precious son Christ so the we all have a chance at eternal life regardless of our past behavior status. So the Life business is like no other and it’s those additional qualities which make it difficult to juxtapose the legacy of life with that of any other business.

  6. Thank you Dan for sharing this series. It was helpful to me and I know it will be for many other people. I intend to print this series out and have it handy for myself as a refresher, as well as for others to benefit from.
    Thank you Pastor Abernathy for taking the time to write in length in order to clarify this sensitive topic. I wholeheartedly agree with the mantra of people/relationships before business and honoring Christ in all that we do.
    God bless you both!

  7. Raymond’s perspective of “LIFE members are free to focus on helping build relationships and equip God’s people with the life changing information” is fantastically stated. This reminds of a great quote “for any evil to flourish- requires only good men/women to do nothing.”

    LIFE LEADERSHIP is a purpose driven group of leaders who decided to make a difference (paying it forward) in our communities. And the last time I had checked- our local churches, it’s members and it’s leaders are an integral part of that community; by spreading the truth about the word of God 🙂

  8. Thanks for sharing these articles Dan. Well written articles from the heart Mr. Abernathy. I thoroughly enjoyed reading both articles and you have given me the will power to approach the Pastor. I do quite a bit of volunteer work, but never the nerve to share the opportunities that the Life business can offer to strengthen the church community.
    Thank you for the insight.

    1. Great job Peggy!

  9. I really enjoyed this Dan and it gave me more motivation and pride in Life Leadership of which I am a new member

    1. Welcome to LIFE Leadership Conrad, we are glad you are here!

  10. I agree with the article and all the comments 100%. Thanks Randy for your thoughts. Part of the feelings I struggle with is that we, “the church” are quick to point out that the two can’t coexist, but our daily lives are lived quite differently out side of church. We as Christians are to be examples. Our bodies are the temple of the LORD! Let’s not forget. Gods people make up the church, not the building. If that’s the case. … how do you separate the two! I say this very carefully… but my life and family have changed for the positive more with the Life Materials and the life business than all my years in church other than when I became a Christian. LIFE has opened my eyes to Biblical things more than I was getting out of church. That was my fault, NOT the church. But it had helped me straighten out my thinking and had actually helped me in the work of the church. I feel LIFE is a great college for the church!

    1. Thank you for sharing this Dan. You have been such a great example of a Christian man inside and outside the church. Keep leading, God is using you for big things!

  11. Thanks Dan for sharing another excellent article from Mr. Abernathy. He does an excellent job of showing how Life is different because our founders are different. Following true men of character and honor and principle who are not afraid or ashamed to prove the principles in the bible are right and can work! Can’t wait to read the last one!
    Danny K
    Carpe Diem

  12. Great perspective. If I think this business is good enough for my family, why wouldn’t I share it? Conflict will arise in all areas of our lives, the difference between LIFE Leadership and other businesses is that LIFE has tools to teach us how to handle conflict in a God honoring way.
    I am so proud to be associated with this wonderful group of people.

    1. “Conflict will arise in all areas of our lives, the difference between LIFE Leadership and other businesses is that LIFE has tools to teach us how to handle conflict in a God honoring way.” This is a huge point Teesa, thank you for leading by example!

  13. Pastor Abernathy & Dan,

    Thank you for your article on Life Leadership & the Christian Faith. It has been my experience that the two go hand in hand. My faith & relationship with Christ has grown so much stronger & deeper due to the Life Business. The principals of unconditional love have been displayed & demonstrated time & time again by my teammates & my direct up line on Team Stealth Carpe Diem! Never once have I seen the love for money or materialism supersede the priority of people & relationships in the Life Business. I value the Christian foundation that was laid early on in my life, but equally as much, I value the foundation of personal growth & development that Life Leadership has gifted me with. Not to mention, the financial benefits that come with growing one self personally. I think we call it…..Compensated Communities!

    1. Thank you Marsha, you have an incredible group to work with in Carpe Diem. Keep up the great work!

  14. Thanks for posting both articles. I think one of the strongest points in the two articles is the closing point with Hebrews 10:24-25…let us stir up one another for love and good works…
    My experience with Life Leadership and those associated with it has been nothing short of a fulfillment of that directive as I have been blessed by the inspiration to be all each of us have been called to be. I find it so much in alignment with what I have been taught by parents and key influencers in my personal life that sometimes I take it for granted that not everyone has had opportunities to learn these same principles. I must take more personal responsibility to do likewise and be that blessing to others. Thanks for posting.

    1. Very well said Steffanie! Thank you for sharing.

  15. I appreciate the example of using Biblical principles in real life challenges between people. I believe the devil promotes the lie that christians should never have conflict. People will have conflict and communication problems in every healthy relationship. If there is ever a relationship that has no conflict or challenge then it has no human interaction. Christians have the benefit of Godly principles to guide us as we learn to love each other. Through these challenges we have the opportunity to create strong relationships. Our best friendships can develop thru the proper navigation of a challenge between people. What would it been like to have Jesus as your mentor … I know that there would have been some tension as he coached me in ares of of my life.

  16. This is such a great series of articles! I am privileged and blessed beyond words to be a part of LIFE. I have personally seen how God has been moving the hearts of people towards Him through the LIFE vehicle. If I am hindered to share this business with others then I am doing a disservice to my fellow-man.

  17. Thank you. I have never seen anything like LIFE leadership. I’ve never seen people treat people as kind and forgiving. I’ve been a Christian attending a congregation all my life, and feel even more welcome and lifted up here than ever before.
    The conflict that seemed very serious to me, because we are all human, was resolved, started with a prayer, with two or three witnesses, and the relationships were always put first. Very excited. God and many of his kingdom builders have been rounded up. And there’s more that we’d love to have join us! What a great movement.
    I too have seen many come to The Lord through this great community. I myself feel saved because of it.

  18. Thank you for posting these articles as they will encourage all of us to expand our thinking which is one of the goals of LIFE Leadership. Through the LIFE products, we learn once again to believe in the Christian life we should all live instead of the social media mantra or the demands of working for corporations, where both have systematically removed bricks from the family foundation. Many thanks to both of you!

  19. This is such a well stated article. God never told us to compartmentalize or lives into different areas. We are supposed to have Him in the center of everything that we do. The love of our fellow man and the desire to encourage one another to love and good deeds that occurs in the LIFE training is so compatible with any Christian’s calling to be a light to the world. It opens doors that would otherwise possibly remain closed for ever and allows us all to love our fellow man and encourage then to fight the good fight and become all that God has called us to. Excellence, finding and fulfilling the great purpose that God has called us too can start with one fallen person reaching across the table to another fallen person and offering them hope, love, acceptance and a path to grow and become more. This business is such a wonderful and difficult and challenging path, but I sure am glad that I am on it.

  20. Great post Dan and very thought provoking. As a Christian I have wrestled with this question and I have had a number of conversations with my pastor and my share group about this very question. I felt compelled to share a few thoughts as I continue to explore this question.

    Christianity and salvation are freely offered. One simply has to accept the greatest gift of all. Faith based products are just tools and resources that help strengthen ones belief and help lead one to ask the important questions. It is reasonable to expect to profit from these tools but not at the expense of ones own salvation.

    I think the Bible helps answer the question of making a profit in I Timothy. “Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever” – I Timothy 5:8.

    We must also understand that money is a tool that can be used for good or evil. The LIFE business is simply a vehicle for generating a profit. The question we must answer is what does one do with the profit generated. What is God’s purpose for us and how do we maximize our ability to fulfill it? Only through prayer, meditation and wise council will one discern God’s purpose for the fruits of their labor.

    We do have to be careful that we are looking to God and not our own self interests. With the influences of this world, we can easily fall into the trap of an endless pursuit of more and more material goods that satisfy our own selfish needs. As the gospel of Mark tells us “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God” – Mark 10:25.

  21. Thank you, Dan, for sharing these convicting articles! I had such discord in my life for a while because I had discovered what it meant to truly have a relationship with Christ through the information and association of LIFE leadership, and yet I felt guilty making money by sharing that same information. But, as Terri Brady says, it takes money to print the Bibles, it takes money to build the church, and it takes money to pay the pastors. Why can’t we earn a living sharing this information? Once I realized how much this business truly is a ministry, I feel to not share it is almost like sin 🙂 I have found purpose in my life, aside from being a wife and mother and am excited to not only earn a living, but “make a life” through sharing this amazing information and helping others do the same!

  22. Dan,
    Thanks for sharing. The article is very good and is something that helps to see how the church and the people can interact with each other. We do not have to be separated. The Life business is for everyone. Our business is reaching out to all people, so we help other’s in knowing how the church, God wants each of us to grow
    closer to Him. The Life information can and does work together. We definitely need a new vehicle of information so it can reach out to all people. Our lives are intertwined in so many areas.

  23. Dan, thank you for another great article. I myself am a much better person from listening and reading the LIFE materials. Why wouldn’t we want to share them with others?

    If a major concern is mixing church and business because of perceptions in the business world then maybe it is time to take Godly principles into the business world. What better way than with LIFE?

  24. Fantastic article! (Both of them! ) I feel so blessed to have these great tools and a wonderful community of people to help further the Kingdom of God.
    I also want to note that not only is the article great, but I enjoy reading everybody’s comments as well! 🙂

  25. God’s timing is truly amazing! I have been wrestling with the thought of contacting guys from my church for the past couple of weeks. As a leader in my church I’ve been worrying that I’d be crossing some sort of line by mixing business with church, even though I firmly believe in our material. These two articles are exactly what I needed. I am so very proud of the character and integrity of the people associated with LIFE Leadership. Thank you Raymond for your wise insight and thank you Dan for sharing this with us.

  26. Excelent..well thought out.with experience and research. as we all move together towards a million..putting the relationship of people before the business is a great expression of an idea I myself can learn to apply in my life and my community..

    thank you for publishing this.

  27. Amen….the fear of what could go wrong is pointless, if we open our eyes within our culture it may be evident that “THINGS ARE ALREADY going wrong!!” The desire for the equipping of the saints , from the saints themselves, is in high demand for monday, tuesday, wednesday,thursday, friday and so on…. principle centered information that brings consistent applicable resource of renewing the mind to Lead and Encourage people to Truth,while also compelling the lost…that is who we are , that is what we do!

  28. Praise God for this series of articles! I have sinned against God, my family and friends countless times and have long battled depression and complaceny. Life Leadership Compensated Community is the only environment where individuals are paid to realize their potential. As a Christian I miss the mark when I cease to glorify God publicly and privately. Life Leadership’s strength is that our founder’s are tirelessly devoted to propagating truth! I challenge any leader to excercise due diligence: subscribe to Rascal Radio for 6 months, attend Library and Live events. Find yourself squeamish at mention of the Faith materials? Subscribe the AGO series for 3 months, grab a Bible, read and listen asking God to reveal His purpose for you. So many folks are like I was: going through the motions, yet hopeless. I now associate with more sincere Christians each month than I did in my entire childhood at independent Baptist schools and churches. Thank you Dan for praying for me and loving me where I am at! God will be glorified by Life Leadership as long as we measure our every individual/corporate maneuver against God’s word, love one another, and extend grace when folks fail.

  29. Awesome article! How refreshing to hear some solid truth!

  30. It’s interesting to see how conventional business is done compared to the LIFE business. Many times the owner of a company needs to distance themselves from employees, clients and suppliers to make sure that there is never a conflict of interest between them. There’s almost a falseness that happens and most conversations stay at a layer to layer level and never reach matters of real depth for the sake of not hurting someone or the business.

    Here, transparency and deep relationships are encouraged. They are the glue that holds a team togeather. When storms hit a conventional business, they will often become torn and tattered. In the LIFE Leadership community, people act like a finger trap. Relationships become tighter and and stronger because you know where your team stands, right with you.

    Not to mention the fact that the community is in the persuit of truth in the 8fs. We can be a mess sometimes, but were in hot pursuit of Living Intentionaly For Excellence.

  31. “We are called to reason together and avoid the temptation to conform to business practices of the world. Christians must not resort to name-calling, backbiting, slander, or gossip. We should never turn to social media to smear another man’s character.”

    Imagine!…………………

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