So your issue is this, “If I run my business according to my Christian faith, won’t that offend customers? I cannot take that risk.”
If you are seriously considering any Christian connection to your business, then this is certainly a question that has come up. Either you thought of it or someone you know has tossed it up to you. Either way, it is a valid question. After all, based on the news and political issues all around us, it appears the last thing you want to do is associate your business with anything Christian. It is too polarizing, right?
Barna Group Study
Surprisingly, it is not as big an issue as you might think! According to a recent study conducted by Barna Group (check out the details of the study here), the people that may be offended with any Christian connection to your business are actually a very small minority. Let’s look at the results.
When asked in two different ways about the likelihood of their doing business with a company that was managed according to Christian principles or embraced and promoted the Christian faith, roughly 55% of these consumers indicated they were indifferent! In other words, the connections to Christianity did not affect their buying decisions in either direction. Of course, while this is good news, it really does not tell us what we want to know. Let’s dig a little further.
How about those that would be more likely to do business with a Christian company? These responses to the question made up roughly 40% of the total responses! Two out of every five consumers surveyed said that a company’s connection to the Christian faith would make them more likely to do business with them. In fact, almost 25% said they would be a lot more likely to do so!
I see both of these results as fantastic news! While I do not believe we are to market and advertise our Christian faith in our business (some may argue this), I am glad to know that the vast majority of those who see the connection are either indifferent or more likely to do business with us!
So what percentage of the responses is left over?
How many people are less likely to do business with a Christian company?
According to the Barna Group study, only 3% – less than one in thirty - of the respondents said they would be less likely to do business with a company that has overt connections to Christianity. Only 3%…is that really a large enough population to cause concern?
While I have not conducted an official study like Barna, I have been outspoken about the Christian foundation for our business for almost eight years now. I have never been confronted by anyone claiming offense at our beliefs. I have had a couple of email complaints (literally 2 or 3) stating they would not purchase from us due to our Christian witness. I am also certain that we have had customers walk away, but just not voice their opinion. I don’t doubt that at all.
But really, how many do you think make up that group? If your experience DOUBLED that of the Barna study, would 6% kill your business? Do you really fear the size of that group more than you trust God at His Word? He promises to meet our needs (Philippians 4:19). He promises if we will seek Him first, he will add “these things” (Matthew 6:33). God is faithful to make good on His promises (Deuteronomy 7:9). Trust Him to do just that!
What are you really afraid of?
Isn’t your God bigger than that fear?
What should be your next step?