How the Church fails Business people - and what can be done about it

Posted by Les Ellison  ·  Be the first to comment


Christians struggle to make their Sunday faith relevant to their weekday jobs and find their churches indifferent to their lives in the real world. 'How the Church Fails Business people - and what can be done about it' sheds light on the reasons behind why so many Christians feel let down by their church.

Author John C Knapp argues that, by and large, the Church has nothing to offer the woman who wonders what Sunday worship has to do with her hard hours as a hotel housekeeper. Church leaders unconsciously devalue ‘secular’ work and make it difficult for men and women like her to find support, encouragement and guidance in their faith community.

Relating Sunday worship to weekday work

Says the book’s author, John C Knapp, “I have known countless believers who say the church does little or nothing to equip them for faithful living in the settings where they spend most of their waking hours and productive years.”

His response to this situation is ‘How the Church Fails Businesspeople’ which incorporates real-life anecdotes and examples, many drawn from interviews with 230 Christians actively seeking to bridge the gap between their Sunday church and weekday work.

Serving God in the commercial and vocational

The book offers a new framework for Christian life in the workplace with a look at some promising models of faith-at-work ministry. It is time, he says for the Church to come to grips with its neglected responsibilities and close the dangerous chasm between the worlds of faith and work.

'How the Church Fails Businesspeople' looks at the accepted hierarchy of professions that divide those with a church recognised ‘vocation’ from the vast majority who just have ‘jobs’. He argues that full-time clergy and missionaries are seen as having the top vocations.

Bridging the gap between faith and work

Paid workers in Christian ministry with jobs seen as genuine callings are often validated by ordination ceremonies and commissioning rituals. Below them are the so-called caring professions such as social workers, nurses and the like whose work matches the church’s priorities.

The vast majority of Christians don’t have ‘vocations’. They are the office staff, business owners, skilled workers, sales executives, legal advisers, accountants and countless full and part time employees in the world of commerce and industry.

Honouring God in the world of business

'How the Church Fails Businesspeople' shows that when the church elevates an elite, while subtly devaluing the rest of the body of Christ, the consequences for the gospel and for individual believers can be disastrous.

John C Knapp addresses how church leaders can minister to those not employed in pastoral or caring professions: how to reassure them that the work of businesspeople can be pleasing to and glorify God, that lawyers can feel the Holy Spirit and sales managers can show the love of Christ.

Author Snapshot: Dr John C. Knapp

Dr John C. Knapp is founding director of the Frances Marlin Mann Centre for Ethics and Leadership at Samford University, Birmingham, Alabama.  Before joining Samford, Dr Knapp was Professor and Director of the Centre for Ethics and Corporate Responsibility at Georgia State University. With his doctorate from the University of Wales, UK, he has written extensively on the ethics of leadership, real-world perspectives on business and the business of higher education.

Quick Guide to How the Church fails Businesspeople

What is it?

  • Exploration of the historical, cultural and educational background to faith-work gap.
  • Real life examples of where the chuch fails to support Christians in their workaday lives.
  • New ideas and proposals for how your church can support Christian life in the public sphere.

What will it do for me?

  • Help you understand why so many Christians struggle to relate their faith to their daily work.
  • Unravel the Church’s ambiguous teaching on vocation, money, business and discipleship.
  • Better equip your ministry to the members of your congregation in their work day lives.

Over to You

At you can find a truly interactive Christian community helping you find all you need to live, learn and grow your faith.

Most of the working population of a church are engaged in the commercial world of making, mending, buying, selling – none of them traditionally labelled as ‘vocational’ but all in need of the Christian voice.

  • If you’re a worker, what do you need from Sunday to apply your faith to your daily work?
  • If you’re a minister, what tips have you for making your teaching irelevant to the working life?

 Tell us. Post your ideas, views and tips – beautiful, bizarre and brilliant at

23rd February

February 23rd, 2012 - Posted & Written by Les Ellison

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