Christian Business Excellence – What is It & Why Should You Care?

If you are reading this post, there is a high likelihood that you are Christian business leader seeking to build a better business. You are on or at least interested in being on the journey to business excellence. So let’s examine what the term Christian Business Excellence stands for.


We’ll start by breaking down each of the words in Christian Business Excellence.

Christian – Oh, how this word gets tossed around! An ABC news poll states that 83% of Americans identify themselves as Christian – in contrast to only 1/3 of the world’s population. A Pew research study has the number of Christians in America closer to 70%, down from 78% in 2007. Either way, the great majority of Americans identify ourselves as Christians. Now ask any of us how we define the term and the answers will differ wildly. Let’s go to the dictionary to start.

According to, the term “Christian” could be any of the following:

  • a person who believes in Jesus Christ; adherent of Christianity.
  • a person who exemplifies in his or her life the teachings of Christ:
  • a member of any of certain Protestant churches, as the Disciples of Christ and the Plymouth Brethren.
  • the hero of Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress.
  • a male given name.

For our purposes, we’ll focus on the first two definitions summarized as someone who believes in Jesus Christ as the son of God and works to follow Jesus’ example. In my mind Christianity is not about what church you attend but what you believe and those beliefs should be reflected in our actions.

Business – Defined as “the purchase and sale of goods (including services) in an attempt to make a profit.” This one is a lot easier to define. As business people our goal is to meet a customer’s need and make a profit meeting that need.

Excellence – Defined as “the fact or state of excelling; superiority; eminence.” This definition is a bit scarier for those of us out there in the marketplace. Excelling seems pretty doable. It all depends on who we compare ourselves to, right?

But maintaining “superiority” in any marketplace today is a daunting task! You might reach it one day, but maintaining it in a hyper-competitive business world is much more difficult. As evidence take a look at Jim Collins’ search for “visionary” (who were all certainly “excellent”) companies in his classic book, “Built to Last.” The research started with 700 companies and ended with only 18 that made the cut. Maintaining excellence is incredibly difficult and that is what the 18 companies profiled in “Built to Last” did.

The difficulty is why they call it the “journey” to excellence. It is never ending.

But’s the journey is so worth it! We’ll discuss why the journey is worth it in our next post.

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