Southern Pastor: How to Minister to Businessmen

A man in a suit and tie
A man in a suit and tie (photo: Hunters Race via
By Li ShiguangMay 10th, 2024

For many churches in China, pastoring businessmen may be the most challenging ministry. Businessmen make money through business, bringing donations and offerings to the church. Meanwhile, they often have many complaints and opinions about the church, as they are shrewd.

Reverend Gao has served in an economically developed city in South China for two or three decades. Having been in business himself, he has unique insights into nurturing businessmen.

The church he serves mainly consists of businessmen. He said that businessmen generally place profits at the forefront, followed by business relationships. At the same time, they face various temptations and trials in their lives. Many businessmen may have successful careers, but usually, their marital relationships are strained, with infidelity and extramarital affairs being common.

In pastoral ministry, some pastors like to talk to them about business knowledge, but Gao said they have heard enough and don't want to hear anymore. He stated, "As pastors, we must admit that businessmen are sharper than pastors in terms of business."

This pastor declared that in their business dealings, businessmen face a great deal of pressure and anxiety, which pastors need to help them reduce. On the other hand, the church also needs to guide marriage and family matters. They may be excellent businessmen, but not necessarily good husbands or fathers, concerned about how their children will become wealthy.

In Gao's view, there are three types of businessmen: some simply make money; some give back to society after making money as social entrepreneurs; and some bring blessings to society with a sense of mission. The pastor emphasized that pastors may not make money, but they should tell businessmen why they do.

"The church needs to help businessmen safeguard their families so that they can do business with peace of mind without worrying about conflicts at home. Though they are successful businessmen and entrepreneurs, they may not know how to manage their marriage and family lives. However, in this regard, pastors are experts and can provide practical support," Gao added.

Only when the family is stable can businessmen stay emotionally healthy. Even if their business loses money or unexpected situations arise, a stable family can be their refuge at this time, as they can rest at home, regroup, and be stronger again, Gao concluded.

- Translated by Abigail Wu

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