Coronavirus: 5 Steps to Being a Christian Business Person Right Now
Mike, a table host for the High Tech Prayer Breakfast, asked this question over lunch, “What am I to do as a Christian in business during this time of coronavirus? It seems like such a great time to talk about Jesus.”
Another of my guests said without a moment’s pause, “People are thinking they will either get sick or go broke.”
He defined the problem really quickly and succinctly.
What are we as Christians in business supposed to do?
Mike went on to explain a bit more of his thinking that was driving his question.
“We are called to be the light of Christ wherever we are. This unprecedented market shift is giving us the opportunity to start and build relationships. Relationships we might never have had without this coronavirus. People are afraid. They want to do something, but there is nothing to do. The advice is don’t meet in large groups and wash your hands frequently. All the tactics to fight this thing are defensive.”
Mark, another table host, then said, “This virus really gripped me with fear at first. So I prayed to God. I asked him to remove this fear from me. What I heard him say during my time of prayer was ‘Surrender.’ I realized this was a crisis of faith. I needed to trust God not only with my life after death but also with my life right now. I left that prayer time in peace about all that is going on.”
I realized this was step one of how to be on purpose for Jesus Christ during the coronavirus. Here are some of the other steps, including this first step, we eventually agreed to.
1. Surrender yourself to Jesus Christ
Mike, the guy who initially asked the question, said, “Surrender is always the first step in our faith in Jesus Christ. It starts there and continues there. Fear should trigger surrender not more fear. We need to trust Jesus.”
If we are going to help people in this condition, we need to not be suffering from the same condition. We can’t give what we don’t have. As a Christian, I must pass on the peace I have in these times of chaos. I must keep my head when everyone else is losing theirs.
2. Build relationships by seeking to understand before being understood
This is all about caring for others with sincerity. We love by listening and not by talking. Ask people how they are doing. Listen. Don’t try to one-up them by expressing your concerns and problems. These conversations are not about you. They are about the person Jesus put in front of you. Love them by listening to them.
We were about to pray thanksgiving for the food just delivered. We asked the waitress, “How can we pray for you?”
Our waitress said, “Pray for our business to come back. Business is way off. They already sent three servers home.”
3. Take the conversation to God
The person you are talking to knows there is no real answer to these fears. They are real, no denying it. People are getting sick, and people’s livelihoods are being threatened.
As you pray for this person, be asking God how you might help them. God has given you resources. You have a network, skills, experience, and money.
4. Help them
Now that you know what the person needs, help them if you can. If they are most afraid of getting sick, share your story of surrender just like Mark shared his with us at lunch.
When Mark told of praying to remove fear, it really had an impact on me. After hearing his story, I said to myself, “What he did was right. He asked God to take this fear. He gave his fear to God, and God took it from him. Look at him and how at peace he is with all this. I need to do the same.”
The waitress was clearly concerned about her livelihood. She needed help. There were not many guests in the restaurant for her to care for. This meant tips were going to be way off.
When the check came, we looked at each other and knew what we needed to do. We were each going to leave this young lady an outsized tip. We talked for a minute and came to an agreement. Then someone upped the amount. And we agreed again.
Lunch went on. We got caught up in the business we were there to discuss. I didn’t even realize the waitress picked up the signed credit card receipts.
Out of nowhere, the waitress was standing next to our table. She said, “I want to thank you all. Thank you.”
5. Stay in touch
If appropriate, stay in touch with the person you helped. You just started a new relationship. You loved this person by listening to them. You prayed for them. You helped them. You provided something they needed. You showed them a glimpse of Jesus. You were a light during their dark time.
Continue to show your love by staying in touch.
These are the steps we came to in answering Mike’s question.
Jesus wants us to talk about him and the impact he had on our life. To this end, we must have a meaningful connecting point. In good times, it is hard to find this connection with people. But now we know the connection.
Everyone is fearful of getting sick or going broke. They’ll bring it up. All you have to do is listen and help.
That’s what it means to be the light of Christ in the marketplace.