Living as a Christian in today's society can be a challenge. But mirroring Christ in any business venture can be even more of a challenge, something Patrice Tsague is well aware of.
Tsague is a Christian business man, training believers to build kingdom businesses through his ministry known as the Nehemiah Project.
"It's about Christians recognizing that their business is their platform for ministry. It's their pulpit," he explained.
Don't Leave Your Faith at Home
Tsague says too many Christians leave their faith behind when operating in the business world.
"They have falsely concluded that business is about making money. My faith is about praying, going to church and doing all these Christian activities and not brought the two together," he said.
Through his Biblical Entrepreneurship course, he teaches business leaders to use the Bible as a guide for exercising Godly stewardship.
"Business has gotten a bad reputation. It's because people have chosen to use the wrong motivation and the wrong practices," said Jerome Leonard, president of the Taylor Leonard Corporation.
The Nehemiah Project works in partnership with Regent University's Center for Entrepreneurship. The center's director, Dr. John Mulford, says the need for core Christian values is vital.
"Over and over again, I hear people saying, 'I'll never do business with another Christian because I've been burned,'" he told CBN News.
Multilevel Marketing or Pyramid Scheme?
One popular business opportunity pursued throughout the Christian community is multi-level marketing. It's model compensates workers not only for sales they personally generate, but also for the results from sales people they recruit.
Hundreds of these companies exist -- selling everything from clothing to jewelry to vacations.
Many Christians are attracted to multi-level marketing companies such as Mary Kay Cosmetics, Avon and Amway. Experts agree that while many of these companies are viable business models - they urge believers to use caution.
"When you appeal to greed, then the person who's doing it isn't thinking about providing a service in a value to someone. He's just trying to figure out how am I going to make more money," Mulford explained.
Some argue it follows the same business model as pyramid schemes. Those illegal business practices promise participants payment, service or ideals primarily for enrolling other people rather than supplying any products or services.
"Unfortunately the way that's it's done there has not been too much difference between multi-level marketing and pyramid schemes," Tsague said.
"As Christians, we've got to ask the question, 'Am I getting into this thing because I'm trying to make more money or am I getting into this because I really want to serve people?'" he said.
"'And if all I do is serve people and never recruit one person can I still be successful?' If the answer is no, then that is a pyramid scheme," he added.
Mulford and Tsague both agree that the bottom line for Christians is to do business God's way.
"I think everyone should be sensitive to whoever they're marketing to so that if you see someone as an object just for your own benefit, then that's wrong whether it's a church member or as somebody you don't even know," Mulford said.