8 Reasons Ministry Students Should Minor in Business
Thought Leader: Christi Sanders, DBA
Adding a minor to your degree program can be a great way to customize your college experience. A combination many people don't immediately think of is combining a business minor with a degree in ministry. To show the the benefits of such an academic pairing, I'd like to share with you eight reasons why I believe it is a wise decision for ministry majors to get a minor in business .
8. A Business degree can help you find work if you are called to a small ministry that can't afford to pay you a full time salary - or at all.
Let’s face it, many recent graduates will likely find ministry positions that don’t pay a lot. Sometimes, not even enough to support yourself, much less a family. Or, you may end up in a small church or organization where you feel you’ve been called, but they can’t afford to pay you a salary. When my father went to Elm Grove A/G in Tolar, Texas in 1983, there were exactly 3 little old ladies in a one-room church with no air conditioning or indoor plumbing. But God had spoken, and so we went. Within a year, we were cramming 100 people in that tiny building and were knee-deep in a building program. But my dad worked a full time job for many years along with pastoring, and it provided our church a chance to grow without the immediate burden of supporting the pastor’s family.
A business degree will provide you with marketable job skills that you can not only use to help your ministry, but to get a paying job!
7. A Business degree will help you learn about buying property, building buildings, and obtaining loans.
We aren’t born knowing how to conduct business, and most ministries have the goal of growth. If they don’t, well, that’s another conversation. Operating in a non-profit environment is not the same as buying a car or even a house. When it’s time for your church to purchase new property, start a building program, or get a loan, you need to know what the laws are. Understanding the process from a business perspective can help you avoid common pitfalls that could cost your ministry both time and money.
6. A Business degree can help you identify with your people.
The majority of church members work in some sort of business capacity. If you have a Business degree, you will be better equipped to minister to them because you will understand more of what they deal with in their daily lives.
5. A Business degree can help you grow your ministry.
What is your plan for letting the community know about your ministry? Do you know how to market your ministry to particular people groups? Spreading the gospel takes on many forms in our technologically advanced world. Having a business degree can help you get the message out about your ministry, and the love of Jesus. Additionally, you can learn how to use a variety of marketing materials that are very useful in ministry positions.
4. A Business degree can help you keep your ministry afloat when lean times come (and they do from time to time).
Being knowledgeable about economics, finances, and how these things impact families can help you assess your ministry resources and make decisions about where to save and where to spend.
3. A Business degree will prepare you to manage staff.
Do you know how to write employee performance reviews? Are you familiar with employment laws as they relate to non-profit organizations? What does the law say about exempt versus non-exempt employees? Have you ever fired anyone? Do you know what a bona fide occupational qualification is? If you answer to any of these question is “no”, then you need to get a business degree. Churches and non-profit organizations are not exempt from following labor laws, compensation laws, and discrimination laws. You need to know how these issues can impact your ministry.
2. A Business degree will help you to understand the legal implications of leading a ministry.
Non-profit organizations have unique legal status and rules that impact the operation, financial management, taxes, etc. It is vitally important to understand these regulations so that your church stays in compliance. How would you deal with a registered sex offender who has gotten saved and wants to be involved in your church? How do you do a background check? What is your personal liability and that of the church if a mistake is made? These types of questions can be answered by obtaining a business degree.
1. A Business degree can help you avoid making a mistake with finances.
Let’s face it, we live in a world where the media is eagerly awaiting another church scandal, and an opportunity to paint Christians as hypocrites, thieves, bigots, etc.
The reality of our world is that no matter how strong the call of God is on your life, and no matter how hard you work, a mishandling of church funds can destroy your ministry faster than you can blink.
By minoring in business, you can learn about non-profit finances, budgeting, taxes, and general money management. If you struggle to manage your own money, these skills can help you personally, too. In ministry positions, we need to stay beyond reproach in our finances, both personally and professionally. A business degree can help!
What are your thoughts on this? Do you have any other ideas of how obtaining a Business minor would be a good compliment to a ministry degree? Let us know your thoughts by commenting below.
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