Business And The Church

MoneyCross1There is a lot of water cooler talk these days about doing business in the Black church. Where there is talk, there is also plenty of opinion. The common argument is that the Black church should not have a business side. I think the discussion should not necessarily be about doing business in the Black church, or doing business with the Black church. The discussion should be about doing the business OF the Black church.


Over fifty-five years ago, I remember my siblings and me, all six of us walking to church on Sunday. Our dad did not go to church, but he would follow along one block behind us in his truck to make sure that we didn't deviate from the straight and narrow path.

The church that we went to was a neighborhood church and obviously within walking distance, so our dad thought anyway. We would pass the historic Baptist church on the corner and the hallelujah shouting church. We would pass the store front church and the street preacher in front of the bar, which was closed on Sundays back then.

I remember conversations my mom had with the neighbors talking about tithing not being enough to keep the lights on in the church, so other sources of revenue was always being sought. We would go to church for carnival fun and would buy candy apples and other goodies to help out the church. My parents would never buy the fish dinner because they would have to buy a total of six and buying six dinners was just out of the question.

There would always be a need to help someone. A home burned, a child was hit by a car or maybe a parent died and there was need to help that family. Our church would always come through. Sometimes the pastor came to my dad personally an asked him for additional help, which my dad would always give.

So churches have to generate enough cash flow to stay afloat and help the community and tithing usually just don't do it.

I grew up in the African Methodist Episcopal Church.

The African Methodist Episcopal Church, usually called the A.M.E. Church, is a predominantly African-American Methodist denomination based in the United States. It was founded by the Reverend Richard Allen in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1816 from several Black Methodist congregations in the mid-Atlantic area that wanted independence from white Methodists.

The Mission of the African Methodist Episcopal Church is to minister to the spiritual, intellectual, physical, emotional, and environmental needs of all people by spreading Christ's liberating gospel through word and deed. At every level of the Connection and in every local church, the African Methodist Episcopal Church shall engage in carrying out the spirit of the original Free African Society, out of which the A.M.E. Church evolved: that is, to seek out and save the lost, and serve the needy through a continuing program of
1. preaching the gospel,
2. feeding the hungry,
3. clothing the naked,
4. housing the homeless,
5. cheering the fallen,
6. providing jobs for the jobless,
7. administering to the needs of those in prisons, hospitals, nursing homes, asylums and mental institutions, senior citizens' homes; caring for the sick, the shut-in, the mentally and socially disturbed, and
8. encouraging thrift and economic advancement.
9. and bringing people back into church

The Black church is not only encouraged to generate enough income to support the community, but it is the duty of the Black church to inspire thrift and spawn economical advancement for its members.

Of the nine continuing program listen here, more than half need cash flow in order to function.
According to the mission statement of the A.M.E. Church, the business of the church, is business.