I’ve had the opportunity to offer the services of inLight Consulting to many Marketplace Leaders. In almost every circumstance, two concerns are eventually communicated: the cost of our services and the risk of lawsuit. The concern about cost is easily addressed – we don’t charge for our services. It’s the second concern I would like to address here – the business risks associated with the issue of religious expression in the marketplace.

For this discussion, imagine or draw a line on a piece of paper. That line represents the “separation boundary” that most Marketplace Leaders do not want to cross. For example, you don’t require someone to go to your church in exchange for a raise; and you don’t require each employee to attend the business’ weekly Bible Study.

Now, draw a stick figure representing how close you are willing to approach the “separation boundary” in your sphere of influence. If you are like most Marketplace Leaders, your stick figure is a very safe distance removed from the line. This distance represents what you could be doing on the safe side of the boundary. Let’s face it. Most of us are fearful (and rightfully so) of the consequences related to crossing that line. And most don’t have the time, energy or attention to bother understanding the true definition of the boundary. And fear is not a bad thing…right?

BTW: I have personally experienced both attack and fear in this area. In my situation, I was put on probation for sharing my faith at work. My job was at stake. Who wouldn’t be afraid? But fear is an insidious thing. It can cause some irrational behavior. In my case, I was exonerated of all accusations; but the experience left me with an oppression that lasted for years. I became inordinately fearful of the “separation boundary”.

The truth is that the “separation boundary” has been well defined by law. The problem is not in the definition, but in the Marketplace Leaders lack of attention to God’s call for their expression of faith in the marketplace. The truth is that there is much that can be done on the safe side of the boundary. The truth is that if He calls you across the line, it is the best place for you. The truth is that God will protect those He calls.

The last truth is that the true distance between our stick figure and the “separation boundary” speaks volumes about our faith and commitment to the Lord of our marketplaces.

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2Timothy 1:7 (NKJV)

(In my next post, I will discuss another line of separation that most in the Body of Christ are inordinately fearful to approach.)