Doing Business or Ministry?

Published: July 23rd, 2004

David Lang has written an insightful piece on the dichotomy between “business” and “ministry” in Bible software development. Interestingly enough, he is not the first developer to bring this subject up in recent months (see here). This, in itself, is a good sign, IMO.

David mentions some of the strengths and weaknesses of either model or approach, and my first reaction is always the same: anything that includes the word “Bible” in it is bound to be more than just business. I tend to look at this issue more in terms of striking the right balance than as a real “dichotomy.” To think that “Bible” cannot possibly be associated with the term “business” gives rise to a good number of isconceptions. As he puts it:

To be frank, I’ve seen the ministry label used to justify everything from shoddy workmanship to cut-throat competition to copyright infringement to failure to pay royalties to poor user support to practices which I think border on being deceptive. Thus, it’s not always so easy to conclude that “business” equals bad while “ministry” equals good.

The article also deals with the price of Bible software and the subjective perception of “affordability.”

Finally, there is also one thing I can personally relate to, and that is what the author calls “the challenge of self-definition.” Often times I am asked the question “Why are you not in ministry?” (read pastoral/teaching ministry) and “What do you do for a living instead?” In my experience, I have a much harder time trying to answer the first question, because it is based on a false premise. My answer is simply that I still am in ministry. Ministry of a different sort, but ministry after all!

This entry was posted on Friday, July 23rd, 2004 at 7:30 am and is filed under Blog/Article Watch. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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