CNLP 047: Breaking Down the Divide Between Business and Church—An Interview with David McDaniel

There are business leaders in almost every congregation.

But often, there’s a divide—even a debate—about how to use business ideas to further the church’s mission.

David McDaniel, a Harvard MBA who has worked as an entrepreneur, a church leader (leading North Point’s multisite strategy) and as a church elder talks about where business ideas come from and how they can help the church’s mission.

Welcome to Episode 47 of the Podcast.


Guest Links: David McDaniel

David McDaniel on Twitter

Huntington Industrial Partners

Links Mentioned in this Episode

North Point Community Church

Andy Stanley

The Orange Tour

Willow Creek Community Church

Reggie Joiner

Connexus Church

Good to Great by Jim Collins

Bill Hybels  

One Minute Manager by Ken Blanchard

Jeff Henderson

Preaching Rocket

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown

Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God by Tim Keller

Patrick Lencioni

Seven Timeless Principles for Effective Leaders by Joel Manby

3 Things You Can Do Right Away

If you don’t know how to have a conversation about the similarities between business and church, David McDaniel explains how you can bridge that gap.

  1. Trust God’s work wherever you see it. Church leaders may not be quick to trust business leaders because they’ve been taken advantage of in the past. But there’s a lot to learn from them. The same principles that allow a business to thrive are operating under God’s principles. It happens to work for believers and non-believers. Tear down the walls that differentiate church leadership and business leadership; they’re more similar than you think. The more we tear down those walls, the better served we are. If church leaders would get rid of that notion, they would avail themselves of wonderful leadership principles and wonderful leadership people that would love to be part of their church.
  2. Get to know a business leader. If you’re not willing to grow, you’re not only hurting yourself, but you’re compromising your ministry. Get to know business leaders in your church in the same way you’d get to know other members of your church. Be curious, and you’ll find there are more similarities than there are differences. Ask questions, and do everything to discover God’s leadership principles from every angle. You’ll minister better, you’ll preach better, and you’ll reach more people.
  3. Let business leaders know their skill set is valued. Business leaders want to be in church, and they’re attracted to healthy ministries that are growing or have growth potential. They want to have a voice, and they want to be involved. Business people love it when churches adhere to business principles, read books, apply them and make them work. Additionally, you can see the thumb print that God put in them, and you have the ability to identify it. Nurture and encourage their talents! Get to know business professionals as you would any other group in your church, and even allow them to hold leadership positions.

Quotes from David


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Next Episode: Jeff Price

You should wait a year before you change anything, right? Well, that’s not how Jeff Price did it. Jeff shares how he created a mandate for massive change quickly in an established church and lived to tell about it.

Subscribe for free now, and you won’t miss Episode 48.

In the meantime, got a question?

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  1. Paul Cummings on August 14, 2015 at 9:52 am

    thanks Carey – this Pod Cast was really helpful. I come from the business world – Executive Director of a social service agency and I see job descriptions, budgets, corporate structure and organization from a hands on perspective. I see how corporately, things can be done better in the church but think sometimes, I run up against the “church” or spiritual side of things where we let the Holy Spirit do the structuring. I agree that the Holy Spirit needs to be number one at all times, unfortunately, Holy Spirit doesn’t put things on paper and people end up stepping on toes in the rolls they play. Thanks for making this very clear for me…..

  2. Zachary Verbracken on August 5, 2015 at 4:59 am

    Loved the episode. One theme I’ve picked up on lately with many leadership podcasts is mentoring relationships where the mentor and mentee encourage, push and affirm each other to be better.

    I noticed it with Andy Stanley and Clay Scroggins, Josh Gagnon and Gordon MacDonald and now here on this podcast. I’d love to hear a future episode on how seek out a mentor/the importance of having a ministry mentor/etc.!

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