Chickfila is the one business that Christians everywhere point to as an example of a missional business. Executing on every front. Customers, Employees, and Community are all impacted by ChickfilA (CFA). They’re one of the few companies that have their every move and values questioned. They close on a busy day of the year to make a statement. From a Christian perspective, Chickfila is as close to a “Christian” business as there is.
Recently they shifted from donating money to the Salvation Army to giving money to Junior Achievement, Covenant House and others. Some say they caved to pressure while others say it’s simply part of a realignment with core values. The claim is that Chick-fil-A has betrayed its own values.
Should We Care Where Businesses Donate?
In many instances, there are organizations that are doing many great things that are not overtly Christian. Should we be upset that there are organizations washing the hands and feet of the poor but aren’t sharing the gospel? As Christians, we don’t get a monopoly on caring for others. God wired us to love Him, be loved by Him and to love others. Should we care where organizations give?
Only if you’re going to do something about it.
If you take the words of Jesus and want to apply them in an intensely legalistic way, then every dollar you spend gives a small piece of your heart to the organization. However, if you take this stance then you likely won’t have an cellular service, you won’t be able to watch any streaming service, you’ll never be able to visit Disneyland or amusement park and you’ll likley miss many household goods.
That being said, where an organization gives their money usually reflects the heart of the organization. Intentional or not, Christians or not, people tend to give where they are the most holy discontent. If you examine your bank account, where does most of your money go? Your biggest chunks are likely what you care the most about. We can apply that same logic to an organization.
Should we care? Only if we’re prepared to do something about it.
Before we go into the evaluation, we have to understand the facts. ChickfilA formerly supported Salvation Army, but officially has said they want to realign priorities.
Chick-fil-A’s New Partners
Convenant House: Homelessness. For more than four decades, Covenant House has helped transform and save the lives of more than a million homeless, runaway and trafficked young people – reaching 70,000 youth each year.
Why Are People Upest? Has policies in place to protect transgender people from discriminnation and harrassment. Respected the person’s choice to call themselves whatever they want.
Junior Achivement: Education:JA offers kindergarten to 12th grade programs that foster work-readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy skills, and use experiential learning to inspire students to dream big and reach their potential.
Why Are People Upset? JA joined a coalition that’s motto is “too busy to hate,” that is supportive of LGBT agendas.
YWCA, Pace Center For Girls & Other Charities: Education & Homelessness. Organizations like these fight homelessness and educate young girls to help them live sustainable lives.
Why Are People Upset: Both named organization have pro-abortion stances (not just pro-choice, but pro-abortion).
Bottomline: From what I could read, CFA is giving money to organizations that are not overtly Christian, but are doing great works and sometimes happen to support non-Christian things.
To evaluate whether or not CFA is still missional, let’s review their mission, and see if it lines up with a Missional Kingdom business.
Is Chick-fil-A Still A Missional Business?
To glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us and to have a positive influence on all who come into contact with Chick-fil-A
When I say “missional” I’m asking, is the company impacting employees, customers and the community for the greater good in alignment with their misssion. In this case, CFA has decided to make their mission about “glorifying God” “being a faithful steward” and “having a positive influence.”
It’s these 3 aspects in these 3 areas we have to look.
Impact on Employees & Customers
My last visit to a CFA restaurant was nothing new. Young men and women served me fast food in the same excellent manner that they always have. I’m not in internal meetings but I doubt their training has changed. I think in this case, they are nailing their mission here. I
Impact on Community
On the surface, the re-organization of giving seems more intentional. It would seem to make a greater community impact, at the expense of a few values. It’s here that I think Chick-fil-A would have been extremely missional if they didn’t include God or steward in their mission statement. With these changes, I must say from the outside looking in that it appears as though CFA is only following through on one of these. As it is, I think they need to reevaluate their mission or their giving process.
What To Do With All This?
Going through this process with Chick-fil-A is healthy. It reminds me of how we might evaluate a political candidate. The difference between looking at CFA through this lens and getting upset versus looking at Verizon, is that Verizon doesn’t make any claims to bring God glory. It reminds me of my post about worship music. To be truly missional CFA needs to change their mission or change their giving, in my mind.
When Jesus came, He instructed us to love others. He didn’t say, “withold your love from those you disagree with.” He hung out with prostitute and thieves. I’d like to think that it’s that interpretation of love that was behind the change. I’d like to think they got together and implemented a plan to make a great impact, despite of the ridicule they’d face from Christians. I can disagree with LGBT on marriage, but I would never want someone who I disagree with to be offended by anything other than that disagreement. In our world today, this disagrement is paramount to outright rejection in many eyes. I’d like to think that CFA decided that the pain that the LGBT community seemed to feel was something that they felt didn’t bring glory to God so they shifted away from that.
I’d like to think all that, but there are too many organizations on this list that are outright anti-Christian that tells me if you’re a fan of CFA, you’re in store for more changes. The real question we have to ask ourselves is, does doing more intentional “good” better for the Kingdom than doing more good with “Christian” agendas?