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I recently was asked this question. How would you answer it?

Is it OK for an elder to do network marketing business just like life insurance?


There are two issues that are appropriate for discussion:
First, is the business itself ethical? I don't know much about the business. Network marketing does not seem to me to be unethical. However, the particular business model maybe. WE could ask questions about whether or not the business is marketing to vulnerable persons? or whether or not the products are "good"? or whether it treats its workers justly (pay, working conditions, etc.).
Second, it may be that the person's business can create some conflicts of interest in the life of the church. Because of the ministry demands require certain kinds of relationships, the business relationships may jeopardize ministry. So it seems to me that it is worthwhile asking if the business relationships will undermine the leadership and pastoral relationships. Just as family relationships create conflicts, so too business relationships create conflicts.
I hope this provides some direction...

What should be added here is that the Church Order of the CRCNA leaves the matter of making judgments about the eligibility for office to the local council. Article 3 only specifies that it must be an adult confessing member who meets "the biblical requirements." It is not surprising, therefore, that synod has only rarely addressed the matter of who might be ineligible for the office of elder by reason of that person's vocation or career or job. The only discussions I have seen are those held years ago about Sunday labor and whether or not such Sunday labor is a "work of necessity." This was about nurses and milk delivery folk, etc. I have never run into any synodical statement on a person selling life insurance or doing network marketing.

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