Should Christians Participate in Network Marketing

This is a tough question—one I wrestled with for quite some time. While I don’t feel qualified to answer for you definitively, “Yes” or “No”, I can point you to the questions I asked myself. Not all network marketing or direct selling opportunities are right for all people, and some are in stark contrast to biblical values. Yet, many direct selling opportunities create ways to honor people, honor our families, and even honor God.

When choosing a company to partner with, you need to assess their values before you decide to align with them. You are their word-of-mouth advertising, so choose carefully.

Here are some questions to ask yourself before you land on a firm “Yes” or “No”.


Does your company honor people?

The Bible calls us to love our neighbors as ourselves. (Mark 12:31) Do your sales and marketing methods honor people, or are you merely trying to extract value? If you are adding value to the lives of others and they genuinely feel that from you, you are on the right track. Keep people and relationships as a high value.

Hint: if you’re sending unsolicited messages to people about your product or opportunity without establishing a relationship, they will probably feel as if you only want to extract value from them.

If you are trying to sell when someone really just needs a friend, check your heart.


Another way to honor people is to make sure the people making your products are treated well. This brings us to the next question:

Do you know how products are sourced?

No matter what you are selling, it has to come from somewhere. Is it made in a factory or grown in the ground? Who is responsible for this process and how are they treated? Does your company use ethical, fair-trade practices? Are they good stewards of creation? Know your supply chain.

Does your company or upline encourage manipulative behavior?

I hate to see others manipulated or mislead with false information. If your company or upline encourages you to market your product with exaggerated “before and after” photos, inflated numbers, or other false information, you won’t feel good about adding to your profit margin or your team. And people won’t feel good about you once they realize you’ve misled them. The bible says we will give an account for these things. (Matthew 12:36)


Is the emphasis on the love of money?


Depending on a company’s compensation plan, there is a lot of money to be made in network marketing. As the company’s word-of-mouth advertising, you can be paid greatly. My husband has worked as a creative director in advertising for years. When we were saving for our wedding, a client he was working with paid as much for as stock photo as we paid for the entire catering budget! The lesson I learned from that and several other insights from his career: traditional advertising is very expensive. When a company chooses to forgo traditional advertising in exchange for word-of-mouth advertising or direct selling, they can redirect their advertising dollars to their representatives.

Money is a tool that we can use to build, but it can also be a trap or an idol. Be careful that your opportunity doesn’t lead you on a path of worshiping this resource. (1 Timothy 6:10)

Are your company’s values in conflict with Biblical values?

Lastly, you can ask yourself this blanket question to cover any other areas in question. Pray Psalm 139 over your decision, asking God to search your heart. Ask Him to direct your steps and reveal any truth you need to see. Wait patiently for an answer.

I hope these questions help to steer you in the right direction. Having income from a network marketing opportunity has been a blessing for our family and allowed me to be a stay-at-home mom. However, not every opportunity is right for maintaining your integrity as a believer and sowing into a Godly legacy.


So, should Christians participate in network marketing? Not if it causes you to compromise your values. Once you work through the wrestling and land in the right place, you’ll be able to move forward or walk away in confidence.


The 5 Regrets of the Dying.

Last year when we moved to Nashville, I signed up to receive notification emails for upcoming estate sales in town. I browse through the photos to see if it’s worth dragging the children with me on a Friday morning, early enough to get the good things. As you might imagine, it’s tricky to properly browse an estate sale with small children in tow. We avoid the rooms filled with crystal and other breakable things, and stick to our search for records, vintage books, or other folksy treasures.

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I can’t help but wonder about the people selling their things. Lately I’ve noticed a ton of big collections: coins, china, figurines—the sale announced today features a large collection of pocketknives—and sadness strikes me. Is this what the owners thought would happen as they spent years amassing collections? That strangers would riffle though and offer a few bucks for it?

In Bronnie Ware’s book, The Top Five Regrets of the Dying, she unpacks a few big themes that she experienced while working in palliative care. Can you guess what the top five are? What about what’s not on the list?

On the list:
• I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
• I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.
• I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
• I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
• I wish I had let myself be happier.

NOT on the list:
• I wish I had kept my house perfectly immaculate every day.
• I wish I hadn’t wasted all that time with my children.
• I wish I had collected more stuff.
• I wish I had watched more TV instead of finishing my novel.
• I wish I had spent less time around a campfire having all those great conversations.

These are a few of the things I feel are keeping us stuck on the surface of life, when we’re really created dig deeply.

We’re created for meaningful relationships and experiences, yet many of us are stuck on hamster wheels that generate that list of regrets.

Meeting others’ expectations instead of our own—or God’s.

Working to buy things we don’t need with money we don’t have to impress people we don’t like. (Dave Ramsey paraphrase)

Stewing on ideas or feelings without knowing how to authentically and meaningfully communicate.

Having thousands of “friends” on social media, but not investing well with those who matter most.

Doing the things that keep us busy instead of feeding our souls.

What small steps can you take today to be on the path to fulfillment rather than regret?