As leaders in Young Living, James and I strive to operate our business, as well as our household, from a thoroughly Christian worldview. Because people know that about us, we have frequently been asked about our thoughts on how we as Christians should or shouldn’t interact with secular companies as employees, as customers or, in our case, as network marketing professionals.
A Christian Work Ethic
There are a lot of different situations in the work place that call for varying responses from Christians. I’ve often wondered about the moral dilemma a Believer might face while working in a grocery or drugstore that sells pornographic magazines, or, worse, the abortion pill. How do they handle that?
Perhaps they request not to actually participate in those sorts of transactions; but, regardless, I’m pretty sure there are plenty of Christians who continue to work for such companies. The fact is, Christians work for and engage in business with non-Christians all the time. This has been true throughout the ages. Imagine the sorts of frustrations Joseph must have faced as he faithfully served the Pharaoh. Yet, God blessed him and used his efforts to save Jacob, his family, and all of Egypt.
Unless you live in an Amish community, most of us also work for and engage in daily business with unbelievers, as well as brothers and sisters who have drastic theological differences.
We homeschool our children, and we discovered long ago the benefits of networking with other homeschoolers. But that also meant working with families whose beliefs were sometimes drastically different than ours. Put Presbyterians, Baptists, Messianic Jews, Roman Catholics, and Mennonites all in the same room and you have the potential for all sorts of fireworks!
James and I market essential oils for a secular company that produces the purest and most therapeutically effective essential oils on the planet. They also sometimes word their materials in ways with which we, as Christians, don’t agree, or in ways that may make us uncomfortable.
To begin with, Young Living does not claim to be a “Christian company” (if there actually is such a thing). However, in almost every area, it is run in a way that is consistent with, and very friendly to, Christian family values. We have witnessed the integrity and ethical attitude of the corporate leadership, as well as in many of Young Living’s successful independent distributors. You see, while Young Living is technically a secular company, there are many, many Christians who are involved in it – and it shows.
One of the beauties of network marketing, specifically with Young Living, is that we are free to run and promote our organizations with our own priorities and flavor. While that means a lot of religious diversity, it also means religious freedom.
In our case, because James and I are Christians, we, like so many of you, operate our organization from a distinctly Christian worldview, hoping to give God all the glory for the amazing oils we promote. Because of this, we tend to attract members with similar desires and values. This helps our teams to work together in a fairly like-minded setting.
Freedom of Religious Expression
Because of Young Living’s business model, we, as the Common Scents Team, have the freedom to offer our members distinctly Christian literature, videos, Facebook discussion groups, seminars, or whatever else we choose to provide – allowing Young Living to supply the products and resources we need or that we choose to promote.
Some network marketing companies forbid any mention of God or religion at all. I am thankful for the freedom Young Living gives us to express our Christianity as we wish. My husband has been asked on multiple occasions to pray before meals at various Young Living events. And we’ve had the opportunity to openly share our faith.
However, we sometimes receive questions and concerns over some of the New Age sounding verbiage that is occasionally found in the marketing materials, and even, at times, direct quotes from certain leaders in Young Living.
One thing to remember is that Gary Young is the CEO of an amazing company, but he is not your pastor. So, there is no need to go to him for pastoral advice or to be shocked if his theological opinions do not perfectly line up with yours. He is a kind and brilliant man, and an expert in his field, but that field happens to grow lavender, not hermeneutics. You wouldn’t go to your pastor to learn about distillation or the mysteries of terpenes or phenols, so let’s be consistent.
Commitment to Purity
There are other essential oil companies out there, but there aren’t any that come close to the purity, quality, and expertise of Young Living’s Seed to Seal process.
Before using an essential oil on my children, I need to know and trust where it came from. And Young Living’s oils are the only ones I trust. I’ve been to Young Living’s farms, I’ve watched the distillation process in person, I’ve seen Gary Young’s obsession with purity and efficacy. It’s real.
Another thing to keep in mind is that we all market products every single day. James often “markets” products for Apple Computer (for free) when he tells people how much he loves his Mac. That doesn’t mean he supports the charities or the initiatives of the CEO of Apple, a man who last year gave over $100 million to left-wing causes.
Marketing All the Day
I love Whole Foods, Restoration Hardware, Trader Joe’s, Soft Surroundings, and even Costco, and I tell people about it all the time on Facebook by posting about the good service I received, or a new product I’m excited about!
I have no clue as to the theological beliefs of the CEO’s of any of these companies. And, it’s probably pretty likely we wouldn’t be in agreement with their religious beliefs. But I bet they employ hundreds, if not thousands of Christians.
Yes, we would prefer it if Young Living’s literature stuck exclusively to the science of the oils, and if they didn’t sometimes get caught up in the popular verbiage of the mainstream natural health culture (which is highly influenced by the New Age), but given today’s regulatory environment, it is very, very difficult.
Still, personally, I believe it is our call as Christians to take dominion in this area—to be a natural, positive, organic influence. Not naggy nay-sayers.
I believe that we can and should be that influence through Young Living. Why shouldn’t God’s people have access to the best? And, yes, they truly are the very best.
And here’s another point. Last year, at the Master Leader Retreat in Ecuador, Mary Young alluded to a quote often made by her husband, Gary, regarding Young Living’s compensation plan. She said,
“Money in the hands of good people does really great things. For too long, money has been seen as an evil. And, when that’s the case—when only “bad” people have money, it leaves the generous and the benevolent, or those who would be, without the ability to change the world. Money in the hands of world changers actually changes things.” – Mary Young
Equipping and Empowering Christian Families
For us, the network marketing opportunity has allowed us to equip and empower everyday Christian families with the ability to get out of debt, to stay home together to work as a family, to support the needs of others, to experience a healthier lifestyle, and to be free from the rat race that enslaves so many. We’ve also been able to donate to various causes and help people in need that wouldn’t have been possible otherwise.
Our organization has thousands of members and, we’re gaining anywhere from 800-1500 new members every month! It is our prayer that the Common Scents team will be an influential force, and an effective tool that God uses to draw many precious lives into His Kingdom. I believe He can do that through our witness within Young Living and without.
And I believe this is a far more powerful and productive approach to this subject than agonizing over a few paragraphs of silly verbiage in a catalog. So, the answer is yes. I do believe that Christians, of all people, should market Young Living Essential Oils. Let’s work together to make a difference!