I have a number of friends that are entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs run in our family and that is likely why I have an appreciation for people of like mind. While we often think of entrepreneurs as people that risk capital to start their own businesses, there are other types of entrepreneurs that are looking to transform people, not just their personal economic conditions.
We need more people to consider becoming spiritual entrepreneurs. Spiritual entrepreneurs desire to be personally involved in the fulfillment of both the Great Commandment (love one another) and the Great Commission (make disciples). This has been the general charge given not to an institution called the church but the people that are followers of Christ.
Entrepreneurs are not satisfied with the status quo; they have an emotional desire to innovate, to change, to challenge. They are also highly resourceful, finding innovative ways to do more with less; they create enterprise, they build teams and organizations and grow-grow-grow!
In the 1950s a number of great men came on the scene and began a revolution within the church. Bob Pierce started World Vision; Bill Bright started Campus Crusade; James Rayburn started Young Life; and Billy Graham began his crusades. They were all entrepreneurs. Under-resourced and passionate, they were driven to change not only a nation but the world. They succeeded beyond what others could have even hoped. They operated outside of the traditional denominational walls and created a movement.
Today, when a pastor decides to start a church from scratch, or a church announces a new campus and appoints a campus pastor, an entrepreneur fills the role. These small, struggling and modest beginnings are not only led by entrepreneurs but also need individuals, couples and families to join them as spiritual entrepreneurs. These pastors need people that can come alongside them, sometimes even pick up and move their residence and find creative ways to do ministry and to challenge the status quo. Our communities are full of people that don’t know they desperately need God, don’t know there is so much more to life than what they are experiencing, don’t know that there are only two options that are available to them: life and death.
It’s likely more comfortable to fit in to growing churches, to follow well-established pathways and rely on contemporary but still conventional growth strategies. The spiritual entrepreneur, however, will find great satisfaction in challenging conventional thinking and will need to rely on the power, wisdom and strength of God.
Ken Behr is an executive pastor at Christ Fellowship, Palm Beach Gardens, FL. www.gochristfellowship.com