The first of two parts, this week’s episode finds the team speaking with Mike Sharrow, President and CEO of C12, an organization that provides a confidential and intimate environment where like-minded peers share ideas, discover and plan for areas in their business that need improvement, hold each other accountable, and encourage one another to conduct business in a God-honoring way.
Thanks to community member Eric Dunavant who responded to our request for great videos. He’s one that he thought would encourage and challenge our community of faith driven entrepreneurs on a Monday:
“You know you’re in a storm when you’re in a West Texas Storm”
“One of the years we gave away 82% of our net profits….we felt that God was saying that’s great, but you work with families, but what do they know of my love for them.”
“Each home we build gives us an opportunity to interact with more than 100 businesses and contractors. We view the businesses and contractors as trade partners. Besides dealing them them honestly and paying them regularly, we seek to help them grow their own business, with loans, providing start up capital and business mentoring.”
“God has allowed us to live a life we didn’t even know to dream”
Brandon Napoli explores the value of questions in our life. He dives deep into how they influence the choices we make and help others to make. Finally he reminds us that God is okay with us asking questions, in fact He wants us to. Maybe one of the 22 suggested daily questions will also help you to grow in your faith or calling…
A discussion with an entrepreneur who had begun to think about how to deliver “systematic surprises” led Rusty Rueff to think about it’s implication beyond product management. Systemic surprises are things that keep an offering fresh and exciting, without extra strain on the “system” so that these moments of surprise can be delivered flawlessly and with excellence. Rusty steps us through what systemic surprises could look like as part of our daily witness in the marketplace.
Jason Johnson, serial entrepreneur and founder of August Smart Homes, talks to Rusty and William about when the entrepreneurial itch first hit him while working at a large tech company. From humble beginnings, Jason explains how receiving a scholarship to Pepperdine University introduced him to the responsibility of calling and that entrepreneurship was a natural expression of that calling.
Click the title to really experience a regular Monday video that is a lot of fun! And also discover more about Entrepreneurial Leaders Organization and the upcoming “Entrepreneurial Leaders Programme” (“ELP”), a unique, one-week intensive and trans-formative experience for the world’s top Christian marketplace and entrepreneurial leaders.
Friday reflections: The Coffee Maker from Dan McComb.
Seeking God first in business with spiritual disciplines of prayer and fasting, daily scripture reading, and regular fellowship will always yield the best results. Ryan Derfler shares how he discovered that these disciplines help him to succeed in his business by talking less, trusting God for results, avoiding exaggeration, and waiting for God’s prompting of his next moves.
Huge opportunity for impact… How can faith driven entrepreneurs can get involved in supporting entrepreneurship in Africa.
When I was a child, I emigrated to the US from Africa with my family and never looked back. When I finally did go back in college, a deep desire was planted, growing stronger with each subsequent trip, to use my position of privilege and the skills I had gained to make an impact on the continent. On one such trip to my native homeland of Kenya, I met Courtney Rountree, one of my co-founders at Sinapis, and we began discussing the pressing problems we were seeing in front of us and how we could leverage the power of business to create positive economic and social impact. Although we did not know it at the time, Africa was truly on the cusp.
Indeed, its coming ascendance is well researched. In June 2010, McKinsey released a seminal report on Africa that projected by 2020, Africa’s GDP would reach $2.6 trillion, up $1 trillion from 2008. With increasing urbanization, Africa’s labor force is projected to reach 1.1 billion by 2040, overtaking China and India. By 2020…
In part two from the Alpine Inn, Henry, Rusty, and William field more questions from our guests but first gave some background on Inklings, the gathering of faith driven entrepreneurs in the Bay Area who meet regularly in the same vain of the original Inklings gathering of faith driven thinkers C.S. Lewis, J.R.R Tolkien, Dorothy Sayer and others.
It’s Monday…..my new favorite day of the week. The day when we share a great video celebrating the work of faith driven entrepreneurs. Bob Geldof eat your heart out……though I do still like the song, (link here to a video that’ll transport you back in time). But no, the “I Don’t Like Mondays” video is NOT the video that I want you all to start your week with. It’s this one that Kenman Wong sent me from Seattle Pacific. I had asked him about some of the content that had inspired him, and his students, the most and he gave me a short list. This was on it. And it’s really, really good I think. Some great quotes below:
”When I came to Christ, I still had the joy of business, but the world around m I think began to tell me me that business was something less and if you were really serious about your faith you would get involved in church and then you would get involved in ministry.”
“You were telling business guys …take the Gospel to work with you, share the Gospel with people, but still how you did what you did was a complete realm that was untouched by truth”
“I could see where I lost sight of individual intrinsic value of work, of individuals of community that we were trying to service demand. Rather thank asking if the demand was reasonable....we just serviced it and now we had a chance to think about what had we done.”
“The very act of work, this process, is an honorable thing and it pleases God. Work declares the glory of God.....that's the challenge for the Christian in the marketplace.”
As Genesis 1 shows us, the first thing God revealed about Himself in Scripture is not that He is loving, holy, omnipotent, gracious, or just. No, the first thing God showed us is that He is creative! For the first six days, God revealed His creative spirit by speaking stars, animals, and oceans into existence. Then, on the sixth day, He created man “in His own image” and called Adam to create, thus reflecting God’s image to the world.
To call a human being “creative” is redundant. We are all made in the image of the Creator God. But as Romans 12 makes clear, each of us has “different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us.” Some of us have clearly been granted more creative talents than others. Perhaps no Christian in the 20th Century provides a better example of this than C.S. Lewis, the acclaimed scholar, theologian, and author of masterpieces such as Mere Christianity, The Screwtape Letters, and of course, The Chronicles of Narnia.
Growing up in Ireland, Lewis appeared to be most comfortable when buried in a novel. But not only did Lewis consume literature; at a very early age, Lewis had begun writing and illustrating his own stories. Lewis obviously had a passion for writing, and it didn’t take long for others to validate his giftedness at the craft.
I have an allergic reaction to the common dilemma of the “success to significance” paradigm, as if a follower of Jesus could be “successful” for 20 years and then “make up lost time” being “significant” for a latter period. Eugene Peterson’s paraphrase of Jesus in Mark 8:37 says “What good would it do to get everything you want and lose you, the real you? What could you ever trade your soul for?”
Beyond our careers, in the businesses we lead, the same tension must be worked out as well. Is it a business that funds ministry? Is it a ministry that does some business to pay the bills? Is that perhaps a false dichotomy? Is there a “tertium quid” resolution of tension in doing business AS ministry for the entrepreneur who is primarily a citizen of the Kingdom of God? I’m pretty sure Jesus didn’t call any part-time disciples and the Great Commission seemed to have an “all y’all, right now” implication for every one of us.
Many of you know Rusty Rueff as a co-host of the Faith Driven Entrepreneur Podcast. We’re approaching 25 episodes together! 25 seems like a decent amount, until you realize that Rusty is now on to DAY 2519 of his daily devotional on faith in the workplace. That’s more than 2,500 entries. Here’s one from last week that I liked alot (I actually like all of them). I hope you’ll enjoy it too, and look to subscribe.
“When doubts filled my mind, your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer.”
In this week’s episode, we take the show on the road. In the first live broadcast, Faith Driven Entrepreneur sets up at the Alpine Inn in Portola Valley, California. This Q&A took place before our Inklings gathering of faith driven entrepreneurs.
We tackle questions about how to honor family and loved ones with prescene, our individual learnings from our own entrepreneurial journeys and how the Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) can follow you anywhere.
Tune in as we answer these questions and more from entrepreneurs in the Bay Area!
God loves Cabinets, and we love a good, short film to get us going for the week. The Faith and Co. Series out of Seattle Pacific is world class. The work effectively speaks for itself, so I won’t go on……just please, be sure, to watch it.
Some favorite quotes:
“Two guys that I was contracting with were involved in a drug smuggling ring with organized crime”
“All I had to going for me was my good name. If they would trust me, I’d pay them everything back with interest” “It took us 6 and a half years to pay back every bill”
”It’s often been said that overnight success in business is 15 years. For us it took a little more”
“We unabashedly want to be successful……..we have 300 employees who can go home with their paychecks and take care of their families, thousands of people who have the joy of making a meal in one of our kitchens. And all through that food chain, people are being blessed through God’s common grace”
“It really gives me great joy to know that I’m a conduit of His grace.”
“God loves cabinets….and the cabinetmaker”
A Vlog from Henry on the value of meeting with other Christian business leaders. Maybe you should look into or attend a conference focused on Christian business leaders? We have several organizations in our Resources section with great opportunities to connect! Take a look at today’s Vlog to hear more…
The first time I encountered a corporate single-page Roadmap was I believe in 1996 when I’d been transferred to Pizza Hut from Frito-Lay and David Novak had his CEO role expanded from just running Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) to also helming Pizza Hut. David, and his Chief HR Officer, Gregg Dedrick believed in transparency and alignment so much that they rolled out to the organization a single page Roadmap that captured the business vision, objectives, challenges, goals and values/principles.
What you will see attached is not much different than that first Roadmap I saw, except that the first one from David was handwritten. Yes, handwritten, by David himself. Three years later he was still handwriting them once a year, but now in the Annual Shareholder Report for Tricon Restaurants (later to change their name to Yum! Brands), the newly spun out public company spun out of PepsiCo.
…The Roadmap serves as a great communication tool for all constituents of the company (customers, shareholders, analysts, recruits, etc.) So, after a lot of work by the team, we created and rolled out our Annual Roadmaps…
As Christians, is it possible to be ambitious in our work and still have our self-worth and identity firmly rooted in Jesus Christ?
The world tells us that ambition is essential to accumulating wealth, fame, and glory for ourselves. The meta-narrative of work today is that it is the primary means by which we make a name for ourselves in this life and prove to the world that we are important, valuable, and worthy.
Of course, this is nothing new. Since the Fall, human beings have been using work to make a name for themselves, rather than to glorify God and serve others.
While Scripture makes clear that creating to make a name for ourselves constitutes improper ambition, the Bible makes equally clear that ambition can indeed be God-honoring, so long as it flows out of a response to the work Christ did on our behalf on the cross. That is the subject we will turn to in tomorrow’s devotional.