The Atlantic’s article, Workism Is Making Americans Miserable, is one of those where someone has a brilliant insight the Bible teaches as a core principle: the futility of making work an idol. However, the Bible’s presentation is more complete—man shall not live by work alone, but man was made for work.
This week’s guest is Alan Barnhart of Barnhart Crane and Rigging of Memphis, TN. Originally a small family business started by his parents, Alan and his brother, Eric, grew the company into one of the largest Heavy Lift and Heavy Transport organization in the United States with 1,000 team members in more than 40 locations across the country and a nationwide reputation for solving problems (Even if it means building a 200+ wheel truck!).
On this episode, the team spends time with Andy Crouch, partner for theology and culture at Praxis, an organization that works as a creative engine for redemptive entrepreneurship, as well as an accomplished writer and journalist, having authored several books as well as articles published in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and Time Magazine.
Toxic people, toxic environments and all other possible permutations of how toxicity can be expressed in an organization is the subject of today’s episode. Rusty rests the responsibility of toxic organizations firmly on the shoulders of the founder and William believes that faith driven leaders can still be guilty of making a mess of culture.
I wanted to give some thought to the topic of entrepreneurship and Christianity since I don’t think some of the issues are straightforward. The first thing I would express is something about my personal journey, which I hope will be helpful.
Not very long ago, I did not make public pronouncements about my faith even though I recognize that the Bible is clear in some parts on our obligation as Christians to profess our Christianity to others. On this point, however, I believe there is also a Biblical stipulation that we should offer our faith largely when questioned about it. 1 Peter 3:15-16 shares, “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience…”
Regarding this scriptural reference, I sometimes worry that we as Christians are overbearing in our approach with other people, in that many of us drive people away from Christ rather towards Him.