We understand that we are created in God's image, that he was a creator and a designer and therefore we are the same. As entrepreneurs we inherently get this at some level, but I think that we are well served by tapping in to this Biblical truth regularly as we look for an encouragement in our work. No one does a better job of this, in my opinion, than Jerry Bowyer.
Our friends at Entrepreneurial Leaders Organization (ELO) Network share a two-part article about their namesake. In Part 1, to be an effective “entrepreneurial leader” as a believer, one must see 1) God-inspired creativity is embedded in a Christian approach and God is the “Creator” and 2) risk taking is key to innovation! Take a read as they use famous Christians like Mark Burnett, John Maxwell and others as good examples of these 2 characteristics.
“In this final post, I’ll get into the implications of 1) living in the spotlight —Our identity is not in our performance, but in Jesus’ perfect performance on our behalf; 2) dealing with compromise —Caring for people beyond your obligation is another way to live as a faithful founder – although I fear all the times I only did the minimum required; and 3) aiming to leave a kingdom impact —Kingdom impact can happen on a personal level, a community level, or even an industry level.”
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.
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.
The first thing God reveals about Himself in Scripture is not that He is loving, holy, omnipotent, gracious, or just. No, the first thing God shows us is that He is creative. In Genesis, He brings something out of nothing. He brings order out of chaos. He creates for the good of others. In short, God is the first entrepreneur.
“Entrepreneur” is a title thrown around so much today that it has become very difficult to define. I would submit that an entrepreneur is anyone who takes a risk to create something new for the good of others.
We get to see a lot of videos that are submitted to the FDE site. None top the work that is coming out of Seattle Pacific's Initiative called Faith and Co. that features videos like these, an online course, and a group study guide. If you've been reading the blog for a while, you might recall that we featured another outstanding story in April. We LOVE excellent work....not just the best Christian version of something, but the best version period. These guys have, in our humble opinion :), the best short business documentaries that we've seen.
Mica May, founder and CEO of May Designs, took in what she just heard. The stern instructions came to her from Tory Johnson, a regular contributor on ABC’s Good Morning America. She needed samples of May’s notebooks for a feature she was hosting on gift ideas.
At the time, May was a staff-of-one, a scrappy entrepreneur working from her home. Thrilled about this opportunity for increased publicity, she shipped off a few of her classic notebook designs.
But then the show aired.
A "restful buying experience."
Few American consumers would ever think to describe mattress shopping this way. In fact, if you have been mattress shopping recently, restful is probably the last word that comes to mind.
"This is one of the sleaziest industries in the world," says business owner Ethan Rietema. "Customers are treated so poorly. Stores beat you up, trying to get as much money as they can, but they couldn't care less if you get the right bed."
Rietema and Steve Van Diest, both former campus ministers, are bringing rest—and integrity—back to a business largely devoid of it.
This short speech (about 3 minutes) by Martin Luther King Jr. inspires me each and every day to work for the glory of God and not for the glory of man.
In 3 minutes, I feel that MLK really sums up the basics of faith and work integration. In all honesty, I try to come back and listen to this 20+ times a year. I am looking for a place to hang the quote on the wall, but MLK's voice is so much more inspiring than the written quote. He was one of a kind with regards to motivation for the gospel.