Entrepreneurship requires the ability to see a need and figure out an innovative and effective way of solving the need. A strong entrepreneur also understands the value and necessity of taking risks. If you are not willing to risk failure, loss, or even humiliation from your peers, then you’ll never come up with anything really innovative enough to make a difference: you’ll simply promote the status quo.
Entrepreneurs also understand that there is a cost for what they do. They often go without for many years while in pursuit of their mission. They are not afraid to pay this price because they know that the reward will be great on the other side. Lastly, an entrepreneur knows that their trade will often force them to go against the grain. The most successful entrepreneurs face a lot of ridicule and naysayers as they first start out. Their ideas can often be counter-cultural or seemingly before their time. Entrepreneurs live on the outside of society, refusing to fit into the norm, yet their sacrifices, when successful, can change the world.
If this is not a perfect picture of what our lives as Christians should look like, then I don’t know what is.
Can you imagine what it would be like if each of us walked in our faith with an entrepreneurial spirit, eager to make an impact in the world, and willing to risk everything we have to see the gospel message spread? Even more so, what if we all took the time to focus our energy and efforts on the things that mattered most to Jesus?
When Jesus walked on earth, He spent most of His time caring for the poor, diseased, and outcasts. As His followers, He told us that we must live as He did (1 John 1:26). That means that one of our biggest mandates is to look after and care for the poor, diseased, and outcasts (Matthew 25:36-40, Luke 14:12-14, Mark 8:1-13, Mark 6:30-44). Through Jesus, God has given us an example of what needs He wishes us to fill.
Again, can you imagine a world where we, as Christians, came together to create innovative ways of helping God’s people, of caring for His people? Just the thought of this idea excites me. What wonderful things could we accomplish if we really lived with a willingness to sacrifice because of our assurance that there would be a great reward on the other side of this life?
Entrepreneurs understand and live out the concept of Christianity better than most Christians do. They understand what it takes to make an impact in the world, and they are willing to stand up and be counted when it matters most. Yet, even the Christian entrepreneur seldom thinks of their faith in these terms. I am speaking from experience, of course. I find myself often willing to go out on a limb, take risks, and make sacrifices for my business, but truthfully, I shy away, more times than not, when it comes to sharing my faith or using my skills to help the poor and outcast.
The good news is that God’s grace is great. He is working in my life to show me how to change my perspective, and He is changing my heart to be more aware of the real work that He has for me. Don’t get me wrong: God understands that we have to work and we have to make a living. Jesus was a fisherman and Paul was a tentmaker, but their “jobs” never defined who they were. Their jobs were simply a tool that helped provide the resources for their real work.
It is a wonderful reminder to see how God can work in our lives. It is amazing to me that He can show us how we are supposed to live and serve Him through our everyday tasks. For me, I now see that the skills and passions I already have for entrepreneurship can and should carry over into a daily ministry that will define the rest of my life. No matter what my “job” is, this reminder will serve as a motivator for how I live out my faith. I pray that it does for you as well!