It just occurred to me on this, my 100th post, that I don’t think I’ve ever really answered the question, “What is a Christian Entrepreneur?” That seems pretty silly of me since it is the name of the blog. It’s a simple enough question that would seem self explanatory at first glance, but the more you really stop to think about it the deeper and more complex the answer becomes.
Obviously, one would need to be both a Christian and an entrepreneur; however, those two qualifications alone seem somehow inadequate. Perhaps it’s because the term Christian often seems not to reflect the nature of Christ at all in how we live our lives.
Just the very words together, Christian Entrepreneur, suggest a much higher and nobler purpose than simply a Christian who is trying to make a living by operating a business. So high, in fact, that it’s hard to imagine someone following Christ (who had no possessions of His own) and also seeking to build wealth.
Putting First Things First
Sometimes I wonder if the word entrepreneur adequately describes the person who follows this higher purpose. Inevitably, I think we end up with the same bottom-line concerns, processes, & procedures; however, how we get there has two very different origins.
An entrepreneur’s primary concern is the generation and accumulation of wealth. That is the end goal – the primary focus. Everything about the business from the customer to the back office procedures should support and conform to this goal.
A Christian Entrepreneur’s primary concern is bringing glory to God and being faithful stewards of His possessions. As stewards, God expects us to make a profit on the “talents” with which He has entrusted us, yet this is not our primary responsibility.
Being a Christian Entrepreneur Requires a Calling
There are some who disagree with me that being a Christian Entrepreneur is a calling from God, but I firmly believe that unless God has planted those seeds in your heart and designed you with this purpose in mind that one will lose in the battle between the constant pulls to serve both mammon and God.
The warnings of succumbing to the love of money are dire in the Bible. The rich young ruler who claimed to be perfect in following the commandments was turned away by Christ because he loved his possessions more than his Creator. There were none that contradicted the young man’s claim so we can assume he was probably a very good man, but it takes more.
In The Lord of the Rings, it is said that Frodo did not choose to be the bearer of the ring but that he was chosen. In the story, the ring held considerable sway over those who possessed it constantly pulling them towards its evil master – yet Frodo resisted above all. It’s a great analogy for the Christian Entrepreneur and wealth.
Being a Christian Entrepreneur Requires a Recognition
Christian Entrepreneurs recognize that it all begins, ends, and consists with God. It’s this recognition of His sovereignty that allows us to go left when He tells us despite all of our experience telling us we should be going right.
It is that unwavering trust that following His Word will always win out in the end. It is the acceptance that He has unlimited resources at His disposal to bring about His will through us if we only don’t stand in His way.
This recognition is why we react differently we are wronged, when we are slandered, when we are not paid, how we treat our employees, how we think about our competitors, how we deal with our customers, and how we run our businesses.
So What is a Christian Entrepreneur?
Okay, I know. You want a one sentence definition, right? I guess if I had to sum it all up in one definition it would be something like this.
A sincere born-again follower of Jesus Christ who has been called and gifted to express the love of Christ and the glory of God through entrepreneurial ventures recognizing that they are mere stewards of the accumulation of wealth derived from such ventures and entrusted to use this wealth according to God’s good and perfect will following the teachings set forth in the Bible.
Wordy, no? What would your one sentence definition of a Christian Entrepreneur be? Let me know in the comments below.