What do entrepreneurs bring to their Churches and surrounding communities?
Entrepreneurship is one of the fastest growing occupations not only in the United States, but also worldwide (Hubspot). Why is it not being recognized and supported by churches who have entrepreneurs in their congregation? Furthermore, we are going to look into why entrepreneurship is a good thing and how the church needs it.
Luke Dooley, President of OCEAN, describes how entrepreneurs truly embrace everything the church should want and need in their community.
“I believe the local church and Christian leaders in general would benefit greatly from investing in entrepreneurs because the investment pays off in immeasurable ways. Think about the benefits to a local community when a successful entrepreneur launches a thriving business: Positive economic impact, job creation, cultural overflow, wealth creation, increase of generosity.”
- Positive economic impact
- Job creation
- Cultural overflow (more on this below)
- Wealth creation
- Increase of generosity
These words from Luke, right away, strike a chord in my heart and hopefully church leaders’ hearts. All of these benefits are being sought by the Church already, yet entrepreneurs are still overlooked. Recognizing that entrepreneurs can bring job creation, wealth creation, etc, to your community is where you should start. This will change your mind on these founders.
In a more relational outlook, entrepreneurs shape culture-and churches need to be aware of this. Entrepreneurs and faith go hand in hand. On average, an American will spend over 2,000 hours per year at their workplace. This large amount of time spent is going to have an affect on your mental and spiritual health.
Do we want to equip entrepreneurs to help better these cultures or are we totally going to ignore how much work–cultures matter?
We need to start recognizing how important supporting and creating faith based entrepreneurs are to the church and its surrounding community.
When you go back to the roots of the Church, generosity has always been involved. Many churches have given generously to their communities and many haven’t. The churches that have been generous are the ones that have prospered and made a difference. This generosity isn’t just finances, rather it’s more importantly about forming relationships with people. This can be through hanging out at fun events, volunteering, exercising together, praying together, etc. More specific to the entrepreneur, generosity can be getting a coffee with them, letting them use the Church Wifi, offering prayer and support, and connecting them with other colleagues. These might seem like small acts, but these acts of generosity can make a huge difference in entrepreneurs’ lives.
Relationships are truly at the root of the Church and entrepreneurship. Therefore, churches supporting entrepreneurs will help transform these relationships and make a positive change in people’s lives. As we come to a close, realizing that entrepreneurs and church leaders are more similar than different is a great start.
Joining groups like OCEAN’s MightyNetworks community, Genesis Entrepreneurship Training cohorts, and church groups can really help them take control of their relationships.