Another area the Church can help mitigate income and wealth disparity is by encouraging entrepreneurship. It is not enough to simply create employment opportunities, we must encourage the saints to be fully God-supplied but self-sufficient in the natural.
The first thing that every church should do is take an assessment of the gifts and abilities of its members. This must be done without an ulterior motive, that is, trying to assess the gifts to see how the local church can exploit the gifts. This assessment can then be used to match gifts and abilities to community or business needs.
There are many channels by which the Church can foster entrepreneurship.
First, local churches can get involved with entrepreneurial social groups. There are more resources than I have time or space to list but Forbes Magazine gives a list of some solid, up-and-coming organizations here:
If you do a search on Google (“Christian Entrepreneurial Groups”) you will also find a plethora of information.
Do your homework – find one or more that speaks to your spirit and to the mission and vision of your local church and get connected.
Once these connections are made, you can also reach out to local entrepreneurs who are running successful businesses. There are many restauranteurs, plumbers, carpenters, auto sales/repair professionals, physicians, attorneys, and funeral directors who would love to share their stories with other like-minded individuals.
Another outreach area are local high schools and Boys and Girls Clubs. It would behoove you to let these organizations know what your local church is doing pertaining to entrepreneurism. Youth counselors are always on the lookout for people, organizations, and events that will genuinely impart something to those in their care.
While I’m here, let me say something — the Church will only grow by attracting youth. If all you’re striving to reach are adults your age (WHATEVER that age is), you will be ministering to folks on the downhill curve of their lives. We NEED to reach young people! And we need to train them up in the ways of Love and Grace. Moreover, working with young people will keep you young! It’s a win-win situation!
Now that you have organizational and individual connections, it’s time to put together an event. If you have a substantial facility, you can host an entrepreneurial fair at your church. One important caveat, though — if you host it at a church, some folks will ignore it because they want to avoid “churchiness.” Also, if you have it at one church, you run the risk of alienating other churches in the area. A better venue might be a community recreation center or using the multi-purpose or gymnasium facilities of a local public school.
It is important that we do not make these events all about our local ministry. These events should speak to community service first and our local church second.
Entrepreneurial fairs should be joint partnerships among multiple ministries. One of the reasons I say this is that promotion can be expensive. You will want to advertise this heavily. Flyers will need to be printed and disseminated, radio or television advertising should be procured. You will need to engage with the local state employment and social service agencies — as I mentioned in a previous essay, government – in and of itself – is not the answer. They need help. And, quite frankly, they can actually be of assistance – because they know exactly who is in need, they can point people toward the work you’re doing!
It is also a good idea to work with the local public library — they can help by promoting entrepreneurial books and media, citing your program or event as a resource.
And while we’re on the subject of libraries and books, it is important to note that readers are leaders. Anywhere you find a true leader, you will find a trail of books in his or her wake. Entrepreneurism and education go hand in hand; you will not have one without the other.
The Bible tells us that God gives us the ability to get wealth; He himself does not give the wealth. God supplies the blessing — a word well spoken over us — that makes the attainment of wealth possible. Additionally, He has created us to be conduits — not containers — of blessings. Success should never be hoarded; it should be “flowed through,” that it may be shared with others.
Entrepreneurism should be a dedicated ministry in any local church. Empowering people to build businesses and create jobs will transform how wealth is attained, obtained, and maintained. Such a ministry will change how we fund our efforts to transform the world with the Grace and Love found in the Kingdom of God.
2014 – Derrick Day (www.derrickday.com)