Sunday, December 5, 2010

Is there another way? Apostolic Entrepreneurs

OK. We are on dangerous but fun grounds when we begin to explore ideas that are not clearly and overtly in scripture. I was on skype recently, when chatting with a dear friend about his future. Inadvertently, for many the only big adventure presented to them was "plant a church". Like the old traveling medicine man of days long gone, there was one cure for all ailments - for any person who had a big story in their heart, we directed them to plant a church. That was not conscious nor was it malicious. We were so impassioned to change the world for Jesus, we gave a very narrow adventure, even a career path — become a church planter.

Church planters were the heroes. They were the role models. They were the real believers. They really wanted to serve Jesus. Churches that planted churches were the real deal. So the message was clear and obedience was pre-scripted. The validation for many was not the marketplace, but the church. It was never intentional but the career path for all was 'become and deacon, then an elder, then a church planter...' That wrong needs be corrected.

I am passionate about planting. It leaks out of my very pores. We are merely scratching the surface of what we are to do. More churches to be planted. More churches to be replanted. So I do not want to water down this clarion call. However, it does require that we clearly and overtly validate, train and facilitate others who have a similar heart but have a very different mandate in how they are to express this call — the apostolic entrepreneur .

As this is a newer vocabulary, it is not a new idea. May I add, I am not an expert on this subject but am wanting to stimulate this conversation? What is an 'apostolic entrepreneur'?
  • To be 'apostolic' should include some of the following ingredients:
  • To have a desire and grasp of God's bigger story,
  • To understand the redemption nature of all that we do,
  • To see the gospel as central to our journey,
  • To be a guardian of doctrine and a proclaimer of truth,
  • To view all ventures through the lenses of 'discipling all nations'
  • To use the scripture as the matrix for all decisions,
  • To be a masterbuilder both in architecture as well as in building,
  • To be in partnership with other Eph 4 minded folks,
  • To be fully kingdom minded,
  • To have an ability to identify and develop leaders,
  • To seed many other apo ventures,
  • To set in order that which is lacking,
  • To be the scum of the earth,
  • To continuously be catalytic of new God adventures and stories.
To be entrepreneurial with this in mind may well include the following:
  • The entrepreneur is a risk taker. They are not overly preoccupied by systems or forms. They are more captivated by converting big ideas into strategic projects,
  • They operate best in space and are dreamers of new angles and ways,
  • They are comfortable with risk and dislike empty repetition,
  • They want to make much profit but the administration of the profit begins to set them apart from others,
  • They delight to see this profit as vehicles of kingdom expansion,
  • They are not imperialistic, so do not ask them to sell your brand,
  • They are driven by money as world changers but are finding it more and more difficult to simply pour it into the church. They want to invest in other world changing forums,
  • They are wanting to play a role in empowering those involved in social justice, strategic philanthropic projects, uplifting the poor, disabled, uneducated, abused,
  • They see the world as their stage but want one successful project at a time,
  • They want to empower others to start businesses to multiply the journey, not just create ongoing dependence,
  • They may need to be coached on how their business plan can be shaped by the gospel, the kingdom and biblical financial adventures,
They need to be validated, even if most of what they do is not to the church nor for the church — but is for the kingdom.

I trust this creates a conversation that may help some understand their apostolic heart matched with a marketplace passion. We can help each other forward with some pretty cool big stories.


  1. The reason there are so many brand new entrepreneurs is because our government has failed in creating new jobs that can last a life time. Every job now is nothing more than a stepping stone towards our next promotion. What happened to starting from the bottom and working ourselves to the top? Doesn't exist any more... My father worked for the same company for more than 20 years. Very few people can say that and really, its too bad. I too like thousands of others are building a business that will last a life time - my life time. It may not pay as much as I would like but I can at least count on the boss being open and upfront when times are tough. The hardest part of business is the marketing of said business. Currently I'm using Alonzo Smith's web services ( - anther new entrepreneur with heart, professionalism and part of the new breed of entrepreneurs.

  2. Hi Chris. Your blog is very timely in my life and in fact an answer to a cry in my heart as an elder. I came onto an eldership team 5 years ago as a "market place elder" and eventually resigned my job as an IT director due to the pressure at the time of doing both. I continued to consult on a part time basis to fund my new eldership adventure and also received financial assistance from the church. However, my consulting has turned into a successful software business with clients in USA, Canada, Europe and South Africa. I've also started an NPO and feel I have more entrepreneur plants within me. I'm so grateful to have been fathered by Wally Gerstmeier, the lead elder at Life Changers Church in Cape Town. My path has not been clear at times but he has risked with me and the future looks very exciting. Instead of planting a church I'm planting businesses. I'm so grateful for fathers like Wally and yourself. I'm excited about the term "Apostolic Entrepreneurs"!!!

  3. HI Chris

    i am so fustrated at the moment regarding this subject, thankfully with the Guidance of the Holy Spirit i hope i have got through the worst of it and have much more hope for next year.

    i was really questioning church and everything that goes with it. also wondering why God puts in my heart this love for people and the church and the sending and i just love it when plants happen and yet there is no room for me as an entrepeneur (except to volunteer) which i love doing
    i found myself at the expense of my business volunteering at the church more and more of my time. i lately realised that i recognised that this is the only way for me to connect with the eldership and people at the church.

    i need to be in the place where God has called me to the workplace reaching the world in partenership with the local church in the meantime my business struggled as i was dissobeying God i kept hearing God saying stay put in the business this against everything i have been taught to believe ( it is all about being a pastor and that is the pinnacle, you've made it, if you get my point. then Tim Kellar came and after listeneing to him i went even more out of tilt why is it that some poeple are seeing this and we are talking about it but still not seeing it
    this gift of an apo entrepenuer is not valued .

    there is so many questions i have but i dont think that i can get it all out in this post. i also know that this is not about the church that i attend but something that is in the church. the bottom liine is God is moving with the entrepenuers and i think Billy Graham said the next big move of God is in the workplace. thats where the world is and where they spend most of there time. hopefully the local church will see the value of this subject because we need this, entrepenuers need the local church but the local church needs to find a way to feed the entrepenuer and to value them

  4. why is it that some poeple are seeing this and we are talking about it but still not doing it

  5. YES! Balanced view point. We here about Timothy and Paul a lot but what about Pricilla and Aquilla? Why don't we preach enough of their role in advancing the kingdom in new testament pattern?
    Well said Chris.