Being an entrepreneur is not easy.
There are times when I want to rush out the door as the sun comes up and change the world. Then there are other times when it feels like I want to put up the shutters, lock the door, turn on the TV and forget there is a world out there. The collision of our soul and mind at times create sheer pandemonium within us.
Being a prophetic entrepreneur is even more soul stirring.
In 1984 I visited the UK for the first time. I met a man called Colin Henderson. In our brief corridor conversation, I asked him what he did and he replied "prophetic administrator". This was a phrase I had never heard nor a role I had ever seen practiced.
In my years of serving with the NCMI guys, I found myself stepping into the space often. Seeking to serve Dudley and the movement, I found great pleasure in taking a God idea and architecturally shaping it into form and content - when we found that we were planting churches with guys who were theologically light, we started the International Theological Correspondence Course. When we realized that communication was sorely needed as the ministry grew, we started Letstalk magazine. When we saw that some planters were going out to plant with insufficient training, we started the Church Planters Training course.
We lean into the future, seeking to be those who are seeing it, preparing for it, becoming it. (To quote Dudley).
Being a catalytic prophetic entrepreneur is a road less travelled.
This poorly understood role is essential to keep a movement in its tippey toes, moving forward. Over the last three decades I have seen movements come and go. It has been tragic to see movements drift from their apostolic prophetic moorings to becoming wonderful pastoral gatherings. And some great moves of God have become denominations, primarily now focussed on defending their past.
Living every day with the vulnerable, uncertainty of unchartered waters is both exciting, fun, exhilarating and also scary, challenging and confusing. In the smallest of ways it is both Abrahamic and Moses-like. It is going not knowing. It is looking each day to see what the cloud will do or what the pillar of fire will point to.
It is holding in tension the note of doing the basics well, as well as, leaning into the winds of change. It is not an easy road to travel on for we see through the mists dimly. At times it can make us seem confused, uncertain and changing.
When I look over our years of the Invisible Church, the Glenridge plant, helping launch NCMI, helping pioneer this story in many nations and then replanting Southlands Church in LA, Genesis and the rest, each of these has been the road less travelled. Not the normal, predictable, repetitive or routine, simply seeking to do the old better.
This is not a journey for everyone, I do get that - not by calling or by personality. This is not better than or worse than what others do. It is just different. It is God authored and God empowered. I am grateful God has used us in this journey. We have made way too many mistakes, but as we get older, I guess we are far better at dealing with this roller coaster ride. Sola gratia