What if you could blend how you were created to do business and how you were created to do ministry? What if there is no real distinction between the two, but rather one continuous line that simply defines ‘how you were created?’ In our area of work we see plenty of Entrepreneurs, and likewise plenty of Apostles; and it seems the spiritual office of the Apostle (see the 5 fold ministry) will often match the office of the entrepreneur.
Characteristics of Apostles and Entrepreneurs
- The Church Planter & The Idea Planter
Paul’s life and ministry is probably the best possible case study in light of clarifying the office of the Apostle. As the Father of the Acts church, Paul essentially traveled and planted church bodies, equipping and training other leaders to lead in his absence. To do this, Paul didn’t follow established precepts, but rather created something new each time he planted a church! Much like the entrepreneur, who plants ideas and then moves to something new, the Apostle and Entrepreneur alike tend to be very mobile, adaptable and comfortable with change.
“If entrepreneurs could heed the apostolic call in the marketplace and battle for influence and favor atop its mountain, just as Paul won over crowds of unbelievers, I believe the way our world does business would be transformed.”
- The Disciple-maker & the Delegator
I’ve heard it said that the goal of discipleship is to equip those being discipled to surpass the one who is doing the discipling, in every way. As Paul trained Timothy, Silas and others to function as leaders, he had every intention they would represent their church body as capable and faithful as he could. On the other side of the token, the entrepreneur, having mastered a craft, must first delegate this duty in order to move on to the next idea or dream (which is the natural allure for the entrepreneur- to respond to creating something new by creating something else that’s new). To delegate, one must first impart or train someone else to inherit the craft, something Paul labored to do in the church’s budding years.
- The Dreamer & the Innovator
Dreaming and innovating are really interchangeable parts, but consider the factors of each in their particular scenarios. The vision shared by the Fathers of the modern Christian church was a dynamic one. Think about it. The gospel spreading to distant nations, most of which were gentiles, was a truly lofty dream. But the fact is Dreamers and Innovators are naturally subject to big dreams, and it typically does not intimidate them. Inventions would never be patented if entrepreneurs didn’t innovate just like the gospel would not have multiplied without the expectant dreams of its Apostles.
Why they’re compatible
I believe that the Apostle and the Entrepreneur are compatible for one reason: because the line between that which is spiritual and that which involves business or work is an invisible one. The 7 Mountain Prophecy, a very specific prophetic word that came to Loren Cunningham (founder of YWAM) and Bill Bright (founder of Campus Crusade) simultaneously, highlights seven ‘mountains of influence,’ one of which is the sphere of Business. If Entrepreneurs (I’m certainly not saying that all Entrepreneurs are Apostles) could heed the Apostolic call in the marketplace and battle for influence and favor atop its mountain, just as Paul won over crowds of unbelievers in often hostile environments, I believe the way our world does business would be transformed. What if the church could reach businesspeople, fellow entrepreneurs, corporations and even consumers through the Godly strategies, systems and inventions of Apostolic Entrepreneurs? This is a big dream, but then again, I’m pretty optimistic that my fellow Apostles and Entrepreneurs can handle it!
-Joe D’Orsie – Communications & Spiritual Life Counsel