Entrepreneur or Entre-manure?
Is business and the adventure of Entreprenureship something God is pleased with or disappointed in? Is it Entreprenure or Entre-manure?
My father was a public school teacher for about 35 years. My grandfather was a marine, electrical engineer, and started his own successful realestate business with my grandmother in his second half. My mother was the vice president of a state wide company in Illinois. I know the challenges of running a business first hand. I know the challenges of management, strategic planning, and budgeting. How does God feel about business anyway?
Most of history has not celebrated the entrepreneur -Quite the opposite. Merchants, businessmen, and capital investors were considered to be a lower class than clergy and teaches for much of history. They were the Entre-manures. Even today, many are frustrated that the church is so ignorant or naive about the business cycle, pastors speak of it only when denouncing greed, broadbrushing companies as evil, or seeing it as a necessary way to put money into real ministry like the church.
As a communication major in Bible college, I was often shocked at the way I was looked down upon for not having a “greek” major, a Bible major, or a “foreign missionary” degree. I was either looked at as “less spiritual” for wanting to pursue God’s work in the marketplace or lacking faith. Although I did have another degree in pastoral ministry, but I didn’t tell the finger shakers.
On the other side, many of my fellow television personalities, producers, and editors could be heard cussing the wall paper off the wall during a shoot or setup, they dismissed their behavior as “Don’t be so judgmental or niave, this is the way the real world works.” If you’ve ever heard the chatter from a director during an evening news cast, you will learn a hundred ways the “F” bomb can be used in a half hour broadcast. Are there spiritual careers like the ministry and secular borderline evil environments like the marketplace?
Socrates… or So-crates as he is called in Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure despised business, money, and these non spiritual activies. His philosophy known as dualism, or gnosticism clearly taught that the material world is evil, money is unproductive, and business is a waste of time. None of these endeavors could be Godly. For him, Entrepreneurs were Entre-manures.
The French Revolution was very different from the American revolution. While we set up a system that celebrated liberty, prosperity, and generosity, the French system depised the merchant, business man, and entreprenuer in the name of fraternity and equality. The rich were hunted by the common folk. A story is told of one rich business man who dressed down, hung out in the local pub, and tried to keep his identity hidden for fear of his life. He made the mistake of ordering 4 eggs at the pub. Immediately the crowd knew that only a rich man would dare to order so many eggs. They crowd mobbed him and beat him. Dr Gullotine who invented the humane way of killing those who didn’t get in line with the new order of things gave a new weapon to use against those who didn’t fall in line.
What all these have in common is the way they despise the Entrepreneur: From the French to the Greeks to the Church to the Gnostics, Entrepreneurs were Entre-manures
Christianity came on the scene with a radical knew mindset. The Bible taught that God was much like an investment banker. He was a venture capitalist. He took his capital (made a universe, created commodities, and materials) and took a huge risk. He risked making mankind, giving him liberty. He hoped the investment would bring reward. The reward of relationship, freedom, and progress. God was a re-manufacturerer, a refashioner. He got down on his hands and knees and worked for 6 days. He took the raw materials of dirt and fashioned them into something productive. When he sent his son to earth, he sent him into the home of a small business owner named Joseph to learn a trade of making, selling, and profiting from the carpentry business. The Bible celebrates the Entrepreneurs like Boaz, Lydia, Barnabus, and The Proverbs 31 woman.
The word Entre-Preneur comes from two words. Entre meaning “Entire” and Preneur meaning, “To take up” The Christian is called to “take up” the entire view of life. To elevate the everyday. To elevate the Entire life (business, work, and personal). Rather than viewing life in pieces and parts, the Christian sees everything as spiritual. Everything has potential to honor God and fulfill His purpose. The Christian elevates the Entreprenuer knowing we are made in God’s image. To work, to fashion, to rule, to remanufacture the resources He’s entrusted to us for His purpose.
This means that for a Christian everything can and should be an act of worship: work, play, prayer, and profit. Everyday is spiritual worship by giving, hiring, helping, and serving Christ in our fellow man. For more information, check out www.godonomics.com