What does it mean to be a Christian entrepreneur?
From an essay by Henry Kaestner of Sovereign's Capital
Henry Kaestner of Sovereign’s Capital wrote an essay, What Does it Mean to Be a Christian Entrepreneur for a free e-book, Purposeful Living. Here is an extract:
Successful entrepreneurs who just happen to be Christians (entrepreneur Christians) are often praised, celebrated, and asked to serve on ministry boards, either because of their business prowess or their deep pockets and ability to give funding. These people are sought after as mentors to the next generation. Unfortunately, the “entrepreneur Christian’s values" are passed down through the gene pool of the church.
What is far better, of course, is to find great Christians who just happen to be entrepreneurs – then, and only then, can we really get somewhere. I see this pattern of equating business success with Christian character frequently unfold among the folks that I know.
Why am I on my soapbox about this? In my organization, we meet hundreds of Christian entrepreneurs who struggle with anxiety. Why? It relates to identity. They think of themselves as entrepreneurs first and Christians second. They’d never admit this out loud, but that’s how they operate.
They’ve bought the world’s narrative, and here’s how it goes: Society gives them kudos for being the next big thing who’s growing a company at 20 percent each month, or who just secured a $15 million investment, or just inked a deal with Google. They hear this message from their friends, their parents, their investors. They believe it without ever knowing when they crossed over from being a Christian first to an entrepreneur first. It becomes a feedback loop that most assuredly doesn’t come from their time in Scripture, but from society at large.
They have mistakenly located their identity in their role as entrepreneurs, oftentimes successful ones, and this only becomes evident when their growth slows or they can’t find funding. Then, the “Protestant Work Ethic” they celebrated as a noble virtue appears as the ugly idol it has been all along. They act like they can earn their salvation and deliverance. Lest circumstances beat them with many blows, they redouble their efforts, only to find the predictable outcome of ever-increasing anxiety and the near total absence of joy.
What’s the solution? Acknowledge the problem for what it is – an identity crisis. Every entrepreneur or worker in business needs to understand that their identity comes from being a beloved child of God with full inheritance rights to his kingdom. They must take hold of the gift of life for now and forever. They need to reflect on that, stew on that. For how long? Well, for as long as it takes for them to have their minds blown by this awesome and indescribable gift. It’s not enough to get this intellectually. It must permeate every aspect of life.
If it takes time in Scripture to get there, then they need to take that time. Once they get there, they realize that they’ve been given the greatest and most meaningful gift and reality imaginable. The Work (capital W) has already been done by Christ, so the most logical thing to do is to bring all we are and all we have to the altar before God, not because he needs it, but because we can’t help but be overcome by gratitude; it consumes us.
Where is your identity located?
Retweet about this article:
From an essay by Henry Kaestner of Sovereign's Cap, 03/03/2021