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Church-planter as Entrepreneur?

The business model has killed the church today and resulted in a muddled ecclesiology. That and the American post-“Bowling Alone” pathology of community/small group obsession that resembles group therapy more than actual salt-in-the-world fellowship. More on that later. Suffice it to say that I’m not a fan of using business models as an example to the church-planter.

But a church-planter is entrepreneurial. With considerable risk and ballsy initiative he is kick-starts and organizes and sells his soul to a project that no one else can actually imagine, not even he, in completion. Thus, I like the definition of a social entrepreneur from Elkington and Hartigan in their book The Power of Unreasonable People: How Social Entrepreneurs Create Markets that Change the World:

What motivates many of these people [the ‘unreasonable’ entrepreneurs that change the world] is not doing the ‘deal’ but achieving the ‘ideal.’ And because the ideal takes a lot longer to realize, these entrepreneur tend to be in the game for the long haul, not just until they can sell their venture to the highest bidder.

Yup. Some church-planters are business gurus. They know how to market, promote, and make money (as in more members). Some churches grow so fast they can’t handle the growth. But other church-planters are perhaps more like these unreasonable entrepreneurs that want the “ideal” of a biblical and sound church and they’re in it for the long haul.

They’re trying to nurture the seedling of an oak tree. Giant mushrooms don’t thrill them.


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