What if we were to run a business like a storage shed company?
All the staff would get together once or twice a week for a meeting. We would talk about how wonderful our sheds are, and spend some time relaxing in them. We would discuss improvements to their design. We would solemnly commit to teamwork. We would talk about all the people who need our sheds.
The rest of the week we would mow our yards, spend time with our families and church, and tend the veggies behind the house.
Occasionally we would pause and watch the traffic going by on the highway and wonder why they weren’t stopping in to buy sheds. We wouldn’t have any buildings on display, but the sign by the road would be very clear that we have sheds to sell.
We would give money to organizations that built sheds overseas.
When we went shopping it would occasionally occur to us that we should mention something about our sheds to the cashier or sales person. But we wouldn’t want to be a bother and anyway, they probably already have a shed in their back yard. We would settle for wearing a shirt with a classy company logo and a company bumper sticker. That way, if they needed a shed they would ask us about getting one.
Brothers, what I say to you, I say to myself:
Why let business have all the fun?
ITS TIME TO START MARKETING
Are you contented?
When a person feels a need to change, you can offer solutions. But if the person feels no need, what can you do then? Can you do anything?
Well, you could pray.
Are you discontented enough to pray for the content?
From the fantastic site, puttylike.com
I’ve been taking an interest in business entrepreneurship the last while, partly as a way of building the life I want and partly as a means of (hopefully) enabling us to return to the field. Some of my favorite podcasts have been Start up School by Seth Godin, Six Pixels by Mitch Joel, and EntreLeadership with Chris LoCurto.
I posit that we need more entrepreneurial missionaries. Lets look at what some of the essential qualities of an entrepreneur are.
An entrepreneur needs a great idea for what to sell and he also needs an idea of how he’ll structure his business. Missionaries need to zero in on a specific need that they intend to fill and have an idea how they might fill it.
Risk Taking and Realism
I think a big reason there are not more entrepreneurs is that failure is a very real possibility, and failure is something we fear. A well grounded entrepreneur realizes the possibility of failure but doesn’t let that keep him from giving his business his best shot. He accepts risk as part of the package.
Many businesses are built not over months, but years. A good entrepreneur commits to the long haul.
Not all businesses succeed. A good entrepreneur knows when to throw in the towel and move on to something better. Knowing when to quite and when to push on through is really important whether its making money or winning souls. Embracing change in strategy is also a key element.
Personal and Organizational Growth
A commitment to keep learning is essential. Failure can be a great motivator and success can be very dulling. It is said that success is the second leading cause of failure in business. Lets face it, whether in the marketplace or the culture, changes are always occurring. The great entrepreneur or missionary always keeps learning.
If your mission was a business, would it be profitable?
Today I am thinking of those of you who live in the far corners of the earth. Those of you who have left home because of a vision, a passion, a call, or simply obedience. Those of you who live where it is not comfortable. Where it is lonely. Where life can be harsh. Where darkness presses in. Where nothing is happening.
Today I am thinking of you.
Today I pray for you.
And—today I honor you. I give you my respect. I bless you.
Because you are the ones who are in it for the long haul. You are the ones who stuck it out past the first glory years. You are the ones who we at home forget. You are the ones whose faith in God and His call on you keep you where you are.
It is exciting to do short-term mission trips.
It is awesome to do a 3 week stint of teaching pastors.
Two years overseas and people still remember you, write you letters, show deep interest in your lives. You are still enjoying some honeymoon syndrome.
But today, I am very aware of you who are long term missionaries. The fun is over. People forget. You get two cards at Christmas time. No one thinks you are doing something amazing anymore. Living in the exotic land has become real life. It’s home. It’s hard. It’s alone. It’s dark.
But more than that, the most difficult part is that nothing much is happening. Not only do the people at home wonder if you are worth their money and your time, but you start to wonder the same.
There are three things in my mind.
I’m not going to get into all the whats and whys and hows of doing missions and why some are more “successful” than others. That’s not my point today.
Today I am wanting to bless you—for your obedience, your courage, and your faith.
Today I am giving honor–to them.