God’s heart is to help people in this world who are financially poor. One of the ways He helps is through Christian entrepreneurs who create opportunities for the poor through their businesses. In today’s podcast, My friend and founder of the Church for Entrepreneurs, Amos Johnson Jr., recorded a powerful podcast about this concept to help you learn how your business can be a part of God’s heart to help the poor. Click below and enjoy!
To listen to the podcast click this link: http://churchforentrepreneurs.com/business-create-opportunities-poor/
Check out my part 1 of my interview on "Mornings with Morris" hosted by my good friend, actor, and nutritionist Morris Austin. We discussed various topics, but one thing we focused on was why God is concerned about the social ills of people and why Christians should be concerned too, and some of the things we can actually do about it. Enjoy!
Every time a kid commits a crime, the US justice system has a choice: prosecute to the full extent of the law, or take a step back and ask if saddling young people with criminal records is the right thing to do every time. In this searching talk, Adam Foss, a prosecutor with the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office in Boston, makes his case for a reformed justice system that replaces wrath with opportunity, changing people's lives for the better instead of ruining them. By shifting his focus from incarceration to transforming lives, Foss is reinventing the role of the criminal prosecutor.
Everyone in our communities has a role to play in helping to create better opportunities and brighter futures for underserved, at-risk youth. Often it requires looking at the same problems with a new lens. My new book, Jobs, Justice & Jesus, focuses on the need to develop comprehensive, integrated solutions that include multiple organizations and institutions. Let's all work together to do more for our kids.
Click here to learn more and download a free chapter of my book.
I'm always excited to find out about programs that focus on helping youth and young adults find meaningful employment. So I was really inspired to learn about Workforce Opportunity Solutions, based in New York City, focused on transforming early career professionals by cultivating their talents. They connect leading companies with a network of thousands of ready-to-work professionals who reflect diverse communities and customers.
We need more organizations like this around the country that combine education and work opportunities to equip underserved youth to create a positive future. Keep up the great work WOS!
You can learn more about similar services we're providing in Atlanta through Kinsman Community to prepare underserved youth and young adults for the workforce and success in life at www.mykinsman.org.
The average cost per prison inmate per year to US tax payers is more than $31,200 and some states are as high as $60,000 (and these numbers are a few years old). In fact, certain states spend nearly three times as much to house prisoners than to educate students. And that's not counting all the negative family, social, emotional, mental, and community impact that's connected to each person who is incarcerated.
Of course we know that unemployment has a strong correlation to criminal activities. Further, studies have shown that youth crimes go down when they get jobs. So why haven't we connected the dots to see that if more jobs are needed in urban communities to help people take the initial and essential steps break generational cycles of poverty, we look to small businesses as a primary source of job creation?
I tackle the answer to that question in my online course, Business as Mission 2.1 Community Jobs Program. This innovative and dynamic online course merges the best practices and ingenuity that missional Christian entrepreneurs have successfully used for years in third world countries and applies them to inner cities and urban areas in America. It is a very unique course in that it combines effective strategies from the areas of 1) economic empowerment, 2) social engagement, and 3) spiritual enrichment. By the end of this course you will have a strategic playbook to make a significant impact in your community by integrating social entrepreneurship and urban missions in a compelling way.
I believe we can be more effective in dealing with crime prevention, in particular strategies to create jobs for at-risk youth and young adults who are most susceptible to committing crimes. And Business as Mission 2.1 will do just that!
We can do more to develop solutions that change lives financially, socially, and spiritually. Let's do it together for the sake of our future!
Just click below to get started...
Some Christians may be wondering why we should care so much about people beyond their spiritual and eternal well-being. The truth is the Bible has a lot to say about how we treat people economically.
So how did God respond to economic injustice in the Bible? One example is Isaiah 58:3, “Why have we fasted, and you see it not? Why have we humbled ourselves, and you take no knowledge of it?’ Behold, in the day of your fast you seek your own pleasure, and oppress all your workers.” He was telling the Israelites that He was rejecting their religious activities because they were creating oppressive conditions for their employees. He was displeased because they were not taking care of the natural needs of people and were instead being a burden to them.
In Matthew 21 we see Jesus use forceful action to throw out the corrupt merchants from the temple who were taking advantage of vulnerable people. He wasn't angry that they were doing business. He was angry that they were using their businesses to manipulate, cheat, and steal.
Let’s look at a few other scriptures that touch on this issue of economic injustice:
So if we go back to Isaiah 58, towards the end of the chapter God gives us a prescription for what pleases Him: loving people, taking care of their needs, feeding the hungry, lifting burdens, and protecting the innocent. When we do these things in our urban communities, with a critical focus on our young people, here is what the outcomes will be:
“And the Lord will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail. And your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; you shall be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to dwell in.” Isaiah 58:11-12
I believe this is a prophetic word for what can happen in our communities even today when we take on this mantle! Christians should be leading the way to defend the vulnerable and confront the powerful who prey on the weak. We have a God-given responsibility and authority to help whose who are taken advantage of economically by others. So let's get to work!
The state of entrepreneurship is at a very exciting stage in history in terms of having significant impact around the world. More people than ever are pursuing social enterprises or business as mission ventures as a way to fulfill their desire to transform communities, change lives, and leave a positive multi-generational legacy, among many other admirable reasons.
The problem, though, is when people of great compassion lack some non-negotiable essentials to run a profitable business that has a major social impact. Compassion is necessary to run a mission driven business, but it can't make up for lack of a business plan, ineffective business practices, or flawed execution.
So let's take a look at six issues that prevent mission driven businesses from having a major social impact in local communities:
Did you identify any of these areas where you can make some improvements? If yes, I would love to assist you where you need some help. Check out my online business course, 7 Week Startup, which will help you launch a new mission driven business or restart your current one in 60 days or less. We will cover all the issues identified above to ensure you are equipped to run a profitable business and deeply impact the community God called you to reach.
Don't let any of these issues slow you down or stop you from fulfilling your dreams and reaching your destiny. I'll see you in class!
Only a "dry as dust" religion prompts a minister to extol the glories of Heaven while ignoring the social conditions that cause men an Earthly hell.
In his latter years Dr. King spent a lot of time talking about the major imbalances of finances and economics in the U.S. His words are just as accurate and relevant today as when he first began to talk about these issues.
Learn more about how Kinsman Community is applying his messages by training at-risk youth to start their own businesses at www.mykinsman.org
Many people spend lots of time looking to do something in life that they are passionate about and they qualify the value of spending their time on it by how much it will enhance their life. However, I believe the true meaning of the concepts of passion and purpose challenge us to dig deeper and ask ourselves the question, "Is my dream worth dying for?"
Of course during this time of year we are again celebrating the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. And while most of the conversations often focus on his dream, what was generally overlooked was what his dream cost him. His dream cost him his life.
When most people think about their dream, their are usually focused on how much better they want their life to be. And from what I have observed, most people aren't thinking about giving up the life they have to see their dream fulfilled. They pursue things that cause them to be more attached to this world than less attached.
Dr. King was very much aware of what the continual pursuit of his dream would cost him. Yet he still soldiered on in pursuit of something that was more important than his comfort. He still pressed forward to do something that others said was a lost cause or not worth the trouble. He was willing to speak out against materialism, poverty, and militarism when it was very unpopular to do so. And many historians would suggest this is what brought him into the crosshairs of a Remington 760 Gamemaster, not his push for civil rights.
So, what about you? Are you concerned more about living well than leaving a legacy? How much are you willing to sacrifice to see your dream come to pass?
Dr. King's dream was worth dying for. Is yours?
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Amos Johnson Jr.
Brotha Online Magazine
Business as Mission
The High Calling