I am a huge proponent of utilizing entrepreneurship and other economic development platforms to empower people to become their own agents of sustained economic renewal. It's imperative that we help those in poverty rediscover their dignity by teaching them to uncover their God-given gifts and talents and transform them into sustainable income.
American Enterprise Institute just released a new project, Economic Growth: Unleashing the Potential of Human Flourishing, in which three professors provide a compelling moral and economic case for growth. They believe like myself...
"If we truly care about helping the poor, we should prioritize economic growth, which is the key to lifting whole societies from poverty to prosperity."
Related: The Unemployment Alternative
This week on Passion In Action TV we will interview Pastor J. Calvin Tibbs, author of the newly released "Massa's Back But Now He's Black?" In this thought-provoking book the author makes a call to the people of the United States to see the present climate of political dissatisfaction and racial antagonism as a modern expression of the master/slave mentality of America's past.
The author sees government-sponsored assistance programs as disguised vehicles by which the assisted trade their liberties for aid and laments the partisanship of both the political Right and Left as having superseded religion and common sense which, the author feels, has substituted popularity for substance and caused a sharp decline in morality and the economy.
Pastor Tibbs, a native of Hampton, VA, is currently pastor of Kingdom Dominion Church in Villa Rica, GA.
Many Christians struggle with their perception of money, which is one reason why they struggle with their acquisition of money. You could be struggling financially if you grew believing statements similar to:
Overall more Americans believe that Christian values are at odds with capitalism and the free market than believe they are compatible. This pattern also holds among Christians. Among Christians in the U.S., only 38% believe that capitalism and free market are consistent with Christian values while 46% believe the two are at odds.
(RELATED: What History Channel's The Bible Can Teach Christian Entrepreneurs)
I believe the markets are not inherently evil. However, when immoral people absent submission to and direction from God get involved with anything including the financial markets, misuse and abuse are bound to happen.
Read the entire article Markets and Morality from a Biblical Perspective at http://blog.tifwe.org/markets-morality-from-a-biblical-perspective-part-two/
How do you perceive the free market economic system in relation to your faith? Leave your comments below...
It seems like lately I have been increasingly running across articles on the Internet where people are encouraging company employees to quit their jobs. This is intriguing to me considering the U.S. is still in the middle of a "soft" economic recovery with jobs still being very difficult to come by for so many Americans. Is this a bunch of hubris or is there something to what all these people are saying?
The latest article I read, entitled Why You Should Quit Your Job Now, advocates that employees rethink their employment perspective by rejecting the notion that your current job is going to last a long time, while at the same time pursuing alternative streams of income. The author calls people who operate like this "entre-employees."
People who are in denial about the real state of the modern workforce have an unhealthy W-2 dependency, i.e. they can't see themselves as anything other than an employee who gets a "guaranteed" check every 2 weeks. In essence they have "W-2 Dependency." Unfortunately for them, the typical 9 to 5 has been going the way of the dinosaurs for a long time, and I believe the pace is accelerating.
Did you know that temporary employees make up 20% - 30% of the current workforce? And some experts believe that number could increase to as high as 60% within the next 10 years. Corporations are driven to maximize profits by increasing income and decreasing expenses. Guess what the biggest expense is for most corporations? People. So guess where they are constantly looking to reduce their obligations? Temporary employees are much less expensive than full-time employees (mainly because they don't have to pay for their benefits) and much easier to transition in and out of the company based on project-type work.
(RELATED: RePurpose My Career: Success Skills for the Entrepreneurial Economy)
Position for Your Transition
It's not practical or wise for most people to just walk away from their jobs tomorrow. Instead, I encourage you to proactively prepare for your next career opportunity instead of hoping you won't be a corporate casualty. Here are three key aspects of creating an entrance plan into your next career venture:
In future articles I will offer more spiritual and practical advice on how you can continue to break away from W-2 dependency.
Read the full article: http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/daily-ticker/why-quit-job-now-151346969.html
What are your thoughts? Please leave your comments below...
Kingdom Business University is committed to being part of the solution to alleviate poverty and unemployment in the United States and around the world. It's our belief that entrepreneurship is a critical component of the answer to systemic unemployment and devastating poverty.
We just recently launched a campaign to establish faith-based business incubators that will provide training, support, and other resources to launch and grow thriving Christian businesses that create jobs and change lives. We're not waiting for the government to do what God has given us the ability to do according to Deuteronomy 8:18. Read below to learn more about this incredible campaign...
Christian Business Incubator Campaign Overview
Our vision at Kingdom Business University is to train 1 million Kingdom entrepreneurs who will help transform people, families, and communities. We teach spiritual and financial empowerment tools that meet the practical needs of people through business and accelerate the advancement of the Gospel.
About Our Project
We have 3 simple goals for the communities that we work in:
KBU provides specialized, Biblically-based entrepreneurship training in critical business disciplines, focusing on specific subjects that are necessary for entrepreneur's personal and professional success. All of our faculty are either successful entrepreneurs, subject matter experts, or recognized business leaders in their respective industries.
Your awesome rewards for supporting this much-needed campaign range from free books, motivational MP3s, business training videos, mentions on our Wall of Honor, and much more!
2 Corinthians 9:10-11: "Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God."
We really need your help. Please prayerfully consider this opportunity and click the button below to join this incredible campaign!
Leadership Development Tools!
Today President Barack Obama celebrated his second inauguration as President of the United States. Many commentators have acknowledged the significance of the fact that his swearing-in ceremony is 150 years since the Emancipation Proclamation and 50 years since the March on Washington. This is definitely a time to reflect on the past, but even more importantly a time to rethink the future based on how we engage the problems of today.
I was listening a radio interview on NPR and the host asked her guest has Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s dream been fulfilled? I agreed with the guest when he answered that progress has been made, but his dream has not yet been fulfilled, especially when considering the focus of his messages in the latter years of his life. Poverty and war were two major topics that he hammered home in multiples speeches and writings.
This is probably my favorite quote of his, which relates to how we as Christians should confront poverty:
"The gospel at its best deals with the whole man, not only with his soul but also his body, not only his spiritual well-being but also his material well-being. A religion that professes a concern for the souls of men and is not equally concerned about the slums that damn them, the economic conditions that strangle them and the social conditions that cripple them is a dry-as-dust religion.”
As we also commemorate Dr. King’s birthday and the National Day of Service today in his honor, it's a time to celebrate, but definitely not a time to rest. There is much work still to be done.
This video describes some of the “revolutionary” ideas he had toward the end of his life, which is probably what ultimately got him killed. Watch and reflect...
This thought-provoking video is presented as part of Redeemer Presbyterian Church's Gospel & Culture Lecture series. The speaker is Jeff Van Duzer, Dean of the School of Business and Economics at Seattle Pacific University and author of Why Business Matters to God. He states:
"Too often Christian businesspeople think that their work’s sole purpose is to generate money that they can donate to more “spiritual” causes. But what about business itself? Does God care about that? The Bible teaches that before the fall—in God’s perfect creation—humans were called to work. Since God created people to work, God desires businesses to provide opportunities for individuals to express their God-given identity in meaningful and creative work. In this paradigm, profit ceases to be an end in itself. Instead, profit becomes the means by which a business produces goods and services which enables a community's flourishing."
Enjoy this powerful teaching!
Now that the election is over, it's back to school for Christian entrepreneurs. Why? Because I believe there are some lessons that God wants to remind Christians of related to our misplaced trust (and fears) in people, including presidents. And based on the election results, there are almost as many people who are elated that Barack Obama won as there are that are disappointed that Mitt Romney lost.
Regardless of which side of the fence you are on, this country is still facing some daunting economic challenges. High unemployment. Slow high-caliber job creation. Fiscal cliff. Foreclosures. Housing values. Skyrocketing healthcare costs. Child poverty. Do you see a pattern here? All of these major issues are directly or indirectly related to economics and finances.
Economics and finances are not just your concern, they are God's business. He is interested in your spiritual, physical, and financial welfare. Unfortunately, many times we do not seek His wisdom, will, or ways when it comes to our money, which means we do not get His results.
The current financial challenges faced by this country and the world are tied directly to the fact that we have been doing things our own way without God's input. As a society, we want God's favor and blessings without submission to His will. We often choose to operate in business with our eyes focused on the bottom line instead of our eyes focused beyond the hills where our help truly comes from (Psalm 121:1).
We are not the first people to make this mistake. Jesus' own parents nearly fell prey to our human tendency to move in a direction different from God's. Early on in Jesus' life, Joseph and Mary realized that if they didn't understand or follow God's plan, they would miss out on what He was doing. Luke 2:41-52 reads,
“His parents went to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover. And when He was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem according to the custom of the feast. When they had finished the days, as they returned, the Boy Jesus lingered behind in Jerusalem. And Joseph and His mother did not know it; but supposing Him to have been in the company, they went a day’s journey, and sought Him among their relatives and acquaintances. So when they did not find Him, they returned to Jerusalem, seeking Him. Now so it was that after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard Him were astonished at His understanding and answers. So when they saw Him, they were amazed; and His mother said to Him, “Son, why have You done this to us? Look, Your father and I have sought You anxiously.”
And He said to them, “Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?” But they did not understand the statement which He spoke to them. Then He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was subject to them, but His mother kept all these things in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.”
Also read A Kingdom Perspective on Politics
This story has some powerful lessons for business leaders and our society as a whole as it relates to us recovering our financial health and stability. Let's look at a few of these lessons.
1) Make Sure God Is With You
Like many of us have done in business when we were too busy to focus on eternal things, Joseph and Mary lost track of God's Son while on the way to their planned destination. They assumed he was with him although he was not. This happens to us to when we make choices and decisions in our business while excluding God from the process. When we have not dedicated our business to the advancement of God's agenda, we lose track of what God is doing and what He desires from us.
Like parents who have just realized their child is missing, it is a scary feeling to look up and realize God is not with you like you previously assumed. Many people in this country are fearful right now because there is economic chaos and confusion in the land. They may or may not realized that at some point in the past God was left out of the boardroom, Congress, White House, Wall Street, city councils, school boards, classrooms, and other significant places where they thought they could handle their challenges and opportunities better without Him than with Him. Furthermore, many people mistakenly thought He would be ok with only being God on Sunday in a church building. We are now eating the financial fruit of that kind of thinking.
2) Look For God In The Right Places
As the story continues, when Joseph and Mary finally realized that Jesus was missing, they went looking for him in all the wrong places. They sought Jesus among relatives and acquaintances who had no knowledge of where he was (Check your relationships. Are they pulling you closer to or further away from Jesus?). It took them three days to find him in the temple. Why didn't they find him sooner? Because the last place they looked for him should have been the first place.
This is reflective of many people today who are looking for answers to this financial mess that we're in. They are looking to Wall Street and they do not have the answers. They are looking to the White House and they do not have the answers. They are looking to economic “experts” and they do not have the answers. They are looking to radio talk show hosts and they do not have the answers. They are even looking to pastors, and unfortunately many of them do not have the answers either because they are representative of point #1 (God is not with them).
The answers to our financial problems will be found in the Word of God. Jesus was found in the house of God, teaching from the Scriptures. The answers to poverty, profitability, healthcare, housing, unemployment, and all other economic issues are tied to one Source. God gives answers to those who diligently seek Him (Psalm 84:11, Hebrews 11:6).
3) Operate Your Business With A Kingdom Purpose
When Joseph and Mary finally found Jesus, he was in his Father's house, engaged in his Father's business. It is very interesting that Jesus would use the words “about My Father's business” to describe what he was doing in the temple. Jesus knew his Kingdom assignment from an early age. He was operating in his purpose before he was even old enough to drive. He was doing Kingdom business at an age where all the other kids were still playing with toys.
As a Christian entrepreneur or business leader you must understand that God's mandate for you in the marketplace is different than everyone else's. Money should not be your primary focus. The advancement of God's business should be your obsession. Your business is a platform for God's purposes. He wants to use your business savvy and skills to demonstrate His glory. He wants to give you influence and affluence to use as tools to shine your light before people that they may see your good works and glorify Him as a result.
When you are focused on God's purpose for your business, you realize that your business is an answer to someone's prayer. Your business can be a job generator. Your business can be a solutions provider. Your business can be a poverty destroyer. Your business can be an economic engine.
Make the advancement of God's Kingdom your #1 business priority and watch Him blow your mind with opportunities that far exceed your expectations (Matthew 6:33, Ephesians 3:20).
4) Refocus Your Business To Do What God Is Blessing
Ideas are a dime a dozen. However, ideas that work are extremely valuable right now. The financial experts are scrambling to come up with strategies and plans that will reverse the negative economic trends that are currently plaguing our economy. Regrettably, we often fail to realize that God is not bewildered or baffled by our present circumstances. He already has all the solutions we need before we even ask Him the question.
We must get to place where we are like the sons of Issachar, “who understood the times and knew what Israel should do” (1 Chronicles 12:32). Our attention needs to be on doing what God is blessing, instead of continuing to ask God to bless what we're doing. Based on the current environment, some things are going to work and others will not. How do you know if you are in the right lane? Ask God.
One thing you must keep in mind is that God only reveals His deep secrets to His sons and friends through His Spirit (John 15:15, 1 Corinthians 2:10-16). If you do not have an intimate relationship with God, do not expect Him to reveal fresh ideas, key concepts, and ground breaking inventions that will prosper you in the midst of an economic famine like He did for Isaac (Genesis 26).
If you are too busy to consult God in your business dealings, then you are too busy. If you are too focused on transactions rather than getting transmissions from His Spirit, your vision is blurred and your blessings will be blocked. If you are too anxious to wait on God to make critical decisions, then you are rushing to get into trouble. If you are too fearful to trust God for your livelihood, then you will be stuck in a position of paralysis.
No matter who the President is, God will allow your business to prosper only when you are doing business that He is blessing.
How can you as a Christian entrepreneur demonstrate more of a commitment to keep God in the middle of their personal economy? Please leave your comments below...
"... choose for yourselves today whom you will serve." ~ Joshua 24:15
*Special Note: Watch a live stream of my Passion in Action interview with guest Pastor Matthew Brown at www.InternetFabulous.TV
As the Presidential Election of 2012 draws closer there are so many choices to make: Barack Obama vs Mitt Romney. Democrats vs Republicans. Liberals vs Conservatives. These choices aren't as easy to make as they may seem on the surface when viewed from a Kingdom perspective.
Many Christians take sides with their favorite candidates for reasons that sometimes fall outside the bounds of how we should judge candidates based on Biblical criteria. God's agenda is often left out of the conversation by those who fight for their choice selections. And it's not as easy as looking at just one or two divisive issues, such as abortion or gay marriage. Other issues such as poverty, healthcare, justice, foreign policy, the environment, and others are those which God communicated His standards and expectations for us throughout the Bible.
A passage in Joshua 5 gives a small glimpse as to how God deals with human conflicts, such as political battles. General Joshua was preparing to lead the Hebrews into war against Jericho when an angel showed up on the scene. Joshua asked him whether he was a friend or foe. The angel's response was "Neither, but as commander of the Lord's army I have now come." He then commanded Joshua to take off his sandals, because he was standing on holy ground. Joshua quickly complied (Joshua 5:13-15).
The lessons we can learn from this account is significant, because they demonstrate to us that God's agenda always comes first. The angel wasn't there to help Joshua's plan to destroy Jericho. He came to help Joshua fulfill God's plan to get His children to their promise land, and Jericho was in the way. Joshua recognized this, and we also need to recognize the things God is trying to accomplish in the earth and who/what needs to get out of His way.
Another political Biblical example to consider is King Saul. The people wanted a king, but God didn't want them to have a king, because He knew where that would lead. However, He allowed them their choice, but they ultimately suffered for it.
So how does this relate to our politics today? I'm glad you asked. The responsible thing to do as a Christian is to view all candidates and issues from Biblical perspective, not from the biased perspective of a party agenda or platform. Any time you assume one political party has a corner on God's agenda then you're in error. And any time you relate to a political party or racial identity more than how you relate to being a Kingdom citizen you're headed down the wrong path. Jesus identified with his Jewish heritage, but he never let his ethnicity keep him from dealing with his own people in truth.
God is just as concerned about aborted babies as He is about people living in poverty. He is just as concerned about healthy families built on the Biblical definition of marriage as He is about people not being stuck in oppressive cycles and systems of welfare. He expects people not to be lazy and use the gifts and talents He gave them, but He also expects us to utilize a system of justice that is moral, ethical, and fair to all people not just those with money. He is just as concerned about wars and famine as He is with people getting equal access to the healthcare resources they need to live high-quality lives.
God is not a conservative. God is not a liberal (other than how He loves). God is not a capitalist. God is not a socialist. God is not a communist. God is God and no man-made political party or economic system can define Him.
The common denominator in all this is that God is passionate about all people and their well-being. And He's against anyone or any thing that hurts, oppresses, manipulates, or marginalizes any of those He created.
I'm not writing to tell you who to vote for. I'm writing to encourage you how to vote. Christians should vote with a Kingdom-consciousness. With the Holy Spirit's leading, choose the candidates who most closely align with God's overall plan for this planet. So when election day comes, just make sure you're voting for God.
What are you thoughts about how Christian should engage politics?
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The Kingdom of God is advancing in the marketplace and He is using influential leaders to mentor others. Bishop T.D. Jakes and a host of other Christian leaders are descending on Atlanta November 15-16 to teach their God-inspired business ideas to current and aspiring Christian entrepreneurs. Conquer Atlanta is going to be a very special experience. It's very rare that this many Christian business leaders gather in one place to equip other Christian business leaders.
Business should not be viewed by Christians as a secular activity, but a sacred opportunity to influence and impact people both naturally and spiritually. Christians can be anointed to excel in business thereby bringing glory to God in areas where He is often excluded. God can use you just as significantly in your profession as He can in a pulpit.
If you believe that God has called you into business, you need to hear from those with a similar calling. If you believe God has called you into full-time ministry, you need to hear from those who have learned how to leverage their calling in ministry and the marketplace. Don't take this opportunity for granted to learn directly from some of the wisest voices in the Body of Christ.
Click here to register for this once-in-a-lifetime event...
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