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!
For the past two weeks I have had a front row seat to the real condition of many of our young people through a business training I have been facilitating for at-risk youth through Greater Works Vocational Discipleship Program in Atlanta. It is heartbreaking to hear the deep sense of hopelessness a lot of them have that leads to their often rebellious and sometimes violent behavior. Although that behavior is never acceptable, I have a better understanding of the mindsets with which a great number of them are wrestling.
There are two obvious needs which are at the heart of the matter - economic insufficiency and spiritual deficiencies. Our society will see the destructive cycles of family and community degradation increase to greater levels if we don't address these conditions with a stronger sense of urgency.
God placed it on our hearts to respond to this urgent need by equipping youth with the tools needed to successfully break out of these cycles. This starts with inspiring them to dream big, identify their purpose, discover their unique talents, and apply their skills to impact their own communities. We use faith based business training that focuses on two main things: 1) the development of entrepreneurial and social skills, and 2) the growth of profitable enterprises that positively impact other people.
For the second consecutive year, Kinsman Community Ministries, Inc. will host the Inc. My Dream Young Boss Camp this summer in South Atlanta for youth ages 12 to 18. For two weeks, from July 13th - 24th, a select number of students will be trained in leadership, problem solving, business development, and more, with the goal of producing viable solutions that will have a direct benefit in their own communities and beyond. Last year's camp was a great success and we expect this one to be even better as we expand from 1 week to 2 weeks.
This camp is free to the students. So in order to cover our expenses we are inviting you to be one of the special 15 business sponsors we are seeking to donate at least $1000 each to partner with us to meet this urgent need of transforming the lives of these at-risk youth. In addition to the great benefits you will receive as a sponsor, your invaluable partnership with us will allow this innovative economic development initiative to become a blueprint that will export Christ-centered “economic evangelism” to poverty-challenged communities in other areas of Metro Atlanta, around the United States, and ultimately all over the world.
Click here to download the sponsorship package
Even if you can't donate the full $1000, your financial support at any level will help pay for the trainers, curriculum, supplies, food, and other resources needed to make this an unforgettable experience (the itemized list is in the sponsorship package). If we don't invest in our youth, we can't expect them to break the destructive cycles and become all that God created them to be.
We understand that to rebuild communities we must strengthen families spiritually and economically. And we hope that you share this same commitment.
God bless you and thanks in advance for helping us meet the urgent need of transforming the lives of these young leaders for our communities and His glory!
Families are in crisis all over this country. Youth have a deep sense of hopelessness. Schools in inner cities and are failing. It seems like there are a lot of giant issues taunting people everywhere.
This is not much difference between these giants and the giants who taunted a group community thousands of years ago. A young shepherd boy named David showed up on the front lines of a war wondering why nobody was fighting the giant that was taunting his people. The question he asked those around him who should have been fighting was, "Is there not a cause?" He was angry and frustrated that no one was addressing an obvious situation that was negatively impacting a lot of people.
Is There Not a Cause?
The Gospel has the power to transform lives, but if we never take it outside of our church services and to the people in our communities who need it the most, they may never have the opportunity to experience God’s power. Christian CEOs are problem-solvers that use their businesses as platforms to bring positive changes to the places where God positions them to serve (see You Are a C.E.O.).
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said it best as he described the practical role that the Gospel is to play to combat the challenges that are faced everyday in our cities and communities:
“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.”
Christian CEOs have the potential to decrease the potency of the kingdom of darkness in our neighborhoods, communities, and cities, which will result in a higher quality of life, naturally and spiritually. Specific areas where we should see direct results from our efforts include:
You have the opportunity as a Christian CEO to be a transformational agent in people’s lives in one or more of these areas. The question is are you willing to take the challenge of not just being a financially successful entrepreneur, but to be an empowered community leader who helps deliver people out of spiritual slavery?
I look forward to your comments below...
How you ever thought about the economic impact your church is having or the potential it could have in your local community? A study that was conducted a few years ago by Ram Cnaan, a researcher from University of Pennsylvania, attempted to quantify the effect that churches had on the local economy in Philadelphia. Extracting data based on the property value, congregant giving, outreach programs, and other church activities, he was able to draw some interesting conclusions in terms of the financial benefit churches brought to that community, which was in the millions of dollars.
After reading the article, I asked myself a question. What if churches became more intentional about becoming economic evangelists by being more concerned with the spiritual and financial well-being of the residents in the communities where they attend service and hopefully are already serving? In Acts 2:42-47 and 6:1-7, we see a church that was able to ensure no one in their community had any lack, spiritually and naturally.
I wonder what would happen if churches focused on not giving money away, but truly empowering people through intentional training and discipleship directly connected to their financial sustainability. Whether it be through financial literacy, job skills, or entrepreneurship, churches are in a unique position not to just offer financial training but to include the needed spiritual principles to go along with it.
Click here to earn more about the principles of Economic Evangelism.
Read the whole article here. What are your thoughts?
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Amos Johnson Jr.
Brotha Online Magazine
Business as Mission
The High Calling