As our time draws closer for the start of the Inc. My Dream Young Boss Camp and our preparation intensifies, sometimes it's hard to remember why we do what we do. As we go through the checklist of all things that need to get done (and it's a long list), at times we forget that we have a real opportunity to save a kid's life or help somebody to start a new one.
This camp is more than just a time to keep kids busy and out of their parent's hair. We are creating an environment where dreams are jumpstarted, ideas are catalyzed, and purpose is ignited. For many of these kids they don't have anyone in their lives telling them they can be the next great inventor, entrepreneur, or community leader. They don't have people giving them tools for life success and a means to break the generational poverty that plagues their families.
When people use the term "at-risk", often it's assigned to kids who live in violent neighborhoods, come from challenging circumstances, and are in danger of falling victim to their difficult surroundings. I believe, though, that there are much more "at-risk" kids than those who live in these environments, because too many others are in danger of living life without purpose, not discovering the greatness that's inside of them, or never achieving a sense of fulfillment from having accomplished something beyond anything they could imagine.
That's why this camp is so much bigger than just helping these kids start a business. It's so much greater than just helping them launch a new product or service. It's far beyond teaching them how to market to a new customer base.
This experience is about helping them utilize their God-inspired imagination, discover unique abilities, and release unbridled creativity to manifest His image in their lives and the world. This opportunity is about helping them tap into their God-given potential to see things in themselves they have never seen before. This is a chance to assist them with taking significant steps toward achieving their God-given destiny.
Your financial support of Inc. My Dream Young Boss Camp will provide the opportunity for our youth to dream again, to believe that they have more to live for than just making it past today, or acquiring things that only provide temporary pleasure. You are funding seeds of greatness. You are investing in the restoration of hopes and dreams.
Your donation is bigger than business. Thank you for your support.
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...
A few weeks ago I had a chance to preach at Redeemed Life Community Church in Atlanta, pastored by my friend Thomas Cotton. They were in a series entitled "ALL IN." In keeping with that theme, God gave me to preach from the topic of "FEARLESS." At that time I didn't fully realize just how quickly I would need to embrace my own message.
I'm going to share with you the four key points from my message and then below that let you know how this applies to the ministry transition God is taking me through. This message comes from Joshua 1:1-9, when God was preparing Joshua to lead the Hebrews into their promised land.
Thank God for His grace and second chances to get it right. I recently made a major shift in my business/ministry endeavors. I'm now focusing on the target audience that God has ordained me to reach in this season of my life. That would be youth and young adults, ages 17 to 25. That doesn't mean I'm going to completely ignore older adults but it does mean my priority focus is within this particular age bracket.
I believe the main reason is because their struggles are so acute and they become the lead story on the news almost every day. Many youth in this age group in our inner cities and rural communities have a deep sense of hopelessness that God has called, equipped, and prepared me to reach with the love of Christ. This is not a foreign audience to me, but it's definitely a significant shift from what I've been focusing on for very long time.
I ask for your prayers and support as I make this necessary transition. I'm excited but like Joshua when God had to encourage him in advance to be FEARLESS as he went ALL IN to fulfill the assignment God ordained for him.
What has God asked you to do that may be causing you some anxiety? Don't let fear stop you! Be FEARLESS as you go ALL IN!
An architect of what has been dubbed the "Boston Miracle," Rev. Jeffrey Brown started out as a bewildered young pastor watching his Boston neighborhood fall apart around him, as drugs and gang violence took hold of the kids on the streets. It's a powerful talk about listening to make change.
Help Us Create an "Atlanta Miracle"
One of the key things he says in the video is how the clergy in the church stepped out of their comfort zones and into a world they didn't know anything about, but one that was easy to judge (inaccurately) from a distance. As Rev. Brown mentioned, and we believe also, we need to empower young people to be the solution in their own neighborhoods to reduce crime and create opportunities.
That's why it's so critically important that programs like Inc. My Dream Young Boss Camp are well funded so that we can reach these youth and equip them with spiritual, business, and life skills to leverage their potential and launch their future. The benefit is not just for them, but for everyone in the communities they live in.
Learn more about Inc. My Dream Young Boss Camp and how you can get your child involved or become one of our sponsors at www.mykinsman.org/youth.
Evangel Ministries in Detroit comes from a very different perspective as it relates to transforming lives in their community. They focus on using entrepreneurship to teach work skills and financial literacy, teach congregants on the details of permitting, and even in some cases provide investment capital for particular businesses. Watch this video to learn more about how they engage their community.
OUR SOLUTION TO A RED HOT INNER CITY SUMMER
Over the past few months many urban cities across the U.S., including Baltimore and Ferguson, have seen a sharp rise in tensions as a result of police shootings and subsequent protests and rioting. At the core of this unrest for many inner city men is a deep sense of hopelessness that stems from the lack of opportunities and in particular jobs.
Baltimore has shown us that our young men need training and institutions where they can learn to function as real men. An idle mind is the devil’s workshop. Instead of rioting, our inner city men could be learning life skills with promised employment in the Greater Works Vocational Discipleship Program. This is a GAME CHANGER!
We Need Your Financial Assistance to Help These Men
We believe joblessness and homelessness leads to hopelessness and idle time which always leads to violence. Your financial support of Greater Works will enable us to provide training and job opportunities to men and women in South Atlanta / Lakewood who are genuinely interested in improving themselves and their community. Please donate today to the Greater Works initiative.
God bless you and thanks in advance for helping us ignite the changes the need to happen in our communities!
Of the three components of the Triple Bottom Line, social impact can sometimes be the hardest to quantify and evaluate. However, some basic principles apply that will give you some guidance as to how to incorporate this area in the overall assessment of your company’s health.
The first thing to consider is similar to the maxim taught in school to all healthcare students and is a fundamental principle throughout the world, which states, “First, do no harm.” Your business should do no harm to people or the planet (environmental). As a good steward of what God has entrust you with, it definitely would not be good for your relationship with Him if you are using your business to harm people. That is why I would not consider you a Kingdom entrepreneur if you were engaged in any kind of business that is opposed to principles taught in God’s Word. If your business could somehow drive people away from Jesus rather than closer to him, you need to pray and ask God if you need to go do something different or change how you do business.
In terms of the environmental side of this, we are not just stewards of people; we are also stewards of our planet. I am not a staunch environmentalist, but I do believe we have a responsibility to do our best to take care of what God has provided to us. You should be able to determine fairly easily whether your business is violating God’s principles of taking care of the earth, especially if they have a negative impact on people’s health.
I would consider “do no harm” as a passive approach to social impact management. However, I believe Kingdom entrepreneurs can be more intentional with their businesses and resources. That’s what Business as Ministry is all about. In Luke 4:18-19, Jesus clearly laid out our job description as marketplace kings and priests:
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor.”
I use the term “economic evangelism” to represent initiatives where you take the opportunity to invest your time, thoughts, talents, and treasures in bringing spiritual, economic, and social impact to struggling people and areas. Here are a few practical ways you can activate these initiatives as a Kingdom CEO:
Social impact initiatives may often take a long time to reveal the results of the activities in which you choose to engage. Nevertheless, our job is to obey God and He is responsible for the results (1 Corinthians 3:6-8). If you genuinely give your best in one or more of these areas you can be confident that He will bless your efforts. Although you may not see all the results of your investments, you will be able to experience the promise of Isaiah 58.
It is far time for us tear down the kingdom of darkness and raise up the Kingdom of Light within impoverished communities. As a Kingdom CEO you are in a prime position to do so.
Learn more about Economic Evangelism at www.economicevangelism.org.
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Did you know that your spiritual gifts were not just meant for church and could also be used in business? In reality, because we are the church and our spiritual gifts are always with us, they can be used in any environment as we are led by the Spirit of God. Many people miss out on their harvest because they put God and their spiritual gifts in a box and don't realize or embrace using them in the marketplace.
Darren Shearer, author of Marketing Like Jesus, recently recorded a great podcast discussing the 3 ways that you can use your spiritual gifts in business. He writes in his blog post:
"Certainly, we should offer our spiritual gifts in a way that helps our churches have outstanding services and excellent programs. I believe this is an essential part of transforming our communities.
Using your spiritual gifts in business is a great lesson that should be taught in more churches. You can listen to the entire podcast here: http://darrenshearer.com/episode-30-3-ways-use-spiritual-gifts-business/
What are you spiritual gifts? How do you use them in your business?
"When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not wholly reap the corners of your field, nor shall you gather the gleanings of your harvest. And you shall not glean your vineyard, nor shall you gather every grape of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the poor and the stranger: I am the Lord your God" ~ Leviticus 19:9-10
In a recent devotional Os Hillman, founder of Marketplace Leaders, wrote about the responsibility of helping take care of the poor. From a Biblical perspective those in business are supposed to play a pivotal role in this process, even more than the government or churches. He writes:
So how does God want us to care for the poor? Is it through government welfare programs, food stamps, or soup kitchens? God gives us his answer in the Old Testament story of Boaz, Ruth and Naomi. It was customary for farmers to not glean their entire fields in order to leave some of the crop for the poor to glean. This allowed the poor to come at the end of the day and work to receive their provision. This is how the widow Naomi was able to care for herself. Boaz allowed the poor in his community to come to his field at the end of the day to get the leftovers of the harvest.
Finally Hillman asks, "What are the gleanings in your business? Consider how you might serve the poor."
Have you ever thought about how your business can serve the poor? I would love to hear your thoughts below...
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