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...
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!
"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...
Your dream is a gift from God to the earth. If you are not living out your dream then people will continue to suffer in the areas where you have been called to bring redemption and reconciliation. Don't be found missing where God has called you to make an impact!
Leave your comments below...
We know the cost of the fallout is not yet calculated from the aftermath of the events in Ferguson over the past few days. However, what we do know is that the first victims after the verdict was announced were small businesses in the "hot zone" that were burned to the ground.
Operation Hope CEO and empowerment advocate John Hope Bryant wrote an article on LinkedIn entitled: "The Second Victim of Ferguson. The Death of Business and Jobs" that highlighted the potential long-term devastating impact of the loss of small businesses. According to Bryant, the specific small businesses that burned down and/or looted included: QuickTrip, Ferguson Market, AutoZone, wireless telephone store, beauty supply store, a public storage, and a BBQ restaurant. Bryant says:
"None of these businesses had anything to do with the injustices of Ferguson and its criminal justice system, but many may never open again, or even have a desire to come back. And given that 92% of all jobs in America are private sector, this means that a community that had few jobs before the Michael Brown crisis, now will have significantly less still.
This is one reason I'm a huge advocate for entrepreneurship training in urban areas as a vehicle to create opportunities and help lift people out of poverty. Prayerfully Ferguson's entrepreneur community will be able to rebuild with an increased emphasis on more people becoming small business owners. Economic empowerment must become one of the the key aspects of community rebuilding.
Click here to read the full article on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/article/20141125191809-23074630-the-second-victim-of-ferguson-the-death-of-business-and-jobs
Leave your comments below...
Whether we realize it or not, we are in the age of the "Entrepreneurial Economy". This doesn't mean everyone will be an entrepreneur. What it means is that every worker needs to approach the workforce with a new mindset. Along with a new mindset, workers will also need new transferable skills that will be sustainable in any work environment or economy. Every person is a personal enterprise who brings significant value to the marketplace. While that may be somewhat frightening for some, this new normal actually creates many opportunities for those who are willing and able to adapt and adjust.
That's why we're excited to host Dream Rally for Jobs in Suffolk, VA this Friday, October 17th at Gates of Heaven C.O.G.I.C. We will be restoring hope, igniting visions, and inspiring dreams of the unemployed, underemployed, and misemployed. If you have been unsuccessful in finding meaning work with a living wage or you know someone in that position please join us for this special event beginning at 7:30 pm.
Learn more at www.incmydream.com/dream-rally
Please write your comments below...
Poverty and injustice are not the central focus of the Gospel but they should be significant areas of concern for those who are followers of Jesus Christ. Jesus says in Matthew 25:35-45 that how we have treated the poor, imprisoned, and homeless is a direct reflection of how we deal with him. And according to James 1:27, "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a major advocate for the fight against economic injustices, especially later in his life (you can hear some of his views in the video below). This coming Monday night at Kingdom Business University's business Bible study, we'll be discussing some of Dr. King's views on economic injustice, including poverty and unemployment. Please join us at 7:30 pm for a poignant and relevant conversation to you as a Kingdom builder. Click the image below for more information.
What are you thoughts on King's views on poverty?
As we wade through another holiday shopping season of hyper-marketing, once-in-a-lifetime-until-next-year black Friday discounts, and customer brawls, it's easy to lay the blame for this atmosphere on our "greed-driven capitalism." However, the reasons for the current environment is more complex than that generic label. In his recent article, Capitalism and the Kingdom, Bob Lupton of FCS Urban Ministries discusses the delicate balance through which we should view capitalism, especially as it relates to how Christians are to deal with the poor. Here's an excerpt...
"I am convinced that the only thing that will enable the poor to emerge from poverty is a decent job. I am further convinced that the best chance of creating decent jobs lies with our free market capitalists. Does this mean that capitalism is the Divine design for bringing about Shalom? I suspect not. Nor is any economic system devised by flawed humanity. But in spite of its bent toward self-interest, even with its excesses and inequities, capitalism has an historic opportunity to create shared prosperity that can benefit every person on the globe. What capitalism needs in order to fulfill its promise is sanctified self-interest."
If your goal is to make a community impact through an organization which structure is best, for profit or not for profit? Both structures have their pros and cons. Bob Lupton, founder of non-profit FCS Urban Ministries, lays out the case supporting the need and significance of for profit organizations. According to Lupton, "Only for-profit businesses produce the wealth that truly enables people to thrive. Here's an excerpt from his most recent blog:
"In a strange sort of way, for-profits are cleaner than non-profits. For-profits must produce. Their product must sell, their service must meet a real need, or they will burn through their start-up capital and be out of business. They cannot long exist on unfulfilled promises or failed expectations. But non-profits are different. Their bottom line is evaluated by good accomplished, not money earned. And good accomplished is much harder to measure than monetary gains. Non-profit activities may be measurable – number of meals served, number of clients seen, number of garments distributed – butactivities are hardly the same as outcomes. As a matter of fact, many non-profit activities actually do more harm than good. It is very difficult to gauge when a soup kitchen meal is a survival safety net or dependency deepening subsidy. Thus, non-profits’ stock and trade are meaningless numbers, questionable outcomes and heart-warming stories. You see why I say for-profits are cleaner than non-profits?"
Continue reading For Profit or Not For Profit?...
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