Success in business can come from some unexpected places. Jackets for Jobs, Inc. in Detroit is a great example of this. This incredible organization, founded by Allison Vaughn in 2001, provides unemployed women with business attire and mentoring, while helping them find jobs. Since they started, they have helped over 16,000 women. I love this quote by Ms. Vaughn:
When Jesus tells us to help the "least of these," I believe many Christians struggle with seeing how that applies to our businesses. However, this powerful story is a great example of how following your dream can make a significant impact in your community.
I encourage you to ask God how He wants you to use your dream to impact your community.
Click here to read the full article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/alison-vaughn/how-dressing-the-unemploy_b_8033112.html
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 common theme throughout the Bible is that God often used young people to accomplish extraordinary things. A few examples include David, Samuel, Joseph, Solomon, and Esther. If God could use them as He did, why should we look at their potential any differently?
We need to stop looking at young people as problems in our communities and start looking at them as solutions. Teaching them about business and social enterprise is an excellent way to engage their minds, leverage their talents, and utilize their creativity to change their own communities.
Inc. My Dream Young Boss Camp for middle and high school students is happening July 13-24 in Atlanta, GA.
For more information and sponsorship opportunities please visit www.mykinsman.org/youth
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?
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.
If we look across the country at the major issues facing most urban communities - and in particular the minority populations - three common themes emerge... the lack of Jesus, jobs, and justice. In the video below I share my thoughts on this and how Greater Works Vocational Discipleship Program is addressing these three issues in South Atlanta.
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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I want to share some exciting news with you. In my last post, We're Bringing Jobs to South Atlanta, I discussed the launch of Greater Works Vocational Discipleship Program. We have hit the ground running. After the successful launch and orientation of 21 young male participants into our program last week, little did I know that our crew from South Atlanta/Lakewood would witness our Heavenly Father's "Greater Works" in a most powerful way, with a blessing that exceeded our wildest expectations.
30 and Counting
On Thursday, March 26, we made a passionate plea for “Men of Means” via our social media contacts to stand up and become a blessing to our the inner city men we had just recruited. Well guess what? The very next day Father God heard our cry and directed us to a business owner who had a heart of sincere compassion for these men. Although he was not even a professing Christian, his personality is of the most genuinely Christ-like character I've seen in a while. God's ways are not our ways…
For literally 4 hours Mr. Sayeed Imran, Founder/CEO of Elegant Staffing, a high end event staffing company, sat down with now 30 of our men to interview each of them individually. The shout of joy came when after this interviewing marathon he proceeded to offer ALL OF THEM employment in his business - the majority at $10 an hour - even those who had no previous work experience!
An Opportunity to Rebuild Men
Although he employs over 700 people, unfortunately Mr. Imran's experience has been that the men he has employed have been less reliable than the women. So he was thoroughly impressed and excited to know that in addition to pre-employment training, Greater Works will provide loving, follow-up life development coaching often missing from our young men's lives, which will enable them to maintain their employment and high performance on the job long-term. Moreover, he understands that this will also have a positive direct impact to his bottom line!
Praise God for providing us a visionary business owner who believes in Greater Works Vocational Discipleship and is giving us a chance to REBUILD THE CITY by REBUILDING IT'S MEN!
We Need Your Support
Please continue to pray for this God-inspired initiative and how He would lead you to support this opportunity to expand the Kingdom and transform lives. We are still in the process of raising our start-up capital, and would greatly appreciate your gift. You can give today at www.Greater-Works.com.
God bless you and thanks in advance for your support!
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