I would define Gospel Entrepreneurship (GE) as giving your life to start churches, businesses, and ministries that 1) bring glory to God; 2) advance the local mission (Great Commandment) and global mission (Great Commission) of Jesus; and 3) bring about common good around the world.
Let’s define this:
- Bring glory to God
- Advance the local mission and global mission of Christ
- Bring about common good around the world
To bring glory to God is no different than humanity’s ultimate chief end. Every person in all of history exists to bring glory to God. That is our ultimate aim. That is our ultimate purpose. It’s how we bring glory to God that differs for each of us.
This is where specific characteristics begin to uniquely define GE’s. They find themselves using “the works of their hands,” which every Christian does in a way that is specific to them, to advance the local mission and global mission of Christ by starting churches, businesses, or other types of ministries. The local mission of Christ is the Great Commandment. This is the call to love God and love our neighbors (Matthew22:34-40). The global mission of Christ is called the Great Commission. This is the imperative that Christ gives to his church to take the gospel to all nations (Matthew:28-16-20). How GE’s do this is by creative initiatives that advance both the local and global mission of Jesus.
By calling and training, I am a church planter. This means that wherever I go, some kind of group will form that will inevitably begin studying the Scriptures together that, Lord willing, will turn into a local church. Put me in Washington, DC, this will inevitably happen. Put me in Canada, this will inevitably happen. Put me in Eastern Europe, this will inevitably happen. This is marked by intentional living, gospel-fueled drive, and gift set. Every Christian is called to live intentionally for the glory of God. Every Christian is to have a gospel-fueled drive for their neighbors, community, city, and world. And every Christian ought to understand their specific gifting.
Because one and two are true about every Christian, and number 3 is different for everything Christian, some will not relate or be interested in GE. That’s okay. There are many resources out there for the more pastoral/shepherding/counselor-types, or the more evangelistic-types, or the more teacher-oriented-types, or the more theological-types. GE’s are more, by nature, apostolic. Not in the sense of having the office of Apostle (those who walked with Jesus during his earthly ministry), but “little a” apostolic—more prone to start, develop, and lead things. In other words, GE’s tend to be apostolically entrepreneurial.
That’s why you see church planters who are prone to start other businesses or ministries or have other projects they are dabbling in. And, again, that is okay. That is where they are most effective for Kingdom impact. When GE’s are out in the world kicking up dust, that’s where they feel the most alive. It’s here where GE’s find their greatest fulfillment in what God has called them to do.
GE’s are constantly thinking through the lens of social entrepreneurship, or the desire to see things started that bring about common good around the world. This is the cultural mandate given to all people in Genesis 1:28 to go forth and cultivate the earth. However, GE’s are often on the front lines creating these mediums that bring about the redemptive work of Christ throughout the world.
To summarize, Gospel Entrepreneurship is specifically applied to some. It’s not for everyone. It’s not about everyone. Paul says in Ephesians 4:11-12, “And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ.”
Some are apostles. Some are prophets. Some are evangelists. Some are shepherds. And some are teachers.
Gospel Entrepreneurship is about how the “little a” apostles go about starting churches, businesses, and other ministries so that the saints can be equipped and the body can be built up in Christ for 1) the glory of God; 2) the advancement of the local mission (Great Commandment) and global mission (Great Commission) of Jesus; and 3) bringing about common good around the world.