Restoring Enterprise to its Place in the Body of Christ

Business as Mission, Kingdom Business, Great Commission Companies, Purpose-Driven Business, Enterprising Ministry, Kingdom Entrepreneurship - It goes by many names, but there is a new, and yet very old calling in the Global Body of Christ. Many believers are called to walk out their calling in the marketplace. A subset of those believers are called to plant and grow businesses that serve God and the rest of the church. It is their ministry, enterprising ministry, that we describe, support, and explore here.

Monday, November 6, 2017

5 Myths That Keep us Trapped in a Eddy

God's will for us is like a river. We are moving in it all the time, but sometimes we get diverted into eddies, circling swirls on the side of the river, going around and around, making no real progress to his intention for us.

Eddies are very comfortable. The require little action or consideration on our part. Notice how in this video some break free to continue on down the river, while others seem like they are moving, but are really not.

There are some myths that we believe that keep us in these circling eddies.

1.  We believe that ultimate truth is found in our feelings
2.  We forget our Identities
3.  We come to believe the temporary place where we find ourselves are permanent. We chose permanent solutions for temporary problems.
4.  We believe that resistance in front of us is always direction change from God.
5.  We believe some hurt, hangup or injury done to us by others, or things we have done to cannot be overcome or changed, even by God himself.  The pain serves as a boundary to any move we might make out of the eddy.

So what do we we do from here?

1. Recognize the eddy, the circular logic in our thinking or behavior. When we see the same place on the bank over and over again. When we seem to be stuck. When we find ourselves helpless or worse unwilling to want more than the eddy. If we can't see it, ask God to show us the eddy. Once we see it, and then be willing to ask God to break free and continue down His path for us.

2. Ask God for Help; if we have relationships with People of God we can trust, ask them for guidance. If not, ask God for such relationships. Look to join places of help, like church small groups, Christ-Centered Recovery groups. Carefully choose ministries that are not in group eddies of their own.

3.  Spend Time asking God how to pray, what to ask for. Study His word, read and study.

4.  Draft out the barriers, the boundaries that keep you in the eddy, write them down. Once you see the barriers, . In what regular life situations do they occur? Identify the feelings you have as you approach them. Fear, Anger, anxiety?  Is it a self imposed boundary, and like a dog with a shock collar in a yard where the electricity was turned off years ago, is just the thought of Fear, Anger, anxiety turn you away?

5.  Become Willing to ask God for freedom. If your not willing, pray for willingness to become willing to pray that prayer.

Being Free and Back into the center of God's path for you is worth the effort, if only to see what adventures lie ahead.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Government or Business which is the Monster

Both government and business  are trustworthy if they hold each other accountable.
Both government and business  are tyrants without each other. They are both the Monsters and the Pillars of democracy. They must both be healthy for democracy to thrive.

The truth is that all things human are corruptible. We are all selfish and manipulative by nature. This is self-evident and biblical. I see a lot of distrust to the point of hatred of both government and business in America by believers and non believers alike.

The arguments presented to us are about the constitution, the intent of founding fathers, the privilege of the rich, the fundamental fairness or unfairness of things. The basis of these positions seem to be that you either trust government and don't trust business, or you trust business and not government.

So depending on your fundamental belief government is either the solution or the problem.

Government: driven by self-righteousness, divine-right power, tax revenue expansionism, condescension, demagogy.  And necessity.
Business: driven by pride, greed, usury, competitiveness, frugality. And necessity.

Worst of all, both are led by people, corruptible all, as individuals or in groups. 

Since our Founders in America had lived with the consequences of  Tyranny by both groups, seeing the worst of both worlds, they constructed a constitution, and in it a set of checks and ballances to stop the abuses of the other.

"..democracy is the worst form of Government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time" (Winston Churchill 1947).

Both business and governments create an internal system of checks and balances. In government it's based on a system of  transparency and shared power. In business it is based on GAAP and required annual audits for larger companies.

Our way of life depends of government and business balancing each other.

Over the last couple of centuries we have come to put our faith in either government or busienss, which ever has served our own self interest the best, and have built two separate constituencies that don't like each other much.

Or maybe we trust no one. "Rage against the Machine"  is not just a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominated band. Then Chaos rules.

So what do we do now?
  1. Pray for Guidance on what you should do.
  2. Realize that for the stability of America both must be health and effective, and quit warring against the other.
  3. Avoid the powerful sucking of  destructive media hurricanes of either side. Vote carefully with our dollars, and in our elections.
  4. Pray for the country. for restoration, for revival. 
  5. Pray for both healthy government and business, until its time for Jesus to come.
The hopeful conclusion is that we avoid the distraction, the dissipation of energy, by creating permanent solutions to temporary problems. Let the monsters fight and trust in the Lord.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Changing Organizational Culture: The LARC Device

"Sir" the Chief said "There's something in the bushes your peeing on." 

Culture is a living dynamic entity that exists in every company and in every  network of companies
(or ministries) that do business or ministry together. It grows whether it was intentionally tended or not.  It responds reflexively to the things that happen to it. It can be assessed, and believe it or not, it can be Shepherd by intentional leaders. A LARC device is a tool that can Help.


 the beliefs, customs, arts, etc., of a particular society, group, place, or time. : a particular society that has its own beliefs, ways of life, art, etc. : a way of thinking, behaving, or working that exists in a place or organization

-Miriam Webster

5  Principles

1.  Acknowledge that culture exists in your Christ - centered activity, and  the cultures are distinct. (Revelation 2-3)
2.  Get an independent assessment of your culture using easy diagnostics and useful measurement.
3.  Get a group with all resulting impact-full members to interpret the results for the record.
4. Create a change plan (LARC Device)
5. Create an ongoing shepherding plan to tend to your culture.

The LARC Device

Change across a culture can be affected by creating an initiative (device) that engages legends, artifacts, rites, and ceremony (LARC) simultaneously.

  • Legend: a story that is told over and over again in an organization, and passes from one member to another becomes a legend. The stories that emerge reflects a real cultural value - positive or negative.
  • Artifact:  an object that carries symbolic meaning when seen or worn by group members.
  • Rite: customary observance, a social custom,  a practice, or conventional act particular to a group of people.
  • Ceremony :a deliberate celebration- or absence of celebration - of  an event that reflects an organization value.
 LARC Device principles
  1. Designed to address one (1) specific cultural value
  2. Engages all four areas
  3. Is implemented by a  impact-full leaders, both formal and informal
  4. Is consistently practiced until the organization knows it is a permanent change by an ongoing shepherding practices.
I learned this by observation, implemented by leaders, and watch it work in an impossible situation:
Names of the leaders would be recognized by many so I will leave them out.

Case Study:

 Set up:

I knew from experience serving at both the lowest and in the staff at the highest levels of an America military organization in NATO in Europe that the senior leader  held a value similar to units of the UK at the time, that when leaders kept their creature comforts with them they were well rested and made better decisions than those who led without those luxuries. It supported the real but unspokenvalue that rank had its privilege.  

It became clear that a new leader at the Army Core level, then Lieutenant General Colin Powell wanted to change that overall value. He believed that a leader that lives with the means of the people they lead the will best knows and their capabilities.

When the old leader left, General Powell put in place a new  Major General Calvin Waller. General Waller picked a new chief of staff, and he knew he wanted a culture change.

The Legend

General Waller and his chief of Staff came to his first briefing of the General Defense Plan (GDP) by by First Brigade leaders in a tent on a hill near the East West German Border (Iron Curtain)

When he got there there were two large overstuffed leather chairs sitting in the tent meant for them. General Waller looked down at it and ask the Brigade commander "How many soldiers did it take to bring these chairs up here? How much 5 Ton truck space?" The chairs were quickly removed.

When The general and his Chief of Staff arrived at the next Brigade after a long trip and again in the wilderness near the border, they got out to stretch and found some large bushes near a tree to urinate.
"Sir" the Chief said "There's something in the bushes your peeing on." 

It turns out a resourceful sergeant at Brigade 1 had called his buddy in Brigade 2 and told him to get rid of their leather chairs, and they had hidden them in the bushes.... right where the General urinated.

The Artifact

The Chief of Staff seized on this event and had an award made, a little Model of two soldiers peeing on a leather chair in the bushes. It became known as the "throne in the trees" award.  

The Rite

The general created a new metric, a metric of how much each unit had lightened their war packing load. The legend of how the award came about was retold.

The Ceremony 

The brigade that showed the least progress in their goal of reducing combat load received this white elephant award and kept it prominently featured until they could give it away to another brigade.

This was carried on until I left Europe so I don' t know how long it went. But I know it changed our organizational value.

So whats the point?

Find out the real cultural values of your company - you might be surprised what you find. Decide which negative value is killing you fastest, design a LARC Device and implement it fully to replace it with the one you want. - only make the rite and ceremony positive experiences not negative ones.

Friday, August 18, 2017


Peter Shaukat , CEO of Transformational SME (TSME), identifies five stages in the emergence of a new business as mission company. Each stage, from conception to launch, involves the integration of missional and commercial elements.
Preparation Stage
This is before the ‘baby is born’, the preparation that has taken place even before the business journey starts. It is about recognising what God has already done in the practitioner’s life in regards to their sense of missional call and life experiences; the tapestry woven together in their life before the BAM entity begins to be incubated. Preparation includes both business preparation and missiological preparation. What has God been doing to both missionally and professionally prepare the person, in terms of their skills and competencies?
This is where mentoring should begin: Tell me what God has been doing in your life? Tell me what your sense of call is? Tell me how God has been preparing you? The incubation process needs to begin there. The incubation of a new BAM business is the result of the process that God has already been doing before that.
Perception Stage
The perception stage is the next step. This is about gaining an understanding of what is going on in the environment that God has called you to do business as mission within; and what God wants to do through the business. What is going on in that environment in commercial terms? What are the needs? What is the market? What is the specific missional element? What is the missional calling to the people group? How is God raising up your business? The perceiving stage addresses the question: What is your business going to be about, commercially and missionally? This is the beginning of the gestation stage of the new business.
Activities in the perception stage will include formal market research, missiological research, taking exploratory trips, etc. There is no hard and fast rule, but this perception process needs to be at least 6 months to a year of really studying the market.
There are a couple of common stumbling blocks in the BAM movement in this stage. On the commercial side there has too often been inadequate market research. BAM companies have moved prematurely to the launch of the business without adequately researching the market. This is the stumbling block of falling in love with your product and discovering after the fact that the market doesn’t have the same affinity for it! Mentoring comes into this process. The BAM practitioner will need someone who is business-minded to ask good questions, to ask have you thought about these things? Where are you getting your commercial perceptions from? Have you checked out the local Chamber of Commerce? Have you met with government officials? And so on. The other common stumbling block is inadequate understanding of the missiological, anthropological, and sociological issues that are at play.
TSME has engaged with lots of BAM practitioners over the years at this perception stage; asking them questions around market, around their business readiness, around missiological understanding, etc. We have found that some practitioners need more commercial development, while others need more missiological development.
Persuasion Stage
This is the period of incubation that primarily involves team building, persuading others to join you. If you hold that it is risky and hard to launch a BAM company in isolation, as an individual, and that it is ideal to build a team around this business idea, then incubation will involve this stage of persuasion. Persuasion follows on from the perception stage and is about envisioning others and getting your team lined up, your investors lined up, engaging your spouse, and so on. From a funding perspective that will involve getting your ‘family, friends, and fools’, or, alternatively, your ‘love capital’, lined up for the start-up. The persuasion process is critical, it is bringing others on board, with commitment, with a willingness to sacrifice, to get to the point of ‘we’re going to do this together’.
The persuasion process also includes working together with national Christians and understanding together the context and business. This will involve persuading each other of the vision and intent of the company, and further refining what might work and what won’t. This should be bilateral; an expat that is not willing to listen to national Christians on what tweaking and refinement is needed is doomed to failure. This of course is not the same thing as listening to all voices – for there will be many nay-sayers and people who just don’t get it.  Choose your national counsellors with discernment and humility.
Through the persuasion stage you will also be perceiving new things about what God is doing. So these are not cut and dry, consecutive stages, this is an iterative process, where elements from previous stages repeat and intensify one another. It is like a river flowing in a linear direction, but within that flow there are eddies and circular movements sometimes carrying you forward, sometimes backward. In business incubation you get this reinforcement between persuasion and an even greater perception, as the vision for the business moves forward.
At this stage, the mentor is more hands-off. There is a mentoring process there, but it says to the practitioner, “If you are not able to persuade others to join your team, then I am not able to persuade them for you.” What is needed is availability and more of a Barnabas-type encouragement role. If you are the BAM practitioner, you have to do that persuasion process yourself to engage others to join your team, to finance your business and so on. For the business incubator the key role in this stage is to be an encourager to the persuader.
This is one of the key reasons that TSME has not funded start-ups. TSME has itself gone through the incubation process and as we developed our business model, we perceived that businesses could start with available resources from people closest to the entrepreneur – especially if it is a lean start-up – but it was the continuation process that they were most struggling with, in financial terms. We also realised that when the funding comes too easily at the start-up phase, the resilience of that persuasion process can actually be undermined. We fund businesses that have already been through that persuasion process, that have already got others engaged to start the business, and now they need to develop it.
Planning Stage
This is the detailed process of getting all the essential elements of your business lined up – the business planning process. It is understanding what the inputs to the business are, in turn, moving through a finite set of business processes, to what the business outputs are. Again it is an iterative process, after all, how can you persuade people if there are major unresolved pieces of the business planning process? However, persuasion begins first, because you need people willing to join you so that the planning can take place in a team context, otherwise you will be planning in a vacuum. You need to get people lined up behind the vision before the planning is complete, because in a sense it will never be complete. Although, there will be elements of the persuasion stage that will be dependent on presenting a decent plan – and that is legitimate and to be expected.
In terms of the services that are provided in the planning stage, again coaching and mentoring are very important. It is important to be thinking through with people experienced in business who can help you plan. This is where the traditional concept of incubation and the activities of the incubator are often centered. There is classically this idea of a ‘hothouse’ environment or facility where there is mind-share with like-minded groups, where the incubator has a group of experienced, committed coaches who are helping to refine the business plan and that the business planning process is being acted on step by step.
Business as mission is not a purely commercial enterprise, so the planning process for BAM companies is going to include missional planning and the development of a spiritual impact plan. This may include a cultural adaptation and language learning phase, living with a national family, for instance, or other necessary preparations.
Perseverance Stage
This is the launch cycle, where the ‘baby is born’ in sense – and where it might be keeping you up at night, there might be teething problems! The incubation process involves persevering through the phase of business start-up. What do you need at that point? This is where field-support in terms of mentoring and coaching, and prayer support is needed.

This material was first published in the BAM Think Tank Report on BAM Incubation.

The Parable of Mission Camp - Enterprising Ministry For the Next Wave

 I had a dream in 1994. No, really...

I had happened every night for several weeks, and each night the dream continued on adding  the next chapter of the story. I wrote it out, and even sent to a friend to edit it. I lost it to a computer virus in 1995.

I am brought back to it today 22 years later because I think the time is right for it, the story makes more sense now than ever.  The story unfolds like the lives of those called to Kingdom Business Entrepreneurship with whom I have worked  for all these years since the dream.  If you are called to minister before God in enterprise, Prayerfully consider whether there is a message here for you.

  1. Arrival By accident
  2. The Hotel
  3. The Cafe
  4. The Camp
  5. The Tower
  6. The Equipping Center
  7. The Perimeter
  8. The Kidnapped
  9. The Raiders
  10. Reconciliation

Monday, June 12, 2017

Three Things Company Culture is, Three Things it is Not

The following points are shamelessly stolen from a blogsite called Military Leadership Methods, and is about how the Marine Corps built and is managing its culture.  The U.S Marines are a very long and successful cases study of deliberate organizational Culture management. The article points to three things that company Culture is, and is not ( editor has created the question bits)

1.  It is the result of  collective interactions.
2.  It Is not "owned by anyone". Even North Korea Culture is influenced by how Kim Jung Un's  leaders choose to react to his control.

Who owns the culture here? The answer shouldn’t just be the boss or any one person. Is everyone encourage to engage in culture discussion? If leadership is not looking through a wide lenses at culture it can miss the people who are talking about it, leaving you exposed when it changes without you.

2.  Culture exists in every company every minute every day. Sometimes We try to influence it by deliberate events. The events only influence the culture. 

2.  Culture is not a set of standards. The Real Culture is not what people say. It is more. It is how they interact with tasks and people, what  they say, do, and the choices they make when no one is looking.

 Is culture an “all the time” thing? If you are doing an event or two a year to “grow the team”, I can assure you that you are not driving culture, but it is happening. Don’t allow the discussion around who you are to be limited to an event, make culture something you talk about in meetings, performance reviews and with 1-on-1’s. You don’t need to announce it just weave it in, all the time.

3.  Culture Is a dynamic movie . It changes by means of every new person or leader you hire, every new product you develop, every new customer, every new competitor.

3.  Culture is not a snapshot. Any attempts to keep it frozen by leadership will cause a personality split between what the real culture is and what The leadership says it is.

– Change requires direction and attention, not resistance. As your company grows the culture will adjust to include the ever growing diversity in your workforce. Your leadership role is to help steer, not to ensure that nothing ever changes, because everything changes.
Marines believe they are the greatest fighting force on the planet. They will stand and fight when others would run because the culture permeates through every Marine. This way of thinking is not an accident, it is done on purpose all the time, in training, in briefings, and in how we celebrate our heritage. You can have that same effect in your organization.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Business as Mission:a Possible Funding Structure

Disclaimer: I'm a business guy trying to solve a business problem-and every business or non profit is structured differently. I'm not a lawyer, please don't take any of this as legal advice or execute any plan with out running it be legal where ever you area.I'd welcome a comment from someone who knows more than me.

Problem:  Many Non-Profit entities want to provide funding for Independent For-Profit business start up and expansions, which are providing an income source directly to a non-profit entity in a remote region around the world. This has been a difficult thing for 501(c)3s to do.

501(c) 3s can own for profit companies, as long as all income comes back to the 501(c)3.
But they cannot give money to an independent for-profit business except for services rendered.

Some States have created something called  a  Limited Low-Profit Liability Company, sometimes a  L3C. They may receive non-profit funds to execute the charitable purpose of the Foundation in some cases.

So: In example:

  1. Large Foundation or Other Non-profit is set up with a charter that includes Business as Mission Activities, and creating local bank-business partnerships.
  2. LC3 is set up to offer and administer Grants and/or business as mission low interest loans, partnered with a local bank near the business.
  3. L3C solicits projects  on behalf of one or more Foundations:
  4. A business plan is approved, for a specific project, in two parts: one part grant, and if business goals are met, the other part loan. It would also include interest subsidies to the partner bank and fees to the L3C.
  5. The charitable foundation gets a pre-approval letter from the IRS that the Foundation's principle funds can be used for that purpose, noting that returning principle funds will stay with the L3C.
  6.  The Foundation Funds and administers the Grant porition. andmovest the loan principle to the LC3.
  7. The L3C holds the loan principle, and expected fees in the Foundations account in the L3C.
  8. When criteria for giving the loan are met, The LC3 gives the loan principle, acting as the loan investor, to the local bank. 
  9. The LC3 pays the local bank near the business a pre-arranged difference from their normal interest rate to the lower BAM interest rate. (some local banks can charge high rates of interest)
  10. Loan principle and low BAM interest repayments are made back to the LC3, who puts it, by agreement, into the account LC3 set up for the Foundation. This principle may be loaned out again to another project as directed by the Foundation,
  11. As the Foundation's account in the L3C grows, it can use the funds to fund other projects but will not receive it back, and thery by maintains its charitable status.
Complicated, but one done, can get easier each time it is repeated.

LC3 Still not legal in Texas

Prior to 2008, the prevailing for-profit business entities required high returns on investment.   Because most socially beneficial business ventures are not highly profitable, organizations pursuing these objectives are commonly set up as non-profit corporations. The problem with non-profit organizations is that they have very limited access to capital due to IRS regulations that restrict profit-seeking objectives.   For social and community conscious business ventures to succeed, they need a flexible, lightly regulated business structure that allows access to investment capital. The L3C format was designed to satisfy this need.
In 2008, Vermont became the first state to enact legislation authorizing the creation of the L3C as a new business entity. Since then several states have enacted similar legislation making the L3C a viable option for socially conscious entrepreneurs. As of January 2012, the following states had enacted L3C legislation: Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, and Wyoming. 

L3C Structure

An L3C is structurally exactly the same as an LLC.   It has members, managers, an operating agreement, and flexibility with ownership rights. From a legal standpoint L3Cs differ from LLCs in one significant area: profit motive. In general, legislation authorizing the creation of low-profit limited liability companies has three requirements: 
(1) that the company significantly furthers charitable or educational purposes as defined by the IRS, 
(2) that no significant purpose of the company is the production of income or appreciation of property, and 
(3) that no purpose of the company is to accomplish political, legislative, or lobbying activities. This structure makes the L3C a more suitable vehicle for raising capital previously inaccessible to low-profit and non-profit organizations.

5 Culture questions-is your Company Culture Special?

Is your talent strategy rooted in your business strategy? Culture can’t just be an assortment of well-meaning HR practices; it has to grow out of distinctive business practices. As I reflect on the great companies I’ve gotten to know — companies that are winning big in tough, competitive fields — they all exude what brand strategist Adam Morgan calls a “lighthouse identity.” Every time you encounter them, however you encounter them, you understand what makes them different, what they’re prepared to do that other companies aren’t, and why what they’re doing is relevant today. That’s why building a great culture starts with intellectual clarity about what your organization stands for and why you expect to win. There can be no talent strategy without a compelling business strategy.
Does your company work as distinctively as it competes? Yes, the most successful companies think differently from everyone else — that’s what separates them from the competition in the marketplace. But they also care more than everyone else — that’s what holds people together as colleagues in the workplace. So much of what we focus on as leaders is how to be more clever: big data, slick apps, social media. A great culture allows clever organizations to be more human, to make everything they do more authentic, real, memorable. The true promise of a culture, argues influential venture capitalist Ben Horowitz, is to “be provocative enough to change what people do every day.” That’s the real connection between culture and strategy: If you want to energize and elevate how your organization competes, you have to energize and elevate how your people behave.
Can you capture what it means to be a member of your organization? At its core, the role of culture is to reinforce a sense of belonging, a shared commitment among colleagues about how they solve problems, share information, serve customers, and deliver experiences. Which is why the most enduring cultures are built on language and rituals that are designed to create a palpable sense of community — which, in many cases, only makes sense to people who are part of that community. A favorite slogan among students and faculty at Texas A&M University, a long-established school with a one-of-a-kind culture, sums it up: “From the outside looking in, you can’t understand it. From the inside looking out, you can’t explain it.” That’s the spirit I’ve seen at companies with the most powerful cultures. Their leaders devote enormous time and imagination to devising small gestures and little symbols that send big messages about what it takes for everyone to be at their best every day.
Is your culture built for learning as well as performance? High-output cultures are all about fierce competition, crisp execution, and a relentless commitment to service. But truly enduring cultures are also about change and renewal. It’s one of the hazards that comes with success: The better an organization performs, the more ingrained its culture becomes, and the harder it can be for executives and employees to stay alert to big shifts in markets, technology, and culture. That’s why the best cultures and the most effective leaders keep learning as fast as the world is changing. They’re constantly scanning for new practices from other companies, new ideas for unrelated industries, a new sense of what’s possible in their own fields. At WD-40, a company with one of the richest learning cultures I’ve seen, CEO Garry Ridge likes to challenge his colleagues with a simple question: When’s the last time you did something for the first time?
Can your culture maintain its zest for change and renewal, even when the company stumbles? It’s a lot easier to maintain high levels of energy and morale at a company when sales are booming and the stock price is soaring. But the reality of competition today is that long-term success is virtually impossible without short-term stumbles. For any organization, part of staying relevant is experimenting with dramatically new technologies, sketching alternative business models, and rethinking how it engages with customers — all of which are bound to involve setbacks and disappointments. That’s why the most enduring cultures are the most resilient cultures. Colleagues at every level embrace the power of creative ideas, deep convictions, and confidence in the face of missteps. Leadership scholar John Gardner calls this outlook “tough-minded optimism,” and it’s a hallmark of cultures that can move and morph with the times.

Friday, May 19, 2017

The Ministry of Words

A man has Joy in an Apt answer, and how delightful is a timely word.
Proverbs 15:23

Like Apples of gold in settings of silver is a word spoken in the right circumstances
Proverbs 25:11.

The "word" in these verses, is the Hebrew word " daw bawr' " (. H1697 דּבר dâbâr daw-bawr' ) From H1696; These are only two of the over 1300 times this word is used in the old testament. The English translation to "word" is a vast understatement of the meaning.

It can mean:

  1. a speech
  2. a plan
  3. a course of action
  4. a communicated issue
  5. a "thing"
  6. a story
  7. a Chronicle
  8. a communicated promise
  9. a communicate commitment
  10. a gift
  11. a cause
  12. a message
  13. an accusation
  14. a report
  15. a deed
  16. a timely, deliberate doing of nothing
  17. an instruction, a teaching
  18. a blessing
and many more, depending on context.

A more complete definition as:

a Dawbar' moment is "a meaningful moment of epiphany delivered to one human though another, sometimes deliberately given, but more often incidental to other activity. A communication from God, delivered by his holy spirit. If God sends me a Dawbar' word, it enables me, equips, encourages me, corrects me, informs me, reassures me, lays out a principle he intends to be a tool for my journey.

It services a purpose to advance God's kingdom. God often drops it into our path as the next stepping stone in the path he is laying out for us.

So what is the ministry of dawbar'?

The ministry of  dawbar' is being a vessel God uses to provide these connecting, equipping and energizing moments. Clearly it is among the gifts of a pastor, or shepherd. But I see it happening between people all over as God's Kingdom advances, in the fellowship of believers and in the marketplace. The ones God seems to use most are almost invisible to the body of Christ, but they are like the sons of Issachar,  (I chronicles 12:32). They appear at the right time, the Dawbar' moment happens, and then they are out of the link as the "flow" is restored.

Years ago I asked God to use my words to advance his Kingdom. Now that I understand the Dawbar' moment and its many forms, I see that he has used me in unexpected ways that I could never claim credit for.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Low Profit Limited Liability Corporation ( L3C) Update

I believe Low Profit Limited Liability Corporations (L3Cs),  are key entities that will allow believers to fund  BAM initiatives in mission environments.. L3Cs are entities that may allow Corporations to Fund Entrepreneurial Projects and yet still receive Charitable Contribution tax credits.

It's  still complicated to set up, but there is legislation pending, the PRIs Promotion Act,
which is aimed at making funding of  BAM and other social enterprise start ups easier.

The following article is an update on the status of the L3C and the legislation.


by  Steve Gunderson, president and CEO of the Council on Foundations.

Earlier this year, Americans for Community Development held its inaugural conference, “L3C A to Z,” in Evanston, Ill., to educate nonprofits on Low-Profit Limited Liability Companies (L3Cs) and the advantages they provide for those pursuing program-related investments (PRIs).

At the opening plenary, I served on a panel, along with Robert Lang and Max Martin, on new philanthropic funding structures-focusing primarily on PRIs.

PRIs are an increasingly attractive tool because they allow achievement of charitable goals without depleting endowments, even producing a modest return in many cases. Such investments can provide much-needed capital to initiatives for which a foundation cares about and can often lead to innovative solutions. Examples include low-interest loans and equity investments to entities aligned with the core values of a foundation.

Another type of PRI is the L3C, a special IRS designation for for-profit companies whose primary goal is to provide a social benefit.

  • It is a cross between a charity and a for-profit company. 
  • While PRIs offer several advantages to foundations, government regulations are extremely burdensome. 
  • Under the current system, before a foundation can enter into a PRI it must make a determination that the investment is primarily intended to further a charitable purpose. This is a legal determination based on the facts and circumstances of each transaction. 
  • For old tried and true PRI models, this can be relatively simple because IRS regulation, published letter rulings, and other experience provide guidance about what is and is not allowed. 
  • Newer models for PRIs, particularly L3Cs, are not so straightforward because there are not many examples to rely on to determine when a particular investment’s structure will be considered “charitable” by the IRS. 
  • As a result, foundations may be uncomfortable with the uncertainty of a particular PRI, potentially leading to two choices: advising against the investment or recommending the foundation seek a private letter ruling from the IRS-in other words, killing the opportunity outright or delaying it so long it dies out. 
To ease the burdensome regulations and assist foundations in mission-driven investing, the Council supports legislation creating a voluntary procedure for entities seeking foundation participation in PRIs to obtain an IRS determination that such participation constitutes a permissible charitable activity.
  • The PRIs Promotion Act would restrict how much time the IRS has to respond to these requests, thus encouraging lawyers to seek IRS approval rather than advise against the investment. 
  • The legislation also would increase the efficiency of the system by allowing multiple foundations to rely on a single determination that a PRI is charitable. Currently, each foundation has to make its own determination-increasing the costs and time involved. 
The PRIs Promotion Act has yet to be introduced in Congress, but it is among priority legislation contained in the Council’s legislative agenda. To stay up to date on this and other legislative priorities relating to philanthropy, sign up for our weekly Public Policy Update and visit our Legislative Action Center.

And if you are attending the Council’s 2011 Fall Conference for Community Foundations, you have a great opportunity to learn more about L3Cs: Attend the preconference session, “The L3C-New Opportunities for Community Foundations.”

The Council has lined up a number of speakers, including Sanders Davies, senior partner, PKF O’Connor Davies; Ericka Harney, assistant director of development, The Council of State Governments; and Robert Lang (moderator), founder, Americans for Community Development. Community foundations will have the chance to learn more about using this new tool to help fulfill their mission. Steve Gunderson is president and CEO of the Council on Foundations.

Friday, August 26, 2011

From the Regeny

Three Kingdom Business/Business as Misssion related books

Reinventing the Wheel: A New Spin on American Business Leadership By Jonathan D. McDowell

 As America loses faith in current models of leadership, the current need for a new type of leadership is described. A reinvention of leadership is suggested through the use of Romans 12:9-21 as a baseline. After laying that foundation, three foci for a leader are outlined: Purpose, Community and Fortitude. These ideas from contemporary business thought are then applied to business with the text of Romans 12:9-21. The result is what a reinvented American business leader should aim to achieve in personal and organizational leadership.

 Servant Leader Workplace Spiritual Intelligence: A Shield of Protection from Workplace Stress By Gary Roberts, Ph.D. and Daryl Green, Ph.D.

 Servant leader spiritual intelligence is the foundational scriptural approach to leadership. Servant leadership is the essential character attribute that enables managers to promote the Great Commandment and Great Commission in the workplace. This article describes the constituent elements of servant leader spiritual intelligence and its benefits. Servant leadership spiritual intelligence helps managers develop a capacity for transcendence, achieve a higher state of God consciousness, interject the sacred into everyday events, use scriptural principles to solve workplace problems, and engage in ethical and virtuous behavior such as forgiveness, love, transparency, and humility.

  • Our preliminary study indicated that managers who scored higher on servant leadership, an important workplace spiritual intelligence attribute, reported lower levels of job stress and higher levels of workforce engagement (more satisfied with peers and job challenge, higher organizational commitment and loyalty, greater motivation to improve performance, and higher overall performance level).
Examining Viral Marketing and the Diffusion of the Gospels By Lisa Renz and A. Gregory Stone, Ph.D. 

Viral marketing is emerging as a viable strategy for organizations as part of the marketing mix. Research into viral marketing is still in its infancy. Socio-rhetorical criticism is one approach to examine viral marketing, and more specifically, the diffusion of the Gospels to gain insights into what factors led to their successful long-term diffusion. Future research may choose to examine the influences of gender, age, intrinsic and extrinsic incentives, and feedback. Making Sense of the Journey:

The Christian Business Leader as Pilgrim By Corné J. Bekker, Ph.D.

Recent voices have argued that the discipline of faithfully reading and interpreting the sacred Scriptures of the Old and New Testament in the context of business can have a positive effect on economic development. There also seems to be clear evidence that communities in the early Church benefited economically from their conversion to Christ experience.

This article proposes that theological reflection on Biblical perspectives on work and business assists the manager or business leader to interpret her deepest inner values and beliefs as they relate to the workplace, correlate those interpretations with the other information gathered through the tools of management and leading, and finally assess the adequacy of both the theological and business interpretations and correlations to the world in which they labor..

From  Regent University Newsletter

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Friday, August 12, 2011

Is My Business Labor an Act of Worship?

The word "ministry" carries different meanings depending who's using it and what's being described.
In the last decade, there's a movement among some workplace-based believers who pursue business labor as an act of worship.One of the names the movement carries is  Business as Mission (BAM).
People involved in Business as Mission, Workplace Ministry, "tentmaking", church planting, Kingdom Business Professionals, Great Commission Companies use the word ministry in a way that appears to carry  a different meaning than when the word "ministry" is used by clergy. Some clergy participating in BAM discussions cautiously explore what BAM people mean by the word "ministry".
Some questions they ask are:

Do you mean ministry alongside of your work to make money?
Do you mean ministry during work breaks with people you meet at work?
Do you mean ministry to the body of Christ by providing employment, so that those employed can do ministry?
Do you mean out-reach in the workplace so that you can draw them into a church somewhere?
Do you mean generating wealth to give to ministries?

To answer, I wanted to look at how the word "ministry" is used in the Bible:

The old testament uses three Hebrew root words that most English versions of the bible translate as "ministry":

Kahan - To  act  as  priest or mediator between God and Man, a ministry before God and men. For example, offering sacrifices.

Aboha - To labor in bondage or in service to a religious project such as a craftsman ministering by labor to build the temple.

Sharatch - to assist or serve alongside: this was the word used for Samuel when he first came to Eli as a child to minister in the temple.

The New testament only uses two Greek root words that most English versions of the bible translate as "ministry":

Hupo -  or rower, as in a ship a  low level laborer. God spoke directly to Paul at his conversion on the road to Damascus and said that his ministry was to be a "rower".

Leturgio  to perform religious or  priestly Service:

Acts 13:2 (worshiping, fasting, ministering before the Lord) 
Romans 15:16, 27 Gentiles churches ministering to  the Jewish churches financially
Hebrews 1:7, 8:6, 9:21, 10:11: When Paul was teaching Jews about the ministry of Jesus as mediator of the new covenant. He called that Jesus' ministry.

Business-based believers are saying that their activities in business are no less than leturgio ministry before the Lord, Acts of Worship.Financial support of other ministries is also part of their worship.

Apostles, Overseers, Elders, Deacons etc are a different question of service (ministry). For example, Diaconia by a diacano (Service done by a deacon) is used  for other acts of service or ministry to the body of Christ.


Under the new covenant, ministry is not restricted to clergy or to acts of church administration. Some people minister before the Lord in acts of worship by conducting business. Yes, they share their faith, do out reach and serve the body of Christ in many other way, too.

The clergy do litergio ministry to God, serving in the role of administration for  the body of Christ past, present and future. They sometimes do this full time.

Some believing entrepreneurs do literugio ministry to God by serving the Body of Christ, past, present and future in the role of the administration of business.

Neither is more is more anointed (Set apart) than the other.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

5 Christian owned Companies Uncomfortable With BAM

Christian entrepreneurs who own some kinds of businesses will become uncomfortable the deeper they get into Business as Mission. BAM Questions the world view that make them successful,and when they ask the hard questions, they must either embrace BAM  or turn away from it. People who own these five kinds of businesses will be challenged by real  BAM concepts:

1. Business by The World's Book :Acknowledge Responsibility only to the law and shareholders. Shareholders are majority Christian but exert not influence or do not believe they are accountable for the actions of the company.
2. Old School Sacred/Secular Separatists: Businesses who's Christian owners believe that business is inherently "old nature", and they separate secular and sacred activities and standards. Their job is to operate in the"dirt business world" according to its rules, and reclaim "mammon" to give to the church. Only an organization who's home is in a church building can do God's work. Often in co-dependent complicit relationship with a sacred only church.
3. My Kingdom Business. An un-surrendered business by me, for me and mine from which I donate occasionally to God's work.
4. A Jesus-free Business. Humanitarian based  Social Enterprise. May be Christian in name only, and thereby inoculated against any real Kingdom of God Contribution. a "good place" to work as long as you keep your god generic. Perhaps worships a large religious institution like "The Church" or has a large christian denomination in its name.
5.  Ministry wearing business clothes. A business designed to create interactions with people whether it grows revenue or not. Run by gifted Church planters, pastors or Missionaries, who have no entrepreneurial business gifts. Requires regular cash infusions from other sources to survive, and has no business plan that leads to long term profitability and growth.

More to be published later

-Lee Royal