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.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Finding Where You Fit: Waves, Mountains, Locations and Roles

Four Dimensions of Enterprise Ministry

It is an empowering revelation to understand which tool you are in the box, which part of the Body of Christ. One way to inquire of the Lord about this is to ask Him where he has anointed your ministry to serve along the following 4 dimensions:

The First Dimension to understand is where your ministry fits among the Five Transformational Waves

God has been transforming nations in progressive waves of change, each new wave advancing on the foundation laid by the previous wave

The LORD your God will clear away these nations before you little by little; you will not be able to put an end to them quickly, for the wild beasts would grow too numerous for you.
- Deuteronomy 7:22 (NIV)

Each wave passes over the land, bringing a phase of change to the body of Christ and the world, leaving in its wake seeds and nutrients of transformation that will prepare the land for the next wave.

There are five transformational waves
  • The first wave is the Seeding wave; Matt 28:18-20
  • The second wave is the Soaking wave. Ephesians 6: 4-5
  • The third wave is the Stabilizing wave.
  • The fourth wave is the Sharing wave.
  • The fifth wave is the Securing wave.
The Second Dimension: Where does your Ministry fits among the Seven Mountains, or Seven Mind Molders that influence any culture?
  • Religion
  • Government & Law
  • Family
  • Education
  • Business
  • Media, Communications& Technology
  • Arts
The Third Dimension: Where in the World does your ministry fit? There are too many places to list, but the list may include:
  • Your Native Land
  • Asia
  • Latin America
  • Africa
  • Central Asia
  • Etc
The Fourth dimension: What role does your ministry serves? There are at least three role types:
  • Enterprise A: Front Line - Tactical ministry: Individual and Small Group works of service
  • Enterprise B: Front Line Support: Providing specialized services and skills that multiply the effectiveness of Front Line Minis ties - Organizational works of service
  • Enterprise C : Strategic support coordinating or connecting the work of multiple organizations, - Meta-organizational works of service.
So what about the Ephesians 4: 11-13 roles?
"And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ."
-Ephesians 4:11-13
These are clearly Leadership roles that need to be present in every Enterprising Ministry. The Apostle role may not be inside every single Enterprise A Ministry, but each Enterprise A has someone or a group of people in an Apostolic role over it. Enterprise B & Enterprise C Ministries also have someone or a group of people in an Apostolic role.
But each Enterprising Ministry has Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors, Teachers, for the equipping of the saints called to their ministry
  • For their work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ;
  • Until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God,
  • Johnny Combs, in his book Kingdom Catalyst describes Prophets as Entrepreneurs, Consultants as Prophets, Pastors as Managers, and Supervisors as Teachers.
So to find where your ministry fits, Find where called God has called you to serve among the 5 transformational waves, In which of the 7 Mind-Molding Mountains he has gifted you, in which geographic area God has given you a passion, and what role of service your Enterprising Ministry has been anointed to serve the other ministries near you. The Ephesians 4:11 Leaders in those Enterprising Ministries will provide the Leadership for those Ministries.

Monday, June 11, 2007

The Emerging Church

The Emerging Church is a movement among 20-35 evangelicals. It's an internal conversation in which they biblically examine each component of their relationship with Christ and compare it to the church they grew up loving or hating.

They then take their deeply personal relationship with Christ and seek to find their own generational expression of living a missional life. They see the weaknesses and failings of the previous generation of believers and move to avoid them. Yet they seek the council and teaching of the previous generation in ways that boomers never did.

In this conversational journey, five areas seem to be in discussion:
  1. The nature and methods of worship
  2. Biblical interpretation and Authority
  3. The roles of women & family
  4. Engaging the culture without engaging sin
  5. Living a missional life furthering God's Kingdom
The secular church world is trying to capture the movement by contemporary issues like gay rights and green living.

Some examples are:
They believe that:

  • Jesus intended his followers to interact with the culture around them, not cloister themselves away.
  • They adhere to the ancient creeds of the church: They are generally doctrinally conservative
  • They emphasize the visual and performing arts
  • When we draw closer to God we draw closer to each other, despite the denominational boundaries.
Honestly, most of what has been written about the movement has been written by 45+ church leaders they watch them take charge of the direction of the church. It's too early in the discussion to know where it will come out, but the following outcomes are likely:

New, powerful, healthy, culturally appropriate connections will be made to lost generations in the western world.
  • The secular and the sacred will no longer be divided in the Body of Christ.
  • This church will connect to each other and the world, crossing barriers with ease that held older generations back
  • They will sacrificially serve the international gospel in ways their great grandparents and grandparent's did.
  • Young religious humanists will try and carve out a place, but will largely fail and their decline will continue.
  • Terms that have been contaminated by an increasingly hostile secular society will fall out of use by these Christ followers, like evangelical, fundamentalist, Religious right, and even biblical literalists.
  • They will eventually establish ways of interacting and worshiping and being in relationship with each other, the world and Christ, and a new orthodoxy of unorthodoxy will continue to emerge.

In the mean time, for those of us 45+ let's pray for them, figure out what it means to become mentors as they figure out what to do as Christ has given them charge. Let's figure out how to serve this generation as they make the choice to turn their eyes outward instead of inward, to looking for moments that are about someone else instead of themselves, to create interlocking families of Kingdom purpose.

Lord, give them freedom to move in new ways, freedom from the traditions of man while maintaining a desperate love for the traditions of Christ. Guide this period of discussion and discovery, and maintain in them a passion for your word. Teach us to serve them as You bring them to full fruit.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Intercession and Prophetic Service to the Body of Christ

Intercessory prayer and prophetic ministry have always been present and at work in the body of Christ. Through some denominational groups believed they were alone in their pursuit of the Spirit of God, He was always at work, speaking through those with Ephesians 4"11-12 responsibilities to the body of Christ. I have see no scriptural or natural evidence that those with intercessory and prophetic callings are not on a different spiritual level than others; they are simply naturally drawn to focus on the heavenlies than most. Its very much like a fish pond I walk by every day.

The fish pond is situated so that I can almost always see to the bottom, and neither my shadow nor reflection falls across the pond in early morning or evening when I walk by. At first, it seemed that if I stopped to watch the fish, they all gathered to look up through the water to see if bread crumbs were coming. Later I discovered what was really going on.

Over time I realized that there were three fish, the same fish each time, that were focused upward toward the bridge whenever I passed. If I stopped, these three fish would exhibit rapid fin movement and excited shaking. This seemed to be what drew the rest of the fish, which were never really focused above the water line. After gathering, the rest of the fish would watch the first three fish. Though they could have looked up through the water as the other fish had done at any time, they remained focused on the first three fish.

It looked like most of the fish had learned that when these three fish behaved in a certain way, bread crumbs may be imminent.

The role held by these three fish have always been present in the body of Christ. Every Pastor has the praying church member who would come to them in private with a concern, an excitement, or specific information about what was happening "above the water line" which turned out to be very helpful. This has then been communicated by the pastor or priest, themselves directed by God, to the congregation or to indivudals as they saw fit.

Now that holistic ministry, workplace ministry, and ministry in the areas of seven mind molders are re emerging, Intercessory prayer and prophetic ministry will also reemerge, more widely available to the whole body of Christ than ever.

Praise God for the faithfulness and perseverance of those called to serve in this ministry, often in the quiet of the night when no one else is listening. Thanks, Father, for their willingness to serve You by serving the vision You have given to others.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

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