Entrepreneurs are visionaries. They have the passion and drive to start something from the ground up in the face of the challenges, difficulties and setbacks that are sure to follow. Church planters can be considered the entrepreneurs of new churches, fostering a movement of the gospel that reaches into the hearts and culture of the city in which a church is planted.
In turn, these new churches equip and empower their congregants to bring the gospel to bear on their workplaces and industries. Often this results in starting new businesses or nonprofits that challenge the status quo and innovate new ways to bring about shalom in their cities. When congregants and church planters work together as entrepreneurs to bring the gospel to their city the movement grows in exciting new ways.
Launched through Redeemer’s Center for Faith and Work, the Entrepreneurship Initiative (Ei) is fostering a movement of gospel entrepreneurship for entrepreneurs of businesses, not-for-profits and arts ventures. As the gospel takes root deep in the lives of the “center church” congregation, they become passionate about the vision to seek the peace and prosperity of their city. They want to see the city served by thousands of churches, arts organizations, schools, businesses, and social services agencies that bring the truth, love and hope of the gospel to the brokenness of the culture. The Ei was formed with this vision in mind and seeks to nurture and cultivate new ideas and new leaders who are able to start new gospel-centered ventures.
The Entrepreneurship Initiative is based on the following core beliefs:
1. The Gospel changes everything - There is not a single square inch of this world that is outside the reach of God's redeeming love and power. The gospel changes everything: our hearts, our communities, and the world. It changes why we work, what we do, and the results of our work.
2. By working together, the gospel can renew our culture - Culture comprises many spheres: church, family, government, business, education, arts, and civic organizations. With the gospel we have the privilege to bring the love, justice and mercy of God into all the spheres of culture in which we live and work. Working together we can create a gospel ecosystem of hope and renewal.
3. The gospel ecosystem needs new organizations - Innovative new ventures can embody the truth and love of the gospel in ways that better serve the flourishing of the city. They use their fresh thinking and hard work to create positive change – bringing new concepts and products to market, creating jobs and wealth, and solving problems.
4. These new ventures can be gospel-driven and gospel-centered - Our gratefulness for the gospel helps us serve others instead of ourselves. Our understanding of the brokenness and sin in the world helps us recognize injustice and seek to bring justice. Our awareness of our own sin makes us humble. Our relationship with God gives us the courage and perseverance to try new things and challenge cultural norms.
Each year, during the annual Ei forum, entrepreneurs and investors gather to cultivate this movement of gospel entrepreneurship. Pastors and congregants are welcomed and urged to come and discover new ways to foster gospel renewal in your city.
Visit the website to learn more about Redeemer’s Entrepreneurship Initiative (Ei) and register for this year’s Ei Forum on April 5-6, 2013. The theme is “Risk: Faith or Folly.”