3 Values To Help Entrepreneurs Start – and End – Well

Posted by on May 8, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

When I ask you for the common values that tie the likes of Estée Lauder, Benjamin Franklin, Steve Jobs, Oprah WinfreyRichard Branson, Madam C.J. Walker, Jeff Bezos, Richard Sears and Alvah Roebuck, you might rightly guess: they all loved to start things.  These are/were all people who got ‘er done, made something out of nothing, and persevered when most thought them a loon.  From cosmetics to computers, from delivering household goods by wagons or by drones, these individuals saw a need and answered the need by starting something new.

New was not to be feared.  New was an answer to a problem.

That’s the attitude the sacramental Church needs today: “New” is an answer to a problem.  “Change” is a resource.

Often missed in entrepreneurial success, however, is the “why?”  “Why?” is a values question.  Vision is where you’re going.  Mission is how you’ll get there.  But values pre-date both of those.  They are the why for your mission and the heart behind your journey.  Values flow from who you are, tugging you out of bed when you don’t feel like being tugged.  They energize you when the mission changes or target gets missed…again.   

Values reside deeply inside of you – are frankly part of that “knitting together” David refers to in Psalm 139.  They are the Christ that is being formed in us.  In FiveTwo lingo, they are the presence of Christ in me, for you. 

Apostolic leaders innately know that when you’re starting something, you need to start with values because values are integral to shaping culture.  They function as both foundation and fences.  While people write tomes about teams and companies uniting around mission, people united around values cause movements to happen because they are speaking the same heart-language.  Similar soul songs.  Common divine threads that define their view of the world.

Three values that drive my life and undergird the ministries I’ve started are:  Sacramental Faith, Respect for All, and Action-Oriented.   These are my governing values.  I test everything I do against them, and the programs or congregations (CrossPoint Community Church) or networks (FiveTwo) I’ve started have all launched with these values coursing through their veins.

Over the next three posts I want to unpack them for you.  I have seen the power of these values in adding longevity and unity to startups.  I hope you embrace them for your own life and for the ministries, businesses and community development starts you undertake.  

Value #1: Sacramental Faith.   I’m from Lutheran lineage, of Germanic descent that landed in Central Texas in the 1800s.  When we hit Galveston, we brought not only a love for sausage but also a love for the sacraments.  They are core to who we are.  Everything we do revolves around what Jesus does in Baptism and the Lord’s Supper, and what, in turn, He does in us.

Sacramental faith means that while we emphasize what we’ve historically held dear, we also add a nuance that ups the ante.  We not only believe that Christ is present in the Word, that Christ is present in the sacraments, and that Christ is present in me; we also believe – with passion – that Christ is present in me, for you.  For my family, my community, my world.  You and I are the sacraments of Christ for our worlds.

Truth #1: Sacramental Faith flows from the Word of God.  This Word…

·      Teaches us about Jesus. No WOG, no Jesus.

·      Reveals God’s heart for man, and man’s need for God.  Both microscope and telescope.

·      Occupies a one-of-a-kind status.  No other book like it exists.

·      Self-authenticates.  The more you read it the more you realize how incredibly unified and true it is.

·      Provides the life-giving power of the sacraments.  It transcends calendar and GPS to bring the living Jesus to us who are defined and confined to longitudes and latitudes and chronographs.

Truth #2: Sacramental Faith trusts Jesus is really present in the sacraments.   Baptism and the Lord’s Supper are more than simply motions we go through.  They are real-time journeys of Jesus to us, in us, for us.  Baptism gives everything Jesus ever did (Romans 6).  His history becomes my history, daily anchoring me to His presence and power as I am daily drowned and raised. The Lord’s Supper offers me the really-present Body and Blood of Jesus, transporting me to the cross.  The new covenant Jesus fulfilled is poured into me once more in a tangible way I cannot deny, filling me with grace, reminding me of my place in His family.

Truth #3: Sacramental Faith means Jesus is really present in me. This means I am forgiven, called, and uniquely gifted for a unique time and place. I am a son/daughter in the Kingdom with a God-given destiny to fulfill in the family business of reconciliation.  I bring the cross to people so they see how suffering reveals God’s glory and pain brings about true healing.  I live daily in that forgiveness, enjoying it, celebrating it.  Daily Jesus’ kingdom comes about in my life.

Truth #4:  Sacramental Faith means that I am Jesus’ sacrament to the community.  Jesus is present in us for our salvation but also for your salvation.  We are the real presence of Christ given for our communities, lived out especially with lost people, in the moment, in their lives, for the sake of their souls.

Being the sacrament of Jesus for the community means that what I took part in on Sunday, I give out during the week.

This is the most important nuance of sacramental faith for the sake of reaching the world, because if the world cannot see Jesus living in you, the world doubts the value of Jesus to you.

If Jesus is really present in me, then I’m really His presence for you.  I’m here to bring you blessing, not a curse.  I’m here to give, not take.  I want to astound you with Jesus’ forgiveness, not break you some more.  I want to get to know the leaders in the community so they can get to know how to use their leadership for Jesus’ sake.  I want to get to know the poor in the community, so they can receive some of His riches here and now, in material, sacramental ways.

This sacramental faith means my orientation to people is full of G words, like generosity — I give of what I have even when it leaves me with nothing.  Like goodness.  When people think of me, they should think of me bringing good to their world — good food, good words, good feelings.  I throw confetti instead of dung.  And G words like Grace.  No matter where you live, throw a stone and you’ll hit someone who needs grace.  If I’m the sacrament of Jesus for you, I never apply God’s law to a broken and contrite spirit.  That’s not what it needs.  So I listen for your brokeness.  I’m constantly seeing where you need grace.

This is sacramental faith, the first of 3 values that will help you start well.  Next time, values 2 & 3: Respect for All and Action-oriented.

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