The Entrepreneurial (Holy) Spirit
As church leaders we hear a lot about the need for NEW. New programs, new styles of worship, new sermon series, new outreach, new people in the pews! But let’s be honest, being in charge of the “new” can be exhausting. Whether you’re a solo pastor or staff at a multipoint church, you only have so much time, energy and resources to think up, think through and put into action all the “new.” And frankly it shows. No matter how new and exciting your latest and greatest VBS curriculum is, it’s still VBS. No matter how fancy and high tech your latest small group study is, it’s still a small group study. And guess what, there’s nothing wrong with that.
But we’re missional people, a missional church (or at least working on it) and we do want to reach new people, to do new and creative things, to watch the Holy Spirit do its thing in our midst. And whether you realize or not, you have some of the best people available to you to do just that. Those dang millennials.
In a recent entrepreneur.com article titled “Dear Millennials, To Grow Your Business, Focus on People, Not Just Products,” Andrew Bennet mentions a study that found that two-thirds of young people said they hoped to open their own business. That’s a lot of new businesses that I’m not sure there’s a need for. Bennet goes on to give some advice to these entrepreneurial millennials, but I couldn’t really get past that reality that we have a group of people who see themselves as having new and exciting ideas that would translate into successful businesses. I might be going out on a limb here, but I think that a good portion of that two-thirds of millennials aren’t just interested in owning businesses because it’s lucrative. These are people who are optimistic, but not totally blinded to the hard work and real risk that owning a business entails. There are deeper motivations that we as a church should celebrate, facilitate, and empower.
See millennials want to create the “new,” participate in the “new,” think and talk about the new “new.” I think that’s where the drive for owning their own businesses comes from. They don’t feel like they have to settle for only what’s currently available, and they have the time, space, creativity and passion to create something different (are those any of the things you feel like you’re lacking?). While millennials in your community might not be deeply invested members in your church or community of faith (yet!), it doesn’t mean that we can’t be intentional about enlisting their help. This of course isn’t to say that we, as current church leaders, shouldn’t be involved in the process. What does it look like for you, church leader person, to encourage the entrepreneurial spirit in a person or group you know? What does it look like to help those people make connections to the needs of your community? How might you open their eyes to the work of the kingdom of God that they’re already participating in? How can you be the catalyst that brings the “new” ways that God is working in your community? You see, I think that the Holy Spirit is very entrepreneurial in that sense, and we’re all invited to participate in different ways.