The word calling has dominated Christian circles in recent years, and it has taken on a mysterious power that no one seems to have nailed down. Does God call people into certain jobs and professions? Is calling a special spiritual experience? Are some people called and other people not?
Questions abound, and we can debate all we want about what calling means and how we can discern our own,
but the real harm in our conversations around calling is found in the spiritual caste system it has created between secular and sacred callings.
If you grew up in a Christian home in the last thirty to forty years,
maybe you’ve noticed that being “called” into ministry seems like a special, more elite, and more personal path than having a career in other professions. Christians often consider those called to vocational ministry a Special Ops group that only certain people are qualified for. We often believe that there are regular believers on one side and preachers, teachers, and missionaries on the other. And while we can’t all be missionaries and preachers, it’s easy to feel like those people have received something special from God that we haven’t.
Or, if you’re new to faith, you may be wondering if what you do in your professional life is illegitimate or a waste of time. If God has put us on this earth to love him and love others, and if our daily work isn’t evangelistic in nature, do we need a new model? Reading about a lemonade-stand kid turned tech giant doesn’t exactly scream “holy calling” to us.
But why not?
Why can’t an entrepreneurial venture, lived and pursued faithfully, be God’s desire for your life?
I think it can be.
Entrepreneurs have a unique opportunity to step into a purpose that is aligned with who God is and how God has made them.
Just as pastors are taking the gifts God has given them and giving those gifts back to others,
entrepreneurs can take the creative problem-solving energy within them and pour that back out into society
in a way that is beneficial to those who receive it and glorifying to the God who instilled it in them in the first place.
As an entrepreneur, you’ve felt the life-giving energy that comes through serving your customers, vendors, and investors.
You get fired up when you find solutions to problems. You can’t wait to see the fruit of the work of your hands. Why? Because you’re created in the image of a creative, entrepreneurial God.
If you’ve ever felt less-than in the church because of your business,
or if you’ve ever wondered whether your life is truly leaning into the purpose God has for you, l
ook back at the Garden of Eden.
God created humans in his image. And in his image, we can see a God who worked six days and created something out of nothing. That’s who we are. That’s what an entrepreneur does!
This is how it works.
When you solve problems from scratch, that’s an opportunity to commune with the living God who has helped people solve problems from the beginning of time.
Also, when you provide a new idea, a new resource, or a new product, that’s a chance to bear witness to a God who is the ultimate provider.
When you pray, “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven,”
God is answering that prayer with a resounding yes,
and he’s running toward you,
eagerly inviting you to come under his power and his protection to join him in doing the work to make that happen.
Leave your feelings of inadequacy at the door. You were made for this. God has something incredible in store for the Faith Driven Entrepreneur.
Part 1 of 2
Adapted from Faith-Driven Entrepreneur: What It Takes to Step Into Your Purpose and Pursue Your God-Given Call to Create by Henry Kaestner, J. D. Greear, and Chip Ingram. Copyright ©2021. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, a Division of Tyndale House Ministries. All rights reserved.
Henry Kaestner is the cofounder of Bandwidth (NASDAQ: BAND) and a managing principal in Sovereign’s Capital, a venture capital management company that invests over $100 million in faith-driven entrepreneurs in Southeast Asia and the US from its offices in Silicon Valley; Washington, DC; and Jakarta, Indonesia.