For a variety of reasons I find myself with an inordinate amount of time to devote to thinking and praying (for the Christian these two can be closer to one than you might apprehend). One of the things I have been praying/thinking about is how to form entrepreneurs. I mean this in sense of forming evangelists who are innovative and risk taking and creative, looking at old problems in new ways and creating new solutions. But I also mean this in the more traditional economic sense. The traditional institutional church in Canada is aging and declining. To depend on this church to financially support creative missional activity might well be a losing bet. For years at Taylor we have been involved in the formation and the sending of creative pioneering spiritual entrepreneurs many of whom go on to experience great frustration because they were not given the tools to make mission economically viable.
During this ‘fallow’ year at Taylor it is my goal to research and put together both curriculum and practicum for what I am tentatively calling “Transforming Capitalism”. The name is, of course, a double entendre (there I’ve used up all my high school French). I want to look at how economic enterprise can change lives by giving people opportunities, skills, and models, all accompanied by spiritual formation. I also want to examine how “Sermon on the Mount” ethics can be applied in order to replace a trickle down typical capitalism as practised in the ‘Western World.’
I do not want this to be solely a classroom experience so during this next year I hope to partner with some other interested people to create some ‘Social Enterprise’ businesses. We have a hopper full of ideas and time will tell which ones we will pick up.
I was telling a friend the other day “Success is 90% failure and 10% persistence.” This may become our adage as we look toward a sustainable Threshold Ministries with a transforming mission. Exciting times!