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 Releasing Apostolic Entrepreneurs

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Female Number of posts : 147
Location : Ohio
Registration date : 2008-01-27

Character Profile
Name: Sis. Du Wright
Church Attendance: Never Misses a Church Service
Outside Occupation: Researcher

PostSubject: Releasing Apostolic Entrepreneurs   Mon Apr 14, 2008 11:22 am

Releasing Apostolic Entrepreneurs
By Jennifer LeClaire

We are supposed to be in the world, not woven into the societal fabric of the world. Find out how to detangle yourself from your marketplace busyness.

As the marketplace ministry movement gains momentum in the Body of Christ, a new buzzword is emerging to describe business owners who are sent out into Corporate America with the Gospel message: apostolic entrepreneur.

It’s not a new notion. Jesus was a carpenter. Paul was a tentmaker. Peter was a fisherman. Indeed, apostolic people are people of vision and taking dominion in the marketplace for the glory of God is one manifestation of that vision. However, there is a lurking danger of which apostolic entrepreneurs must beware. It’s called entanglement.

It was the Apostle Paul who said, “No man that warreth entangeleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier” (2 Timothy 2:4). This Scripture once concerned me because, like many modern day apostolic people, I operate in five-fold ministry but continue to take dominion in the marketplace through God-inspired entrepreneurial pursuits.

God has called me as a soldier on the front lines of His army, but He also gives me business strategies that prosper to finance Gospel-centered efforts. On the marketplace hand, I own five companies. On the ministry hand, I head up major international media outreaches and equip believers in the local church. God is blessing both endeavors because it is part of His plan and purpose. But if I am not careful I can easily get “entangled with the affairs of this life.” When that happens the grace stops up like a clogged sink and instead of everything I put my hand to prospering, everything I put my hand to becomes laborious, tedious, and otherwise ungratifying.

So what does it mean, then, to be entangled and how can we de-tangle ourselves from the affairs of life without pulling completely out of the marketplace in which God has called us to take dominion? I’m glad you asked because it’s a critical aspect of apostolic living. If you are a “do-it-all” person, you’ll run into this snare sooner or later, if you haven’t already. You need to recognize it for what it is and avoid it, or, if you are tied in worldly knots, untangle yourself and refocus on the affairs of God.

The Greek word for “entanglement” in 2 Timothy 2:4 is used metaphorically. It means “to weave in.” We can glean a similar meaning from the English word “entangle.” It means to wrap or twist together. We are supposed to be in the world, not woven into the societal fabric of the world. If we get tangled up in the world we hinder the work of God and can quickly become confused as to what we’re even called to in the first place.

The Message translation really drives the point home: “A soldier on duty doesn’t get caught up in making deals in the marketplace. He concentrates on carrying out his orders.” I like that translation because it helps clarify what it really means to get “entangled” in the affairs of civilian life. To me, that verse warns not to get caught up in the excitement of gaining our victories in the business world and – pay attention now – beginning to conduct business the way the world does because it makes us feel powerful. If we get our empowerment from landing the big contract or even getting that small promotion, we’re drawing from self not Spirit.

Look, God empowers us to create wealth, right? His Spirit leads us and guides us through the affairs of life, even business affairs. He is ready and willing to be your business partner and demonstrate through you to the world that His favor rests upon you. Our part is to yield to Him, to do business His way and not the world’s way, and, most importantly, not to put our entrepreneurial interests before His plan. See, the world of work is just a means to an end. The end is spreading the Gospel to every creature. The means is often the world of work. But we can’t be effective witnesses if we are entangled.

Let me give you the other half of this detangling strategy: God, family, ministry. Our personal fellowship time with God should be first on our list of priorities every day of the week – not just Sunday. If we get so entangled in the affairs of life that we are rushing out the door with a chocolate frosted doughnut and a cup of coffee to tackle our overwhelming workloads, then we’ve missed it terribly. Apart from Him, we can do nothing. He is the source of our strength, our power, our strategies, our witty inventions. He is our source – not the fruit of entrepreneurial endeavors or our high-falutin’ (that means pompous and ostentatious for those of you who don’t speak Southern) business connections.

The Bible instructs us to acknowledge Him in all of our ways and He will direct our steps. God isn’t going to make a habit of directing your steps to the marketplace without quality time with Him and your family. Entanglement is a snare that transforms honest, hard-working people into cranky, stressed out workaholics. Even if your calling is to the marketplace to generate finances for the Kingdom of God, He is not going to smile as He watches you work your fingers to the bone and lose sight of your relationship with Him. How can we be sensitive to the Spirit of God, speak the Word in due season, and have a brightly shining light that attracts people to Jesus if we are burned out and tangled up in knots? We can’t.

If you’re entangled, don’t worry – but don’t try to untie the knots yourself, either. Lean on Him and not on your own understanding. After all, it was your own understanding that got you into the mess, right? If you could get yourself untangled, you probably would have done it already.

Call on God to help you refocus your apostolic entrepreneurship so you can channel your energies and your resources toward His plans, purposes and pursuits instead of your own. The thrill of closing the big deal won’t last. The thrill of winning souls for Jesus never fades. Put God, family and ministry first and everything else will fall into place.
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