If you have read this blog for a while, you would know that I am particularly interested in how faith affects how we live and work. This interest led to the podcast, articles and newsletter of the author of this book, Jordan Raynor.It’s a book that has been on my bookshelf for ages.
When I read non-fiction, I often want to take away one central idea, principle or action that I can begin to apply almost immediately. This could be to how I think, relate or even carry out tasks or actions.My one general idea from this book can be summed up as the authors definition of entrepreneurship stated below
an entrepreneur is anyone who takes a risk to create something new for the good of others. From my perspective, the act of creating a new business is not dissimilar to composing a song. Both require bringing something out of nothing, establishing order out of chaos, and creating something good for others.”Called to Create by Jordan Raynor page 12/13
I have always been uncomfortable with the idea that the ONLY way you can exhibit entrepreneurial tendencies is by starting or running a business. This book draws the parallels between the creative nature of God and how it manifests in our desire to create, innovate and risk. He makes a case for God being the very first entrepreneur. He draws parallels to the mandate in Genesis 1vs 28 about replenishing the earth and how it translates into creativity in various expressions.
Another quote that really resonated with was me the below
Because of the gospel our work becomes the expression of our identity not the source of itCalled to Create By Jordan Raynor page 52
It is a discussion I have had a lot this week. A lot of times we wrap our identity in what we do (or dont) and that begins to determine the worth we place on ourselves or others. It’s why one of the first questions most people ask when they meet someone new is “What do you do for a living?” There is nothing inherently wrong with this question but what this book made me ponder about was how what we do can be linked to an expression of the gifts that God has placed in us and not necessarily the source of our worth or identity.
The author encourages us throughout the book to think about how we work and tells stories of business owners who reflect their faith not just in cliched “values” but actually how it informs the decisions they make and how they approach they work they do.
One of the examples shared that really resonated with me was the example of Arthur Guinness and how he incorporated the Christian ethic into not just how he donated to charitable initiatives but in also how he treated and remunerated his workers. He quoted a the paragraph below from Arthur Guinness’s biography that really made me think and reflect.
It is not hard to imagine Arthur Guinness wondering what his role in this life might be. He would consider his abilities and think deeply about what bright him pride and joy. In time he would recognise his skills as a brewer and make it his life’s work.
We are used to preachers and to great noisy works for God.We are used to a religion that is sometimes an escape from daily life and to faith as fixation on life in another world. What Arthur Guinness founded was a venture propelled by faith, yes but a kind of faith that inspires men to make their work in this world an offering to God. And to understand craft and discipline,love of Labour and skills transferred from father to son as sacred things. It was a venture of faith that took the fruit of the earth and through study and strain made of it something of greater value.Calked to create by Jordan Raynor page 96
He shared how the people employed by Guinness enjoyed some of the best employee benefits ever enjoyed in the era with ripped off those investments being legacies that are still enjoyed decades and even centuries after he lived. In 1929, if you worked for Guinness you got the following benefits;
Twenty four hour medical care, twenty four hour dental care,on site massage and therapy, savings and loans to help you own a house, funeral expenses paid,pension paid without employee contributions,the education of the employee and their children etc.Researchers spoke to professors at Trinity college,Dublin whose father’s lives and in turn theirs as Guinness paid for their education.I work in social housing sector here in the UK and the Guinness partnership is one of the biggest providers of affordable housing in England. His story was a great example of an entrepreneur who created product and used the profits to love and serve others.
The other general principles shared by the author that really resonated with me included;
🔸Being humble and really questioning the motive for creating
🔸Creativity being a gift that we all get from from God and hone by striving for excellence in all we do
🔸A christian’s true rest lies in working hard accompanied by trusting God
🔸God is the one who produces profits through a Christian therefore making us stewards of what he has entrusted us with.
Earn all you can. Save all you can. Give all you can. Your wealth is evidence of a calling from God, so use your abundance for the good of mankindJohn Wesley, Called to create page 199
It was really easy to read as well and I would give it a rating of 4/5 and recommend for it any Christian who wants a different take on what it means to glorify God in what is considered “secular work”.
Thank you so much for reading and have a lovely week ahead.
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