Andy Wood is the lead pastor at Echo Church—an inter-denominational church that celebrates diversity, and leverages resources and technology to echo the love of God throughout the world.
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What is a good starting place for a pastor engaging entrepreneurs?
You need to be convinced as a pastor that entrepreneurs are very important. Business leaders shape organizations, create culture, and transform communities. When you invest in the business leaders in your community, you are helping shape the culture of the Kingdom.
If we as pastors are not convinced this is important, we won’t do anything about it.
Generosity, evangelism, and discipleship at our church have been impacted by investing in the entrepreneurs around us.
What does valuing entrepreneurs look like practically?
Find people in the church who are business leaders and take them out to coffee to get to know them. Do this once a week or once every few weeks. Ask them about their business and their personal life. Don’t try and teach them everything you know about leadership.
What unique role does a pastor have in a business leaders’ life?
Many business leaders are lonely, anxious, and under tremendous amount of pressure. They need a pastor. The lead pastor is in a unique place to connect with a business owner.
If you don’t have entrepreneurs at your church, know they’re in your community. Reach out to the unbelieving business leaders in the community. Ask them, “How can our church serve your business?”
What does it look like to value entrepreneurs in your sermon preparation?
Anytime you’re putting a message together, look at your message through the lens of the entrepreneur. I always have hats on that relate to the newlyweds, singles, students, etc. I have a hat for entrepreneurs too. My dad was a business owner. I saw the high highs and low lows he experienced. I think of him in my sermon preparation.
How do you create community amongst entrepreneurs in your church?
Encourage them to meet in groups and go through curriculum together. We had groups go through Dave Ramsey material.
The entrepreneurs who attended groups at our church had the idea for a conference. They hosted the conference for entrepreneurs at our church where 50% of the attendees were not Christ-followers. This conference is a bridge builder to the community.
Andy Wood’s book recommendations for pastors who want to value entrepreneurs:
- Anything by Jim Collins
- Patrick Lencioni books
- Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future – read books (like this and others) about entrepreneurs to be inspired and understand their thinking
- The Art of the Start
- Startup Life: Surviving and Thriving in a Relationship with an Entrepreneur
- Venture Capital for Dummies – this helped me understand the language business leaders in my city were using