Showing posts from May, 2010

The Two Most Important Actions in a Faith Venture

Love God and Love People. Those two activities need to be the guiding philosophy of any faith venture business as mission that seeks to employ and train individuals rebuilding lives from addiction, homelessness and prison. I was reminded of that during the last couple of weeks when I’ve been missing in action from the Faithventure Forum. We are in a season at Belay of intense strategizing as we finalize our plans for the summer and beyond. It’s been one decision after another. Unlike many organizations, we’re facing good decisions, but it has just seemed wise to unplug for a bit and really seek out God. In the midst of it, I was reminded that I have a tendency to complicate things. I sometimes have trouble trusting my gut and instead spend hours and days wrapping my mind around all the dimensions of the decision. I list out the pros and cons and try to anticipate the potential outcomes related to each possible choice. It’s a good undertaking…up to a point. In the end, you still

Bakke Graduate University Denver Business as Mission Event July 28, 2010

I'm excited to be included as part of a panel discussion this summer hosted by Bakke Graduate University. If you're interested in business as mission and a free barbecue, join us for an event open to the public on July 28, 2010, at Confluence Ministries (1400 Quitman Street, Denver) from 6pm to 9pm. Dr. Mark Russell, co-founder of Russell Media and Professor of Record for the July 28-31 Denver area Bakke Mission-Focused Entrepreneurship Class will be presenting a short lecture on Entrepreneurship and Missio Dei. This will be followed by a panel discussion hosted by Eric Swanson featuring Mark Russell, Tom Beck of Synergos Solutions, and myself. I know I'm looking forward to learning more from Mark and Tom. I always enjoy spending time with Tom Beck and learning about World Venture's Business as Mission project as well as his experience as one of the founders of Blockbuster and Einstein's Bagels . For more information and to register for the free event, vi

When a Recession Breaks Your Heart: Homeboy Industries Lays Off 300 Employees

I just learned today from my friend Rudy Carrasco that Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles had to lay off 300 of their employees yesterday . That was almost their whole staff. I am really sad over this. Over the last 11 years at Belay Enterprises , I have tried to model the passion and innovation that Father Greg Boyle deploys on behalf of individuals rebuilding lives. When I occasionally speak around the country on faith ventures, I often share Homeboy as one of the innovators of this unique form of business as mission. Three years ago, I had the opportunity to work with Father Greg while organizing a Faith and Enterprise Pre-Conference for the Social Enterprise Alliance in Long Beach. He absolutely enraptured 100 people with his stories of life change in the numerous business ventures started to assist ex-gang members trying to rebuild lives. I remember thinking he should have been the keynote speaker for the whole conference. Even during this tough time, Father Greg is already

Sometimes God’s Goodness Whacks You in the Face

When you work with ex-offenders trying to rebuild lives, sometimes your heart will be broken. One thing seems to be constant for individuals trying to start over after prison. The past often stalks the future. For some, bad choices will be made, promises broken, and they will find themselves no longer in our program facing new legal consequences. But as I've written in the past, even in those individual cases that might be labeled “failures”, God is still at work. And our organization’s "biggest failures” are often transformed into some of our biggest successes. The reality is we live and work in a world where God often chooses to hide Himself. Sometimes God's activity in the lives of our program participants is hard to see. And other times, God's power whacks you in the face. It’s impossible to miss and all you can do is worship the Creator for his power, grace and goodness. Over and over, God chooses what our world calls “lost cases” so that His goodness is dis