Showing posts from February, 2013

Opportunity Knocks for Homeless Youth Employment at Purple Door Coffee

Over a year ago, Madison Chandler and Mark Smesrud joined the Belay Enterprises' team to start Purple Door Coffee  to employ formerly homeless young adults. Today, they are about to explode in excitement as Purple Door is weeks away from opening its 30th and Welton location in Five Points. Stay tuned as we announce some grand opening events in April. This has been quite the journey of God's faithfulness and provision with over $100,000 in start-up funding generously provided by donors in response to Mark and Madison's dream. Without a doubt, God passionately loves homeless kids and is providing resources for unique organizations mirroring that love. I am also excited because the commencement of this project bring to fruition our vision of partnering with other organizations to create jobs for people rebuilding lives. A few years ago, we became convinced that the only way to meet the incredible needs for transitional jobs was by changing our approach from focu

Faith Venture Lamon Luther Employs Homeless Craftsmen in Furniture Building

Suburban homelessness exploded as a problem in Georgia in 2007 after the collapse of the U.S. economy. Brian Preston discovered a large number of homeless craftsman living in the woods and decided to open Lamon Luther , a faith  venture  to provide employment by building high-quality, sustainable furniture. Enjoy this fantastic video sharing the Lamon Luther story, and if you are in the market for furniture, consider purchasing from them: The Lamon Luther Story from Lamon Luther on Vimeo .

Grace, Accountability and Personality Type: Six Items to Encourage Positive Outcomes

In my experience, there are two types of people who are drawn into the world of faith ventures : pastorally-gifted leaders with a heart for incarnational city ministry and entrepreneurially-minded business leaders with a desire for a role with more significance. If I would guess for Meyers-Briggs personality types, the first group would be made up of mostly INFJ's with the second group being ENTJ's . Bonus points would be given to someone who walks the line between an F and a T making them exceptionally well suited for running a faith venture by drawing strengths from both personality types. When it comes to managing through the tension of grace and accountability in a faith venture , the incarnational pastors are going to struggle with holding people accountable to standards while the ENTJ business leaders will find it difficult to accommodate clients making bad decisions. In my view, the leader who is not either a strong F or a T is better able to gracefully hold

Grace and Accountability

One of the hardest parts of directing a faithventure to employ individuals rebuilding lives from addiction, homelessness and prison is balancing grace and accountability. Often faithventure practitioners find themselves riding a pendulum across these two extremes, struggling with questions of when to give someone another chance and when to be strict with the resulting consequences. Indeed, in my experience, this very issue is one of the top reasons some leaders give up on faith ventures, a close second to having a business model that is not making money. The way out of this conundrum is realizing that it is not a conundrum. Grace is not mutually exclusive of consequences. As any parent can attest, grace and consequences are often the same thing. As I tell aspiring faithventure leaders, the best way they can think of their roles is as one of a father but as a father who points them to the ultimate Father.  You want program participants to experience love in real a

Milwaukee's Community Warehouse Opens Computer Recycling and Woodworking Faithventure

In one of Milwaukee's most disadvantaged neighborhoods, Community Warehouse operates a home improvement outlet that employs people rebuilding lives while providing low-cost building materials to area residents remodeling homes. The faith-based organization has recently opened its newest venture, Milwaukee Working , to create more jobs for hard-to-employ individuals. This enterprise employs people in computer recycling, assembly work, online book sales and cabinet manufacturing. The program was recently profiled in the Journal Sentinel : In a warehouse on Milwaukee's north side, men with drills and screwdrivers stand at a long table, picking apart the carcasses of old computers and sorting their components into boxes for recycling.  Across the cavernous room, past a wall of metal shelving, others scan books and CDs, DVDs and video games into computers. They upload their descriptions onto Amazon.ocm and ship them out to online buyers around the world.  The men are empl

Endeavors that Matter Forever

Tim Keller's has written a wonderful new book  Every Good Endeavor: Connecting Your Work to God’s Work  that provides an excellent framework for what it means to be a Christian in our work. This book is a valuable resource for young Christians beginning to chart their life in the work world. But it also can be useful for older followers of Christ moving into the second half of life and asking questions about significance. I love the following quote which summarizes the book: Everyone wants to be successful rather than forgotten, and everyone wants to make a difference in life. But that is beyond the control of any of us. If this life is all there is, then everything will eventually burn up in the death of the sun and no one will even be around to remember anything that has ever happened. Everyone will be forgotten, nothing we do will make any difference, and all good endeavors, even the best, will come to naught. Unless there is God. If the God of the Bible exists, and there i