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12 Characteristics of a Spiritual Entrepreneur

Ever wonder what might happen if you actually went for it?

Did what you always felt called to do but were too afraid to?

I hope you wonder what might happen.

If there’s one thing the church in the West needs today, it’s spiritual entrepreneurs. As I wrote about here, the church today is filled with shepherds, to the point where shepherds are perhaps over-represented in church leadership. What we need most as we navigate new waters in a post-Christian culture is not more shepherds, but spiritual entrepreneurs.

Whether you call it spiritual entrepreneurship or the gift of apostleship, what we need is a new generation of Apostle Pauls who forge out in new directions. Who experiment boldly. Who dare greatly.

Spiritual entrepreneurs are the kind of leaders who will find tomorrow’s solutions when most leaders can only see the problem.

In a marketplace that’s in love with start-ups and new ventures, we need some leaders who are inclined to spend their lives in the marketplace who will take their God-given talents and energy and throw them full-time behind the mission of the church.

Are you called to it? As I write about here, the fact that you have the gifts might be enough of a sign that you’re called.

So what does spiritual entrepreneurship look like?

What are the characteristics of leaders who can forge fresh ground in the church?

And how do you know if you might be a spiritual entrepreneur?

As I meet church leaders who are actually reaching unchurched people in massive quantities, here are the qualities I see among the leaders. (I wrote about five characteristics I see in their churches here.)

Spiritual entrepreneurs:

1. Think big

Too many churches die of small thinking:

We don’t have enough.

It won’t happen.

Stop dreaming.

That’s plenty for now.

Who will pay for it?

Leaders who serve an infinite God should never have their imaginations deadened by small thinking.

Spiritual entrepreneurs don’t. They think big.

They dream of what could be, not what is.

They see the opportunity in every obstacle.

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Speaker and podcaster Carey Nieuwhof is a former lawyer and founding pastor of Connexus Church, one of the largest and most influential churches in Canada. With over 6 million downloads, The Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast features today's top leaders and cultural influencers. His most recent book is “Didn’t See It Coming: Overcoming the 7 Greatest Challenges That No One Expects and Everyone Experiences.” Carey and his wife, Toni, reside near Barrie, Ontario and have two children.