So I'm headed to northwest Iowa tomorrow for the Bible conference my great-grandfather started way back in the 1930's. (The Okoboji Lakes Bible and Missionary Conference. Catchy, isn't it?) My brother Rob and I are teaching an adult class all week next week about Christians and culture. My brother, a Harvard Law grad and law professor at St. Thomas University, is handling issues of law and ethics, and I'm covering entertainment and business. The entertainment side of things is obviously a no-brainer for me. The business is a bit more challenging, though, and has got me thinking a lot about Christians in the business world. The more I think about it, the more I find myself asking the question – Where are the Christian entrepreneurs?
We Christians start lots of non-profit ministries, which is awesome. We start lots of megachurches, which is good, too. But why don't we start more companies? Think of the impact Starbucks and Nike are having around the world. Think about Yahoo and Google. Think about Apple, for heaven's sake. These companies are profoundly influential. And because they generate tremendous revenues from their hit products, they can keep growing their influence.
But none of these companies was started by committed Christians. Very few major companies are started by committed Christians. Why is that? It seems we either start churches and non-profit ministries, the growth of which is always limited by the ability to raise financial support, or we just go and get jobs at other people's companies so we can pay our bills and send our kids to college.
Are we afraid of taking risk? Do we distrust "business" in general? Do we just not have any good ideas? Where are all the Christian entrepreneurs?
Any thoughts about that?