Fred Wilson is a venture capitalist, if you don’t know, venture capitalists provide start up funding, as an investment, to new companies. Often VCs will become involved in the management or at least the direction of the company. Because of the size of their investment and that they often bring management expertise, they become a lot more then just a “walking checkbook”. So when Mr Wilson weighs in he is doing it on the basis of his experience of putting his money where his mouth is with many new companies.
Mr Wilson is quoted in Inc Magazine (Feb 2011 p 23) The article starts with “It’s a cutthroat world, so you had better keep an eye on the competition, Right? Wrong, writes venture capitalist Fred Wilson (avc.com). The smart strategy, he says, is to do your best and forget about the rest.”
I’d just like to step in here and say I’ve certainly seen that in ministry, “well they’re doing such and so over at ABC Church, so we should…” Constantly reacting to what every other church is doing/not doing, is going to take you off the focus that God has given this particular church. God has put His church here “for such a time as this” for a particular reason. Likewise God has put you where you are for His particular reason. Our job isn’t to chase around worrying about what others are doing, our job is to faithfully follow what the Holy Spirit is trying to do in us, doing what we can to, discern what God’s will is for us. That of course means what we are doing in our personal life and in our professional life. All the aspects of our life are inextricably linked in us, that one person that God loves so much, that He is trying to do a certain thing in that person’s life, all his/her life, and we look to Him to follow Him and discern His will for me, the same me that God’s Son Jesus died for, to save me to eternity.
Mr Wilson goes on to write, “One mistake I see startups make a lot is getting too focused on what is going on around them. They spend too much time trying to figure out what their competitors are going to do. They watch the next hot startup with jealousy and it reminds them of when they were that ‘shiny new thing’ and they want that back. The reality of startups is that there is so much opportunity out there that if you just focus on what is in front of you, your company will do fine.” Amen brother!
So it is with churches. Reminds me of Luke 10:2: “He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” There are plenty that need to be reached and no doubt God has given us custom made directions to reach those people He wants us to reach. As I’ve written in pasts posts, I have a vision of our church being much more liturgical, worship that is focused on the Lord, worship that is about us worship, not entertainment. Well that certainly is not a view that is widely held in a lot of Christian churches, Sunday mornings are more about “program” then “worship”. I truly believe that this is a vision that God has put on my heart, that it is something that is particular to our church, our denomination (Lutheran),
I am not going to get into a snit about what other churches are or aren’t doing, not even other Lutheran churches, God has put me, this church, this group of people where we are in order to lift Him up in worship in a particular manner. What other churches/Christians do, that’s not what God has for me. Quite often the “shiney new thing” is not at all reverent towards God, but the idea is that it will bring people into the church. That can’t be my perspective, I am called to faithfully worship, to help others faithfully worship and to help them understand what that means.
What Mr Wilson says is applicable to us as people in the workplace, as Christians, as members of a church. We are called to discern God’s will for us in all aspects of our lives, because God has put us on this planet for particular reasons in our work life, personal life, worship life, leadership life, not to fuss about others, but to follow His leading in our life.
This is aimed at our on-line group in Linked-In, certainly others are more than welcome to share this discussion on-line, or…. join in Wednesdays 10am at the Green Bean Coffee Co corner of W King and Beaver Sts, we are discussing Gene Veith’s book about being Christian in the Workplace also, don’t need to have a book, we will provide excerpts for you to join in the discussion. Park behind the church and get a cup of great coffee and join a great discussion. And as always I am the pastor at First St Johns church, and you are most welcome to come and worship Sunday 10:30 am.