Thursday, July 20, 2006

Entrepreneurial Threat?

I was recently in conversation with some denominational administrators. They said something that I had not heard before. They said that the threat of congregationalism has been superceded by the new threat of entrepreneurialism. I had no reply because it was a totally new concept to me. It did not take much later reflection for me to realize that when entrepreneurialism is a threat, it is a bad indicator of the health of the organzation. Any organization that does not appreciate its entrepreneurs is headed the wrong direction -- especially if they stifle or lose them. We almost worship the ground that the pioneers of our church walked on. We restore their homes and barns. We go on pilgrimages. But we fail to remember that a pioneer was an entrepreneur of a different time. A pioneer, by definition, is one who is so dissatisfied with what is that he or she strikes out to find or create something new. Pioneers are usually young, or at least young at heart. They do not accept the status quo because they are driven by a vision of what could be. They are often rejected by their contemporaries, but revered by their later followers. When their followers so revere their forefathers that they reject the current "pioneers" (entrepreneurs), then the climate is created for new models and new organizations. The dissastisfied few will always explore and invent, their contemporaries will always stand back with folded arms and criticise, and their followers will always lay concrete on the new path. I guess it is just the way it is. But should it be that way? Let me know what you think.

Dennis Pumford
Assistant Directional Leader