Mammon in church?

As many of you probably know, I grew up in a Dutch missionary family in Belgium. After their Bible school days in England, my parents moved to Flanders to do Christian work full-time. They started several churches in the region around Brussels, they had a Bible school at home for many years and my father traveled all over the world as an evangelist. No company The basis of my parents’ missionary work was the Full Gospel Church of Laeken (in Brussels). My father was the pastor here and this is the church in which I was raised spiritually. There was a second pastor, we had a number of elders and a whole bunch of other responsible people. As far as I remember, not one of those leaders was an entrepreneur or businessman. Logical because the church is not a company. That’s how it was explained anyway.Well-known pattern Over the years I have seen the same pattern in many churches and congregations that I know closely. Business people are kept away from leadership positions in the church. Apparently we link entrepreneurship to turning over, making a profit and, above all, making money. That harsh business culture is at odds with the message of the Bible. That is dangerous territory, because Jesus has warned us very clearly about the influence of money. Especially in church!God or mammon Jesus’ most famous words about this are in the Sermon on the Mount. ‘No man can serve two masters: he will hate the first and love the second, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon (Matthew 6:24). Mammon should certainly be kept outside the church doors, and so should the influence of entrepreneurs. The church is not a business and the tables of the money changers and traders must be removed from the temple. But the funny (or actually painful) thing is that the same entrepreneurs who are not given responsibility in the church are approached when money is needed in the church.Imagine What would happen if the wisdom and insight of spiritual entrepreneurs were given more space in the church? Pastors, preachers and pastors are mainly trained to study the Bible, preach and care for a flock. They are mainly shepherds and teachers. Of course, they also receive other education at the seminar or during comparable training, but the focus is little or no on leadership and entrepreneurship. Couldn’t directors, traders and self-employed people who sincerely imitate Jesus be a wonderful addition to this? Perhaps we as church leaders should ask forgiveness from entrepreneurs and business people because we only asked for their money?In France Every year we take a trip to France from Royal Mission with about ten entrepreneurs. A short trip full of friendship, conversation, inspiration and prayer. I have always found those trips exciting, because I actually feel inferior to those great business leaders. As if they have achieved more or have greater insights than me. Last year we ended the trip with a group discussion in which everyone shared what they would take with them from those days. When I was given the floor, I started with: ‘I’m not an entrepreneur, but…’ I was immediately silenced. ‘You are an entrepreneur!’ it sounded from different sides. While crying, I let go of my inferiority about this and they prayed for me. Since then I believe that I can be a royal preacher and entrepreneur for God. Both are needed!Apostolic An entrepreneur who lives and leads from the kingdom of God is a special person. Actually an apostolic ministry that builds networks, wants to help people achieve their full potential and wants to bring about change in society. We need such leaders in the church and in business. If entrepreneurs have learned to handle money well and healthily, in the way God intended, then that is an additional reason to involve them in the management of the church. Enough has gone wrong with money and church leaders. Jesus says:“If you prove untrustworthy in dealing with false mammon, who will entrust you with truly important things?” (Luke 16:11)Win win The striking thing is that entrepreneurs are often intimidated by the spiritual level of church leaders, while those same church leaders are often impressed by the position, power and wealth of entrepreneurs. I think there are wonderful opportunities here. When pastors and ministers provide spiritual nourishment and personal coaching to entrepreneurs and business people bring wisdom, courage and leadership to the church, God’s kingdom becomes more powerfully visible everywhere. This way everyone can reach their destination even more with the help of the Holy Spirit! We are extremely enthusiastic about the vision of our School for Leaders, in which we create a mix of entrepreneurs and church leaders, among others. If you want to learn from ‘other leaders’, then this is a wonderful learning experience for you and you are very welcome to join us next year! You can read all about the School for Leaders HERE

About Martin Koornstra

Getrouwd met Karin, 2 mooie dochters, passie voor Jezus, spreker, schrijver, trainer en een beetje gek!

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