Tag Archives: entrepreneurs

The Swedish attitude towards the “entrepreneurial spirit” hinders us from the planting of new churches!

I read an article in last Sunday’s SVD under the business and economy section, Linda Skugge quoted Signhild Arnegård Hansen who stated that the attitude of Swedes hinders many from becoming entrepreneurs.

I will not confuse the planting of new churches with business endeavors, but this article confirmed something that I have been fighting against for many years; the fear many Swedes have, both Christian and non-Christian alike for insecurity and instability especially in the financial area of their lives.

I have literally met hundreds of people throughout my years in Sweden who expressed to me the calling and desire to be pioneers and church planters. However, few of them have actually become involved in ministry in these areas.

There are a number of reasons for that… one of the main reasons that I see after having talked with many of them is the unwillingness to make sacrifices. Many of them would be interested to be involved in a church plant or pioneering ministry IF THEY WERE EMPLOYED!

I suspect that the overwhelming majority of our potential pioneers and entrepreneurs are brought to slumber and cuddled to death within our anti-entrepreneurial church environment and society.

Another reason for the quenching of the entrepreneurial spirit is found in the educational modes within our Bible schools and theological institutions which prepare and equip teachers and (maybe) hopefully pastors, but surely not prophets, evangelists and apostles. In these organizations and institutions little attention is given to the development of leadership and the release of entrepreneurs… If you ask me (who is?) we have a whole lot of equipping and releasing to do in the Church to catch up to the challenges of the 21st century. We have a whole lot to learn and to sacrifice if we ever want to regain the kind of pioneering spirit which exploded in tremendous missionary and church planting endeavors within our nation and beyond as found in our rich and courageous history within the Swedish churches!

That’s the Way I see it!

John van Dinther

Leadership is all about failing – if you don’t dare to fail, you don’t dare to lead!

If you haven’t failed enough, you haven’t learned enough! One of the main characteristics of the leadership in my life and ministry has been that I have failed in many ways and with many things.

In our nation and in our churches we have many people that are well trained and well educated, but have not become involved in ministry. At the same time I as leader need to have the goal that they will be involved in the mission of God (Missio Dei)! We have to turn spectators into participators. The characteristic of a growing, vibrant and healthy church is not the program, the plans, popularity, nor position; but rather the people. Not the quantity but the quality. They are the ultimate barometer of how well we have carried out the ministry of the church.

If we want to be effective in ministry and to see the church grow and be built up then we have to be working at enabling people. If we want more people to be involved in ministry we have to find better ways to enable people.

One of the main enabling barriers

The enabling of people is the crucial point. At the same time, as I said before, we have many people who are well trained and well educated; yet they are not active in ministry and the mission of God! There are many reasons why they are not involved and I will not attempt to address all of these. Yet, one of the main reasons why people do not use their God-given gifts and qualities (and I am 100% sure of that!) is their fear of failure.

In a society where so much value is put towards performance we do not dare to fail. This creates a climate where leadership is quenched and new initiatives are not encouraged. The fact is that we actually encourage a defensive approach to leadership which in essence is not leadership at all. Isn’t leadership going where none has gone before; making trails where we no trails have been established… walking and guiding by compass rather then by a map?!

Leadership = insecurity = possible failure!

Leadership implies possible failure, it implies insecurity, and it implies having to learn while doing. “Theology on the run” and “leadership on the run” would be some of my slogans. In a nation (Sweden) where we look for consensus in all areas of life and also in leadership there is a danger that we quench the leadership gifts of our people and the Church as a whole. We are so embedded in a save, secure social system and way of doing things that we hardly allow anyone to break out of the box through entrepreneurial leadership styles; rather we call people who do authoritarian and insensitive. My view on leadership is based on a team approach, yet, we have to realize that God so often uses individuals to bring out new perspectives and new ways of application of old truths which transform the way a team used to think. And those new ways usually bring us where we have never been before… which implies possible failure.

Honestly, I rather fail and fail and fail again to be finally to learn a new way than to remain on secure grounds not learning anything new and working for status quo.

Check the following link on FAMOUS FAILURES and place yourself in good company as you dare to embrace the possibility to fail as you expand your borders and move out of your own and your cultures’ comfort zone!

That’s the Way I see it!