We get that question all the time. Here’s how to tell:
- You have a sense that “the angels are stirring the waters” (John 5:1-9)—maybe in your church, in your life, in your community, or just in your stomach–and you wonder if God might be nudging you to jump into something new.
- You don’t have to quit your Day Job (in fact, we don’t recommend it)
- You don’t have to plant a new church (although some people do)
- You don’t have to create a nonprofit or new organization (although those are possibilities)
- You just have a sense that a fork in the road is approaching–in your vocation, your congregation, or your broader community–and that, after prayer and talking it over with at least one other person who matters to you, the time is right for you to give it some serious thought.
- You know where you want to go, and you’ve got an idea for how you want to get there.
- Get specific about this – to want “to serve Christ” is fabulous, but it won’t help you become a missional entrepreneur.
- Sharpen your vocational tuners just a little: “to serve Christ by bringing hope to the poor youth in my church’s neighborhood” (where you want to go – your vision) and to do this by helping every one of them get into college (how you want to get there – your mission).
- It’s okay if your idea is still on the back burner, as long as you’ve talked to at least one other person about it.
- It’s also okay if you’ve already tried something and want to expand it.
- You know who your idea is for—there’s a specific subgroup of humanity that you want to serve (besides you).
- Another good time to get specific. Whatever group you have in mind, find a subgroup within that group who will be the first people to benefit from your venture.
- You might even dress up your likely beneficiary and give her a name: “My venture will make Julie’s life immeasurably better: she’s 29, single, went to art school in Philadelphia, has family in Ohio and can’t find a job in her field.”
- You’ve thought about the resources you’ll need—what are your gaps, and how might you fill them?
- You don’t need a line item budget to start (though it’s not a bad exercise to imagine one – you’ll do a preliminary budget during the hatch-a-thon).
- Think broadly here – money matters, but so does expertise, spiritual support, space, etc.
- An often overlooked but necessary resource is time – do you have the time and mental space right now to devote to nurturing a new venture? If yes, we’ll help you launch something immediately… if no, we’ll show you a process you can use to launch an idea in the future.
- You have the attitude, “This might not work”—and are okay with that.
- Almost nobody’s best idea is their first idea—but you’ve got to implement that first idea in order to learn the things that will lead you to a better idea.
- So be cautious if:
- Your idea is “precious” (i.e., you’ll cling to it no matter what)
- You want to quit when you fail (entrepreneurs view failure as a learning opportunity—a chance to adjust or “pivot,” rather than quit)
- Your idea won’t serve God well if it’s temporary
- If you have an “all or nothing” idea (meaning, you can’t use this experience to learn what you need for the next one)
Registration is now open for our upcoming Hatch-a-thon:
March 29-31, 2017
Princeton Theological Seminary