[This is Part II of two blog posts. Part I was published on May 7, 2017.]
A second example is John C. Maxwell, the bestselling author, coach, and speaker who has sold more than 26 million books in fifty languages. In 2014, he was identified as the #1 leader in business by the American Management Association® and the most influential leadership expert in the world by Business Insider and Inc. magazines. John Maxwell started off as a full-time pastor in a small church in Ohio. He had the vision, however, to bring his Christian worldview and leadership principles to a bigger audience. As he told me, he still enjoys preaching occasionally at his home church in Florida. He has deployed entrepreneurial thinking to have influence far beyond his pastoral roots. He is the founder of The John Maxwell Company, The John Maxwell Team, EQUIP, and the John Maxwell Leadership Foundation. He has trained more than 6 million leaders. In 2015, he reached the milestone of having trained leaders from every country of the world. He has creatively pursued making a difference around the world.
A third example is Lord Robert Edmiston, a billionaire based in London, UK. He owns a number of companies in the property, motor and finance sectors with a combined turnover of approximately £500 million. He is using his entrepreneurial skills to have an impact in both Christian and non-Christian circles. Together with his wife Tracie in 1988 they founded CV, an international charity with offices in 22 countries working to support the Christian church in the areas of evangelism and discipleship in both the online and offline space. In the UK, Lord and Lady Edmiston have sponsored, and are Governors, of three schools, called Grace Academy with around 3,000 students aged between 11 and 18 years. Lord Edmiston has a keen interest in politics and in both business and social issues. Until 2010 he was the Chairman of the Midlands Industrial Council, a group of leading Midlands industrialists and businessmen who maintain a close dialogue with senior politicians of the day. On January 18, 2011 he was introduced into the House of Lords which he hopes will allow him to be a voice for good in the areas where he has a particular interest or skill. Lord Edmiston has explored various creative ways to extend his Christian influence.
A fourth example is Bobby Gruenewald, founder, YouVersion Bible App, one of the leading voices in the US on innovation and the use of technology to reach people for Christ. His entrepreneurial endeavors began while he was studying Finance at Southern Nazarene University as he worked with several alumni to launch a web hosting company. He then started and sold two technology companies and consulted with startups and venture capital funds. Bobby has been leading LifeChurch.tv in shaping a missional approach to technology, seen in initiatives like Church Online, as well as the Bible App and the Bible App for Kids from YouVersion. Just six years after its launch, the YouVersion Bible App has been downloaded and used on over 200 million devices on nearly every smartphone and tablet in every single country on the earth. Interestingly, the YoiuVersion Bible App grew out of a failed website venture. Bobby explained to me how the risk he took to start the YouVersion Bible App has been rewarded countless times over with the global impact it has had. It all started with heeding the called to innovate and take a risk.
To conclude, an effective Christian leader can be most impactful by being entrepreneurial. These types of leaders—like Mark Burnett, John Maxwell, Lord Robert Edmiston and Bobby Gruenewald—have had an exponential impact through the fusion of entrepreneurial skill and leadership influence. What’s the take-away? Ask yourself how you can be more entrepreneurial in your present context. Ponder whether you can be more creative and take some careful risks to achieve greater impact. In short, whether in church or in business, how can you enlarge your territory?