Measuring Entrepreneur Mindset of Jesus
“If to be feelingly alive to the sufferings of my fellow-creatures is to be a fanatic, I am one of the most incurable fanatics ever permitted to be at large.” William Wilberforce
"We think sometimes that poverty is only being hungry, naked and homeless. The poverty of being unwanted, unloved and uncared for is the greatest poverty. We must start in our own homes to remedy this kind of poverty.” Saint Mother Teresa
Following our consideration and discussion of the birth and formation of the soon to be, Jesus the social entrepreneur (chap. 4) at the Micro level of the ecosystem, this chapter evaluates the entrepreneurial mindset of Jesus during His ministry and commitment to effect ‘change to society values and behaviours through a new relationship with God,'
This Meso level dimension of the ecosystem (Fig. 5.1) (29-33 CE) seeks to understand the ministry of Jesus. This awareness will facilitate both our recognition and evaluation of the opportunity Jesus followed during this period of Ministry, commencing at His baptism in 29 CE.
Figure 5.1 Mezzo Level of Ecosystem and Jesus the Social Entrepreneur
Based on this understanding of the mission and the entrepreneurial behaviour exercised by Jesus, and His leadership of the team of disciples we will seek to identify Jesus’s entrepreneur mindset, His source of energy and power, and the added-value to followers accepting the life change.
Besides being an advanced agrarian society, life in the Province of Judea was shaped by several dominant forces: the Israelite tradition (linguistic, cultural and religious heritage), the Roman Empire (political control) and Hellenism (the pervasive cultural influence over the whole Mediterranean and Middle East).
Contrary to the beliefs of many people in the first century CE, and particularly in our current era, the primary purpose of Jesus was not to heal the sick or perform other signs and wonders, although important, but to “change society values and behaviours through a new relationship with God.” This was the true vision driving Jesus during His time on earth. Indeed, we showed in the preceding chapter (4) that Jesus recognised His mission “to be about My Father’s busines” when aged 12. Now at age 30 years, He is ready to commit all to the mission and make the vision a reality. This passionate, courageous, and committed approach to delivering such a change in personal behaviour and society values is characteristic of a social entrepreneur, and first defined by Drayton as:
“The job of the social entrepreneur is to recognize when a part of society is not working and to solve the problem by changing the system, spreading solutions, and persuading entire societies to take new leaps. Social entrepreneurs are not content just to give a fish or to teach how to fish. They will not rest until they have revolutionized the fishing industry. Identifying and solving large-scale social problems requires social entrepreneurs because only entrepreneurs have the committed vision and inexhaustible determination to persist until they have transformed an entire system ”.1
As established in chapter 3, being socially entrepreneurial is essentially about thinking and doing something that is new, or new to the organisation/society with the determination to bring the benefit into use and achieve a desirable goal or outcome for the user. As noted in chapter 3, the entrepreneur mindset is not achieved by writing business plans and studying economics. Such a mindset is achieved and exercised by developing the personal attributes and behaviours associated with recognising opportunities and pursuing them with passion and commitment, and seeking necessary physical, human, and financial resources to ‘make-it-happen’. Jesus was shown to be a classic example of a social entrepreneur (Chap. 3) and with a mindset, in harmony with the integration of IQ, EI, and SI, and ‘His Father’s business’ that delivers a relationship for value focused living.
It is worth noting that successful social entrepreneurs are highly valued, committed, and passionate in delivering valued service, and are recognised for their contribution to society. Significantly, the Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to social entrepreneurs addressing ‘wicked problems’ in the community:
Muhammad Yunus (2006) is a Bangladeshi social entrepreneur, banker, economist, and civil society leader who founded the Grameen Bank and pioneered the loan concepts of microcredit and microfinance. He received the Nobel Peace prize " for their efforts to create economic and social development from below. Lasting peace cannot be achieved unless large population groups find ways in which to break out of poverty. Micro-credit is one such means. Development from below also serves to advance democracy and human rights.” Yunus and Grameen Bank have shown that even the poorest of the poor can work to bring about their own development and achieve the highest levels of repayment of loans in the world;
Saint Mother Teresa (1979), was awarded the Nobel Peace prize for her work in bringing help to suffering humanity. “She placed special emphasis on the spirit that has inspired her activities, and which is the tangible expression of her personal attitude and human qualities. A feature of her work has been respect for the individual human being, for his or her dignity and innate value. The loneliest, the most wretched and the dying have, at her hands, received compassion without condescension, based on reverence for man”;
Malala Yousafzai (2014) received her joint Nobel Peace prize “for their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education. Children must go to school and not be financially exploited…… It is a prerequisite for peaceful global development that the rights of children and young people be respected. In conflict-ridden areas in particular, the violation of children leads to the continuation of violence from generation to generation”;
In addition, both Gandhi and Wilberforce are classic examples of highly motivated and spiritually aware social entrepreneurs:
Mohandas Gandhi (1869-1948) was nominated 5 times for Nobel Peace Prize but without success. However, he become the strongest symbol of non-violence, the ‘Symbol of Peace’ and the ‘Unelected Spokesman of Non-Violence’ of the 20th century, the needs of humanity and more specially, devoting himself to the service of the poor, the distressed and the oppressed millions everywhere;
William Wilberforce (1759-1833) Wilberforce underwent a spiritual rebirth that changed his life and led him to become an evangelical Christian. This spiritual conversion led him to change his lifestyle and began his lifelong concern for reform, particularly his desire to see the end of the slave trade and of slavery.
Social entrepreneurship is a way of thinking, reasoning, and acting that is opportunity obsessed, holistic in approach, and leadership balanced for the purpose of value creation and capture.2 Such entrepreneurship results in the creation, enhancement, realization, and renewal of value, not just for the entrepreneur, but for all participants and stakeholders. At the heart of delivering on the vision of Jesus is the creation and/or recognition of the opportunity,105 followed by the will, energy, and initiative to seize this opportunity. It requires a willingness to take risks—both personal and societal—but in a way that balances the personal risk to the entrepreneur with the benefits to meet the needs of potential users of the services offered. Typically, social entrepreneurs devise ingenious strategies to marshal their limited resources.
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