Entrepreneurs or Leaders?

The USA is lagging behind in social innovation and social enterprise rather than leading, suggests a well-researched post released in June by Timothy Ogden. Almost all of the world-changing innovations from from the developing world and very few from USA, despite the money poured into them. Reasons for this, Ogden suggests, have to do with lack of training and lack of scarcity that drives innovation. He suggests:

Spend less time and money training entrepreneurs and funding contests domestically; invest more in social entrepreneurs globally.

I see the same problem in the church which decided to take the “leadership” route many years ago rather than the “entrepreneur” route. Leaders help move the existing and sometimes struggling structures forward into greater productivity and encourage people to follow. Entrepreneurs invent and innovate new structures tailored for the changing situations, but not without continuity with the past. In a world of relentless change, entrepreneurs rule. If the church expects their impact to continue, it needs to create and celebrate a culture of innovation, finding precedents in the Scriptures [come on . . . look harder] and examples in the developing non-western world.

If you want to hear about our plans to travel the 10/40 window and
locate “missional entrepreneurs” then keep an eye on our North
America tour that starts next week. Cities and dates coming soon.


Andrew Jones launched his first internet space in 1997 and has been teaching on related issues for the past 20 years. He travels all the time but lives between Wellington, San Francisco and a hobbit home in Prague.

1 Comment

  • cl says:

    working in various intersections and global community of env /social entrepreneurs in the bay area – absolutely no shortage of creative SE there – no shortage of mission, technology, business education as to how to implement, possibilities. Mission maybe- not “missional” but rocks. models well worth looking at that are applicable to future church and basically not on anyone’s radar in terms of structure, the church is at least 10 yrs behind on all of this and much more and will have to learn, borrow, follow innovation since it rarely values innovation (creativity / entrepreneurs) within.

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