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The Marriage of Business and Religion

Jared Thurmon
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In this workshop, we will discuss this disruptive concept and what it means for Adventism in the next five years. “You have felt that business is business, religion is religion, but I tell you that these cannot be divorced.... You are not to put asunder that which God has joined—business and religion.” -19MR 17.




  • August 5, 2016
    3:30 PM
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Heavenly Father we thank you so much that you have brought us here. We thank you that you have put within us a desire to be creative to act on ideas and to see things come to reality come to fruition and we're just grateful that you have woken us up today we do not want to take that for granted and pray that during our time together you'll inspire us and help us to leave here ready to do new and more innovative things we ask this in Jesus' name amen. All right. I'm glad you're here today. I hope to speak for about fifteen minutes and then we're going to have somewhat of a workshop. So I'm hoping we can make this very practical for everyone because I know that a lot of times there are things that the Lord has put on your heart that rather than talk about a theory. It's much more practical to talk about reality and something you're wrestling with an idea or a problem. You're looking to solve and I believe that will be the way that we get the most out of this seminar. How many people here are a business owner. OK that's pretty good as really half of us how many of us have an idea that we've pondered perhaps for a few years maybe many years that you'd like to see come to reality. You got this idea and there was a way to make it real. It would be great and he hands. Yeah OK I could raise two hands there. Well I want to share with you today. My passion that I began to really hone in on that derives from a statement from the book Christ object lessons. It's page three forty nine and that statement is that religion and business are not two separate things. They are one. And that's not necessarily easy to digest because often in religious circles. We have divorced these ideas. I work. Six days a week and I go to church on Sabbath. And I believe that the Lord intended so much more as we live our lives to have such a such mission that all the time we are in our religious element. Even if we're not necessarily in a church. If you think about it a pastor's customers show up to his place of business three hours per week. But a business person's customers show up to their place of business potentially forty to sixty hours a week. So there's a lot more opportunity for interaction with someone in the business world than at perhaps a pastor of a local church on a weekend. So what I'm hoping is if you have ever felt. Or maybe the Lord is even now touching your heart to do something innovative to start an organization to improve your organization to start a business. I believe that is something divine and I believe that it is something that God has desired for all of us something I learned recently. Is that business makes us dependent upon one another. A lot of times we think that if we were completely self-sustaining. That's a word sometimes use in having a circle's all would be well but think about it if I lived on a farm somewhere and I raised sheep my sheep gave me my clothing. Right. I raised all my own produce so I have all my own food. I have a water supply. I have trees that I could cut down for warmth. I have a lot of books already. And so I'm good. There for my entertainment and I'm married and have two kids. Let's just assume with this little sphere that we. We're in the middle right here. We could say we are self-sustaining the truth of matter is arguably this person needs no one else to get through life pretty OK but we're busy but also think about this how much time does it take to raise sheep to get the wool for your clothing was time does it take to raise your own produce to eat your own food. How much time does it take to wash your clothes because they've gotten dirty to wash the dishes because you've eaten from them. To prepare the wood to stay warm in the home to cook your food whatever it may be right. We were doing an extreme example but the idea is. You would work all the time when would you have any time for downtime right. So I believe with business. It allows us to focus on something where we say I am going to raise sheep. Twelve hours a day that's going to be my specialty and with my surplus of wool. I'm going to go to the market place and I'm going to find a way to trade with what I need right. So business makes us dependent upon one another and in the circuit of beneficence that we learn so much about in the scripture and in the writings of L. and white business can make us dependent on one another. I trust that I make the best let's say this I grow the best carrots and I'm going to trust that you make the best clothing and so what I'd like to do is trade you carrots for clothing and obviously money and all these things are just the medium through which we use to get your product so business can make us dependent on one another. And there's a statement by a gentleman named Victor Hugo that says there is nothing so powerful as an idea whose time has come and in the world we're seeing lots of ideas come to reality that now are starting to realize we can't live without. Anybody have a product you just feel like you can't live without any smartphone owners. Yeah. No not at all. Shower water shower you just can't live without. Well there's there's a lot of us who may say my smartphone we have on the average we check it. Eighty five times a day and we can't live without it and the whole world is becoming dependent and and going through the smartphone. I believe the Lord has put within all of us an idea an innovative spirit to do things the trick is though how do we take that idea and make it a reality because a lot of time the greatest Hendren from seeing that idea we have turned into reality is what money. All right let's let's put money over here. Time. And let's the last one. Fear fear of what I'm going to go with fear. There's lots of this in the world we do have a limited amount of time. But the thing that usually limits us is fear and it's interesting as we look let's take an example in the sporting world. A successful batting average in baseball is what somebody is pretty good if they have a batting average of one over three hundred we believe a baseball player is successful if he fails seventy percent of the time. That's a good baseball player basketball player a good shooting percentage. What are we looking at forty five percent. Colby was way less than that and he's great. But we're going to say a good basketball player as a failure ratio. That's a good five fifty five percent quarterback rating. Maybe pushing sixty percent passer rating completion ratio so a football player at forty percent failure rate. He's amazing. We're going to put him in the Hall of Fame but in the business world. We usually would say Oh for one business is not for you. You need to go do something else. This is not your calling right. What if we took this same idea. We generously give into the athletic world and we put it into the world of business and as I got to speak with some venture capitalist over the last few years. I learned something fascinating and I learned that they play like they play. A batting average. And here's their average. I'm going to attempt nine and hope I succeed on the ten. If I have a ten percent success ratio. I win and how do I get to that ten percent. I have to invest in nine so that's where we see biblical principles about casting our bread on many waters not knowing what will prosper. So this is a principle that the world uses a lot of times I think about how many people do you know that you could say they failed in something pretty good. Anybody know someone anybody would admit to I failed in something. I mean if I had another hand I'd raise it. So what if we started to look at things and said hey you know what if venture capitalists some of the richest people in the world go with the principle of I'll use all the wisdom I can get but the odds are one out of ten will be my success ratio. Then their goal would be I need to get through nine failures to get to the tenth success story and basically that makes us realize wow to do that you almost would have to celebrate failure because you're one step closer to the winner because for a venture capitalist it's invest ten million lose invest ten million lose invest ten million lose. I've lost ninety million. But on the tenth when I made one hundred fifty. A million I when I'm in the game. I'm using an example that is very void of faith. Arguably that I'm in this just on a on a ratio of averages. But then you bring in the idea that well as an Adventist business person my business idea somehow may have a core principle based on mission that there is some mission to your business. Well if that's the case then you can say you know I think I've actually got the Lord on my side. But what happens when you get that failure Mark. Has the Lord abandon you. It may be that there is an actual principle of attempt and that didn't work. Make an attempt and that may not have worked and I think as a community. It is very powerful when we encourage the spirit of attempting things right. Make an attempt or you failed make another attempt and together we're going to find ways to move forward. I've had the pleasure to read a few books in the past year. One of them was by the C.E.O. of Pixar and now Disney animation. It's called creativity Inc has anyone read that book creativity Inc. It's a really interesting book and the core I got a lot of it was something called candor. Creating a culture of candor in an organization. So just for some of you have joined us. I'm trying to give my quick pitch and spiel. And then we're going to break out into some type of workshop real life discussion but in this book creativity Inc He says basically we started to realize that Pixar Why did we have success after success after success. We started to really analyze what is causing us to have success because I have a belief. That the worst thing that can happen to you is having success in the wrong area or having success and you don't even know why that's that's not a good thing. So he started to analyze these different scenarios and he started to see we have this culture of candor. Now I want to ask you and your organization your company. Do you have this culture of honesty candor they can go up to someone and say. Christina. This is what I really think right and the seventh they haven't. Is it seems like we should be the most transparent and honest people where we could do that and what Ed Catmull began to describe was he brought people in a room that didn't necessarily have skin in the game on the film project but they were people that really loved the art of film. And they had experience in this industry. So think about the industry you're in are there people that have had experience there that you could bring into a room that would give you feedback these individuals at Pixar did not have to take the advice. But what happened was they knew the people giving the advice cared for the end product and so therefore that caused them to listen maybe a little more attentively. And what happened was success after success after success because if somebody has built up. I care for you and I'm going to tell you some honesty. You know that it's not a personal attack. There's a healthy place where we can begin to detach ourselves from our project from our current venture from our current activity where we say this is what I'm creating working on what do you think. And if somebody says well I have issue with this piece. We don't take it personally and then get reactive and it's so easy to react well actually think I think your book is way too many pages. Oh you'd think that you know you know how to read. Right. We get reactive and we almost get rude but if we knew people cared for us. Then we see different results. Let me tell you what he learned at Disney. And Disney he learned he gets into this and he said hey all right. What do we think of this project your senior What do you think of and what do you think just pass it around. OK yeah. Wow everyone seems to think this project we're working on is going to be a home run is everyone sure here. OK. Put it into the marketplace. Failure bomb losing tons of money and you go back and he says. Did you really think. Do you really think this was going to be a successful film. No not at all. But I couldn't say that because I mean that guy's my boss and he would have issue with me really telling what I really feel and he started to realize this was the point where he realized what was working at Pixar and how it compared to Disney. Let's make some personal application perhaps in our local church. Perhaps in our local business. Perhaps in our families have we built up a relationship where we can actually be honest with each other. Have we built up that cup of goodwill have we deposited money into that bank account of goodwill where we can write some checks where we really can be honest with each other and creating this culture of candor I believe is the first step to any successful organization because it allows us to be honest. Otherwise we're in the project we're in the planning of something and we're not letting everyone know what we really feel. And then that means we're actually holding back. Blessings that God can use this to give because we won't be honest if someone were frayed and hurt their feelings but the truth the matter is we are responsible for that failure. Unless we are totally openly honest with that person that that's one thing that I thought was very fascinating another book I read I want to share with you. I'm just sharing a few principles. They're going to jump in this book was called designed to grow it was by the V.P. of innovation of Coca-Cola. Started to talk about the two great or the one great blessing in each of two camps the value in a start up organization is agility which do anything. The one. Hey we're going to make leather shoes out of plastic to begin to think it's leather it's really fast that we're going to grow a tree that actually it's kind of like plastic it's really crazy revolutionary. And we're going to do it and somebody comes to say hey you know you can make great i Phone cases with that texture. We are now making i Phone cases this is a great business and we could easily maneuver very quickly because we don't have some organization like a big ship that has to be turned and he said OK So agility is the asset in a startup you can pivot easily. What is the asset in a large organization an established organization scale ability. It's where an organization organization could take an idea and put it in ten thousand locations overnight that a startup does not have so let's take the church for example a start up church with no anything that say hey we're going to do this. And you're agile and you can do that but you're also going to do it in one little lone corner and one city of the earth will think the seventh Avenue Church could say hey we have found the perfect outreach seminar that teaches people the principles of our faith and people want to join us every time they watch it. What we have the mechanism to do in theory is to plug that in to tens of thousands of churches around the world overnight and that's pretty neat. So the question is why do we have a disconnect. Often times of say within the Church of people with a good idea but the church that can scale it and what I want to find is a way in which we can encourage those ideas within the church just like businesses do in their organization. Let me give you an example I was at a conference a few months ago. And I was listening to some large organizations that realized there is an atmosphere and a climate right now where these big guys can have a chunk of their market share taken very quickly by a startup because the startup is agile they're doing something different and when we just lost ten percent market share these Wahoos working out of a garage. We don't know why they're successful and why are people using their product and so they thought you know we should do we should bring these inside. What if we almost had this internal cannibalized station model that said Gilbert. I want you to hire a team your goal is to beat us at our own game and as soon as you feel you've beat us. Google for instance with the X. labs and things Skunk Works is soon as you beat us. We're going to take your idea because we pay you and then you have to go beat us again. And if companies organizations or schools and we represent a lot of different ideas in this room. If we started to take that mentality that say who is within our own organization trying to beat us at our own game who when we have that spirit of candor and that honesty. They can come to us and say look I know we think we have the best school around but we don't. And here's what I think would do that. So I'm going to start this and this is where we have to actually empower it with some resources we have to enable it to succeed. Meaning your lab has to have some money to test things to do some research and develop it to be built on this idea of you're probably going to have nine failures but you'll get the tenth one because when you do we are going to adapt it and we will not lose our market share in the world right. So this is happening in the world. Many are starting to realize this. And I think within our movement. We could see some radical things happen if we began to say how do we disrupt ourselves right. So so there's a few things that I believe Adventism is poised to disrupt number one anything to do with health care. We are poised for disruption. I think it was literally given to us as our asset the Lords of the world is going to get sick their minds are going to be not clear. You can make a ton of money with this and you'll prepare the world to hear the one message I'm going to give them right. He gave us that. So the question is now how do we take that idea and look out into the landscape and say Who out there is trying to disrupt health care and how do we disrupt it better than they are we can do that. Health food. I mean now you have literally huge venture capital firms tech firms investing into health food to disrupt food and the primary motivation is money. Look the earth is not going to it's not sustainable like it once was. We can't raise animals like we used to. So let's make fake meat. Right. That's why it's so exciting to see Don acquiring other companies don't notice with Heritage health food acquiring other companies and finding ways in which we can merge and grow bigger companies because there is something about a synergy. This leads me to a point about our desire often to be independent. So a lot of times we have this sense of hesitancy with working with one another. My organization is built on these principles and your organization is built on those principles and. I'm using extreme example you think it tomato is a fruit and I think it's a vegetable. And because you think that we can't work together. Now there are clearly some feel logical issues right. And there are some things where clearly principle wouldn't allow things to happen but I think we need to be a little more grace driven to say you know what. What are our core principles. How could we work together as a really smart that we both pay a C.P.A. every month. It's really smart that we're both marketing our same services is a really smart that we market at the same churches and the same churches have a confusion on their hands of one of which of our twenty eight different products which I really think all the kind of do the same thing is that really smart when Often we could look in a secular world and say somebody may have the proposal of the why would one thousand of us merge and what's the confusion here oh money. Well then let's make a contract and we'll clarify any confusions with with the money. This media was produced by audio or yes on avenues Lehmann's services and industries. If you would like to learn more or if you like this please visit verse.


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