This episode covers the topics of faith, innovation, biblical revelation, Christian business, entrepreneurship, marketplace ministry, faith and work, business as mission.
Well, hello again, thank you for joining us for lunch break.
I am Pierce Brantley, co-host of the Eternal Entrepreneur.
And today we’re going to talk about innovation, revelation and the power of Kingdom impact.
Big stuff, so what are we really talking about?
We are talking about how to partner with God effectively. It’s something that I’m really passionate about, because I think it’s an area that even for the most seasoned Christian business leader, it’s an area of confusion, sometimes doubt, sometimes frustration, we don’t really like to talk about who focuses on what in the business, meaning, what do you focus on? What does God focus on, so we’re going to break that down.
So if you are particularly what I’d say, visionary, kind of business leader, if you feel like God has given you a mandate, you might say, use that language to operate your business in a certain way, if you got what I call fire in the bone syndrome, you’re gonna want to really focus into this episode, because I think it’s gonna really impact some good, good stuff for you.
So what’s the problem?
Here’s the thing, I think for business leaders, particularly if you are visionary, particularly if you feel like God has given you a vision for something, we run into problems we really do, because we don’t always know where to sail the ship. And we want to do so in a way that’s honoring to the Lord. And that can look like a lot of different things, of course.
So I call this the faith versus the function dilemma.
We’re gonna break it out into two different definitions, Revelation, and innovation, and talk about how the two kind of work together and where they’re kind of mutually exclusive. So I think many Christians get stuck in the cycle of praying, and powering through the sort of creates, like what I call is a tug of war, where we don’t really know which part of the business we own in which part of the business God owns.
And though we never really say so I think it can make us wonder how do we partner with God effectively, you ever felt like that? I don’t know. We’re kind of God, you let off and I pick up and vice versa.
Alright, so definitions.
Let’s start with Revelation. Revelation is previously unknown knowledge. It’s knowledge that is made known in a dramatic way in a way that only God could have made it known as God disclosing something to humans, for something about humans or something that the world at large. So revelation is an outcome of prayer. Revelation is just getting insight when you’re in the secret place when you’re praying about with God about something specific as it relates to the company that you own. Innovation is different. Innovation is creating new value and or capturing value in a new way.
I like Peter Drucker’s definition. He says, for innovation, to be effective it has to be simple, and it has to be focused. It should do only one thing. Otherwise, it confuses.
Revelation reveals. Innovation impacts. Revelation gives you new insight. Innovation implements the insight you received. So see kind of the delineation, that reality is, you need both.
You can’t rewrite the playbook until you know how the game is played, guys.
You might say, hey, well, listen, I want to change the game, I want to, you know, do something different with my business. You can’t do that boss, you got to have both of these things in order to make some movement. You might actually have vision. I’m not saying you don’t, maybe coming down from the mountain with two tablets. And I told you so you know, I’m saying but you still got to get people out of the wilderness, right?
You still got to get your business to be effectively doing something in the market. You can’t just be going off of what you believe the Lord has told you, although you need that as a starting point. But at some point, you know, there’s got to be some practicals revelation always has practical at some point.
So, alright, let’s look at this steak and shake from the Apostle Paul. He’s talking to the Corinthians. 1 Corinthians 3:2 if you want to go look it up.
I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready.
Some harsh stuff, Paul. What are we talking about here?
So with slight frustration, I would say, we find Paul coming back to people that he is already taught about things which they’ve already previously discussed, and ideas which should have already been implemented.
But these adults, these mature Christians, they needed a Gerber Baby God, they needed to be spoon fed practical ideas, basic ideas about how God works in their lives, and everything else associated with the Christian walk. But Paul’s pain really had to do with the latter part of his post.
These Christians wanted meat, right? They wanted a heftier spiritual protein. And yet they were unwilling to care for nurture the basic spiritual awareness and understanding when he wasn’t around.
We know this because of the way Paul responds, right?
So what did this mean? So really, they wanted revelation. But they didn’t want the responsibility that came with it. T
hey said, Paul, hey, man, give us the good stuff, give us the best you got. And he goes, What good is it to give you like, you know, more heavy things, more meaty things to use his language, when you’re not even really playing around with the basics. And we run into this, I think, as Christians, we think, Hey, you know, in order to really run a spiritual business, or when it’s honoring to God, nothing wrong with that, right?
I need to get better revelation on how to do so. And you do need revelation, but there’s a point where revelation drops off, and you don’t need to go past it, it doesn’t unpack the box anymore for you, so to speak. And that’s kind of what Paul was, was getting that, you know, I think often in life, God will happily give us a dream I’ll be it might be the form of an innovative idea, some kind of new career or, you know, your business venture. And, you know, we want to take that idea to bigger and grander and more pronounced places.
And we’ll expand on it.
And we’ll might even go to places even dare, you know, daydreams don’t really typically go to will go as big as we can, as we can go, we’ll go big or go home, so to speak.
But really, if we’re not careful, the dream never becomes a reality, meaning we can get so focused on regulatory insight that it never actually gets implemented.
Okay, enough theory, let’s talk about someone who’s actually lived this stuff out. You probably know this guy’s name: George Washington Carver, he was a chemist scientist in the late 1880s.
But this guy is cool.
I mean, when you look into his life, he really modeled both of these components. Really, really well. Faith was a big part of how he did all of his inventing.
But cool story, though, Carver actually really did desire revelation like the rest of us.
So it’s actually said that once he asked God, to tell him all, all the secrets of the universe, he wanted to know everything, you know, why is grass green? Why is Jupiter so far away? You know, is it possible to travel to other planets, he was like “God, give me a download.”
And the Lord answered him, but he did in a really ironic way. He wasn’t going to start him out with meat, so to speak, he started straight with milk; kind of funny.
So God pointed him something much smaller than the universe.
He pointed him to the peanut, and Carver come up with incredible inventions, which, you know, kind of mentioned here in a minute. But out of all of, you know, the world changing stuff that he did, the most amazing thing was his kind of grounding, and how God led him to everything that he accomplished, in fact, so this one time, he was speaking at a university, and he was only supposed to have a short amount of time.
But it was really, really kind of motivating. And so they let them speak for longer. And afterwards, the Chairman was so impacted by what he spoke on. He said, Hey, listen, how did you learn all this stuff?
About the peanut and Carter goes, Yeah, he said, Well, I learned about it from an old book. And the Chairman goes, What book? What book is this in?
George say “The Bible.”
And the chairman says, “Does the Bible tell you about peanuts?”
“Like, do you actually know all this stuff from looking in that that book?”
And Carter says “No, sir.”
“But it tells about the God who made the peanut, and I asked Him to show me what to do with the peanut and He did.”
He was really matter of fact about it.
But the secrets that Carver discovered led to hundreds of new inventions, I mean, you think about the cosmetics, paint plywood, the dye that we use in crayons, I mean, and the list goes on and on and on.
But he got it from Revelation.
So the Lord spoke to him about something he wanted to actually give supernatural knowledge about something and the Lord revealed it to him, but he still had to take that knowledge and then innovate on it, create a product out of it, and then use that in a way that was going to add value to the world.
And it has I mean, the entire world has changed because of all the countless things that he was able to commit to the marketplace.
So, some practicals. How do we do this for ourselves? Two things.
For Revelation, Revelation is just asking God: “What do you think about this problem, the situation this hole in the market, Revelation is the intimacy that proceeds innovation?”
It comes first, I think it should come first, not to say that sometimes one doesn’t kind of come before the other when you’re in the mess of things.
The world is messy.
But revelation typically proceeds innovation in a Kingdom kind of sphere.
Innovation is providing value with what you learned about the problem, the situation, the hole in the market, that God talked to you about.
Innovation is how you live out the Christian discipline of stewardship out in the marketplace.
So that’s how revelation and innovation work together for the good when you have both. When you’re doing both in a consistent manner. That is when you begin to have Kingdom impact, because you have the supernatural knowledge of God guiding you. And you have the innovation of how to work on that or how to make it accessible to people working itself out in the marketplace.
And that’s how you become competitive.
That’s how you become disruptive.
That’s how you change the world.
Like our man, Carver.
So, Alright, guys, this is the end of this episode of the lunch break. I hope you enjoyed it. hope you got something good out of it. If you did, why don’t you let Joe and I know we’d love to hear from you.