Rediscovering Community: What’s Your Impact?Blog / Produced by The High Calling
In the “popular” or “mainstream” side of business you find a number of articles that tout young startup owners, particularly the 30 under 30. But the Kauffman.org data tells a different story and shows the age demographics of startup founders to be roughly split in the 23-27% range of the workforce in 2013 (20-34, 35-44, 45-54, and 55-64 age groups.)
The world tells us to watch the up-and-comers and what they might accomplish in the future. Their fresh faces and new ideas might make the media limelight shine bright, but God says to look to Him first.
Deut 8:17-18 “Otherwise, you may say in your heart, ‘My power and the strength of my hand made me this wealth.’ But you shall remember the LORD your God, for it is He who is giving you power to make wealth, that He may confirm His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day. ”
Never too young. Never too old.
There are so many others who do good, even great work that goes unsung in the world’s media.
We’ve all heard about Steve Jobs (the strategist and “showman”) and Steve Wozniak (the geek) who started Apple, the visible side of computers. The other side are the greybeards (middle-aged men with not quite black or white beards) made famous by the Condescending Unix Computer User in the Dilbert comic strip. Greybeards are mostly renowned computer scientists who have had a sweeping influence among computer geeks. Dennis Ritchie was one such greybeard. He is the father of the C programing language and, combined with the talents of Ken Thompson of Bell Labs, they used C to created the UNIX operating system (see this simplified genealogy of UNIX operating systems).
“The tools that Dennis built — and their direct descendants — run pretty much everything today,” said Brian Kernighan, a computer scientist at Princeton University who worked with Mr. Ritchie at Bell Labs (NYTimes).
While Jobs had the visual impact, Ritchie’s mostly invisible impact had a far greater affect to the marketplace, despite getting much less fame. For a Christian, the invisible impact can be the same.
Use the tools you've been given
A snowstorm in January 1850 cut short 16-year-old Charles Spurgeon’s travel, and he entered a small church where the main preacher was absent because of the same snowstorm. But, a church member accepted a challenge and gave a 10-minute sermon on the text, “Turn to Me and be saved, all the ends of the earth; For I am God, and there is no other. (Isa 45:22).” Spurgeon became a believer that day. A significant spiritual legacy was started from a small change, all because a snowstorm detoured a young teenager into hearing a lay person’s simple, short sermon. No one would guess how mighty the legacy results were from that lay person’s sermon. Estimates are that in his lifetime, Spurgeon preached to around 10,000,000 people. One’s life does not have to be big in order to go big, take action with where you are with what you have. Have faith, even small actions have a major impacts with others.
Whether you’re a Christian starting a new business, a pastor starting a new church, a person starting a new Bible study, the process is still the same.
Start having an impact
You’ll never know the impact and influence you have on others and their lives. Just as in the parable of the talent, the one lazy slave buried his talent because he was timid and unenterprising and was chastised for it. Jesus tells you and startup entrepreneurs to dig up, brush off, and put to work any and all of your talents. When you do, ensure that you don’t “grieve” and “quench” the Holy Spirit in your life, but just as important, don’t bury or mock your neighbor’s God-given talents and spiritual gift and “grieve” and “quench” the Holy Spirit in their lives.
Rom 13:10 Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.
You never know the next major positive influence and impact you will have on someone else’s life.
Kevin Cullis is a former Gulf War I USAF Aircraft Maintenance officer. He is currently a business geek, author, speaker, and an entrepreneur. He loves helping kids, startups, entrepreneurs, and small business owners integrate, utilize, and optimize their marketing, sales, operations, and business leadership and mnagement processes for higher profits. You can find Kevin on LinkedIn, Facebook, and his website, where this first appeared.
Online community is a real thing. Isn’t it? Maybe it depends on whom you talk to. How important is it to spend time with someone face-to-face? Can you build meaningful and lasting relationships online? Where do you find your most significant interactions, and how do you make time for them? Jesus focused on building his deepest relationships with three of his disciples while he walked the earth. What can we learn about community from Christ’s example, and how do we translate his example to the digital age? In this theme, we are Rediscovering Community in old-fashioned and new-fangled ways. We’ll celebrate the gift of relationship while exploring ways to build community in the modern age. Join us!
Photo by Diane Bailey. Design by Jennifer Dukes Lee.