We have just experienced a major snow and ice storm.  I waited all day yesterday some youth looking for the opportunity to make some money.  Finally today I had to venture out into the icy and cold weather to clean my own walk ways. Times have changed.  While growing up in
Cincinnati I used to anticipate two events each year that were sure to put some dollars in my pocket.  The shedding of leaves in the fall and the falling of snow in the winter.  There was an entire season of leaves falling and several weekends that I could line up neighbors who were willing to pay rather than find the time in their schedule to rake their leaves. The snow shoveling season was much different. 

We would watch the news and then carefully and attempt to time our departure from the house when the snow had finished falling.  Then my sister and brother would run from house to house attempting to persuade neighbors as I provided a needed service in a timely manner.  As I got older the competition increased.  I would get some people to commit to using my services and I would prepare by purchasing a couple of shovels, ice and lining up a couple of guys who also wanted to make money but were not interested in building a business.  I remember getting out of bed on some very cold mornings complaining about my ambitious approach.  If I had not gained an early commitment I could have slept a little bit longer. The joy and appreciation of my customers expressed about their clean walk ways really made me smile after I was warm and inside. 

As a pastor I look around and many times ask myself, “Is there such a thing as an entrepreneurial pastor?”  There really should be. I know that we have a responsibility to nurture the members of our congregation but what about the people who are non believers, pre Christians and unchurched.  One of our responsibilities is to meet people who are outside of our congregations with the Good News of Jesus Christ especially at the point of their greatest need.  I believe that every life transition is a place for spiritual guidance and wisdom. The birth of a new baby, the death of a loved one, graduation, marriage and even divorce are a few of the life transitions that every pastor can be available for in the lives of non members. Providing people with the hope and assurance that God loves them,  has a wonderful plan for their life and leading them in the confession of their faith is a privilege and a responsibility.   

The privilege is in helping someone understand the Good News and to disciple them into a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. The concept that God will use us as messengers of His plan of salvation is a humbling concept.  The Creator of the Universe really could use anyone but by making myself available in my weakness, feebleness and issues God takes men and women where they are and allows me to share the mystery of our faith.  

The responsibility is where the entrepreneurial challenge comes into play.  We can not meet non believers, pre Christians and unchurched people in worship, in our office, in our church activities nor in our isolated clergy groups. We have to learn to get out and mingle with those who are not in our “church club”.  One of the reasons that many mainline churches are experiencing declining membership is because the pastors are not modeling the basics in lifestyle, invitational or servant evangelism. 

A truly entrepreneurial pastor is not attempting to make money but to meet people so that they are available for them in their times of deepest need.