Kingdom Businesses Busting Poverty
Anyone who has experienced financial poverty at any level will know that it makes life very difficult. Most of us reading this don’t have a clue what abject poverty is like if we’re honest. In western Europe food banks and government benefits provide some alleviation, but in poorer countries these are not available.
The pressure to borrow is enormous, often with high interest rates which keeps people in perpetual debt. This only adds to the mental pressure and feelings of hopelessness. Financial poverty can be utterly crushing. It can feel like one is in prison, unable to escape. If we are the light of world, and God’s answer for broken communities, then what can we do?
The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners. Isaiah 61:1
Helping believers start up sustainable businesses creates jobs, and sustainable jobs helps people out of financial poverty.
Joseph Rowntree, a Christian, knew this. Leaving school at the age of 11 in 1852, he was apprenticed in his father’s grocery shop before joining his brother Henry Isaac’s struggling chocolate business in York in 1869.
A visit from a French pastille maker persuaded Joseph to invest in confectionary for a UK market, and in 1881, the famous Rowntree gum pastilles were introduced to the British public with huge success. Following his financial success, Joseph Rowntree provided radical social and welfare support for his growing workforce. He set up an employee library and created a pension scheme that predated the state pension by two years. He built a model village for some of his workers that improved living conditions for the working class, and also set up a charitable trust to pursue his underlying passion and calling to address the causes of systemic poverty; to this day it disperses over £10m each year for many great causes.
Imagine if entrepreneurs like Joseph were encouraged and supported by other believers in their community to start up enterprises to help alleviate poverty?
Imagine if they felt truly empowered because they received the spiritual encouragement, business mentoring and coaching, and possibly even some start-up capital?
Imagine if you could be God’s answer to broken communities?
To find out more, go to www.relationalmission.org/appeal
“As leaders we are called to mobilise His people to go into the world and not simply be recruited to serve the programmes of the church….Kingdom enterprise and businesses are needed as models that sit alongside church planting. History provides examples of churches being established through discipleship in the workplace. The pastor and entrepreneur need to be cultivated equally and inseparably if we are to fulfil our Great Commission.”
Establish the Work of Our Hands* by Nick Priggis, Leader of Hope Church in Shrewsbury (Christ Central) *Amazon link that earns commission.