Around the world, there are some amazing initiatives that have been birthed with what we might call a kingdom focus for Christians in business and Christian ministry. In the United States, the FiveTwo network equips Christian entrepreneurs to launch a variety of sustainable startups that reach people for Jesus. The FiveTwo network believes that Jesus has given his church entrepreneurial leaders to bring new life to churches.
These leaders innately create growth through startups of all sizes and shapes. They even suggest that there is a comparison of many modern business leaders to the Ephesians 4 Biblical model of leadership, the offices of Apostle, Prophet and Evangelist.
Joining Neil Johnson on Twenty20 to discuss this was Bill Woolsey, the Founder and President of the FiveTwo network in the USA. He has decades of experience in starting and leading ministries, churches and networks. Bill authored the book, ‘Seven Steps to Start’, a practical ‘how to start’ book, written from over 30 years of outreach experience. He now invests his life in men and women who want to reach people for Jesus in new and creative ways.
Bill says that if we look into the book of Acts, we see that when persecution was brought on the church, it grew. “We’ve seen that a lot recently, where the local congregations were unable to meet and couldn’t do ministry the way they were used to. Before COVID, their way of bringing value to a local community was in person. But if you can’t do that, how do you communicate and deliver divine community? Churches had to pivot to digital and all of a sudden figure out how to do it. And that put them into a different mindset of having to do things they weren’t comfortable with. They had to figure out how to deliver Jesus to people, rather than expecting them to come to church and fit into their limitations and expectations.”
Bill believes this new mindset is a game changer for churches. But will churches and their leaders continue learning? “I don’t know if they’re going to adopt some of the behaviors and the practices they’ve been using, but the reality is the people they were caring for and serving have changed. There are new practices and behaviors that have been adopted, and that’s critical for congregations. Christians realise that there are new values at play, and any time you have new values and behaviors you need to figure out which of those values you’re going to adopt.”
Bill says when churches and congregations find themselves in situations like today, where what used to work doesn’t work anymore, it’s a new environment. “Entrepreneurial Christians, and apostolic evangelistic type individuals will see an opportunity. They see change as a resource and an opportunity for growth. Most Pastors went to seminary to learn how to care for sheep, not to learn how to hunt wild sheep. But what we need right now is people who love to hunt wild sheep, who will go out and find new ways of doing ministry. God has put those people into his church, and they have not been well utilised. But when the status quo is upset, those are the people you want to leverage.”
The ‘FiveTwo” network is based on the idea of the five loaves and two fishes. Bill says, “That’s why we chose the name. The resources to do what needed to be done were right there in the crowd. All you had to do was find it and bring it to Jesus. And He multiplied it.”
“That’s what we teach more than anything. We want our leaders and our starters to trust that and see Jesus’ work.”
Listen to the rest of Bill’s discussion with Neil below…
Tune into 20Twenty and join the conversation with Neil Johnson, weekdays on Vision Christian Radio. Click here for your local times.