Can you name any bible verses about entrepreneurship offhand? How about bible verses on missions? The mission’s questions is likely easier than the entrepreneurship one. If you’re a serious Christian who wants to live by Biblical business and mission principles, you should not only want to know bible verses about missions but also bible verses about entrepreneurship and what they say about the things you encounter every day. These, “what does the Bible say about ____________” questions roll around in the recesses of our minds, occasionally coming to the surface for answers.
What do verses say about parenting?
What do verses say about leadership?
What do verses say about politics?
Or in our case here, what are bible verses about entrepreneurship?
It’s tempting to look at the Bible as a book of advice, an encyclopedia or spiritual owner’s manual of sorts, where we go fishing for “how-to” answers to the events or decision points we encounter each day. This is understandable to some extent. We do and should want to know bible verses about entrepreneurship as well as bible verses about missions, and what they are saying about specific topics. However, this approach short-changes the grand purpose and storyline of the Scriptures. If the Bible were just a list of advice topics outlining how to live your best Christian life now, God would likely have sorted it differently, and maybe alphabetized it with tabs for easier reference.
That said, there are bible verses about entrepreneurship, and certainly bible verses about missions throughout the Scriptures. But to see them the way they are intended, we have to flip the script. We aren’t the center of our own stories. Living as a Christian in the marketplace isn’t about writing our own narrative and then finding Bible verses with entrepreneurship or missions phrasing that we can apply to make our experience more holy and successful. The Scriptures are the Story, the Great Story we have been invited into through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. We don’t just apply Scriptural advice to our lives, the Scriptures invite us into a Story that is so much greater.
With that in mind, let’s look at some that straddle the line between being Bible verses about entrepreneurship and missional work that I hope illuminate what I’m trying to say here:
Genesis 2:1-3, 15
“Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day, God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. So, God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation…The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.”
There are bible verses about entrepreneurship that cross over as bible verses for missions; these are a game-changer for marketplace Christians of all sorts, including entrepreneurs. What do we see here in the opening chapters of the Great Story? We see a working God that shows us the powerful pattern of work and rest in the act of Creation itself. Then what does he do? He takes the man and the woman and places them within his perfect, new creation to do what?
Work and keep it.
In the beginning, at the origins of the universe, at the beginning of time itself, there was work! You don’t have to be a theologian or know bible verses about entrepreneurship to notice something key here. The tree and the fruit and the fall of man happens in Genesis 3. We are still in chapter 2! Work was part of God’s original design for mankind. It was not the result of sin (although I know some of you may feel your job comes from the pit of hell). We were created to “work and keep” God’s creation. This is one of the key bible verses about entrepreneurship that shapes all of our work within the Great Story of God. This passage also carries the weight of being one of these bible verses for missions as it also can show us that we are to “work and keep” God’s mission to the people around us.
“And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
Going back one chapter in Genesis, we get another one of these bible verses with entrepreneurship at its center to this faith and work storyline. God called man, His highest creation, to subdue and have dominion over the newly created order. Through the daily work of our hands, we become stewards and caretakers – theologians use the word “vice-regent” – someone who acts in the place of and with the authority of the actual ruler.
Through creative marketplace activity, you and I have the high call of partnering with God in the care, cultivation, and ultimate flourishing of His world. Is there any clearer bible verses about entrepreneurship than that?
The bible has more verses about entrepreneurship in the New Testament.
“For God in all his fullness was pleased to live in Christ, and through him, God reconciled everything to himself. He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth by means of Christ’s blood on the cross.”
At first glance, this verse appears to have little to do with Christians in the marketplace. However, it’s actually one of my favorite bible verses on entrepreneurship and business as mission. There’s this innate assumption that Jesus died on the cross so we can go to heaven one day when we die. While eternal life is certainly a promise of the Gospel message, the full power and richness of Christ’s finished work on our behalf go much deeper than that.
The Gospel is about redemption and resurrection, making this passage one of the bible verses about missions not just for our “spiritual lives,” but for all things. Through Jesus, the Kingdom has come and is still yet coming. We are the first fruits of God breaking in and restoring all the things that sin tried to kill and destroy. The Gospel redeems and resurrects all things having bible verses on entrepreneurship, including the work of our hands. Including our marketplace work. Including our business gifts and abilities.
There is no sacred work and secular work. When Jesus said, “it is finished,” He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth and set us back on the path of His original design to be image-bearers, stewards, and partners in His Kingdom come. Marketplace work is sacred work.
“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
Let’s look at one more of the bible verses on entrepreneurship that I bet you never connected to the gospel before. It’s usually referred to by its informal name, the Great Commandment. What does the Great Commandment have to do with business and our everyday work? Everything.
Most of us think of our day-jobs as a necessary evil. In fact, statistics say that upwards of 80% of people actually hate their jobs. We trade our time and effort for money that we can use to pay our bills, support our family, and hopefully have a little left over to do something enjoyable now and then if we’re lucky. And while some of this toil and purposelessness is undoubtedly because we work in a fallen world, it’s not God’s original plan for our work. This is one of the bible verses where entrepreneurship is practically reflected within the Great Commandment.
When our daily work only looks inward, purposelessness prevails. When our work looks upward and outward, the Kingdom of God comes near. Jesus said all the commandments of Scripture could be summed up by two simple things: love God and love the people around you. When our work finds its roots in the finished work of Jesus, we live out these bible verses with an entrepreneurship mindset, and we no longer have to struggle and strive to make a name for ourselves. So, each day when the alarm clock goes off, we awaken to an exciting new opportunity to honor God and add value to the lives of everyone around us through the work of our hands. It’s the Great Commandment in the flesh.
These are just a few bible verses where entrepreneurship and the gospel intersect that I hope to empower and encourage you as a marketplace believer. Just remember, the Bible isn’t just a book of sacred advice you can choose to apply to the story you are writing about yourself. The Bible is the Story.
If you are a Christian entrepreneur or one of the vast majority of Christians who is employed in the marketplace, the story of your job, your business, or your start-up will only find its full expression within the Great Story of God. The good news is that you get to live out these bible verses about entrepreneurship and you’re invited in through the finished work of Jesus.