The movie and TV industry have continually categorized the businessman as the villain. From Mr. Krabs to Gordon Gecko, the marketplace and money have become synonymous with power and greed. Why did this happen, and how does this impact the idea of our work being the fulfillment of the Great Commandment? There are plenty of examples of businesspeople genuinely being the bad guy, but these are the sin-broken counterfeit and not the real thing.
On this week’s podcast we discuss the real issue behind business and greed (hint: it’s not the money). When we elevate anything above God, it hijacks God’s original design for this life. Biblical business is about adding value, problem solving, and meeting needs of your fellow man – to love your neighbor as yourself. Keep God in the forefront and business won’t be your idol, it will become your avenue to serve.
For this week’s missional moment, we talk to our friend Matthew Rohrs, Executive Director of Sinapis. Sinapis fosters entrepreneurial development in some of the poorest places around the globe. They believe entrepreneurship and poverty alleviation go together, and Matthew is leading the charge to equip and release thousands of global entrepreneurs to the glory of God.
You can find out all about the incredible work of Sinapis here: https://www.sinapis.org
Please share, follow, and rate this show (we prefer all the stars if you don’t mind) on your podcast platform of choice. It goes a long way to help establish us as a new podcast. You can also find more information about Missional Marketplace and The Stone Table here:
The Stone Table: https://TheStoneTable.org
Missional Marketplace Book: https://www.erikcooper.me
Speaker 1 [00:00:00] Money becomes the object of our trust. Then greed takes over, right? When our temporal happiness takes precedence over our long term obedience, then greed, it finds its way into our lives. Right? Greed is what happens when power becomes the source of our identity. But I would say to you, greed is not a business problem. Yeah, greed is a worship problem. It’s a worship problem.
Speaker 2 [00:00:35] Welcome back to another episode of the Missional Marketplace podcast, Accelerating the Great Commission through the Marketplace. That’s what we’re all about.
Speaker 1 [00:00:45] That’s right. Episode six We’re halfway through season one the day we.
Speaker 2 [00:00:48] Oh, man, that’s true. Yeah, that’s true. Well, hey, I’m Darren Cooper, co-host here along here with my my brother, Eric Cooper. Eric, good to see you today.
Speaker 1 [00:00:58] Good to see you as well, Darren. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Speaker 2 [00:01:00] It’s it’s another podcast episode, recording day. And as always, we are excited to be able to be a part of this. If you’ve taken this journey with us, you know that we were walking through Missional Marketplace, a book written by my wonderful brother here, but that’s kind of just the outline. But we’re having really good conversations about faith and work in the marketplace, what that looks like, how do we reconcile some of those things that we’ve wrestled with for a long time? Yeah, and right now we’re kind of in this place where we’re talking about work and the Great Commandments right where we were at last week. Right. And so break down a little bit of where we were at last week and maybe tell us where we’re headed today. It’s going to be a fun, little, fun, little journey for us. But yeah.
Speaker 1 [00:01:46] Yeah. You know, the book is really broken down into three major sections work in the great story, which we talked about in the first four weeks of the book, how our work is part actually of a grander narrative that God has been telling. Yeah, since the beginning of time we talked about theology of work and we talked about, you know, just finding our work in our story, in a greater story than ours, you know, the kind of that that purpose. But the middle section of the book is all about work and the great commandment, how when we understand the gospel, that that God, that redeems all things that we were created to worship Him and love our neighbor through the work of our hands. Right? Then it creates this renewed purpose for everyday work. And so that’s, that’s really what we talked about last week. We talked about idolatry. Yeah, we talked about how the idolatry of work and how idolatry really of any kind is elevating things above God. And any time we do that with anything, even good.
Speaker 2 [00:02:44] Even good things. Yeah, even good.
Speaker 1 [00:02:46] Then, then our life gets out of whack and out of balance, right? And that we have to repent and we have to return and allow Jesus finished work to be the starting place for our work. That’s when all of the beautiful things happen. So we talked about that just in kicking off how our everyday work fits with this context of the great commandment to love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and all your mind and love your neighbor as yourself. But this week we want to pivot that into, I think, a little bit of a different topic on that same level and in that same realm. So we’re going to talk about greed.
Speaker 2 [00:03:23] Greed. Oh, such a big word. And yeah, and so if you haven’t journeyed with us through some of these, it might be worth your time to go back and kind of follow this outline with us. But obviously, if you’re jumping in today, we’re going to be talking about that big word of greed. And in often I know when we when we think and we talk about greed, it’s there’s some things that come to mind pretty quickly, right? When you think of greed, what would perhaps.
Speaker 1 [00:03:53] I think of ominous music, right? Like I want to we should have like a sounder right. Like greed. Dun dun dun.
Speaker 2 [00:03:59] Oh, yeah, totally.
Speaker 1 [00:04:01] So everything is a minor key, right? On this verses in a minor key so dark so now. But but I think from just pop culture references, right? Business gets associated with greed.
Speaker 2 [00:04:11] Yeah, for sure.
Speaker 1 [00:04:12] You know, and I think we see this in movies and pop culture, even in kid’s TV shows.
Speaker 2 [00:04:17] Oh, man.
Speaker 1 [00:04:17] So, right. Like the evil villain in all of the show is always ends up being the business guy.
Speaker 2 [00:04:25] Always.
Speaker 1 [00:04:26] Yeah, he’s he’s the guy who wants to, you know, tear down the kid’s park and build his chemical plant or destroy all of that, you know, the ecosystem.
Speaker 2 [00:04:34] Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Speaker 1 [00:04:35] But, but, I mean, we see it legitimately, right? We’ve got like in the Lego movie, you know, they they don’t even beat around the bush. It wasn’t even subtle. They just called him Lord Business.
Speaker 2 [00:04:44] Just Lord business was his name.
Speaker 1 [00:04:46] You.
Speaker 2 [00:04:46] Know, no way around it. You know exactly what we’re talking.
Speaker 1 [00:04:50] About, right? Yeah. Lord, business was the villain. He was terrorizing Legoland, right? You know, or and one of my kid’s favorite shows, SpongeBob SquarePants. Right. SpongeBob’s boss. And kind of the humor of it all is that Mr. Krabs is is so greedy. Like, he can’t let go of even a penny. Right? Like he will squeeze every penny out of every transaction.
Speaker 2 [00:05:11] They’re usually cranky, too. Like they’re cranky people or they’re business people like it just it’s the no fun people and whatever the show is, right? Like the evil mean no fun people is what always the business folks are in these cartoons and movies.
Speaker 1 [00:05:27] Well, I’m going to date myself there. And because one of the best pop culture references. This actually comes out of a well-known movie from the 1980s, which is why I’m the gray haired guy here today. Right. So I’m probably going to I’m going to lose half of the audience here today.
Speaker 2 [00:05:41] I got to a reference from a long time ago.
Speaker 1 [00:05:44] But but Michael Douglas played a famous character in the 19, I think 88 or 89 movie called Wall Street, Gordon Gekko. And he he coined this phrase that people still use today, at least old people like me. Right. He said, greed is good. Right. And that’s where the ominous music comes.
Speaker 2 [00:06:01] Dun dun dun.
Speaker 1 [00:06:02] Right. So. So, you know, that’s that’s the kind of stuff we think about. But it’s not just, you know, our friends in Hollywood that just want to paint, you know, the business world in a bad light. Like you can Google the word corporate greed and you’re going to get a whole bunch of real life awful stories.
Speaker 2 [00:06:22] I mean, I’m pretty sure there’s a TV show called American American Greed.
Speaker 1 [00:06:27] Yeah.
Speaker 2 [00:06:27] All through the the story after this crazy story of people using greed and allowing it to just dictate their lives in ways where they hurt and destroy so many people. And, yeah, it’s it’s it’s everywhere, especially.
Speaker 1 [00:06:42] Well, like you got, like, I mean, just if you Google corporate greed, some of the first ones a little pop up. Bernie Madoff, a $65 billion Ponzi scheme. You’ve got the Enron scandal.
Speaker 2 [00:06:51] That’s with a B he did.
Speaker 1 [00:06:52] With a bill. Yeah. I mean, that’s that’s props to him for pulling that off. Right. But he’s spent 150 years in jail for that, you know? Yeah. The Enron scandal. And then more recently, that that maybe some people will remember he had the oh eight mortgage banking crisis where we had people, you know, that we had these these brokers giving mortgages to people who they knew never could repay them. And there’s even some crazy stories like they were they were giving mortgages to their cats in order to to, you know, to be able to fulfill their quotas and get their their lavish bonuses. There was some crazy stuff that names.
Speaker 2 [00:07:27] Furby on this loan when the world is all about.
Speaker 1 [00:07:30] Yeah. And a lot of people got hurt in a lot of ways. I mean, the Enron scandal alone, I mean, you know, I think like 85,000 people lost their jobs. You know, a hundred year old Arthur Andersen, one of the the biggest CPA firms, the most prestigious CPA firms, went out of business. So greed is legit, man. Like it’s legit. And it does find its way into the business world.
Speaker 2 [00:07:53] And in in all of those examples you just gave are pretty large scale examples, too. And we’re not even talking through the countless other ones that are on the smaller level, whether it’s a small business or just even an individual, that greed has got a hold of them and they end up hurting their families, their friends. They take advantage. It just becomes this like almost like this thing that overtakes them. And so I think as we continue this conversation, I don’t think we will ever or I guess we want to say we’re not saying that greed is good. Much like you might might.
Speaker 1 [00:08:30] Know Gordon Gekko is here in.
Speaker 2 [00:08:31] The Gordon Gekko. But but what we are saying is it does hurt a lot of people and we recognize that.
Speaker 1 [00:08:38] Yeah. And it does seem to find its way into marketplace transactions because that’s where commerce and trade and all those things are happening. Right. So I think a lot of times we can see it manifest in business. But is greed synonymous with business? Does the marketplace does business? Does capitalism make us greedy?
Speaker 2 [00:08:57] Is it the system that makes us greedy or is it something different?
Speaker 1 [00:09:02] Well, I’m going to postulate it’s something different. All right. And it’s something different that we talked about in earlier episodes, going all the way back to Genesis chapter three. You know, man has really been screwed up since Genesis chapter three.
Speaker 2 [00:09:15] Right. Made it so far. Right. Chapter one. Chapter. Chapter three. Right.
Speaker 1 [00:09:19] So, you know, we’ve been talking for now six weeks about the beauty of the marketplace. We’ve been talking about work as part of God’s created order. We’ve been talking about the theology of the marketplace, you know, the marketplace as sacred. Right. You know that that business was birthed in this idea of mutual service and adding value to to the lives of other people. So where did all of this get tied up together? You know, is business and greed are though are those two things synonymous? I I’m going to postulate something different that greed is not a business problem, that greed is actually a worship problem.
Speaker 2 [00:09:56] Worship problem.
Speaker 1 [00:09:57] Greed is not a business problem. That greed is a worship problem. And this is how we’re going to tied in into the to the great commandment.
Speaker 2 [00:10:05] Unpack that a little bit more as far as when you say, you know, worship problem, right? What is what does that mean when you say that?
Speaker 1 [00:10:15] Sure. So last week we talked about idolatry, right. That that idolatry hijacks idolatry is really the root of all sin there. And we think we think sin is bad behavior and that’s the fruit of sin. But sin really is rooted in this idea of wrong worship. Right. So, you know, worship of God puts business in its right place, puts our work in its right place. We talked about that last week, right? When I worship God, then, you know, there’s beauty and there’s order, there’s mutual service, there’s value. And we talked about the word avatar right there more that that work is work. Work is worship, work is service. Right. But when we worship the things of this world, when we worship money and power and all of the trappings of this world, right? Then, then then business becomes it’s sinful, counterfeit, it becomes it’s sinful counterfeit. And the Apostle Paul actually brings this out. There’s he says, almost the exact same thing twice in two different epistles, we can look at the book of Ephesians. It’s Ephesians five, five and Colossians three, five. He says, I’m going to read it here. It says, Yeah, you can be sure that no immoral, impure or greedy person will inherit the Kingdom of Christ and of God. And then he expands. He says, for a greedy person is an idolatry worshiping the things of this world. Yeah. And then he says almost the exact same thing again to the church in class in Colossians chapter three, he says Don’t be greedy for a greedy person is an idolatry worshiping the things of this world, right? So when money becomes the object of our trust, then greed takes over, right? When our temporal happiness takes precedence over our long term obedience, then greed finds its way into our lives. Right? Greed is what happens when power becomes the source of our identity. But I would say to you, greed is not a business problem. Yeah, greed is a worship problem. It’s a worship problem.
Speaker 2 [00:12:24] And that. Yes. And when you when you break it down that way and you begin to look at it through that lens, you can see how much that’s you know, it’s easy to say it’s just a business problem. Right? Because, yeah, like we like we highlighted there are a lot of reasons why we can look at that and say that, but it is much deeper and it is these things. And even as we’ve talked over the last few weeks and seen some of those like just reframing, looking at it through a different lens, looking at what we do each day, because it’s easy to just look at business and say, oh, that’s it’s a greedy thing, or you just want to be rich because you want to have the power or you like. It’s easy to look at those things, but when we can reframe it, when we can just simply look at it maybe through the godly lens or the lens, the redemptive lens, right, then we can see it and go, Oh no, this, this is not a business problem. This is actually something way different.
Speaker 1 [00:13:21] Yeah, see, I don’t want to be defined by my sinful counterfeit, right? Right. You don’t want to be defined by your simple counterfeit. Like, if we look at any of these grand spheres of culture and society, right? We can point at the brokenness in the marketplace. We can point at the brokenness. I mean, you’re a musician therein. You know, we can we can we can point at the brokenness in the arts. We can point at it in government. Right. But but all of these things have beautiful, God intended created purpose and order. So we don’t want to define we don’t want to allow the counterfeit to become the definition. And that’s that’s what I would say about the marketplace. Right. So I believe with all of my heart, you know, for some people, business has become defined right by its broken expression. But I believe with all of my heart that while there are legitimately things, legitimately ugly things you can point out. Yeah. I mean, we looked at them, right? I mean, we’re not hiding from those things are legitimately ugly things you can point at. But business is actually meant for for this mutual dependance and for human flourishing. It’s meant to bring us together in a mutual dependance on one another to create human flourishing. That’s what the marketplace is intended for, right? The counterfeit wants to take over and say that business is just a mechanism for me looking at you and say, Darren, what do you have that I can take for myself? Right, right, right. That’s not good business. I mean, no business is going to stay in business if that’s their if that’s their business model. Right. But but good business is when people come together with less to people, come together with less and they leave with more. It’s about adding value, problem solving, about serving others, washing feet, meeting a need. It’s that fulfillment of the great commandment that we talked about. And there’s this this great quote by Rabbi Daniel Lapin that I love. He actually called he calls dollar bills, certificates of appreciation. Right. So I get certificates of appreciation for making someone else’s life better, for serving someone well. And the better I serve, the more value I. And then the more certificates of appreciation.
Speaker 2 [00:15:34] And it really is it really is coming to understand that it’s a win win type thing. Right. Like when you when you step into a business transaction and you see it as I am serving this person. Right. And they are going to get something out of it and I’m going to get something out of it. There’s a win win option there. And in it’s not a take advantage of and I love when you say that it’s it’s a service thing. And I think we’ve heard that a lot. I think it’s starting to kind of become a little bit more popularized in in culture now and especially in business of like just serving the clients well. Right. Whether it’s creating content like this, it’s going to help somebody move forward or if it’s just simply in your in whatever product or service that you offer, like stepping in with that servant’s mentality, you know that that is where some of these businesses are leaning towards and they’re finding. Because I think it’s probably pretty biblical. They’re finding that there are some good principles and good things that are happening when they begin to see the work that they do each and every day as a as a servant and as a let’s let me serve you in what I’m doing.
Speaker 1 [00:16:49] I think another way that this idea of greed can can come in to business is when I look at you as a transaction only. Right. Like I would say.
Speaker 2 [00:17:03] Take the humanity out of it. No, I’m just. Dollar bills to.
Speaker 1 [00:17:06] You. Exactly. So redeemed by the gospel. If we are really looking at what we do every day through our work, through business, through entrepreneurial development, through, you know, they’re just the work of our hands. If we’re just looking at people as transactions, then I think we can fall into this greed for mentality and mindset when I look at you as a human being. For sure, an image bearer like we’ve talked about. Right. And I say, how can I, as an image bearer, add value to you as an image bear? How do we come together to do something and mutual, you know, servitude to one another? Yeah. When you’re a human being, not a transaction, then we can eliminate a lot of that. That greed. Yeah, mentally, for sure.
Speaker 2 [00:17:48] Yeah. I am a huge fan of of Don Miller and the story brand stuff and the business made simple and all that that he does. And obviously he’s kind of coined and and allowed us to see the the hero’s journey, if you will, and then us as as business leaders. We are not the hero of the story. We’re not the one to come in and say all these things and look at me and I’m the best and all that. But actually, it’s when we become the guide to those people that we’re trying to serve. Right. And that simple switch there. Now, all of a sudden we come with a posture of of guidance and helping in servant mentality. Like now all of a sudden something’s different, right? Our mentality is different. And I think that’s an easy way to battle against the the the easy pitfall of greed. Right? Like it’s none of us are above it. And it’s it’s a pitfall that we got to pay attention to. But when we, when we look at ourselves as guides, as servants, in helping one another, like you said, a win win type of of mentality, there’s some beautiful things that can can come of that.
Speaker 1 [00:18:56] Yeah. You know, Darren, I mean, some of the things we can do, right? I think maintaining that kind of a posture but also maintaining a posture before the Lord, one of repentance and one of understanding that left to my own devices, apart from Christ like I can, I can take a good thing and turn it into a really ugly thing for sure. You know, so so maintaining that posture of repentance, I think is very important. But I would also say one of the ways we can combat greed in our lives and in our work and in the marketplace is with a spirit of generosity, with a spirit of giving. And I think we’ll close this portion up just by talking about that briefly. But there’s this great this great kind of obscure verse in Leviticus, of all places. I mean, you know, most people stay away from Leviticus.
Speaker 2 [00:19:45] Especially if it’s in Chapter 19 that I’m seeing here. If you’ve gotten all the way through Livy. That’s right. It goes to chapter 19. You’re actually doing pretty good. Yeah.
Speaker 1 [00:19:53] The, the, the whole Bible reading plan, the read the year in a read the Bible in a year. Deals like you start that up in January. You know, everybody loves Genesis. They love the first part of Exodus. By the time you get to Leviticus, you just like I’m tapping out right now.
Speaker 2 [00:20:06] I think we’re good.
Speaker 1 [00:20:07] There’s some when you understand the great story, right? Like there’s some beautiful stuff in here. But in Leviticus 19, it says, Don’t harvest this. This was God’s instruction to to Israel. Don’t harvest your crops all the way to the edges of your fields. Now, we’re not we’re not most of us aren’t farmers here today. Right. But I think we can understand that within the context of what we’re talking about here, which is that. You know, when we’re in business, when we’re in in the marketplace, we don’t have to take and squeeze every possible penny we can. Right. It said don’t harvest all the way to your edges, but leave the edges of your field for the poor, for the foreigner, for those who are less fortunate. Right. And I think, you know, that was God’s instruction to the Israelites in the Old Testament. But I think it applies to us today from this standpoint. Don’t don’t take everything you can possibly get. But this spirit of generosity, this spirit of giving, this spirit of philanthropy, right, of saying, how do I take what I have and bless others with it, both in the work I do and then with the overflow of my work, the financial benefit of my work, how do I stay generous with that? And I think that’s one of the key ways we can fight greed. This willful surrender, willful surrender of what I could take for myself. I’m not going to take it all from it.
Speaker 2 [00:21:31] Yeah. And that can easily be, you know, a financial transaction, right? A giving of the finances. But also, like you said, how can you give of the work of your hands the things that you’re good at, the knowledge that you have now, all of a sudden? It’s a it’s a it’s a different way of stepping into it. And you can not take up to those edges like you’re saying, and get anything and everything that I can get right, you know, in each transaction, each and every day asking yourself, how can I stay with that generosity mindset so that greed doesn’t set itself in? And I think we can find some beautiful things on the other side of that.
Speaker 1 [00:22:09] You’re a man. And I think that would be my encouragement to, you know, anyone out there listening. You know, it’s easy to get cynical.
Speaker 2 [00:22:17] Yeah.
Speaker 1 [00:22:18] But don’t define the marketplace by its sinful counterfeit, right? You don’t want to be defined by your sinful counterfeit. Let’s let’s be God’s people that redeem the beauty of the marketplace for His glory and the love of our fellow man. Right. That’s greed is not a business problem, is a worship problem. And let’s rethink how we see our everyday work through that lens.
Speaker 2 [00:22:43] That’s good. That’s good. Well, in in kind of part of that, as we’re continuing our missional moments that we’ve done each and every week, I love hearing these stories, love talking to people that are doing some amazing things. And in this light, I think we’re going to see some really cool stuff in our missional moment today. So who we talking with today and kind of set this story up a little bit?
Speaker 1 [00:23:05] Yeah, we’re talking with my good friend Matthew Raus, who leads an incredible organization called Snaps.
Speaker 2 [00:23:13] Snaps.
Speaker 1 [00:23:14] Snaps, which I’ll let him explain a little bit of where that name came from, but it makes a lot of sense. But they they have redeemed the marketplace to alleviate poverty through entrepreneurship in some of the poorest places around the world. And Matthew is a dear friend. He is a gospel saturated marketplace believer, a brilliant guy who is doing great work, redeeming the marketplace for the glory of God in all the Earth. And so I’m excited to hear his good.
Speaker 2 [00:23:47] I think this will we’ll cap off this this episode really well. What we were just talking about to look at a story. So enjoy this week’s Missional Moment.
Speaker 1 [00:23:57] I I’m excited today to introduce you to my friend Matthew Rogers from synapse. What Matthew and snaps and his team there are doing through entrepreneurship to to take the kingdom to literally other parts of the world to to bring business and the marketplace and its life. Giving force to people who desperately need it is a story worth telling. And I’m going to let him start.
Speaker 3 [00:24:26] So snap is is the Latin word for mustard seed. And we believe that one of the ways that you can understand that parable of that small seed that grows to become one of the largest plants in the garden and the birds come and nest in the branches is to see the role that Kingdom entrepreneurs play in advancing the Kingdom of God. And what we do as a result of that conviction is we train and accelerate entrepreneurs to build profitable, scalable businesses in emerging market nations. And then what’s integrated into all of that is an invitation to consider what does a calling to the marketplace mean for advancing God’s purposes in the world?
Speaker 1 [00:25:09] So Matthew had a passion for the gospel and a passion for the world, and he thought he was going to express that through full time ministry in a more traditional form. But he was he was trained in business, he was trained in the marketplace. And so he was wrestling with how do these things go together? Until one day he had an experience and I believe the Holy Spirit. Gave him a light bulb moment.
Speaker 3 [00:25:33] And so I left that career and I went and joined a microfinance organization and spent five and a half years learning about impoverished communities and what small businesses could mean to alleviate poverty and bring human flourishing in the bank. A light bulb that went on when I got to travel around the world and see these principles was profitable business dedicated to God. They can create jobs where people are treated with dignity, where they get to make choices for how they use a greater amount of expendable income to provide for their kids, educate them, and provide food and medicine and all of the things that we desire for a good life. Those things found their roots in profitable businesses. And what I realized was back in my twenties with a good heart, I was really misunderstanding God’s purpose for the marketplace. I was downplaying the role that products and services and businesses, frankly, that we might think of as not that exciting and not changing the world. They were actually the very thing that these communities that I was serving desperately needed, and it completely changed my view. And I thought, Oh, my goodness. Now the thing I feel called to do is to spark from the inside out the creation of those kinds of companies that in the U.S., where our unemployment is historically low and we’re facing great challenges with this now, but we had almost it masks our ability to see how the kingdom of God comes through things that we just don’t think of as changing the world.
Speaker 1 [00:27:08] SNAP is literally has hundreds of stories of life transformation through gospel, redeemed business and entrepreneurial development. But I’m excited, especially for him to share this one with you today.
Speaker 3 [00:27:22] One of our entrepreneurs is actually a couple named Grace, and Greg went through our training program and then our six month accelerator, and we were talking with them a couple of years ago about what was the biggest impact to the kingdom business training. That’s a biblical instruction about how can business be used as a tool for blessing people. What impact did that make in your life? And they told a story of one of their employees, a young man named Peter. Peter, it’s about 22 years old. He had come from western Kenya, so he grew up in a rural village and his parents sent him to Nairobi with hopes that Peter would be able to find employment and a life because there was essentially nothing for him in the village. And when you stop and think about as a parent, I’m I’ve got three kids. You’ve got kids and what would it be like to send my child away? Right. Almost no resources with no connections, with no ability to help shelter and shape that experience just with a prayer would please provide for him and let him make a life. So he comes to Nairobi and he’s bouncing around from kind of job to job, and people are taking advantage of of him and not paying him. And he connected with Grace and Greg. They lead a company called Got Cocky. It was the first bakery intended to offer online ordering and they’ve got it backgrounds but also have a passion for the small business. He hired all of them as a cleaner and as a delivery guy. Didn’t have a lot of education, relatively low paying job, but afforded him dignity. And he was a hard worker and did a great job, didn’t say much, head down, just doing a great job. So one day Grace walks into the bakery and he pulls her aside totally out of the ordinary and says, Can I speak with you for a moment? She said, Sure. And he said, Because of this job and because of the things that you’ve done to provide for us and that had included, they were offering breakfast and lunch free for their employees because many of them didn’t have enough food at home. They made a commitment coming out of the course that they would pay employees first, which is not always common. So I’ll take my salary and then whatever’s left over all distribute among employees. They said, no, we’re going to pay employees first. These are just things in the US that are normal business, right? In nine months. Because of that, Peter had saved enough money to build his parents in the village, a new home. This is a guy near the poverty line who finds gainful employment with people who care about him as a person, provide some really good voluntary fringe benefits. And his mindset was, I’m going to pay this forward and build my parents a home that doesn’t leak. And he asked them, Would you come with me to the village to see what we’ve done? So they said, yes. We took the whole staff a couple of hundred kilometers, went to the village. And what Greg says in the interview is I’ll never forget the look in his father’s eyes asking, thanked us for the role that we played in leading a business with integrity, caring about their son, helping them find a life. And the really cool thing is Peter is not a cleaner any longer. He got promoted to the bakery team. He’s got a career path in front of him. It’s just one simple story. It’s not a blow your mind business that changes everything. They’ve got 16 employees, but because it’s profitable, because it’s led by people who love God, they’re making a huge difference in the lives of people.
Speaker 1 [00:30:49] Just like Matthew. I am sure there are many of you out there, your marketplace believers. You have marketplace jobs, but you’re passionate about your faith. You’re passionate about the Kingdom of God, you’re passionate about the mission of God. And you’re saying, how do these marketplace skills, how does this just normal everyday job I have. Have anything to do with those things that so deeply move and drive me. Matthew has some encouragement for you.
Speaker 3 [00:31:16] I’m almost certain you can’t see and probably don’t appreciate the value of what you do in your job to advance God’s purposes. And when I talk to people, they usually kind of shake their head or say, Well, maybe. But to go back to what I said earlier, you know, my own personal journey and my dualism, sacred and secular, physical and spiritual things that really aren’t biblical. And then I go to hard places in the world because of God’s unique call on my life. And I see what they need. They need companies that grow and thrive and provide for people. They need accountants who can keep numbers really faithfully. When you grow many people who work in health care, they need to ensure that you get his name. Name the profession when dedicated to God that is spiritual. And it’s not just a platform for sharing the gospel, even though that’s great. But it’s not just a means to give to the local church, even though that’s great. But when the kingdom spilling out of us like it was with Jesus everywhere he went. The work they’re doing is spiritual. The excellence of that work is spiritual.
Speaker 1 [00:32:26] I can’t speak highly enough of the integrity and Kingdom Passion of Synapse as a nonprofit ministry organization, there are countless ways you can get involved.
Speaker 3 [00:32:39] If you’re interested in learning more about synaptic synapses, a nonprofit organization, because we’re not able to charge market rates for the training and acceleration services that we provide. We serve a group that’s typically called the missing middle. So microfinance clients, those that are running really small micro-businesses, and then there are companies that are large enough to attract capital and grow on their own is more of what we’re used to here. The missing middle are those that exist in between that space. That’s the demographic we target. That’s where anywhere from two thirds to 80% of new job creation around the world happens. So we see this in the US as well. But because these entrepreneurs can’t pay rates, that would be sustainable. We do raise money for those that say, I see a philanthropic investment in people like this as a catalytic way to bring the kingdom. So that’s one way. If you’re interested, you can go on our website. And then for those that are really curious about personal engagement, we are growing our capacity to have advisors and investors connect with the best businesses that we meet. And so if you say and this is another thing to answer, why do I have this specialty? Maybe you’re an investment banker and you think what could possibly be spiritual but banking? I can tell you I’ve got the answer to that question. It could be helping an entrepreneur raise capital in another part of the world. So things like that. Or you say, I’ve got some investment capital that I would be interested in putting into businesses that are creating jobs, sustaining livelihoods. That’s another area where we would love to talk.
Speaker 1 [00:34:10] If you’re interested and learning more about Xenopus, you can go to their website at Synapse dawg. That’s signed a piece dot org. Remember, Synapse is the Latin word for mustard seed. And it’s amazing when we plant our marketplace skills in the ground, just like the tiny mustard seed, it will grow into an incredible kingdom impact. So check out our friends at Synapse. That’s this week’s Mission or moment.
Speaker 2 [00:34:41] Man, I love that. I love that. Matthew and what they’re doing, it’s cannabis. I feel like you have to say it like that too, and never snaps. It’s the only way to say it. And so hopefully that was an encouragement to you today. And where can we find I guess we we teed it up a little bit, but we’re going we find more.
Speaker 1 [00:34:58] Yeah. We’ll put the link in the show notes, but it’s synapse dot org ASI and APC dot org. Just highly encourage you to connect with with Matthew and the work that they’re doing there and would really ask to guys just as we close this up, the biggest gift you can give us is to subscribe to this podcast on whatever platform you use, subscribe to it. Don’t just listen to it like actually subscribe to it. It’s a huge help and it is because we want to meddle in your business, right? Like we want to be in your iPhone or on your devices. But it also helps kind of establish us as a as a new podcast. So subscribe like it, rate it. That’s another thing that’s a huge help to us is if you rate it and I don’t know, maybe share it, maybe share it with a friend, you know, and then you can also, you know, as we say, every week you can grab the book again, links are in the show notes. But I would love, you know, for you to to do that as well. Again, all the profits just go back to the ministry so you can get the e-book, you can get the paperback, and you can again, even get the audiobook.
Speaker 2 [00:36:00] And get the audible.
Speaker 1 [00:36:01] Although people like your voice better than mine, we should have had you read the book now instead of me.
Speaker 2 [00:36:07] I don’t read good.
Speaker 1 [00:36:07] Or James Earl Jones. We should got Daniel Jones.
Speaker 2 [00:36:10] That would have been it right there. James, come.
Speaker 1 [00:36:12] On.
Speaker 2 [00:36:13] Let’s go. But yeah, no, thank you so much for listening to this episode for for joining us in this journey. Right. It is all about encouraging you and hopefully being a resource for you. If you’d like to check out more, you can do so at the stone table, dawg. There’s a whole resource page with articles, videos and this podcast and all the other things that we’re doing. So check it out there. And until then, we’ll see you next week.
Unidentified [00:36:37] Have a good one.