Entrepreneurial Leader Gains Global Kingdom Perspective

July 18, 2022

Six months ago, Northern’s Grow Center for Church and Mission launched its flagship certificate program, introducing an entirely new type of training to the landscape of biblical education. Made up of 9 month-long intensives, the Ray Bakke Certificate of Biblical and Entrepreneurial Thinking introduces entrepreneurial thinking as a biblical construct and maps out the key hallmarks of a Kingdom Entrepreneurial Thinker. 

The program is designed to be accessible and affordable for those immersed in ministry and marketplace endeavors, to equip them with a new framework for designing viable, biblically-based businesses, ministries and organizations. So, “design thinking”, “lean”, “agile,” and other concepts normally the vocabulary of practice outside the Church become integrated and practiced in light of the empowerment of the Holy Spirit to transform peoples from cities and settings around the globe.  

The students in the course span four continents and join weekly via Zoom across 12 time zones. From the most diverse backgrounds, all of the students have one thing in common; they are eager to learn a new way of approaching Scripture that gives freedom to dream, be creative, and co-create with God in every area of their lives. 

 One of the students participating in this inaugural program is Stephen Weaver. The CEO/President of a Christian nonprofit in the United States, Stephen shared why he wanted to participate in this program even with very little margin in his work and home life. 

 As a nonprofit leader, I have always contended that you need to approach your work like an entrepreneur and startup, so the topic drew me in,” said Stephen. 

 The program is designed to teach and implement a Triple Listening Skill Set, which challenges each student to sharpen their ability to listen to the voice of God, the needs of their inner soul, and the needs of their audience. 

 “I have been challenged to really approach my ministry with a much larger perspective, a true kingdom perspective. It has sharpened and caused me to be thinking about the redemptive framework.” 

 This inaugural class is attended by 20 students, 8 of whom reside outside the U.S. It has been a hurdle to make this program truly accessible for those who have time and financial constraints, but the effort has proven very worthwhile. Stephen and a number of other students have shared the importance of this global cohort. 

“Being a part of a worldwide cohort has been a great experience, hearing perspectives from those outside of the states has helped to really broaden the conversations.“ 

With just 4 months remaining in this course, Stephen is looking forward to how he will implement this new way of thinking into his life and ministry. 

“My hope is that this course will be something that helps to shape how I lead, that shapes my ability to see opportunities to truly re-enchant the kingdom.” 

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