How to make your start-up last forever
An innovative enterprise wants you to employ purpose with passion
Imagine working for God. Now, imagine working for God in a profession or business that isn’t based within church circles. Helping to turn those ideas into reality is Seed, a Sydney based organisation created three years ago. John Beckett is founder and CEO of Seed and he explains that its support and development is not in competition with church based ministries. Instead, Seed grew out of a belief that Christians can bring positive change to society through any work grounding itself in the gospel.
“We think there are two pillars to our personal place in God’s purposes,” says Beckett. “Firstly, there is our identity – who has God made us to be, in a general and particular sense. Secondly, there is context – who or where has God called you to serve and what is God’s intention for that place or that culture.”
“We’d love to see a bunch of Christians at the forefront of positive change in our society …” – John Beckett
Bringing those two pillars together for Christian entrepreneurs and innovators is what Seed is about. Such alignment between God’s will and any individual person can sound a bit conceptual. But Seed isn’t interested in ideas for the sake of ideas. Through six stages of development, an idea in its infancy or an existing business is honed and nurtured to fruition.
“Primarily, we are focused on innovation that shows the world what Jesus is like,” says Beckett. What that means will look different every time. Seed has had a variety of Christians enter its incubator, from an architect wanting to create cheaper, more sustainable housing, to two women constructing employment pathways for victims of domestic violence. In both examples, Beckett says the transforming power of living for Jesus flows from the business person to the wider world, through their enterprise.
Beckett studied at Canada’s Regent College and “focused on whole-of-life discipleship and what it looks like to embody faith beyond the walls of the church.”
He also worked for Christian advocacy group Micah Challenge, calling upon Christians to get behind causes. Seed melds these two facets of Beckett’s background and he believes such a gospel-centred backer of businesses can answer questions churches have found hard to do.
“We struggle a little bit in the church because we spend all our time and energy focused on the answer, which is Jesus. We know the answer really well but it means we don’t spend enough time focused on the questions that people are asking,” says Beckett.
“Some of the initiatives [Seed has supported] have taken seriously the felt needs of people so they can provide something valuable that connects with the Christian story.”
Seed wants to disrupt the way things are done and show how they can be done differently, when done for God through Jesus.
Beckett’s vision for the future of Seed is greater collaboration between Christians, across the marketplace, for the greater good of God’s kingdom. “We’d love to see a bunch of Christians at the forefront of positive change in our society and being public about their faith in ways that are appropriate and helpful.”