Faithful business: a complementary tension

By Jodi H. Beyeler

"Sometimes Christians who engage in business have wondered whether they are accepted as 'full-fledged' members of the church. The idea that business is dirty has a long history. I have written this book in the confidence that Christian entrepreneurs can 'please God' and can function as an integral part of the body of Christ."
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Generations thrive on legacy of entrepreneurism

By Rachel Lapp

Seeds of entrepreneurship planted in 1911 when Jonathan Stoltzfus bought a 60-acre farm east of Lancaster, Pa., have yielded three thriving generations of entrepreneurs: farmers, businesspeople, a conflict mediator and a multimedia specialist among them.
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A mission made possible

By Rachel Lapp

Have you ever received a sense of God's calling so strong that you changed your life to follow it? Kevin ('84) and Patty Yoder Beck ('87) did.
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Powerful ideas and personal commitment - with that 'value added' difference

By Rachel Lapp

For the past couple of years, I've subscribed to Fast Company's e-mail newsletter. I was amused several years ago by a marketing stunt in New York City that involved clothing models walking sheep on city streets to advertise sweaters. 
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The Spirit of Business

March 2004



Powerful ideas and personal commitment - with that 'value added' difference

By Rachel Lapp

For the past couple of years, I've subscribed to Fast Company's e-mail newsletter. I was amused several years ago by a marketing stunt in New York City that involved clothing models walking sheep on city streets to advertise sweaters. rlapp In January, it was interesting to note which businesses were given Fast Company's "Social Capitalist Awards." I was fascinated by an in-depth piece posted late last year titled "The Wal-Mart You Don't Know" that, starting with the analogy of a gallon jar of pickles, explored how Wal-Mart pressures its suppliers - often into "efficiencies" that eventually cost jobs.

Most recently, Fast Company engaged my attention with the "Fast 50" - companies that are "the doers and the dreamers, the truth tellers and the trendsetters" - selected from among 1,650 entries submitted by readers. The profiles ranged from entrepreneurial monks to nanotechnology specialists at GE to skateboarding shoe-sellers. While I may not have agreed with the mission or applications of some of the businesses, I had to admire the way in which most described their work, demonstrating "powerful ideas and personal commitment," to quote Fast Company.

And frankly, that's just what I found in cultivating names of businesspeople - largely entrepreneurs - for this issue of the Bulletin. Yet here is the "value added" quotient: these are businesspeople with a vision that goes beyond their profession or service, people who place emphasis on their relationships with co-workers and clients and with Christ. How does it make a difference? You'll find some answers in the following pages. You can also find out more about "business as a calling" at the Mennonite Economic Development Associates web site (www.meda.org) and by visiting GC's business department online at www.goshen.edu/business.


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