OGRE – Organization of Gospel-Centered Reformed Entrepreneurs

I’ve been looking at joining The Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO). I have had several friends who have or currently are a part of this and speak highly of it. A few of the benefits they suggest include:

  • I need to find other people like me; those who understand what it’s like to own a business.
  • I need to solve business or personal challenges I haven’t faced before. I’m walking in the dark here.
  • I need to expand my network, get out there and meet people who can help me grow.

This led me to think about some of the challenges we face at Monk as it relates to operating a business with gospel-distinction framed in a redemptive-historical worldview.

  • How do you hire/fire, deal with performance based roles (sales)
    with a grace-centered perspective?
  • How do you deal with ‘competition‘? What is the balance between being competitive and seeking excellence?
  • How do you go beyond trying to apply ‘Biblical Principles’. How does a redemptive worldview shape your profit motives? How does grace-renewal change your organizational goals?
  • How do you deal with issues of calling, ministry-involvement and mission within the business world?

These are just a few of the reasons I think there is a need for OGRE – Organization of Gospel-Centered Reformed Entrepreneurs. Is there anyone else out there? I would imagine we’d use similar standards for membership that EO does: (or does this qualifications contradict our OGRE worldview?)

To qualify, you must:

* Be the founder, co-founder or owner of a company
* Hold one of the above titles for a company that grosses more than US$1 million annually
* Join before age 50
* For venture-backed companies to qualify for membership they must have privately raised funds of US $2M or publically raised funds of US$5M, and 10 full-time employees. Venture backed companies have three years before they must meet the standard qualification of US $1M in gross annual

Let me know if there is interest…

  • Rob Mitchell

    February 19, 2009, 12:08 pm

    I agree with the need for such an organization – recently you may recall I wrote asking you about balancing your roles as an entrepreneur and as a church leader.

    One thing – you may want to look at your criteria for membership. Some startups that may actually benefit from membership in the organization might find some of the qualifications too steep. You may want to consider classes of membership that would allow participation by smaller companies or even guys who are over 50 (conflict of interest disclosure – my 50th birthday was three months ago).

  • Brian

    February 19, 2009, 1:03 pm

    Although not part of the listed qualifications for joining, the “Reformed” distinction will disqualify all the other Gospel-oriented evangelical entrepreneurs out there (like us Lutherans)?

    I realize that would mess up the cool acronymn, though 🙂

  • D. Goodmanson

    February 19, 2009, 1:39 pm

    Brian, I love the OGRE acronym. Maybe r = “Redemptive Historical”.

    Rob, that makes sense. The [G]ospel-centered [R]eformed (see above) qualifications already are a pretty specific group of people. I believe the desire is that like-sized companies often deal with similar issues so the revenue levels help add value in what people would get out of it.

  • Steve Adams

    February 21, 2009, 11:04 am

    I’m opposed to most social interaction ideas that are targeted towards Christians only, Christian clubs, etc. (regardless of the perspective, ie; Reformed, Lutheran, etc.) I think most of them are just more Christian cul-de-sacs and are usually no longer on mission.

    Drew, what your suggesting here sounds like it contradicts what you said on another post about social networks? (replace the word Churches with yourself, and Facebook with EO) “Churches who seek social networking should use existing mainstream sites. You should be missional using these social networks, go join an existing one like Facebook.” I totally agree with this.

    I think this would be great opportunity to live out and demonstrate this “Gospel-Centeredness” with the challenges you face and interact with the individuals that are already part of EO.

    I’m an entrepreneur who is also Christian Reformed.
    I’m Christian Reformed who is also an entrepreneur.
    For me there is no distinction. If I believe the Gospel, there can’t be.

    “We are ‚Äúco-workers in his creating, sustaining, redeeming and consummating work in both the church and the world.‚Äù

    I say go participate in God’s redemption of EO.


  • D. Goodmanson

    February 21, 2009, 12:48 pm

    Steve – Maybe I wasn’t clear. This is not a ‘social network’. This is business owners discussing the challenges of running companies from a gospel-centered reformed worldview. I would do this in conjunction with joining EO.

    My philosophy is that Christians should join existing ‘social networks’ but that there are times when they can seek out other believers for encouragement, advice and all the one-anothering opportunities we need as the body.

  • Steve Adams

    February 21, 2009, 2:03 pm

    Drew, Thanks for the clarification. But that sounds like semantics to me. I guess we can agree to disagree as far as what a “social network” is.

    “A social network is a social structure which, in general, facilitates communication between a group of individuals or organizations, that are related by one or more specific types of interdependency, such as: a special or common interest; shared values; visions, ideas, or perhaps ideals; financial exchange, friendship, kinship, dislike, conflict or trade.”

    I’m glad to hear you will still be participating in EO as well and I knowing you, will look for opportunities to live out and demonstrate this ‚ÄúGospel-Centeredness‚Äù as it relates to business.

    I guess I should go ahead and answer your question from the original post;

    “Let me know if there is interest‚Ķ” – Not for me brother. But then again, I don’t meet the annual revenue requirement. 😉

    Take Care,

  • D. Goodmanson

    February 21, 2009, 4:00 pm

    Steve – Yes we can agree to disagree even though I’m sure your position is conventional thought and the current majority position. Yet I believe that things will change in time. For me this is a Psalms 1 issue seeking godly counsel from others who deal with similar business issues. I’ll save more of the details future posts.