Item description for God is at Work: Transforming People and Nations Through Business by Ken Eldred...
Overview In God at Work, Ken Eldred examines how God is transforming people and nations through companies like ET, a call center business in India where at least 60 percent of the employees call themselves Christians, amidst an emerging missions movement called "Kingdom business." Challenging the view that capitalism and biblical principles cannot coexist, Kingdom business is achieving economic and spiritual transformation around the globe and is welcomed even by developing nations that are traditionally closed to the gospel. This unprecedented book gives a comprehensive overview of Kingdom business, its objectives and approaches. Ken Eldred's personal experience, as well as other Kingdom business efforts around the world, highlights this integrated missions movement, a unique combination of missions, successful business practices and economic development.
1. Business As The Emerging Missions Strategy 2. Successful Capitalism And Biblical Principles 3. Kingdom Business Objectives And Approaches 4. Current Trends And Outrageous Visions
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For over 20 years, Ken Eldred served as CEO of Inmac, a public company he founded. In that capacity, he was named Silicon Valley's "Entrepreneur of the Year." Ken has assisted in the founding of several other successful companies, including Ariba Technologies, which led the Internet business-to-business industry. He is currently CEO of Living Stones Foundation and is involved in ventures in the US, China, Europe, and India. Ken earned BA and MBA degrees from Stanford and was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Belhaven College. His previous books, On Kingdom Business and God Is at Work, have received critical acclaim--including a Christianity Today Book Award. Ken and his wife Roberta have three sons and a growing number of grandchildren. They spend their time in Northern California and Colorado.
Reviews - What do customers think about God is at Work: Transforming People and Nations Through Business?
God is at Work Feb 7, 2007
This book is well written. The understanding of business/global business was informative and applicable to my direction right now. Biblical principles work and this book is confirmation for me. I work at a company that employs workers from at least 40 different countries in one setting, with additional plants world wide. The book could not be more on point. I highly recommend reading this book. Be ready spiritually and seek wisdom for the future world business exchange.
Is God at MY work Nov 10, 2006
Absolutely brilliant read.
We may be happy to acknowledge that God is at work, but is God at our work. For too long, God has been kept in the Church, but Ken Eldred is saying, look; you business women and men, you are not gifted in business just to make money, you are gifted in business, in the same way as a pastor is gifted to pastor or nurse is gifted to be a nurse. To be a witness for Jesus Christ.
Today 'the' word for business,is 'investors in people'. Well Christians in business should be doing that demonstrating the love of Christ in their employment ethic, both in the UK and overseas. People don't want to go to Church, but they want to go to work, so show them Jesus in how you treat your empoyees. Build business in developing countries and make a real difference by creating jobs, not giving hand outs, create a spirit of achievement, not a spirit of dependency. Show people Christ makes a difference in work and in the Church.
Game Changing Aug 9, 2006
Every once in a while, an idea or an individual comes along that changes the playing field, the rules of the game, the expected outcomes, or a little of it all. God Is At Work has the potential for such an impact.
I read this book in tandem with "Why Globalization Works" by Martin Wolf. The "co-reading" had a unique effect. I felt like Wolf was doing the best job I had read yet of being realistic in his assessment of the free market's potential in emerging markets, given the various undeniable and constraining dynamics at work in those places --- be it infrastructure, tariffs, corruption, education, etc. Then I was opening up GIAW and reading very similar things yet in ways that coupled an understanding of how the spiritual world was relevant as well.
The immediate impression was that GIAW was obviously not written by surmising Christian business hacks. This book had serious weight and knew its stuff. To me this was very refreshing as I am an admitted skeptic of Christian culture trying to photocopy yet one more secular realm --- from self help, to Christian music, to Christian novels, to Christian movies, now to Christian business.
These were my key impressions...
1) Few people really address well the "corruption tax" of developing nations ... GIAW nailed it. De Soto quantifies it in "Mystery of Capital" (to some extent), but GIAW got to the heart with the concept of "spiritual capital" which I found to be absolutely profound.
2) Few people really address well the concept that for business to succeed in emerging markets there has to be reformation in every corner of society --- cultural, spiritual, political, and the underlying economics. Of the works I've read, most people hone in on the last two --- I think because there afraid to attempt the first and don't know where to begin on the second (because they probably honestly don't count it).
3) The clarification of differences between business as missions, business for missions, etc was terrific and much needed. I think things can get fuzzy in this corner and some of the practical application points might need further fleshing out, but in general, the value of business as a mission in and of it self desperately needed to be clarified among Christians. Again, GIAW nailed this.
4) My one hang-up was the terminology "kingdom business". It probably really boils down to semantics and my previously noted "resistance" to Christianity's persistent need to clarify its Christian intent. On the flip side, there is the need to distinguish the characteristics of the business model proposed by GIAW from that pursued by most "secular" business people, so a title or nomenclature is probably required.
I hope this will be a breakthrough for the thousands of Christian businesspeople who have longed to know how they can contribute and who have felt on the short end of the very real, yet very wrong spiritual totem pole. I hope the church embraces the thinking, and that in the long term the game changes in ways that will elevate the impact of this and future generations of believers.
Every significat movement starts with a book like this... Aug 3, 2006
Every significant movement can point to a book, paper, article or series of all of the above that communicates in one clear voice the vision of a movement...
God is at Work by Ken Eldred defines and gives examples for the movemement of Business as Mission with clear cut precision. Sharing from personal experience with 2 companies and acclaimed success Ken forecasts a movement of the Church and the Christian community to Business as Mission with speed similar to that of the response to the California gold rush.
Taking what appears to be some content from a previous book that he catered called On Kingdom Business: Transforming Missions Through entrepreneurial Strategies the book establishes the baseline definition for the movement. The books also goes on to dispel what is not really business as mission and nothing more than ways to gain access to countries by misrepresenting intentions or living in that gray area of "creative access".
The last chapters of the book clearly outline the key forms of business as mission and the role that each play. Everything from microenterprise development to overseas privately owned companies. One of the things that is most insightful about the book are the specific case studies of people that are living out the concepts in countries around the world. It is refreshing to see a book that it so intent on highlighting specific next steps rather than living in a world of theory.
One of the key areas of emphasis may be enlightening to some while fundamental to others. It addresses what to some perceive to be the white elephant in the room... Profits. For the non-profit driven para church ministry, or the church itself this can be a perceived evil... For the business community it is the lifeblood to fight the next day. This in itself may be the single most differentiating characteristic of what some might call tendencies and that which is a self sustaining business on mission to be successful in both business and making a spiritual impact in the community.
It's a great read, I was happy to post it on a blog about Business as Mission to recommend it to others. You can check it out here: http://businessasmission.blogspot.com/2006/05/god-is-at-work-by-ken-eldred.htmland
Lucid, stimulating and inspiring. A must read! Apr 26, 2006
"God is at Work" is lucid, stimulating and inspiring.
Dr. Eldred's transformation framework, personal anecdotes and discussion of combining "spiritual" and developmental objectives will help me do the Father's business better. I also enjoyed the author's refreshingly biblical perspectives of wealth, poverty and capitalism.
This is a must read for all Christian business people!