The Relationship Between Christianity and Entrepreneurship: A Curriculum for Leadership Training for Pastors in Africa

The Relationship Between Christianity and Entrepreneurship: A Curriculum for Leadership Training for Pastors in Africa

Daniel Nii Aboagye Aryeh (Perez University College, Ghana)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-1802-1.ch002
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This chapter argues that the relationship that exists between the ethos of Christian (Protestants) leaders, which enables them to formulate highly demanding religious programmes and activities strike the code of entrepreneurship. However, the work of pastors and leaders of the church has not been seriously considered to be compatible with some features of entrepreneurship and should be included in their curriculum for training. Narrative historical analysis is used for the study to investigate the relationship between the features of entrepreneurship and the work of pastors and the need to design a leadership entrepreneurial course to be part of undergraduate programmes for the training of pastors in Africa.
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There is a compatible relationship that exists between entrepreneurship and the Christian faith. Weber (1990) clearly observed that the Christian faith encourages creativity and the risk of identifying business opportunities and harness them for legitimate wealth creation. In other words, the Christian faith upholds economic development through hard work. Zelekha, Avnimelech, and Sharabi (2014: pp. 747-767) confirmed that countries and states with large number of Christians (Protestants) are always seeking opportunities and consumer choices to initiate new businesses or transform old businesses to reflect contemporary demands. It is the engagement of entrepreneurial features of risk-taking, imagination, locus control, creativity, and opportunity recognition (Cullen, Calitz and Boshoff 2013: pp. 1-25). Although Cullen, Calitz and Boshoff referred to these characteristics as being secular, their assertion for Christian entrepreneurial character is to find biblical supports for the so-called secular characteristics and indicate the foremost place of religious leaders, and God in entrepreneurship. It implies that the Christian could adapt any entrepreneurial principles/theories that do not pose a threat to the laws of any country or state for fair business.

Recently, there had been an emergence phenomenon of pastoral entrepreneurship where pastors consider the ministry work as entrepreneurial. Pastoral entrepreneurship is dominant among pastors of Pentecostal and Neo-Pentecostal Churches in Africa and Latin America, which is considered by many to be exploitative (Corrêaa, Valea, and Cruzba, 2016, pp. 330-340). This chapter contributes to literature concerning the relationship between Christianity and entrepreneurship, and pastoral entrepreneurship in Africa. The overall objective of this chapter is to examine the relationship between Christianity and entrepreneurship, analyze pastoral entrepreneurship, and to propose a curriculum for pastoral entrepreneurship training in Africa.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Neo-Prophetic Churches: Prophetic churches that emerged in Ghana’s Christianity, after the decline of the African Independent Churches (AICs) from the 1970s.

Pentecostal: A Christian denomination that believe in the manifestation of the Holy Spirit for empowerment for mission.

Church or Churches: 1) A reference to individual Christian denominations. 2) Denotes the universal church or the church in a particular country or region.

Historic Mission Churches (HMCs): Well-established Churches of Euro-American descent through the work of missionary agencies.

Pastor: A person that have been accepted and ordained by the Church as a leader.

Prophet: A Christian leader who claimed to have had the ability to diagnose and foretell future events.

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