Start in Jerusalem, move to Samaria then go out into the whole world

What on earth do you mean to start in Jerusalem? Jerusalem was and still is a place of learning. It is a really good place to learn the basics of how to do things. However, the first hearers of that phrase had actually been doing something else first. They had been doing the equivalent of an apprenticeship.

Think about they had spent time with a teacher who had shown them how to do a variety of things including healing the sick and driving out demons. He had spent time with them dealing with character issues and making them into the sort of people who were prepared for the next stage of their lives.

Then came Passover and there is a sense of this sorting out the wheat from the chaff. It was that amazing story that shook them. Some of them could grasp it straight away but not all of them. Thomas is known for doubting at first but at least made an effort to check things out for himself. It appears that not everyone did and fell away like others had done before them.

Those who had gone through that process of apprenticeship and then had passed the final test were told that the next step was to stay in Jerusalem and fellowship together there. Many look back to that fellowship and see it as a prototype church. They were amongst the sort of people that they were familiar with and shared their new ideas with other people just like them who lived in different places.

Move to Samaria

These are the people who are like them but are not like them. In fact, there is another story about someone who was pretty much forced to go to someone who was like them but not like them. Remember the story of the vision of the unclean animals? Peter did not like the idea of going to give the message to these people who were like them but not like them.

Think about Cornelius is described as a God-fearing Roman. He was like them as he did some of the things that they did. He was not like them because he was one of the oppressors. Yet Peter was strongly encouraged by God to go to this man who was like him in some ways but not like him in others. He was amazed by what happened and he realised that it was time to share the message with people who were different.

Go into the whole world

This is the time when there are no restrictions. Everyone has the opportunity to be influenced by the message. There are no barriers, nothing to stop anyone hearing what they have to say.

I have got to this point and I am wondering where to go next. Part of me wants to say Christians are encouraged to go out into all the world. Not all the world apart from the business community. If my primary aim was to encourage those who want to start a business and in the process influence the business community that is where I would stop.

However, I have another aim. You see when you go and live in another part of the world you often have to learn the culture and language of that area. The way they do things is quite different. It is in that process that you learn what is important to you. For example, do you really like Marmite enough that you will do anything to get it?

It takes time to learn to do things differently. Yes, you can start learning to speak another language before you leave your own country but the chances are that you have a lot more to learn when you get to the new place.

Applying this to business

What a lot of people do not realise is that starting a business can mean overcoming cultural and language issues. You have the culture and language of the other members of the business community to learn. You may have the culture and language of your customers to learn.

There is more though, as in the process there is the equivalent of learning what you like and what you don’t like. Hopefully, during the start-up stage, you will have worked out what you are really are gifted to do? What are the best ways for you to do things like marketing? Hopefully, you will have gone through a variety of different stages of preparation so that you know.

Having a fledgling business is like having a toddler around the house. You need to put in safety devices to stop them hitting sharp corners when they fall over. It is a case of trial and error and building up strength while discovering what they like to do. Do they like loads of cuddles are do they just about put up with being held while being told a story? Do they like climbing over things or do they prefer hiding under things?

A fledging business needs safety devices in place so that if something goes wrong those setting it up don’t end up needing financial first aid. What forms of marketing best suit the business owners abilities and temperament?  Do they prefer speaking at events or doing an audio podcast or writing emails? They need to take time to try things and experiment.

In the first paragraph, I mentioned the idea of doing an apprenticeship. Starting small trying things out while learning from a specialist. That is the beauty of starting a prototype from home. A small business on the side that helps you learn the skills you need to run a successful business.

This is an idea that I have been passionate about for a long time. Yes, I have crammed a lot into this article but to be honest, men like Peter and John needed a sort of apprenticeship before starting their small new venture in Jerusalem. Therefore so do you if you are aiming at starting a new business venture.


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