21 February 2018

Book Review: Called to Create: A Biblical Invitation to Create, Innovate, and Risk

Book: Called to Create: A Biblical Invitation to Create, Innovate, and Risk
Author: Jordan Raynor

You are called to createPlatform: I read this on the Hoopla Digital app (and the Hoopla Digital website) with my library card from the St. Louis County Library

You could also find it at:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks

Who's This Book For?
  • Anyone who thinks they have entrepreneurial skills
  • Anyone who thinks they might desire entrepreneurial skills
  • Anyone who doesn't know what they want to do with their work lives
  • Anyone who would describe themselves as a "creative."
  • Anyone currently feeling unfulfilled in their "secular" job.
  • Students seeking to understand entrepreneurship and working in a "creative" industry from a Christian, Biblical perspective

My Take:
Leading a single-income household with 3 children (my wife has been lovingly giving of herself, joyfully staying home since 2011), I've often felt a pressure to leave my paltry teacher's salary behind for greener pastures of private industry as a corporate trainer or the like.

The thing that usually made it hardest for me to envision myself NOT in education was the idea of leaving behind this people-centered industry for a job where my worth would largely be measured in efficiency over love, and generating wealth for others over shaping lives. It felt like a dead work. It felt less spiritual. It felt like a waste of the majority of my waking hours in the name of making my family more secure and comfortable. Certainly, I have a mandate to care for my family, but I don't believe God wants us to work so that we can put our trust in our 401k.

Part of that low view of corporate life came from ignorance on my part of the amount of face-time that you all not in education get with co-workers on your teams and in your offices, part of it was a blindness to the impact I could and should have been having to bless my fellow teachers (not only my students), and a low view of how God uses work and business to help us glorify Him in how we live and what we value.

If you've ever felt the same way about work, this is a great book for you. I appreciated Raynor's breaking the book into a what, why, how, and so what framework of entrepreneurship and creating from a Christian worldview. The tangible examples from businesses and business owners that you'll probably find familiar serve as a means to build your faith for the way God uses work, entrepreneurs, and creative productivity to bless those around you and to fulfill a mandate from Genesis to create and bring order, just like the Creator (who Raynor sometimes refers to for the purposes of this book as the "First Entrepreneur".

I also appreciated how Raynor mixes in biblical and scripture references into a genre that I've seen sometimes error toward vaguely biblical, but more self-helpy. I didn't come to this book expecting every piece of truth to come explicitly from scripture, but there is plenty of good reading on entrepreneurship and innovation if you're not looking for a Christian perspective. Layering the word God on an otherwise "regular" business book doesn't make it better, it makes it less genuine. All that goes to say, Raynor mixes biblical truth and business examples into the narrative in a way that enriches his story, rather than distracting from it.

Called to Create clocks in at 240 pages, which might be a tad longer than a busy entrepreneur/creative might typically be able to get through if not in the practice of reading, but the narrative is easy and the 4-part structure of the chapters also makes it more digestible.

I wholly recommend this book!

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Thanks for sharing!