Economics and Work on the Margins: Remembering the Poor and Powerless: A Video from the 2014 Boston Faith at Work Summit

The purpose of the Faith@Work Summit is to gather active participants and leaders in the faith at work movement from every industry sector to learn from each other and work together to extend Christ’s transforming presence in workplaces around the world. The 2018 Faith at Work Summit, held in Chicago at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare on October 11th-13th, is now open for registration! The early bird pricing for registration is now available at $179 per ticket, so be sure to purchase soon. 

The economic machine that is America continues to move forward but too often leaves many behind. While the Dow roars towards unprecedented heights, the poor and powerless reach new lows. But there is a solution that is both obvious and obscure: business. Business has changed lives of the less fortunate in the here and now when leaders and shareholders look beyond their own pocket. The principles and the experiences of the Greyston Bakery social enterprise in Yonkers exemplify this power of business to change the lives of individuals, families and the neighborhood itself. Deuteronomy 10:18 tells us that God “administers justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the stranger, giving him food and clothing.” The people of God are called to do the same.

Julius Walls (BS, Concordia) is the pastor of Metropolitan A.M.E. Zion Church in Yonkers NY and the President of Greater Centennial Community Development Corp, the non-profit arm of a 5000+ member church. Rev. Walls has worked in business, academia, and the church, serving, in addition to the previously mentioned positions, as Chief of Staff of Greater Centennial Church, CEO of Greyston Bakery, a $7 million social enterprise, as VP for a $23 million chocolate manufacturing company, as an adjunct professor at the business graduate schools at NYU and BGI and serves on several local and national non-profit and government boards. He is the co-author, with Kevin Lynch, of Mission, Inc. The Practitioner’s Guide to Social Enterprise.

Reflect/Respond

Can an unethical for-profit business yield a God-desired result?

Can a “Double Bottom Line” (financial and social) enterprise really work? Is it sustainable?

Resources

William Eggers, The Solution Revolution: How Business, Government, and Social Enterprises Are Teaming Up to Solve Society’s Toughest Problems (Harvard Business Review Press, 2013)

Marc J. Lane, Social Enterprise: Empowering Mission-Driven Entrepreneurs (ABA, 2012)

Social Enterprise Alliance https://socialenterprise.us/

Julius Walls, Jr., and Kevin Lynch, Mission Inc.: A Practitioner’s Guide to Social Enterprise (Berrett-Koehler, 2009)

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