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The Creative Vocation of Entrepreneurship

Capitalists get a bad swat in renouned culture. In the 1987 film “Wall Street,” Gordon Gekko infamously said, “Greed is good.” It’s also easy to bring some-more recent, and non-fiction, examples of fervour and covetousness in the corporate boardrooms: Enron, “The Wolf of Wall Street,” “The Big Short,” Bernie Madoff.

However, a closer demeanour at the goal of entrepreneurship reveals these examples to be outliers. The genuine story of entrepreneurship is one of innovation, creativity, and service.

Take, for example, the story of Bryan Owens and the story of Unclaimed Baggage.

In 1970, Bryan’s father Doyle Owens bought some unclaimed bags from a train company and sole the essence on folding tables in a rented residence in Scottsboro, Alabama. The suspicion was an present success. Doyle Owens and his family started operative with other train lines, and then with the airlines. Unclaimed Baggage grew to be one of the largest retailers in Alabama.

Bryan Owens bought the business from his father in 1995, and currently Unclaimed Baggage Center takes up a city retard and attracts some-more than a million visitors a year to northeast Alabama, making it one of the largest traveller attractions in the state. Unclaimed Baggage puts about 7,000 new equipment into its register every day, and it gives divided thousands of equipment to Christian and other charities any day as well.


Like his father before him, Owens is a committed Christian, and in partial since of his appearance in the Colson Center’s Centurions Program – now called The Colson Fellows – he has delicately suspicion out ideas about how a Christian worldview should surprise the using of an entrepreneurial venture.

“First and foremost,” Owens said, “I wish my temperament to be in Christ, and not as a businessman. we am a Christian first. My goal is entrepreneurship. And for that reason, we pronounce a lot about stewardship here. Everything belongs to God, and we have the payoff and shortcoming of being stewards of God’s resources.”

Owens continued, “Chuck Colson introduced me to Abraham Kuyper. Kuyper said, ‘There is not one block in. of origination over which Christ does not announce “Mine!”’ Owens pronounced that famous quote from Kuyper had a surpassing impact on him. “All aspects of creation, including the business and my goal of entrepreneurship, are under God’s sovereignty”

Because of that “Kuyperian” bargain of the world, another judgment critical to Owens is the suspicion that there is, as he puts it, “no order between the dedicated and the secular.”

To explain what he means, he tells a story. “We have an employee in Scottsboro named Margie,” Owens said. “She’s about four-foot-seven and works in the housekeeping department. She’s one of the many critical members of the team.” Why? Owens explained that since Unclaimed Baggage Center has turn a traveller destination, people mostly transport prolonged distances get there. Typically, one of their first stops when they arrive is the bathroom. That critical first sense mostly defines a visitor’s experience, Owens said, so Margie’s work is critical to the altogether success of the organization. “I make it a robe to tell her that, since it’s true,” Owens said. “And Margie loves her pursuit since she knows it’s important.”

Owens pronounced his bargain of Margie’s role in the success of his company comes directly from his Christian worldview. “[Martin] Luther wrote about the significance of the common laborer and how that work is as dedicated as that of the priest, if the work of the laborer is finished in faith,” Owens said. He then cites another author complicated in the Fellows program: “Francis Schaeffer wrote a book called No Little People. That’s loyal and we try to run the business that way.”

He added, however, that being famous as a Christian businessman carries with it an increasing responsibility. “We do the work as unto the Lord,” he said. “But if we don’t do the work with excellence, people don’t caring about what we believe.”


EDITOR’S NOTE: There’s much some-more to the story of Bryan Owens and Unclaimed Baggage Center. To hear some-more from Bryan Owens, including a contention about munificence and flitting on your values to your children, listen to Warren Smith’s finish review with him at the BreakPoint podcast, found here.

Also, Robert Sirico of The Acton Institute, will pronounce at The Colson Center’s Wilberforce Weekend May 18-20. His subject will be “The Vocation of the Entrepreneur.” To find out some-more about The Wilberforce Weekend, go to www.wilberforceweekend.org

If you know of someone “restoring all things” by sportive their gifts in surprising and effective ways to the excellence of God, email wsmith@colsoncenter.org

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