Preface to the Intrepid Book


As we near the launch of the Intrepid book we’ll post snippets along the way. This is the Preface that explains why this book was written.

Why, you may ask, do we need another book about church planting, bi-vocationalism, start-ups, and social entrepreneurship? Or maybe you’re thinking to yourself, “What does this guy even know about these topics? What qualifies him to write on this?” Excellent and valid questions.

Maybe since I’m combining church planting with social entrepreneurship, then the line of questions that follows is: Am I or have I ever been a church planter? Am I an entrepreneur? My answers ought to get to the heart of whether I’m competent in those arenas or not.

My journey into both areas happened more by simply operating out of my default mode than anything else, interwoven with a sense of calling and knowing how God has wired me. I know I’m wired to create things from scratch. That doesn’t mean I’m the best at it, nor will I ever claim to be. I create because it’s who I am. Therefore, church planting, business start-ups, writing books, and the like flow out of this.

My life has revolved around church planting for the last fifteen years. I love church planters. They are my biggest heroes. More than simply pastors starting new congregations from scratch, they are ultimately missionaries. Church planters do what they do because they are compelled by the missio Dei. Many lay it literally all on the line to engage in this start-up work. They leave hometowns, sell homes, move across the city, county, or globe to do this. In the truest sense, they pick up their crosses, die to self, and follow Christ.

Within any industry, occupation, or discipline there are outliers or disruptors who break from the norm to do something fresh and new. There is a disruption currently taking place within church planting. Part of it is centered on this notion of bi-vocationalism. This goes beyond the need for church planters to work at jobs they hate to pay the bills while they’re planting. It’s also more than simply making money. More and more church planters, who are by nature entrepreneurial, are thinking about and asking how to work in industries or start something that not only carries them financially, but is actually part of the church-planting process.

This is why I’m writing Intrepid. Admittedly I was a subpar church planter and while I’ve now started two businesses they’re not providing me with an early retirement plan or a third home in southern France. I created both of those start-ups because I was curious and needed a creative outlet. Having gone through the process I’ve learned much about myself, branding, and connecting with more people.

My hope is that this book will stimulate your thinking about how creative start-ups have a place alongside church planting, and how the two are actually complimentary in many ways.

Where does the name Intrepid come from? A quick online search reveals that “intrepid” means something along the lines of “fearless, bold, adventurous, undaunted, indomitable” and the like. That resonates. Intrepid is the perfect descriptor of this new-but-old breed of entrepreneurial church planters who are boldly carving a niche in the church planting world.

Sean Benesh