Being unreasonable is not just a state of mind.  It is also a process by which older, outdated forms of reasoning are jettisoned, and new ones conceived and evolved.  

The Power of Unreasonable People 

Power can be used to do great good or wreck havoc and destruction. Each one of us is responsible for what we do with the power entrusted to us.  To be sure, there has been widespread abuse of power in the church.  There has also been the failure to rightly use power in response to evil.  But there remains potential for great good.  Gifts and strengths come with a responsibility to make a difference, to breath new life into people and communities.  The Power of Unreasonable People shares stories of social and environmental entrepreneurs who have provided the catalytic energy and vision to make transformation real.

What sets these entrepreneurs apart from their counterparts is their unreasonableness.  What makes them unreasonable includes:

  • Their desire to change the system: “They spot dysfunction in the current system, and unlike reasonable people who accommodate themselves to the status quo, they try to work out how to transition the system’s equilibrium to a different and more functional state”;
  • They are insanely ambitious, but not for themselves, for the greater goal;
  • They are propelled by emotion and use the energy born of emotion to accomplish what others believe to be impossible;
  • They think they know the future: “They know the best way to predict the future is to create it and the best way to build momentum—and attract funding and other resources—is to develop and communicate a clear vision of how things might be different;
  • The seek profit in unprofitable pursuits (example: the Grameeen Bank who has helped seven million people; 97% of whom are women).

Their focus is on investment, not charity.  This is an important lesson for the church as charity gets in the way of empowerment.  Investment, by contrast, seeks to create the context whereby individuals are equipped and empowered to grow and take responsibility for their contribution to the whole.    For this reason, these entrepreneurs seek to measure the un-measurable, demanding return on s triple bottom line as they seek a deep social return on investment.  They do so through three models in particular: leveraged non-profit, hybrid non-profit, and social business.  

Many would say that these entrepreneurs are unqualified for the work they do; they would argue that this is precisely their strength.  They know they can’t do it alone and depend upon the full giftedness of the community.  Hope comes alive when the power of unreasonable people is unleashed.  Strengths, a commitment to lifelong learning, risk taking combine to make possible a future.  Being unreasonable is at the heart of the call to be Poets & Prophets.

May we all dare to be just a little bit unreasonable for the sake of people and planet!

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