The Emergence Difference
Before launching Emergence in 2017, we had the opportunity to purchase an existing peer advisory board business, as well as the option to become a franchisee with a few other existing organizations. However, there were several factors that led us away from those opportunities and ultimately inspired us to launch Emergence. Those factors can be summed up in three major points, and are now ingrained in the core beliefs and values of our groups.
Having been a part of peer advisory groups in the past, one of the notable things we experienced was the difficulty within the group structure to allow leaders to be flexible and spirit led.
We believe that God has positioned us in the marketplace to train, develop and connect business owners and operators in what it means to be spirit led in business. We often say the Kingdom of God, which includes business and the marketplace, shouldn’t be reduced to mere biblical principles. So much of what we have observed in the marketplace ministry, or Christian businesses, is focused on being good, honest, integral and a good steward of resources. Obviously, these are great principles and values, but don’t truly differentiate between the values of most secular organizations. We believe the true differentiation is the spirit of God leading, speaking to us and through us, and showing up in supernatural ways through business.
Andy Mason, one of the founders of Heaven and Business, puts it this way, “where is the evidence of a supernatural God in your business?” We believe God has called us to help bring “normality” to the supernatural things of God and how they operate in the marketplace!
The second major thing we noticed was, the financial commitment to join many peer advisory groups was cost prohibitive for startups and small to medium sized businesses. Our desire was to provide a structure where any business, including startups, could join and be a part. Although everyone pays to be a part, the fee is on a sliding scale, based upon the NOI of the business. This is the portion of the market that we felt we were supposed to be serving across America.
Lastly, we believe that being spirit led requires flexibility. By design, many organizations which offer franchisee’s, leave little room for flexibility. The philosophy, which I understand, is that they want everyone going over the same curriculum with the same structure, in order to provide continuity, consistency and a specific experience within all their groups around the country. Basically, it’s similar to what one would experience through any type of franchised organization. However, in keeping with our desire to be spirit led, we wanted the leaders of Emergence Groups to have the flexibility to change topics, pace or other things they may need to do based upon what’s happening in their groups, businesses or community.