This is a rule of life for entrepreneurs and others called to enterprising leadership.

Our most significant identity is not as entrepreneurs or leaders.

We are citizens in God’s kingdom and members of God’s household, and we are members of earthly families and households, part of neighborhoods, communities, and nations. The way of faithfulness for us is not fundamentally different than it is for any person: seeking to love God and our neighbor with our whole heart, soul, mind, and strength, by repenting and believing the good news.

At the same time, the gifts and traits that draw us toward entrepreneurship, and the social context that surrounds us as entrepreneurs, pose particular temptations. They also offer us unusual and visible opportunities to live joyfully distinct lives of faith, hope, and love.

The use of a rule of life — a set of practices to guard our habits and guide our lives — goes at least back to the Old Testament figure Daniel. As an exile, Daniel was in an unfamiliar cultural context that provided no support for the practice of his faith — and as a leadership trainee in the court of Babylon, he was exposed to powerful pressures for assimilation to Babylon’s dominant ethos. He and his companions committed themselves to a vegetarian diet instead of “the king’s rations” (Dan. 1) and developed the practice of praising and praying to God three times a day in front of an open window (Dan. 6:10).

Similarly, at many times in history, notably in the monastic movements, Christians with particular vocations have adopted a particular rule. At its best, a rule of life is an expression of community, undertaken in the belief that we need help from one another to live the lives God meant for us. It also expresses humility, recognizing that we are prone to specific pitfalls that require us to take extra care with our practices.

From the “outside,” a rule of life can look limiting. But it is more like musical, athletic, or military training: a set of disciplines that, carried out as “a long obedience in the same direction,” give us creative capacities and a creative community that we would not have on our own.

This rule of life is not meant to replace the ordinary practices of faithfulness to which all members of the church are called. But it is meant to guard us and our households from the greatest dangers of our particular calling, and to maximize our opportunity for redemptive influence.

Help us, God, to live in the abundance for which you made us, and to bring that abundance to every part of your world.