by Mark Goering
Like most developments in my life, the first steps along the #Sentrepreneur journey began as disconnected puzzle pieces that I noticed God was breathing on.
In 2013, I helped plant a legacy church in Oklahoma City called Crestwood Vineyard that had a lot of digital holes to fill. Looking back, I might not have picked me for the job—I had built one Wordpress website that was spectacularly unimpressive and that’s it. Thankfully, my friend Brian saw something in me and I was picked to build a website for the church.
Something sparked and I took a deep dive into the digital media space over the next several years.
The journey continued—a new digital need would arise with the church, and my skills would grow. Through on the job practice, I learned everything from web design, to social media marketing, to SEO, to graphic design. I surfaced from that deep dive having made a lot of mistakes along the way, but with experience in multiple areas of digital marketing.
The skills aside, I was (and still am) laser focused on discipleship and church planting at my core. Because of this focus, I ignored multiple people telling me I might be good building at a digital marketing business. I even ignored people sharing prophetic words in the same vein. Oops.
Exposure to a New Model
Things continued like this for awhile. It was my exposure to #NoPlaceLeft methodology and other Disciple Making Movement practitioners that really began to open my eyes to another model.
I saw guys like Dave Miller and Carter Cox leverage Tide for Jesus and His kingdom in Oklahoma City. I saw guys like my friend Brian Blount run a graphic design business while leading a church. At that point, I could really see the value of tent making and the importance of a bi-vocational example to the Body of Christ as a sustainable model of kingdom multiplication.
This still was not enough to make me fully consider starting a business as our main income source. But the pump was being primed.
Business As Access
I wanted to pour myself into disciple-making and church planting, and anything else seemed like a distraction to be quite honest. In 2018, God began to shift my perspective and I began to see the strategy of business and church planting.
I could see that business was not simply a necessary money making machine to fund missions, but an integral piece of the kingdom puzzle. What if business was a part of God’s kingdom strategy for entry into closed places? What if business partnerships with church planting movements could not only fund kingdom work, but establish kingdom values?
What if I began to think of business as access?
I caught the vision and began to work on a small business as a side hustle. As things changed for us and we were sent out to church plant in 2019, we moved the business to our main vehicle for mission and income.
Growing a Business, Growing the Kingdom
Today, I am building a digital marketing business with several strategic kingdom components. It’s a work in progress, but Jesus has proven Himself so faithful to build access through our business and use us to model a different way:
Through contractors we employ in Southeast Asia, we envision future plans to mobilize missions work in that region of the World.
The flexibility of working for ourselves has allowed us to share the gospel widely in Oklahoma City and meet with the disciples that emerge during the week.
We are also able to work remotely and engage in opportunities that we would not otherwise be able to engage with because of the flexibility of our business.
People no longer write off personal ownership or participation in what we are doing just because we are full time pastors. They see another way to live it out.
It’s hard work, but now I could not imagine it any other way.
Mark and Megan Goering are hometown missionaries living and working in Oklahoma City. They are committed to pouring deeply into the few that will own the core missionary task at the local level until there’s #NoPlaceLeft.