We often say at Redemption that “all of life is all for Jesus.” This quote has incredible implications for every facet of life, including our work. Here, Aaron Klusman shares how he connects his work as an entrepreneur to God’s work.
How would you describe your work?
I’m a serial entrepreneur who focuses on real estate development and private venture capital. I get to work alongside extremely talented partners in business, education, food service, and various other industries. Since starting my first business in college, I’ve had the privilege of launching, owning, and managing a number of different initiatives. Some of these projects have included Zoyo Neighborhood Yogurt, Dunkin’ Donuts, a K-8 school called The Acton Academy, and Phoenix’s business collective “The Camelback Society.”
As an image bearer of God, how does your work reflect some aspect of God’s work?
I feel that God has given me a passion to use my abilities for dreaming up ideas, creating avenues for their reality, and then implementing those ideas into the community. Through this, I get to bring ideas to the marketplace by pulling together skills, resources, and teams of people. All of this helps fulfill a market need and a market opportunity. Additionally through my work, I get to be an extension of God’s care, wisdom, and encouragement by speaking with people who are looking to develop their creative capacities and strengths. Since all people everywhere are made in God’s image, it’s my desire to help people see how their ideas and their unique value will add value to our world.
How does your work give you a unique vantage point into the brokenness of the world?
I experience money’s heavy hand on our world and its deceptive power to rule over those who are influenced by it. Money isn’t inherently evil, but loving money and treating it as an ultimate form of happiness and security will distort our perceptions of reality and generosity. Loving money also causes people to refuse risk-taking. Unfortunately, this can then translate into a “playing it safe” mentality, which holds back a genuine trust in God and an openness to what God will do through a potential creative venture.
Jesus commands us to “love our neighbors as ourselves.” How does your work function as an opportunity to love and serve others?
My work allows me to love and serve others in a number of ways. For example, in real estate, I get to help facilitate human interaction by creating a sense of place in various retail developments. People love going out, and neighborhood restaurants help bring people together by providing goods and services for them to enjoy. In education, I get to serve kids by helping them to see, develop, and use their God-given strengths to build a better world. In business, I get to bless the community by delivering a service that people enjoy, or by providing a product that adds value to their life. In general, my work affords me the regular opportunity to love my neighbor by encouraging people to flourish in their passions and to pursue their God-given gifts.