Missional Enterprise and Bouncing Vegetables

An M3 Weekly Book Review: Me, Myself, and Bob

What do computer-animated bouncing vegetables have to do with missional enterprise? More than you might imagine!

Phil Vischer is the creator of the popular VeggieTales series of Christian-themed animated cartoon videos for kids, and the voice of many of its characters including Bob the Tomato. In Me, Myself, and Bob: A True Story About Dreams, God, and Talking Vegetables, Vischer tells the story of his early life, the founding of VeggieTales and its parent company Big Idea, and the eventual collapse of all he had built.

This tale turns out to be about much more than vegetables. In fact, it’s a fascinating and insightful look at both the potential and perils of missional entrepreneurship.

Vischer describes the amazing early days of 3D computer animation, detailing how his passion for technology, storytelling, and God pushed him to the cutting edge of computer innovation. But, as the tale continues, it soon becomes apparent that this is not a story about a super-successful entrepreneur explaining how he or she accomplished great things.

The Other Disney

Despite considerable early success with VeggieTales, Vischer describes frankly and even humorously how his own insecurities contributed to several significant errors he made in growing the company, and how he failed to realize his mistakes until it was too late.

For instance, Vischer was motivated by the business books he read to cast a bold vision, a “big hairy audacious goal” for his company. But he recounts how he overlooked the need to tether his vision to the values God had given him for the company in the first place. He also describes how he neglected a key partnership of a practical manager to balance his bold visionary style. Vischer was from childhood a huge fan of Walt Disney, but learned too late of the importance of the “other Disney” – Walt’s older brother Roy, whose close relationship to Walt and tenacity about business details was just as responsible for Disney’s success as the more famous younger brother’s creative vision.

More than anything, Vischer discovered that his most important focus needed to be not on the great things he could do for God, but on God himself – that God, and God alone, was enough. He summarizes this most important lesson, saying:

The impact God has planned for us doesn’t occur when we’re pursuing impact. It occurs when we’re pursuing God.

Join Us!

Vischer’s book is so powerful that out of the top 100 books chosen by the Faith Driven Entrepreneur organization, Me, Myself, and Bob ranks as #4.

We’ve also chosen it as the July book for our M3 Network Summer Book Club. Please join us over the next few weeks in reading the book, and sign up to join our online discussion of the book, Thursday, July 25, 6-8 pm MT (5-7 pm PT, 7-9 pm CT, 8-10 pm ET).1

Click here to sign up: I’m Interested in the Book Club!

We will send you a welcome email with additional information about how to participate in interactions with other participants, as well as the Zoom link for the end-of-the-month discussion.

P.S. Feel free to invite friends or colleagues who might be interested – the more, the merrier!

Verse of the Week:

As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. Psalm 42:1 (NIV)

Even as we pursue the dreams we believe God has entrusted to us, let’s remember that the deep need of our souls is God himself.

1 A mention or recommendation of a resource in this e-newsletter does not constitute a complete endorsement of the content by US Navigators Missional Enterprise. However, we strongly believe that every resource listed contains a significant amount of helpful content in line with our vision and values, and we encourage you to read (or listen) for yourself and glean from it what the Lord has for you.

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