How is Business Really Missions?
Imagine a country with about 15 million citizens, most of whom are poor by international standards. Unemployment is high. Because of fairly high levels of education and media exposure, there is a basic curiosity about western culture and values, the English language, and globalization. There is a dominant non-Christian religion, and the government does not allow the activity of professional religious workers. There are very few followers of Jesus among the dominant language and ethnicity. The smaller people-groups in the interior have almost no knowledge of who Jesus is. There is a climate of stress in the nation with one or more of the following: recent war, ethnic tension, a loss of historical culture, and poverty.
These general descriptors of a fictional country are typical of about 70 countries of the world today, many of them much larger of course. What would Jesus do in order to bring the good news to this country in the 21st century? What should we do?
Professional people with skills, expertise and capital desired by the country are welcome. These people can be Jesus followers who understand Jesus’ Great Commandments and Great Commission. In short, BAM can accomplish God’s missional purposes through workplace business endeavors. Just like missions for a long time used medical clinics and basic literacy programs to fulfill the Great Commandment of Jesus to love our neighbor and integrate the practical applications of the gospel with the Great Commission to disciple the nations, today business can do the same.
Followers of Jesus are beginning to recognize the importance of BAM in reaching countries using a strategy of developing real businesses as practical vehicles for demonstrating Christian lifestyle and giving witness to the truth. Missions is both incarnation and proclamation. Christian values are incarnated in the business and such living like Jesus opens doors for the proclamation, i.e. sharing the good news verbally. In oral cultures such living out the gospel so it is “seen” is similar to how Jesus brought the truth in the first century.
“Business as Mission is not just a means to an end, an entry point . . . it is the work. It is where the love of Christ is manifested (Great Compassion) and disciples are made (Great Commission).” Peter Kuzmic. BAM is part of a wider global movement that recognizes and responds to God’s call to the whole church taking the whole gospel to the whole person in the whole world.
“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” I Cor 10:31
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