Business as Mission (BAM) is a significant and growing dimension of the world Christian movement. God is using Kingdom businesses to bring about the transformation of individuals, families and communities for the glory of God.
What is a Kingdom business? A Kingdom business, like any good business, is a business that seeks to be profitable and sustainable. Furthermore, like any effective business, a Kingdom business is committed to excellence, operates with integrity, and has systems of accountability. But, the bottom line for Kingdom businesses goes beyond profitability. Kingdom businesses have a four-fold bottom line: spiritual, economic, social and environmental. Kingdom businesses are also committed to operating in such a way that they provide an organic context for evangelism and discipleship, mobilize and sustain prayer support, strive for the holistic transformation of individuals and communities, seek the holistic welfare of employees, model Christ-like servant leadership and embody Kingdom ethics.
BAM Defined: Business as mission is a strategy for the specific purpose of the transformation of people and communities: spiritually, economically, socially and environmentally – for the glory of God, through viable and sustainable businesses which have Kingdom of God values, purpose, perspective and impact (adapted from Youth With A Mission).
Why Is BAM Strategic?
- In regions of the world where Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism are dominant and where 90% of the world’s unreached/least-reached peoples live, 80% of the world’s poorest populations are found. Unemployment in these regions ranges from 30% to 80%, and it is even higher among Christian minorities.
- Economic development is a key global need. Job creation enables people to support themselves and their families, and is an important dimension of community transformation.
- The connection between poverty and disease is clear, such that impacting poverty can also impact community health
- The connection between poverty and social problems such as slavery, human trafficking and prostitution is also clear, and impacting poverty can impact these destructive social realities
- Many countries with large concentrations of unreached/least-reached people groups severely limit the activities of “missionaries,” but Christian business people can often freely serve
- By providing jobs for local Christians which makes it possible for them to support their churches (enabling these churches to avoid dependence on foreign support)
- Promotes environmental stewardship
Why Is BAM Strategic for TAP?
- TAP’s commitment to expand opportunities for Presbyterians to participate in God’s mission in the world
- Business people are one of greatest resources God has entrusted to Presbyterian congregations (and one of the most underutilized resources!)
- TAP’s focus on unreached/least-reached peoples
- TAP’s focus on evangelism and developing the evangelistic capacity of global partners (many global partners are already engaged in, or interested in, BAM)
- TAP’s commitment to holistic ministry
Ways To Be Involved
- Prayer: If the BAM movement is to be effective, prayer is essential. Intercessors are needed to lift up every aspect of this movement, including: BAM practitioners, the communities where these companies operate, employees, investors, mentors, the tax officials with whom these companies must interact, etc.
- Become an Investor: One of the critical needs of Kingdom businesses is capital. If God has entrusted financial resources to you, consider investing in BAM companies through a special investment fund. This professionally managed fund provides capital to existing BAM companies.
- Mentoring: BAM practitioners need mentoring/training from experienced, skilled business people. If you are an experienced business person and would like to serve as a mentor/trainer, this is a great way to use your God-given expertise.
- Relocate: BAM companies around the world need experienced professionals in areas such as: marketing, finance, accounting, supply-chain management, etc. If you believe God is calling you to live and serve cross-culturally, and business is your “talent,” then consider putting your body and your commitment in the same place!
- Lausanne Document
- Anointed for Business by Ed Silvoso
How to Use Your Influence in the Marketplace to Change the World
Regal Books, 2006
- Business As Mission by C. Neal Johnson
A Comprehensive Guide to Theory and Practice
Inter-Varsity Press, January 2010
- Business As Mission by Michael R. Baer
The Power of Business in the Kingdom of God
YWAM Publishing, 2006
- Business for the Glory of God by Wayne Grudem
The Bible’s Teaching on the Moral Goodness of Business
- God is at Work by Kenneth A. Eldred
Transforming People and Nations Through Business
Regal Books, 2005
- Great Commission Companies by Steve Rundle and Tom Steffen
The Emerging Role of Business in Mission
IVP, 2011 (Rev. Expanded Edition)
- The Missional Entrepreneur by Mark Russell
Principles and Practices for Business as Mission
New Hope Publishers – Impact, January 2010
- Tentmaking by Patrick Lai
Business as Missions
Authentic Media, 2005
Note: Some material in this Summary comes from the “BAM Lausanne Occasional Paper No. 59,” Oct. 2004 (Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization)