When I first heard the term “BAM” (Business As Missions), I was captured by this relatively simple concept: Starting a kingdom business to access closed counties for the gospel of Jesus Christ. What a great idea! Let’s all do it. But 13 years later, I ask myself, “Have we tackled a giant that we are not equipped to fight?” I began to take a hard look at what we are asking our people to do…
START A BUSINESS
According to some statistics, 95% of all small businesses fail in the first 5 years; so starting a business is an extremely daunting task.
Every time you enter into a new culture, it takes time and energy to understand how to relate and live within the new context. Just living cross culturally is a challenge to many, and adding the task of starting a business in a cross cultural setting makes life even harder.
…IN A NEW LANGUAGE
Communication is vital for establishing strong business ventures; however, what if you don’t speak the language? What if you can’t express your needs, feelings, and desires to the host country?
…USING NONBUSINESS PEOPLE
When I took my daughter to the emergency room, I was sure glad to have doctors who were trained professionals to take care of her. I would never consider using non-medical personnel to give her treatment. Yet, I have noticed that in many BAM startups, we tend to choose non qualified business people to run these endeavors.
…WELCOMED BY THE HOST COUNTRY
As we look at living in community with our local friends, we need to be careful to design businesses that do not create barriers from the outset. Ideas that are competing with or taking jobs from local businesses will not be welcomed.
…THAT THRUSTS YOU INTO RELATIONSHIPS
If the ultimate goal of your life is to proclaim the name of Jesus, you should look to establish a business that enables you to have daily interactions with the host culture. The goal is not a successful business with ministry on the side.
DOES THIS SOUND LIKE MISSIONS IMPOSSIBLE?
But nothing is impossible with God. He will enable us to do what he has called us to do.
One thing we know, he has not asked us to work alone but has given us the Body of Christ. As part of his body, we are looking to help those who are less experienced in cross cultural business and assist them in creating a legitimate identity that will allow them to live as the light of Christ. Above all, we depend on the Holy Spirit and an intimate relationship with Jesus to know and declare who He is.
For further reading on the topic of Business As Missions consider reading: Business as Mission: A Comprehensive Guide to Theory and Practice