Perhaps you are wondering what the primary focus of business as mission is? You are not alone. Often there are great discussions around the main focuses of BAM. Is the focus business or is the focus mission?
Perhaps the easiest way to address what are the primary focuses of business as mission is to look at the definition of BAM. It clearly lays out the key focuses that every business as mission venture should concentrate on.
At BAM360, we use the following definition of Business as Mission. (This uses some of the ideas from BAM Global‘s definition.)
Business as Mission (BAM) is the intentional integration of cross-cultural business and ministry that:
- Enables proclamation
- Focuses on holistic transformation
- Is concerned for the least reached
- Is committed to profitability and sustainability
Before we jump into the primary focuses of Business as Missions, I want to point out that BAM is intentional. It does not just happen by chance. Business as Missions is done with care, integrating both business and ministry.
Primary Focus #1: Enables Proclamation
Business as Missions should enable you to proclaim. At BAM360, we believe proclamation is through words. Yes, you can bear witness with your actions, but the lost need to hear of the truth of Jesus.
So how can your business practically enable proclamation? Here are 3 ways that you can be intentional in BAM that will empower proclamation.
Natural relationship through work – As a result of your work, you will have a number of natural relationships. Whether you have employees or business suppliers, there will be people that you interact with on a regular basis. Make sure that these people know that you are believer in Jesus. As situations arise, you will have an opportunity to declare the name of Jesus.
Neighborhood relationships – Just living in your neighborhood will give you opportunities to develop relationships. If you close yourself off in a “foreign gated community”, your opportunities will most likely be limited. If you live among the local people, your family will have great chances to interact and display Jesus. Be intentional about where you live and how you connect with your neighbors.
Strategic relationships from followup – If you have a strong professional identity, you will be strategically placed to follow up with seekers from media ministries or other places of contact (international churches). Sometimes the contacts through these avenues bring the most hungry people.
Primary Focus #2: Holistic Transformation
Another focus of Business as Missions is holistic transformation. BAM does not only focus on the spiritual transformation but is concerned for much more. If we model our lives after Jesus, we see that he not only preached but he healed and loved the poor & oppressed.
When we think of holistic transformation, we think of these 4 areas:
- Spiritual transformation
- Economic transformation
- Social transformation
- Environmental transformation
Primary Focus #3: Least Reached
The third focus of BAM is concentrating on the least reached. We agree that there are lost people all over the world. Each of them desperately need the goodness of Jesus. That said, there are places around the world that have no witness and are considered unreached and even unengaged. We believe that Business as Missions should focus on these people groups that are unreached.
Business as Missions is also a great way to gain access to countries that do not welcome traditional missionaries. By creating value through our professional lives, we can open the door into these “restricted access counties”.
At BAM 360, we like to say that there are no “closed countries” in the world. They might be closed to our nationalities or our methods, but they are never closed to the power of the Holy Spirit.
Primary Focus #4: Profitability and Sustainability
The final focus on Business as Missions is that they are profitable and are self sustaining. Built right in the very fibers of business is the implication that these ventures will be making money. At BAM360, we believe that our businesses should make enough money to generate profit & last for the long term.
It is not in the scope of this article to discuss the ins and outs of profitability. It is a complex topic but we believe that your business should make a profit. It should also pay all of your employees (including the owners) some sort of salary for their efforts.
When we think of the financial side of BAM, we see 3 key reasons why generating income & eventually profits are important.
Financial profit – Businesses should make a profit. Your accountant, your employees and even the government will see how much money you are making. If you want your business to “make sense”, you will want to grow towards profitability. It may take a few years, but eventually business need to make money OR they will go out of business.
Kingdom investments – Once you a producing profit, the owners can use that money to invest in other Kingdom ventures. We know BAM businesses that have invested hundreds of thousands of dollars into the Lord’s work. Sometimes these are given as charitable contributions and other times as startup capital.
Sustainable – Ultimately we are looking to create longterm identities. As our businesses are profitable, the businesses will continue to exist for the years to come.