Recently I have been involved in a startup company that has gotten off to a pretty slow start. The business idea looks good, there is a gap in the market, the finances are in place, and we have some good people. However, the business still seems to be limping along. I began to ponder the reasons behind this and I came up with the missing piece: BUSINESS AS MISSION CHAMPION!
This new business did not have a champion.
Over the past few 20 years of doing BAM in the Arab world, we have identified 6 core components that make up a successful business as mission venture. These components include the business idea, business planning, accountability, finances, champion and execution. In this article, we will focus on the importance of a champion.
What is a business as mission champion?
We don’t have a formal definition for a BAM champion but we know it is a key person that leads the venture. They are the one who takes responsibility for the success of the business. They are the one who is willing to get the job done.
The BAM champion does not have to be the team leader. Actually, in most cases we would recommend that the champion NOT be the team leader. The champion is a vital part of the church planting team but may have a slightly different gift set than others.
Since we promote missional teams, the business as mission champion can play the important role of helping the other team members have strong identities.
Champions are still church planters. They still need to share the gospel and be involved in the ministry BUT it may look different than others.
There are many characteristics of a champion but I am going to highlight 2 key ones today.
A champion requires EXCELLENCE and DEDICATION for what they do.
Excellence in performance
To be a champion, you must be excellent in your field. If we take the world of sports, the champions are those who play with excellence. I believe that this is true in the business world as well. Those small businesses that succeed are those who have a champion who is competent and excellent in that line of work.
The champion is the one who pushes the business to a higher level of performance.
A champion continually seeks to improve and make their performance better. This is same in business! The BAM champion should be the one who leads the charge in improving and growing in excellence.
Being a champion can be a specific calling. BAM businesses do not need warm bodies at the management or leadership level. We need people who desire excellence. We need people who see that work is a gift from God.
Dedication to the cause
Another important characteristic of a champion is dedication. If you want to be an Olympic gold medalist, you must be dedicated to your goal. You must contain the drive and desire to push yourself when times are tough and you don’t feel like working at it.
This is key in business as well! From my experience, any small business must have a dedicated champion to succeed. Who is that person who is going to “do what it takes” to get the job done.
This person is the one who will drive and push the company to success.
They are willing to work the extra hours and take responsibility for the sake of the business.
The challenges of being a business as mission champion
The reality is that when you choose the role of being a business champion, you will face a number of key challenges. You will face challenges in the business arena but perhaps more difficult are those in your team / organization.
Business arena challenges come in the form of employee issues, lack of capital, not enough sales, etc. These are the same challenges business owners face around the world.
Team / Organizational challenges come in the form of comparison, different values, expectations etc. We have seen that many business as mission champions struggle because they are constantly running up against pushback from their team leaders. Although they have been given the role to develop the business, they feel they are focusing on the “less important.” Conflicts arise around schedules and time involvement. If you are a business champion, make sure you discuss the expectations with your mission agency before launching the business.
As you begin your BAM business, do you have a champion? Perhaps the best thing you can do it to look for someone to be your business champion which will allow you to take your business to the next level.