While on long flights, I often bring a couple of books, my computer and postcards to write to my grandkids. Depending on how exhausted I am, I rarely read a whole book between the east coast and my home in Seattle. But this book held my attention. It is a classic. It is a “must read” for business people and for pastors and missionaries. It is available on Amazon and elsewhere.
Gort, Gea and Tunehag, Mats. BAM Global Movement: Business as Mission Concepts and Stories. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 2018.
Mats Tunehag is probably the world’s foremost authority on Business as Mission. He knows the theory, the theology and the praxis for every continent. And he has been connected to the major players in the movement for more than twenty years. The book is unique in its international character and in the variety and depth of the narratives of God at work through business in hard places. For a person trying to understand BAM, this is it. For person well versed in BAM, this will encourage and provide new and creative thinking.
Here are a few quotes which intrigued me or reminded me of the value of Business as Mission.
- “Five hundred years ago, we had a Reformation of dogma. Now we have a reformation of mission.” (p. 3)
- “It’s not only about salvation but also about bringing God’s shalom into the spheres of life in which we are involved.” (p. 11)
- “BAM entrepreneurs realize that mission isn’t restricted to a few Christian professionals, such as pastors or missionaries. God is on a mission, and all of us are participants living out the Story of God’s mission.” (p. 12)
- “In the book of Genesis, God commands us to work the earth and develop the culture through bringing order, work and beauty to the world, which is known as the cultural mandate. Jesus tells us to make all nations his disciples…from the kingdom perspective, planting churches and planting businesses go hand in hand.” (p. 59)
- “There is no need for church leaders to become entrepreneurs themselves…but we can help spread the vision and view the church as a breeding place where entrepreneurs connect and where they receive support and inspiration…” (p. 58)
- “In the biblical narratives the notion of “full time professional church ministry” was the exception, not the rule.” (p. 61)
- “Business is the most natural way to relate to non-Christians, to live out your faith, and to disciple people.” (p.89)
- “Business as Mission is not a new discovery – it is for many a re-discovery of biblical truths and practices. In one sense it is like the Reformation rallying cry of ad fontes, ‘back to the sources’.” (p. 109)
- “Wealth creators should be affirmed by the church, and equipped and deployed to serve in the marketplace among all peoples and nations” (p. 130 quoted from the Wealth Creation Manifesto)
- “We integrate work and missions…I don’t want an excuse to get in…that’s deceptive to me. My aim is to be genuinely involved. I love agriculture and believe God desires to use all of our natural gifts and talents.” (p. 139 by a BAMer in Central Asia)
- “If the business fails, then the mission fails.” (p. 147)
- “Today there is still a need to state the biblically obvious: God calls people to and equips people for business. Unfortunately, this is still a farfetched idea in many churches, mission conferences, and theological seminaries.” (p. 170)
- “Charity is the generosity that alleviates needs that are immediate. Justice is the process by which generosity configures our ways of providing education, delivering health care, doing business, and creating laws that lessen the need for charity…” (p. 183 quoted from a church in South Carolina)
- “We call upon the church worldwide to identify, affirm, pray for, commission and release business people and entrepreneurs to exercise their gifts and calling as businesspeople in the world – among all peoples and to the ends of the earth.” (p. 200, from the 2004 Business as Mission Manifesto)
Larry Sharp, Director of Training, IBEC Ventures