Briefing notes on Business As Mission (BAM) for workshop

I was invited to give a one-hour introductory BAM workshop at a conference in the United States recently.  The facilitator, whose name was John, was very involved with and informed about BAM. He wanted to make sure I met his expectations, so he handed me a sheet of important things to keep in mind.  This is what it said.  Keep in mind the stateside audience.

  • BAM is always about real business!
  • BAM is NOT business for mission!  The business itself is the focus and means of ministry.
  • BAM is a prime strategy to enable locally-funded (self-sustained) local churches.  This was envisioned in Paul’s exhortation to the Church at Thessalonica (I Thess 4: 11-12).
  • BAM training and consulting can be done by Western business people with a wide range of experience and training – the key is communicating basic principles, not advanced practices.
  • Engaging in BAM honors God who created some people to do business (not preach, not teach, not do research, not to be a musician, etc.) and sovereignly provided training and opportunities to develop that business orientation.
  • Engaging in BAM is a wholistic expression of the Gospel – demonstrating what the Angel of the Lord told the apostles to do as they were supernaturally freed from prison: “Stand and declare the whole message of this Life!”  Acts 5:20
  • BAM can be done on occasional mission trips, on frequent mission trips, or full-time!
  • Business is possibly the field where Americans are most respected and welcome overseas (even more than missionaries!).
  • BAM principles work in every country on every continent!  So-called ‘cultural’ differences are either insignificant and acceptable or else significant hindrances to good business and usually unjust.  Globalization touches everyone – for better or worse.  A free market economy is the most aligned with Biblical values but needs the moderations of those values.
  • U.S. Christians can engage in BAM as missionaries joining an agency – many are engaged in BAM now – or as a volunteer with mission agencies or in marketplace businesses.
  • Get started by attending a BAM conference, reading up on it, or going on a trip.

Larry Sharp, Director of Training, IBEC Ventures
larry.sharp@ibecventures.com

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