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