Neal — you have done all sorts of things in your life, including banking, business, diplomacy and practicing law internationally and in the US, but now you are an academic — what motivates you?
Clearly the thing that motivates me now and has for the past 20 years is my passion for Christ in the marketplace, especially business as mission. Looking back on my earlier life, I would have given anything if someone had taken me aside and said ‘Neal, have you heard about business as mission? Do you know you can do both business and mission—you don’t have to choose between them—that God is actually calling you to do both?’ So many people of my generation didn’t find that out until they were already well into their careers or toward the end of them.
I have a passion for working with business students now because of the students who say ‘I love business, I love mission, but can I do both?’ I really want them to be able to understand at the start of their career that they can in fact do both and also to show them how they can do that.
Your book “Business as Mission” is a unique BAM book, what made you feel this particular book was needed?
There are a lot of great books on business as mission and many more on faith at work. They are excellent books, but there are not many that really address ‘how to do it’. As I have presented the concept of business as mission at conferences, people get excited and ask ‘What do I do now? I love the concept, I want to do it, but how do I do it?’ This book attempts to address that. Read more