Once a month, our panel of mentors answer your practical business questions. Send us your questions!
Dear BAM Mentor,
How do you manage your associations with Christians and Christian networks – both national and international – in light of security concerns? My ideal is to maintain my relationships with churches and Christian organisations (and indeed receive vital support/services from these); and I want to be well connected into the local church. However, I am concerned about how those connections may endanger my business. How have you managed both the relational side and other more formal associations you have with organisations or churches?
~ Feeling Cautious
I personally believe that there are two key areas that you need to focus on as you consider your associations with Christians and Christian networks while working in a hostile environment. You should concentrate on education and building a strong identity.
Ever since we moved into a restricted access country, we have been working on educating all of the different parties involved in our lives. Most of our sending churches had only dealt with traditional missionary models, so we had to talk with them about:
- How they communicate with us in email
- What they could post about us online
- How they should refer to us during their services.
During the first few years, we had to be vigilant about what they were writing in their online bulletins and websites. Over time, they have come to understand the seriousness of their actions. One simple way to make your point clear is to share real life stories of people who have been questioned because of “church mistakes.” Read more