What does God say about business? What were His intentions when he made enterprise part of His design for human society? For those pursuing business as mission it is essential to build on solid Biblical foundations.
Three reasons to build a Biblical foundation for business, work and economics:
1. Broadening our horizons
Most start with a particular motivation when they launch into BAM and there is nothing wrong with that. However, embracing all the ways that business might positively impact a community will give us greater potential to intentionally create that impact. Let us understand and embrace the fullness of God’s design for business. Let us celebrate His intentions. As we do that, we will have to say, “Wow!” God is so creative and He has given us the ability to be creative, to add value, to make money, to create wealth and come up with new innovations, that provide livelihoods, that help a community develop, that help us live in peace, that close the door on exploitation, that give lives meaning and transform people’s values, that communicates the Gospel… These are all God’s gifts to us in business!
2. We will multiply what we sow
Whatever we believe about business in our own worldview we will multiply as we go out and do business as mission. If we only emphasize that business is a means to a particular end and not something to celebrate it in its own right, then that is what we will multiply. We will perpetuate the split thinking about what is sacred and valuable, and what is not, in the minds of the people we will influence and disciple. If we are to see a multiplication of business people bringing Kingdom transformation, we must multiple a Biblical view of business.
In our society we become what we celebrate. In order to release business people to get engaged, we need to celebrate their role in the Kingdom of God. Business is a high calling, we need to celebrate it so that our children and their children know that if they are called to business then that’s what they should be doing to God’s glory. Steve Saint
3. It is good for business
Thinking broadly about the transformational power of business is also good for business. This is something the world at large is waking up to. Terms like ‘social entrepreneurship’, ‘shared value’ and ‘conscious capitalism’ are becoming common currency as society re-evaluates the role of business. There is a growing understanding that as we create products that are good for society and meet human needs, then that will also be good for business in the purely economic sense. This cutting-edge thinking is rediscovering God’s original design for business! As Christians we need to have a firm grasp on what God says about the purpose of business.
Jo Plummer is the Co-Chair of the BAM Global Think Tank and co-editor the Lausanne Occasional Paper on Business as Mission. She has been developing resources for BAM since 2001 and currently serves as Editor of the Business as Mission website.
This post is also featured in the Biblical Foundations section of our Get Started page. Visit Get Started for more introductory resources.