The Business as Mission (BAM) Movement is rapidly gaining momentum. More and more believers are realizing that business is a key avenue God is using to further his Kingdom purposes. Where do you think you fit into the greater picture of BAM? Without a doubt, it takes a whole “ecosystem” of individuals to make a BAM company become reality.
Support Team Members Needed!
Every BAM business will need a support team around them to implement the business strategy and spiritual strategy. Some BAM businesses start only with the entrepreneur but it is advisable to grow your support system from the beginning.
Here are just some of the types of people, skills and support that an BAM startup will need:
A Spiritual Support System
A BAM business uniquely prioritizes spirituality and bringing people closer to knowing Jesus Christ. Therefore, the following are roles needed:
- Pastoral support. This role includes people that can be consulted in times of need, for spiritual wisdom, and to give guidance for BAM workers with a vision to develop spiritual practices in the workplace.
- Churches. In order for BAM to continue to grow, there needs to be a strong message from the pulpit that God has ordained business people to carry out his Kingdom purposes. We need a committed movement of church leaders and pastors overcoming the “sacred-secular divide” mentality that some vocations are more holy than others. God equips and calls all, no matter their job.
- A Network of Prayer Warriors and Advocates. Within the Church, there needs to be a committed number of people who will consistently pray for, encourage, and advocate for BAMers among the wider Church community. Countless BAM workers note that prayer support and steady encouragement are crucial for sustaining them in their work. Anyone, no matter their age or work experience, can play these powerful roles in BAM.
- Cross-cultural coaches/missions agencies. Though not all BAM businesses are working in cross-cultural settings, many BAM workers prioritize fulfilling the Great Commission to make disciples in every ethnic group on the planet (Revelation 5:9). In order to succeed in an international environment, cross-cultural coaches and missions organizations provide essential insights and services that can be the backbone necessary to make it through the challenges of living cross-culturally.
Business Support System
BAM businesses need people with expertise and experience in the industry of choice, as well as those in other business-related roles. Note that is most beneficial to have such people who value faith and the spiritual vision of your business:
- Consultants & Mentors. Every BAM worker, no matter how experienced, can benefit from having guides and consultants who can be called upon throughout the various stages of the business.
- Day-to-day operations staff. Every business needs a core team to keep things running.
- Investors. These financial-backers play a critical role in launching and sustaining the business with startup or growth capital.
- Advisory boards. Not to be confused with a Board of Directors (who usually hold the CEO accountable and often make major legal/management decisions), a BAM company advisory board is usually made up of a variety of stakeholders (investors/ lenders, pastoral leaders, and people with specific business expertise) who can offer wise counsel and accountability to fulfill pursuing multiple bottom lines. For more info about advisory boards: Practical Steps to Set Up an Advisory Board
- Researchers. Whether academic professionals or others with a research background, these people can provide R&D data and market analysis that are invaluable to BAM workers.
- Lawyers. Consulting people with expertise in law can prevent and minimize inevitable legal challenges throughout various stages of the company. More info: The BAM Guide to Finding Good Legal and Tax Advice
A Word to Students and Young Professionals
Many young people are intrigued by the idea of BAM but do not know the next steps. Here are a few tips from current BAM workers:
- Determine which industry you want to be involved in and get a job where you can develop hard skills sets in your home country for a few years (and pay off student debt if you have it).
- Consistently pray about where God might lead you next (and ask others to pray with you about it too).
- It’s very important to stay connected to others who share an interest in BAM or are Christian business people themselves to help keep your passion alive in pursuing a BAM career.
- Participate in a BAM training or internship experience to get a taste of what it would be like to work in BAM as a future career.
- Network and find a Christian business person and/or BAM company to work for.
- Ask a Christian business person to meet with you periodically to give you guidance and mentorship.
A Word to Business Professionals and Retirees
The BAM movement desperately needs people with experience and expertise. If you have a desire to get involved in BAM, there is a place for you! Whether as an investor, mentor/consultant or even joining an existing BAM team, there are many opportunities for you to utilize your genius and skills for the extension of the Kingdom.
Without a doubt, God is calling all kinds of people to further the BAM movement. Prayerfully consider the role you might play and what the next steps for involvement might be.
This year’s Business as Mission Conference in Dallas, Texas will give opportunity for you to network with a variety of individuals in the BAM space and encourage you in what your role might be. To learn more, check out BAM Conference 2017.
For more information about how to learn your role in BAM, check out the following articles from the BAM Review blog:
- 12 Stakeholders You Should Engage in Your Business Startup
- Am I a Business Builder or Entrepreneur? Identifying Your Place in a BAM Team
- What Makes a BAMer? Identifying and Deploying the Right People for BAM Companies
By Joyce Ahn
BAM Conference 2017
Dallas, TX | September 15-17, 2017
This year’s BAM Conference will bring together hundreds of business professionals and thought leaders from around the world who are eager to learn how to reconcile their faith and work.
With the theme “Bridging the Gap”, the three-day event will close the divide between where you are now and where you want to be, and equip you to use your God-given skills to make an impact through business.
Join us as we share insights, stories and tools that will fuel your business as mission journey.
Get your tickets here: bamconference.com.
Joyce Ahn is a regular guest contributor for The BAM Review.