The A to Z of BAM: F to J – from Freedom to Justice

by Mats Tunehag

F – Freedom

Winston Churchill said: “All the great things are simple, and many can be expressed in a single word: freedom, justice, honor, duty, mercy, hope.

Today tens of millions of people around the world are held as slaves, they are victims of human trafficking. A root cause to is unemployment. About 80 percent who are rescued from trafficking are re-trafficked unless they find a job with dignity at the other end. Thus, jobs with dignity and transformational businesses are essential for true freedom. Freedom businesses exist to fight human trafficking, providing jobs for prevention and restoration. [1]

There is no quick fix to human trafficking. There is no ‘jump to freedom’; we have a long journey ahead. As Nelson Mandela said: “There is no easy walk to freedom anywhere.” This is true for millions of slaves around the world, and also for the freedom business movement. [2]

 

 


G – God

We are not just Christians doing social enterprise. God is the owner of our businesses; our business praxis should be God-centered.

Let me mention two groups in Asia which are engaging with thousands of business owners and operators.

I have worked for over ten years with Julian Foe and his team, who lead the Kingdom Business Community, KBC in Indonesia. KBC have run camps for over ten thousand business people. It is an induction program, which always emphasizes – as number one: be God centered in your life and business.

Another group is The Brotherhood of Christian Businessmen and Professionals in the Philippines. Their motto is to “Make Disciples of All Nations”, and their vision is “bringing Christ into the marketplace and winning the marketplace for Christ”. They are “are a community of business people and professionals committed to living out Christian values and being change agents in the marketplace”.

BAM is about being God-centered and making Christ known.


H – Holistic

BAM is not doing business with a touch of ‘churchianity’. It is not about doing some church-like activities in a business. BAM is about meeting needs, different kind of needs: economic, social, spiritual, and other needs – as we do business.

BAM is about having a holistic outlook and approach, just like Jesus. He never told anyone they had the wrong kind of need. He constantly and consistently met all kinds of needs; preaching and demonstrating the Kingdom of God. This is a guiding light in BAM. “Businesses that function in alignment with the core values of the Kingdom of God are playing an important role in holistic transformation of individuals, communities and societies.”  – Wheaton Declaration on Business as Integral Calling

We believe that the Gospel has the power to transform individuals, communities and societies. Christians in business should therefore be a part of this holistic transformation through business.” – BAM Manifesto

I – Integrated

BAM is taking our Sunday talk into a Monday walk. It is about integrating what we profess in church into a daily praxis – 24/7.

H2O is hydrogen and oxygen. It can be compartmentalized and analyzed and it can manifest itself as water, ice and steam. But if you’re thirsty you don’t want a chemical formula but water, the integrated whole.

The Church teaches that God is triune; we can observe the three in one, and one in three in the holy Scriptures and throughout history. We can compartmentalize God; focus on the Son for example. But we mustn’t fail to see how the three divine persons overlap, interact and connect. Separate but never disconnected. It is a mystery, indeed, but nevertheless a truth to embrace. [3]

BAM is an expression of a holistic lifestyle, where godly values and good business practices are integrated. 

J – Justice

Business as mission is about embracing Biblical themes, narratives and values, and live them in the marketplace. [4]

God loves justice and hates injustice. God sent prophets again and again who spoke out against injustice, and they demanded change and correction. Injustice often manifested itself in the marketplace: it was corruption, labor exploitation and abuse of vulnerable people like immigrants. To pursue honest business and care for staff is business as justice. To treat customers and suppliers well is also a part of this God-honoring pursuit.

Business as justice includes fighting corruption, bribery, labor exploitation and human trafficking.

Read more:

A-E

 

BAM: A to Z graphic design by Tanner Germany

Footnotes

[1] To learn more, check Freedom Business Alliance, FBA: https://www.freedombusinessalliance.com/

[2] Read more at https://businessasmission.com/let-freedom-ring-fighting-slavery-with-business-solutions/

[3] Read more at https://thirdpathinitiative.com/holistic-integrated-bam-will-make-history/

[4] See article dealing with 12 such values: http://matstunehag.com/2012/09/29/business-as-mission-is-bigger-than-you-think/

 

Mats Tunehag is a senior global ambassador for BAM and has worked in over half the countries of the world. He is the chairman of BAM Global and contributes to TransformationalSME.org. Visit MatsTunehag.com for BAM resources in 21 languages.

 

 

 

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The A to Z of BAM: A to E – from Avodah to Environmental

by Mats Tunehag

A – Avodah

The Hebrew word avodah is used interchangeably for work, worship and service. Business as Mission, BAM, is a seamless integration of work, worship and service.

A few Bible references:

Six days you shall work (avodah). – Exodus 34:21

This is what the LORD says: Let my people go, so that they may worship (avodah) me. – Exodus 8:1

But as for me and my household, we will serve (avodah) the Lord. – Joshua 24:15

Worship in the temple is different from manual labor in the field. But both are connected to who we are, created in God’s image, with a purpose to both work and worship. Work can be worship! Avodah is a picture of an integrated faith.[1] It is a life where work and worship come from the same root. “Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” (1 Cor 10:31)

 

B – Business

Professor Angelo Nicolaides observes: “The notion of business is recognized within the creation account where it is clear that man cannot work alone.” [2] John Paul II describes the essential community aspects of business, saying that a company is a “community of persons who in various ways are endeavouring to satisfy their basic needs, and who form a particular group at the service of the whole of society.” [3]

Businesses are not static – they start and develop; they can grow and change. But we should intentionally and professionally shape our business for God, people and planet. One can see the business as an instrument through which we develop our products and services, and also optimize our service of various stakeholders: God, staff, owners, customers, suppliers, community, competitors, and physical environment. Business is a God given instrument, which we fine-tune to serve people and glorify God. [4]

C – Create

For many people work is simply seen as an employment, a way to make some money. But that is too narrow a view, both historically and globally, of what work is and means. Furthermore, we need to be aligned with the Judeo-Christian tradition and its concept of work. [5]

God works! He is creative and He creates in community and for community. We are created in His image to work and be creative, for ourselves and also for others. Our work may be paid or non-paid, related to an employment or not. The Wealth Creation Manifesto states: “We are created in God’s image, to co-create with Him and for Him, to create products and services for the common good.” We can be creative in music, cooking a meal for the family, developing a software program, nursing a sick patient at a hospital, or farming rice. This is deeply divine and deeply human.

D – Dignity

Rabbis Sacks contrasts animals and human beings: “Work, in other words, has spiritual value, because earning our food is part of the essential dignity of the human condition. Animals find sustenance; only mankind creates it.” [6]

Jobs are not just a matter of income or survival; they reflect who God is, and who we are as people made in His image. Work is an issue of human dignity. Creating jobs with dignity is godly. Businesses can be a place for dignifying work and creativity, for community and service.

Work and business are reflections of the trinitarian God, and also reflections of God’s trinitarian nature. God is love and collaboration. [7] So, being a diligent worker individually, and being creative collectively – also in business – reflects true human dignity!

E – Environment

In BAM we talk about the quadruple bottom line: financial, social, environmental and spiritual. We can and should at times compartmentalize for planning, operation and evaluation. But we also need to recognize that they overlap, interact and connect; they form a greater whole.

We must avoid playing one important entity against the other. It is not work versus worship, or financial bottom-line versus a spiritual impact. They are not same, but they belong together. [8]

We mustn’t forget or neglect to be good stewards of creation, and develop business solutions for environmental challenges. “Along with the spiritual, financial, and social bottom lines, the environmental bottom line is an integral measure of a God-centered successful business.” [9]

 

Read more:

F-J

BAM: A to Z graphic design by Tanner Germany

 

Footnotes

[1] Read more at http://matstunehag.com/2018/08/13/lets-avodah/

[2] Ethics and the dignity of work: An Orthodox Christian perspective, by Angelo Nicolaides, see [7]

Pharos Journal of Theology ISSN 2414-3324 online Volume 101 – (2020)

[3] Centesimus Annus, 1991

[4] See short video about business as an instrument for God and people: https://vimeo.com/152713982

[5] See ‘Deeply Rooted for the Future’: http://matstunehag.com/2020/12/23/deeply-rooted-for-the-future/

[6] Market and Morals, by Jonathan Sacks. Aug 2020

[7] The trinitarian reciprocal love, interdependence and collaboration, have bearings on our relationships and responsibilities, also for the planet: “Relational human existence involves interdependence and interaction simultaneously between human beings themselves and the nature they commonly share and companies need to be clear on this. … They should also endeavour to serve environmentally friendly planetary needs so that future generations may also enjoy God’s creation.” Ethics and the dignity of work: An Orthodox Christian perspective, by Angelo Nicolaides.

Pharos Journal of Theology ISSN 2414-3324 online Volume 101 – (2020)

[8] See https://thirdpathinitiative.com/holistic-integrated-bam-will-make-history/

[9] Wealth Creation and the Stewardship of Creation. https://bamglobal.org/wealth-creation-stewardship/

 

Mats Tunehag is a senior global ambassador for BAM and has worked in over half the countries of the world. He is the chairman of BAM Global and contributes to TransformationalSME.org. Visit MatsTunehag.com for BAM resources in 21 languages.

 

 

 

WANT MORE CONTENT ON ESSENTIAL BAM CONCEPTS & PRACTICES?

JOIN US AT THE BAM GLOBAL CONGRESS

A GLOBAL MEETING POINT FOR THE BAM COMMUNITY

Join us at this innovative virtual main event framed by a lead-in series of monthly webinars and a follow-up series of workshops and meet-ups.

We will CELEBRATE what God is doing through business around the world, CONNECT you with a global network of people and initiatives, and CREATE momentum to multiply the BAM movement for greater impact.

PRE-CONGRESS WEBINARS: October 2020 to March 2021

CONGRESS MAIN EVENT: 28 – 30 April 2021

POST-CONGRESS WORKSHOPS: May 2021 to July 2021

REGISTER NOW: Pre-Series Pass – $50, Premium All Access Pass – $175

It is not too late to register for the Pre-Series Pass, all webinars have been recorded and will be available to ticket holders.

 

 

 

 

Banner image by Olga Serjantu on Unsplash