The business as mission community is contributing to a wider ‘listening process’ in the global evangelical mission community as part of our connection the Lausanne Movement. Lausanne asked us:
What are the most significant gaps or remaining opportunities toward the fulfillment of the Great Commission to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:18-20)?
We in turn received input from 25 global leaders on this question especially as it relates to business as mission. Four main themes emerged as leaders answered this question, which we will share in four blog posts through November.
The fourth and final theme focused on major resource gaps. Of course, the sacred-secular divide and lack of affirmation for the vocation of business (the theme of the first post in this series) is a major barrier to the mobilisation of people and other kinds of resources. However, this post builds on that and identifies specific kinds of human resources needed, plus initiatives such as prayer, funding, training, replicable business models that require focused attention if we are to continue to effectively respond to the Great Commission through the business sphere.
Theme 4: The Task Still Ahead and Plugging the Resource Gaps
In thinking in terms of BAM, we need more business builders. There are many BAM companies that need help growing and expanding their companies. More business builders will allow a greater reach into areas where people are living and dying without the Gospel being lived out among them.
To see greater impact for the Great Commission, we need to see more franchisable models for BAM which have a high-enough barrier to entry for competitors in local 10/40 locations. We also need to mobilise ever greater numbers of entrepreneurs that specifically have as one of their goals to enable a minimum of 5-10 other Great Commission focused people, providing a means for other business leaders and professions for long-term in-country incarnational presence in least reached nations.
If we are going to make disciples of all the nations, then we need to have a reason to be there. We know that the creation of a job, for many, can be the impetus behind their pathway to salvation. Bottom line is “People Need Jobs”. Gaining access to these individuals is a significant gap in our ecosystem. Finding the practitioners who can, in fact, transform lives through job creation is a major challenge. Once we are able to tell the story of Business as Mission, the response is almost always extremely positive. However, getting to these individuals can be difficult. One of the greatest opportunities is to work closely with churches and agencies already in-country and to find a way to integrate BAM where appropriate. In order for this to happen, there has to be someone in a leadership position within the church or agency who is willing to change. BAM needs to be looked at as a complement to their current strategy and not a threat. There has to be a sense of urgency that, at an aggregate level, doesn’t exist today.