by Jo Plummer
1. We can’t talk about ‘business as mission’ until we talk about ‘business’
Business is part of God’s good plan for human flourishing and has a God-designed power and role in human society. Business as mission takes this intrinsic God-given power and role of business and intentionally uses it as an instrument for mission. Just as water or wind power can be intentionally harnessed to do more good (or harm), business as mission is harnessing the power of business for God’s glory, the gospel, and the common good.
It is therefore vitally important that we have a good grasp of what the Bible says about business – and indeed, economics, human flourishing and God’s mission to the world – before we then apply those fundamental truths about God’s purposes to doing business as mission. Let us build on solid biblical foundations!
What we don’t want to do is create a new ‘sacred-secular divide’ while trying to break down the old one. Business does not need to be sanctified by being engaged as an instrument for mission, it is already part of God’s good design. Just as one vocation is not more spiritual or sacred than another, the same goes for different kinds of business. We can glorify God through work and our vocations, wherever we are.
2. Business as mission is part of a broader movement, but also has a unique and distinctive response to the world’s most pressing issues
For example, business as mission is part of the wider shift in the global church towards more integral (or holistic) models of mission that break down the dichotomy between evangelism and social responsibility. But it is also distinctive in that it emphasises for-profit solutions to mission challenges, rather than charitable or donor-driven mission models.