Business as Mission: Beyond Default Mode

by Mats Tunehag

There’s no place like home. The vast majority of all human beings prefer the familiar, to stay close to family, use our own language, eat familiar food, operate within our own culture and enjoy known surroundings. Home is our default. That is both natural and okay.

Using the language of the bible, we may call this our Jerusalem. “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8) This verse talks about a missional and centrifugal movement, from home – Jerusalem – to Judea, Samaria and to the ends of the earth. But Jerusalem is a default mode, as it were.

There are countless marketplace ministries around the world, and many are older than the modern-day BAM movement. But almost all of them are local, focusing on ‘Jerusalem’. There is nothing wrong with a local focus. This is not a value judgement, just an observation.

Beyond Default Mode

Business as Mission, BAM, is not against doing godly business in ‘Jerusalem’, but we also focus on ‘Judea’, ‘Samaria’, and especially on ‘the ends of the earth’. And this is hardly ever a default mode for anyone.

You never have to encourage default mode, because default is default by default! Without a gentle push and an intentional effort, default mode – i.e. focusing on your Jerusalem, staying at home – will kick in.

BAM has from the very beginning included the so-called Great Commission in its foundational values, informing both how and where we should do business for God and people. Business as mission thus includes making Christ known among all peoples.

M is for Mission from the A-Z of BAM [1]


Focusing on ‘the ends of the earth’ is not holier than working in Jerusalem, but it is certainly more complex and often more challenging. That may mean crossing national, cultural and linguistic barriers. This can be tough and is not usually anyone’s default mode. But following Jesus in the marketplace, to all peoples, is not a matter of convenience, but of choice and obedience. There must be a global thrust in BAM – to all nations and peoples!

The Word and the World

We are to be mindful of the Word x 2 and the World. We are to be followers of Christ – the Word incarnated – and respond to His call. We are to align our mission with the Word of God – Holy Scripture. We are also to go to the world he loves and sends us to, even to the ends of the earth.

The Word x 2 is often not visible or understood in areas associated with higher risk for doing business. Thus, the primary BAM focus area often has a higher business risk profile.

However, that must never mean risk avoidance. Life, business and BAM are about risk assessment, checking risk tolerance, and doing risk management.

The Global Macroeconomic Risk Map 2022 [2]


Today we can thank God for the many BAM businesses who intentionally and professionally operate in these countries. It is possible, but won’t happen by default.

Out of our Comfort Zone

There is a concentration of human needs and global issues outside our comfort zone. We recognise the fact that poverty and unemployment are often rampant in areas where the name of Jesus is rarely heard and understood. [3]

In the BAM Global Think Tank conversations and in the foundational BAM documents [4] you’ll find an emphasis on unreached peoples, the so-called 10/40 window, on the poor and marginalised, on areas with dire economic, social, environmental, and spiritual needs. This is beyond our default mode, so we must keep preaching and pushing the ‘ends-of-the-earth’.

As we do BAM in these challenging areas, we are to be like Jesus who constantly and consistently met various needs of people, and thereby proclaimed, demonstrated and extended the Kingdom of God.

The BAM Call

N is for Needs from the A-Z of BAM [1]


Business as mission is beyond just doing social enterprise. It is an integrated approach to do business, incorporating biblical themes and values into our mission and standard operating procedures. Our faith is not an add on, but something that permeates our lives and businesses. BAM is about taking our Sunday talk into a Monday walk. That is a reason we talk about having a positive impact on many stakeholders on multiple bottom-lines, or the quadruple bottom-line. [5]

Qs for Quadruple from the A-Z of BAM [1]


The BAM call is clear and remains from generation to generation. It doesn’t come from me or BAM Global, but from Christ himself. And he has promised a paraclete – a helper; the Holy Spirit will give us strength and wisdom to do BAM among all peoples – to the ends of the earth. [6]

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 Visit for BAM resources in 23 languages.




[1] Free download of the BAM A – Z booklet:

[2] See:

[3] See: BAM Manifesto,

See also excerpts from the Wealth Creation Manifesto:

8. Business has a special capacity to create financial wealth, but also has the potential to create different kinds of wealth for many stakeholders, including social, intellectual, physical and spiritual wealth.

9. Wealth creation through business has proven power to lift people and nations out of poverty.

10. Wealth creation must always be pursued with justice and a concern for the poor, and should be sensitive to each unique cultural context.

11. Creation care is not optional. Stewardship of creation and business solutions to environmental challenges should be an integral part of wealth creation through business.

[4] See:

[5] See 15-minute video introducing the quadruple bottom-line. It also includes glimpses of my personal BAM journey in Central Asia in the 1990s.

[6] Bishop Barron’s “Daily Gospel Reflection” from 21 Oct 2022 is relevant as we pursue wisdom and understanding of the task before us: “Friends, the famous call of the Vatican II fathers to “read the signs of the times” is grounded in Jesus’ exhortation in the Gospel for today. Followers of Jesus are meant to look at the world with clear eyes, to see what is happening, to be attentive. But this attention is of a particular type. It is not the attention of the scientist or the philosopher or the politician—though it can include those. It is an attention to the things of God.

I have often argued that many of us today are still enthralled to a deist view of God, whereby God is a distant and aloof first cause of the universe, uninvolved with the world he has made. But Thomas Aquinas taught that God is in all things “by essence, presence, and power,” and that God providentially cares for every aspect of his creation. Therefore, we should expect to see signs of his presence and activity in nature, in history, and in human affairs.

And once we see, we are meant to speak! In a way, followers of Jesus are not looking at the signs of the times for their own benefit, but rather that they might share their prophetic perspective with everyone else. So look around, look with attention, look with the eyes of faith!” Luke 12:54–59