by Mats Tunehag
Originally published on MatsTunehag.com, reposted with kind permission.
Business as Mission, BAM, is not a technique. It is a worldview and a lifestyle. It is about following Jesus in the marketplace – to the ends of the earth; loving God and serving people through business.
- BAM is not doing business with a touch of ‘churchianity’
- BAM is not Christians just doing social enterprise.
- BAM always considers God as a stakeholder who has a vested interested in multiple bottom lines and multiple stakeholders.
- BAM must be underpinned by a Biblical worldview, informing our planning, operations and evaluation.
One very important aspect of worldview is time. This has implications on what we can do and what God does.
This affects how we plan, operate and evaluate a BAM business, aiming at a positive impact on multiple bottom-lines for multiple stakeholders. As we do this, there are extremes to be avoided: we try to quantify and monetize everything, or nothing.
We need to ask: how can God be a stakeholder and how can we aim at a Kingdom of God impact?
This is where Chronos and Kairos come in. These are two words in Greek for time.
Chronos is quantitative, sequential and of course related to the word chronological. We operate in the Chronos, we plan and evaluate in the chronological time, also in business.
Kairos is qualitative, the supreme moment, the right time. This is for example used for God’s intervention, in the fullness of time. We cannot control this, but we can set the stage for it to some extent.
Daniel and his three friends were involved in Civil Service as Mission. In the six first chapters of the book of Daniel we observe:
- Daniel and his friends served God and the nation with professionalism, excellence and integrity. (Chronos)
- God used that to occasionally intervene (Kairos) to bring glory to himself and transform people and nations.
- Most days for Daniel and company were just another day, week, year, decade in the office. But their faithful and good work (in the Chronos) set the stage for miracles and changed lives; in the right moment God intervened. (Kairos)
This is essential as we run BAM businesses. How can we serve our customers, staff and suppliers with professionalism, excellence and integrity? We can and should carefully plan, execute and evaluate accordingly. But we also need to understand that we cannot convert anyone, push through or force a spiritual impact. But what steps can we take in the Chronos to set the stage for Kairos?
Or in the words of the apostle Paul: I planted, Apollos watered, but God caused it to grow.
Like Daniel and his friends, we must be prepared for another day, week, year, and decade in the business, as we constantly and intentionally shape the business for God and people, for many stakeholders and for multiple bottom-lines.
Chronos and Kairos help us to plan and set reasonable expectations, to see what we can do and what God can do. It can hopefully make us relax and trust God: we plant and water, but God will bring life and growth.