by Mike Baer
I don’t want to bury the lead so here it is: BAM is one of the most strategic ways to engage the worlds unreached people groups and that focus should dominate the movement.
Now, in the spirit of fairness, I am for BAM everywhere and believe that all Christians in all callings should be directly and deliberately connecting all of their lives (including their careers) to God’s eternal purpose. To me, this is the sine qua non of true BAM and certainly means more than just doing business among UPGs. It means doing business to the glory of God and with a free conscience wherever He has placed us.
Yet, how can we look at the world and the billions who live in the hardest to reach places, the people groups with no viable Gospel witness or church and not recognize the priority of UPGs. 25 years after the birth of the modern Business as Mission movement in Central Asia, the overwhelming majority of BAM enterprises are among the reached countries.
My purpose is not to shame or guilt anyone. My purpose is to challenge all of us in the BAM movement to once again heed the words of the Master and lift up our eyes and look upon the fields white unto harvest. Is it possible that Jesus is calling us to launch or expand our businesses in one of those hard places where He is not yet known? Is it possible that our next career move should be to live and work in an unreached area?
The original genius of the modern BAM movement was three-fold:
- It was led by entrepreneurs who were willing to undertake risky, bold adventures among the unreached.
- It unleashed tens of thousands of otherwise disengaged Christians into global missions.
- It was built on a solid theological foundation of the integration of all things under the Lordship of Christ.
Can we recapture and rekindle the genius of BAM today?
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Mike Baer was one of the early leaders in the modern Business as Mission movement. He started his career as a pastor and church planter. After 15 years in the pastorate Mike was led into business where he gradually began to discover the potential for believers in business to bless their communities, evangelize the lost and spread the Kingdom of God, especially among the unreached. Today, Mike is the Chief People Officer of EmployBridge, a $3.2 billion employment company based in the US. He has written 3 books on BAM: Business as Mission, Kingdom Worker, and Gospel Entrepreneur. Mike is a regular contributor to the Third Path Blog. Today Mike and his wife reside in the mountains of North Carolina where they enjoy their 5 grandchildren.