Global BAM Ecosystem Growth and Multiplication

In this new blog series on the BAM Manifesto we are taking the different parts of the Manifesto as inspiration and exploring them in the context of current BAM practice and the still-growing movement, twenty years on.

We asked a group of BAM leaders:

Looking back on the development of the BAM movement globally over the last one to two decades, do you think that a shared understanding created by the BAM Manifesto – and similar materials or opportunities for dialogue – have created growth/momentum in your region, network or sphere?

If yes, please share a little of the ‘how, why and what’ of that development. If no, please share what you feel has helped.

From the responses we’ve ‘charted’ the impact of the Manifesto on the BAM movement over the last few decades – read Part 1 ‘Pioneering Practitioners’ for a fuller introduction.



The initial burst of BAM networking, advocacy and resource development in the early 2000s – including the publishing of the Lausanne Occasional Paper on BAM and the BAM Manifesto – helped to lay the foundation for a multiplication of regional networks and BAM initiatives over the following 10-15 years and resulted in the greater mobilisation of new BAM practitioners.

Ecosystem builders began to intentionally support and connect BAM companies and helped the identification and spread of fruitful practices. And while business people and companies are the central constituency in the BAM movement, there was also growing acceptance and understanding among the other key BAM constituencies of mission, church and academia.

The BAM Global Think Tank took place from 2011 to 2013, building on the foundations of the earlier Lausanne Consultation (2002 to 2004).  This Think Tank involved 330 people in 30 working groups (an increase from 90 people  in 5 groups in the earlier Consultation) and culminated in the BAM Global Congress in 2013, with 550 global participants. This first truly global conference further spurred new initiatives and partnerships.

Here’s what some of our responders said about the role of the BAM Manifesto – and similar materials and opportunities for dialogue – on the multiplication of BAM initiatives around the world and the growth of the business as mission ecosystem:

Firsthand Views:


1) The Globalisation of BAM

Following on from the BAM Manifesto, the commitment to continue to produce and publish, especially in so many of the human family’s languages and tongues, a range of incredibly practical (vs. hypothetical) documents, has been incredibly important. These represent the beginning and continuing of our efforts to understand, learn, improve, create, revise, and document strategies, results, and ongoing challenges. The result is increasingly to motivate the whole church, in the whole world, for service in Jesus’ Name to the whole world. – PS, Canada, MENA & Asia

Two initial conferences were held in 2007 without the organizers being aware of each other; one with Korean businessmen and women at a church in Shanghai, China, and another one with young Korean professionals at a church in Washington D.C. in the USA. They became known to each other later, networking around this ‘strange idea’ of BAM as a movement among Korean Christians. Though there were many challenges and questions ahead, business as mission became legitimate and a common term among Christians in Korea thanks to the publication of BAM Manifesto. The beginning of the BAM Manifesto starts with celebration of God’s creativity and our inherited creativity. I still remember the feelings of excitement and joy when I found that business was something inherent in us, coming from the Lord. Those shared emotions which the documents brought became the base for the Korean BAM movement. – SC, Korea

Business networks have been developed by believers in the marketplace and are now collaborating across national and international boundaries. Culturally  relevant  training and inspirational  materials, both online and offline, have been developed. – DT, East Africa

For me personally, the BAM materials (BAM Manifesto and especially the Lausanne Occasional Paper on BAM) gave a very clear vision of what it means to do business for God’s glory. I have read many materials about mission in professional or business life but never seen such a holistic, Christ-centred and practical concept. Now these documents are the basis for my presentations and seminars. So I hope soon many businesspeople and church leaders in Russia will use this concept both for business and for the training and support of business people. – MD, Russia

2) Growing BAM Acceptance Among Mission, Church and Academia

The DNA (core content) of the BAM Manifesto has been a hot topic and issue to explore in many of the churches practices, especially in dealing with how to better serve and equip business communities. We have been receiving many opportunities to share, to partner, to add value to church ministry and help them develop marketplace ministry within their own church. The BAM Manifesto (and related content) has been a bridge to start the conversation and partnership as churches have found a growing need to have a relevant approach to equip their business communities. – JF, Southeast Asia

Specifically for us, in the past few years, we’ve met with several mission sending organizations seeking to understand more about BAM. One of them registered our nation as a new target country, and now all of their members in this country are BAM practitioners. – CN&SK, Southeast Asia

It is not clear that either the BAM Manifesto or the more recent Wealth Creation Manifesto have been regarded as seminal in the BAM world, but their influence is obvious whenever BAM practitioners and/or academics get together. Undoubtedly the dedicated efforts of the leaders of the movement have been responsible for this. – RSH, Australia

The BAM movement has brought a greater acceptance of people doing business among unreached people. It has brought this mission tool to be more mainstream as opposed to something that mission agencies and people were unsure of. And this in turn makes it more accessible to people who want to be a part of it. – BH, Africa, MENA, Europe & Asia


3) Equipping Practitioners and Growing a Supportive Ecosystem

I think that the BAM materials, networking, dialogue, etc. have been essential for creating a space where interested parties can get information, find a work/mission place where they belong, get encouragement, resources and help for what each is trying to achieve. It has brought us together to have greater unity and purpose. I think without the regular input, gatherings, online resources provided by the BAM movement then many people would  be operating in a vacuum – not knowing or learning from what others have learnt and experienced. What we have will help us all be more effective and bring meaningful impact quicker and better. – LH, Africa, MENA, Europe & Asia

What comes to mind is getting connected to a couple of buyers and knowing about the Freedom Business Alliance and the BAM fulfillment center at YWAM Colorado Springs. That all started from being connected at BAM Global and while it hasn’t yet come to fruition, without the seeds planted it would never have the opportunity to grow. It’s cool how we can gather together and filter through where we fit and who we need to connect with as we are all coming from the same heart space and motivation. – NC, South Asia

I have to confess, I had lost sight of this manifesto document, and it has done me good to read this again. It’s a very powerful statement, and when I read this, whilst only 20 years ago, it speaks from almost a different age, when many of the businesses we know today simply didn’t exist, or were a distant dream. Around this time, we were just beginning to think about business in our context. It’s amazing to see how God has worked in our lives to birth a business, and in many others too, almost independently to form a movement around the world over this period, which has become increasingly interconnected. Over the last four years or so, I have been less connected because of challenging circumstances, but I do read many of the articles and emails that come into my Inbox. These have drip-fed into our thinking and played a significant role in shaping the philosophy we have in our business. Emails and blogs remind us that we are a part of something much bigger. I can also see that this BAM Manifesto document, and the networks, organisations, communications, and conferences flowing out of it, have energised the movement significantly around the world. I sense myself reconnecting as I read this. I need to read this again, and regularly! – DH, South Asia


What came before? Read Part 1: Pioneering Practitioners  and Part 2: Creed or Conversation Starter? 

What is yet to happen or still mission from the movement? What challenges still lay ahead? Read more in Part 4: Future BAM Challenges.


>> Read the BAM Manifesto in full

>> Read the Lausanne Occasional Paper on Business as Mission.

>> Download the BAM Manifesto in 17 languages here


 Jo Plummer is the co-chair of BAM Global and the author and editor of many business as mission papers and articles, including the BAM Global Think Tank Report series. She is a Lausanne Catalyst for Business as Mission and the co-editor of the Lausanne Occasional Paper on Business as Mission. She has been developing resources for BAM since 2001 and currently serves as Editor of this Business as Mission website and blog.


Part of the introduction to this post was adapted from the BAM Global Think Tank Report on Advocacy and Mobilisation, by the same author.

>> Watch short videos on the BAM Manifesto series here