Can Business be Mission

Mission Frontiers Nov-Dec 2007

Journal Edition of the U.S Center for World Mission 

Some people think that missionaries only do “church work.” Missionaries do believe that their central strategy must be to bring people under the Lordship of Jesus Christ and into accountable fellowships within the family and small groups. But missionaries also set up schools, clinics, agricultural ventures and businesses. They are the only workers for whom no human problem is

outside their mandate. And one main reason they can pursue any problem is precisely because they do not have to restrict themselves to things that will pay them back for their effort. They don’t have to support themselves. They can do many things by that method that businesses cannot do. This is not to say that good businesses are not an essential backbone in every society.

My purpose here is to turn specifically to what could be considered a frontier: “Business as Mission.” Although the basic idea is not altogether new, the mounting and widening discussion of the idea is new—witness the new swirl of related books and conferences. No doubt “Business as Mission” can legitimately be called a “new” frontier in mission awareness and thinking.