by Mats Tunehag
Wealth. That can be a tricky word. There are many connotations in English and the word ‘wealth’ is not always easy to translate into other languages. For many it is mainly about money. But that is only partly true. One can be financially wealthy and socially poor with no friends.
There are different kinds of wealth: financial, social, intellectual, cultural, and spiritual. Wealth can be created, shared, hoarded and destroyed. Hoarding is condemned, and destruction is certainly not commended!
Sharing is good and it is often encouraged. But there is never any wealth to be shared unless it has been created. Wealth creation is actually both a godly gift and a command. 
Our views on wealth, wealth creation and wealth creators are important.
Worldview matters and ideas have consequences. One can compare the health and wealth of people and nations with the same culture and language like South and North Korea, and West and East Germany. We can witness how a potentially rich country like Zimbabwe has gone from being a bread basket to a basket case in southern Africa. The oil rich Venezuela is another tragic example of how disregard for basic wealth creation principles has destroyed a country. 
We do not see wealth creation as simply a means to make some people rich. To the contrary, we ask, “what really helps the poor?” Instead of asking “what causes poverty, we ask “what causes different kinds of wealth to be created?’
It is a fact that aid – a form of wealth distribution – does not lift people and nations out of poverty long term. Wealth creation does. The biggest lift out of poverty in the history of mankind has happened in our generation.  This has been achieved not through aid but by trade; wealth creation through business. This is demonstrated by the escape of hundreds of millions from dire poverty in both India and China since the 1980s.
One cannot tackle poverty without a determined pursuit of wealth creation. 
So, what is the role of wealth creation when it comes to the holistic transformation of people and societies? What are biblical principles and the teaching of the church? What lessons have we learned throughout history and around the globe about wealth creation, especially through business? How is wealth creation related to justice, the poor, human trafficking and creation care?
These were some of the questions addressed by the Global Consultation on The Role of Wealth Creation for Holistic Transformation in 2017. We produced seven papers, an educational video series, and captured the essence of our findings in the Wealth Creation Manifesto.
Excerpts from Manifesto:
“Wealth sharing should be encouraged, but there is no wealth to be shared unless it has been created.
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.
Wealth creation, through business, has proven power to lift people and nations out of poverty.
Wealth creation must always be pursued with justice and a concern for the poor.”
The Role of Business in Wealth Creation
We know that businesses can be strong transformational agents for the common good. “Business is a noble vocation, directed to producing wealth and improving the world,” Pope Francis says. It can be a fruitful source of prosperity for the area in which it operates, especially if it sees the creation of jobs as an essential part of its service to the common good.” 
The need for God-honoring and people-serving businesses will increase during and after the Covid pandemic. Thus, we must continue to affirm, equip, and deploy men and women, young and old, on all continents, to grow, shape and reshape businesses with God and for the common good. We also need to build an ecosystem of leaders from business, government, and civil society, so different kinds of wealth can be created. 
And we must include the church. To that end, let me conclude with the appeal from the Wealth Creation Manifesto:
“We call the church to embrace wealth creation as central to our mission of holistic transformation of peoples and societies.”
It is now three years since the Global Consultation on The Role of Wealth Creation for Holistic Transformation and subsequent publications. Over the coming weeks we will have a series of articles on wealth creation, reflecting on the eleven affirmations in the Wealth Creation Manifesto, which now exists in 17 languages.
 Deuteronomy chapter 8
 Laudato Si’, 129
More in this series:
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 TransformationalSME.org. Visit MatsTunehag.com for BAM resources in 21 languages.
Watch the Wealth Creation Classroom Series
The Lausanne Global Classroom on Wealth Creation is a series of short 2-5 minute videos based on the work of the Wealth Creation Consultation