The business as mission community is contributing to a wider ‘listening process’ in the global evangelical mission community as part of our connection the Lausanne Movement. Lausanne asked us:
What are the most significant gaps or remaining opportunities toward the fulfillment of the Great Commission to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:18-20)?
We in turn received input from 25 global leaders on this question especially as it relates to business as mission. Four main themes emerged as leaders answered this question, which we will share in four blog posts through November.
The second theme was the need to intentionally rebalance the deployment of resources and focus more attention on those that are currently marginalised. We need to acknowledge that many more resources are focused on some areas of the world and some categories of people than they are on others. Business as mission has a special concern for the world’s poorest and least evangelised peoples so this is extremely pertinent to us, read more about what defines BAM here.
Theme 2: Reaching the Marginalised and the Skewed Deployment of Resources
There are still vast swathes of the world’s population that remain marginalised. Marginalised from mainstream economic life, freedom of worship and conscience, decent environmental conditions whether air, water, housing, working environment, etc. Vast swathes remain “un-digitalised”, and largely unreached “hidden in plain sight” from the gospel in its wholistic intent. We must recognise and respond to the strategic imperative of the Great Commission, within the context of the Great Commandment. Conversely, rebuilding, redeeming, and restoring broken, imperfect contexts and environments affords amazing opportunities for the Church to engage and have an enduring, relevant testimony of love and creativity that will honour our Father in Heaven.
The remaining least-reached groups are often in places which limit the access of traditional, far-culture missionaries. Same and near culture workers will need to be highly contextualized, adapted, flexible, and have an identity which allows credible access to the community. In many cases this will be business (farming, trading, small manufacturing) but in other cases may be NGO work or other work. We need to mobilize the near culture churches into a missions mindset revolution, with them increasingly sending humble, hard-working, believers (often in small family groups) to these least reached groups in both urban and rural settings.