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Why We’re Passionate about Caring for God’s Creation: Photo Journal

Every BAM company is an environmental company. They are having an impact on the environment and the environment is having an impact on them. – Mark Polet

In December we ran a series on BAM and Creation Care on The BAM Review and on social media we asked readers to share their favourite photos of the environment to show us why creation care is at the heart of BAM!

This is why creation is worth caring for through our business as mission initiatives:

“The Tea garden I photographed means everything to me. It is where I started life as a school-going child, and my salvation experience came through in one such Tea garden. Moreover, I love mountains. I really love nature! I firmly believe they’re the best gift of God’s love and communication to us and to me in particular!! If we as humanity miss out on noticing and especially taking care of the good nature by protecting its habitat, we lose everything. I have done my best to engage in practices that encourage wildlife, for example a peacock, which is our national bird and of great importance roams around our house and we as a family notice them and even allow them the space they need in our premises too!!” – Callistus

“A favourite coastal view”

“This a farm in Kyrgyzstan where we working on integrated farming practices under the (Re)Generation initiative, restoring the biome so all generations can flourish.” – Mark

“This wetland bird sanctuary is my favourite place to walk in our area and I take a photo at this same spot every time I visit, to capture the changing tides and seasons!” – Jo

Read more

Restoring Barren Soils and Barren Hearts: Announcing [Re]Generation

Every BAM company is an environmental company. They are having an impact on the environment and the environment is having an impact on them. – Mark Polet

This month we are delighted to share a series on BAM and Creation Care on The BAM Review. While COP28 is focused on the crucial issue of climate in UAE right now, we know that creation care is much broader and that it’s God’s idea! As Christians in business, with a missional intention, we have a unique opportunity to be leaders creating positive environmental impact through enterprise. In their final post, Mark and Anugraha challenge us towards restoration and [Re]Generation.

By Mark Polet, with Anugraha Gaikwad

In our work, Challenge and Hope, we have made the link between regions with poor air quality and water stress to those who still need to hear the Good News.

Acute environmental damage and degradation is often to be found in places suffering dire poverty and in places relatively unreached with the gospel. This presents BAM practitioners and investors the challenge and opportunity to respond holistically with environmental solutions at the heart of their business model. Business as Mission companies serve people who face great environmental, even existential, challenges. BAM practitioners are on the ground already in many areas of the greatest need and are positioned to respond. [1]

Since then, Mark’s work in Central Asia has also shown that a similar link exists between barren soils and barren hearts, though, at this point the analysis is still qualitative.

Christ brings back flourishing to creation and to our hearts at the same time. All creation is restored through Him (see Colossians 1:15-20). Our passion is to restore barren lands even as we restore barren hearts.

In 2021, at the BAM Global Congress online, we celebrated those who have used their God-given talents to develop environmental technologies in the BAM space from Canada to Australia, and from Indonesia to India (watch Mark’s presentation from the Congress below). We called this the Environmental Technology Initiative.

Now, we are pleased to announce [Re]Generation: “Restoring the biome so generations can flourish.”  The flourishing is both spiritual and ecological. This new initiative will likely extend beyond business as mission in order to fulfill the restoration, but BAM is an important component.

Our goal is to integrate ecological restoration with the restoration of the heart. The exciting thing is that there are BAM companies already involved from micro-irrigation to regenerative agriculture, from soil science and ecological design. As well, interested professionals from related fields such as landscape architects and ecologists are ready to help. It is as if the Lord has already laid out the pieces there for us to assemble — to His Glory. Read more

How are We Doing? Integrating BAM and Creation Care

Every BAM company is an environmental company. They are having an impact on the environment and the environment is having an impact on them. – Mark Polet

This month we are delighted to share a series on BAM and Creation Care on The BAM Review. While COP28 is focused on the crucial issue of climate in UAE right now, we know that creation care is much broader and that it’s God’s idea! As Christians in business, with a missional intention, we have a unique opportunity to be leaders creating positive environmental impact through enterprise. In this second post, Mark and Anugraha explore how we are doing. 

By Anugraha Gaikwad with Mark Polet

It takes courage to start a business, especially in a new land among new people and culture. It takes even more courage to keep going and not pull down the shutter amidst the adversities and challenges. One does not necessarily have to hold a degree in business management or international relationships to start a business when the Lord asks you to. One must simply have a heart of compassion and humility and take the first steps. [1]

How are you doing?

Many of you are already doing that all over God’s good earth. Some of you are in areas prone to flash floods and landslides, while others are in areas stressed with depleting water levels, heavy smog, or poor soils. Some of you may lack the resources, institutions, or facilities to completely process your waste, while some may find it too expensive to change to more environmentally sustainable ways. So, how are you doing? In this blog, we will talk about the BAM journey to care for God’s creation, people and planet. We hope to provide some inspiration for those who are looking for ways to care for the garden God created, for us to work and tend.

In January 2020, BAM practitioners were polled about their environmental practices and the challenges therein. In the poll, 72% BAMers state that environmental stewardship is part of their business. However, a considerable 73% of the respondents have been unable to develop an Environmental Management System (EMS) in their organisation [2]. Where are you in your journey of environmental stewardship and what support do you need? Reach out to us in the comments via email to let us know.

Loving others and caring for creation

The most successful businesses are those that fail a lot, as they keep trying something new that hasn’t been done before. Be the kind of business that does what others won’t and can’t do.  If your neighbours face food and nutritional insecurity or lack clean drinking water, you could be the company to step into the gap. That is exactly what will make your organisation distinguished and sought after in the marketplace! It will not only create opportunities to care for the resources the Lord has blessed you with around your company, but will also make an impact on the people you work with by giving them dignity in the work they do and will be an opportunity to act out the love of our Father for your neighbours. Read more

Flourishing Creation: Our Why for Environmental Impact through BAM

Every BAM company is an environmental company. They are having an impact on the environment and the environment is having an impact on them. – Mark Polet

This month we are delighted to share a series on BAM and Creation Care on The BAM Review. While COP28 is focused on the crucial issue of climate in UAE right now, we know that creation care is much broader and that it’s God’s idea! As Christians in business, with a missional intention, we have a unique opportunity to be leaders creating positive environmental impact through enterprise. In this first post, Mark and Anugraha share the WHY.

By Mark Polet, with Anugraha Gaikwad

 

He said to them, Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. – Mark 16:15

In the busyness of business it is often easy to lose sight of how our salvation is intimately tied with the flourishing of creation. The integration of good environmental discipline into a thriving business is an act of worship.

 

“The heavens proclaim the glory of God.

    The skies display his craftsmanship.

Day after day they continue to speak;

    night after night they make him known.

They speak without a sound or word;

    their voice is never heard.

Yet their message has gone throughout the earth,

    and their words to all the world.” Psalm 19:1-4

 

Praise the Lord from the earth,

You sea monsters and all deeps;

Fire and hail, snow and clouds,

Stormy wind, fulfilling God’s word;

Mountains and all hills,

Fruit trees and all cedars;

Beasts and all cattle;

Creeping things and winged fowl…

Let them praise the name of the Lord,

For God’s name alone is exalted;

God’s glory is above earth and heaven.” Psalm 148: 7–10, 13

 

We worship. Creation worships. We are singing in the same choir!

Every raw material you use in your business comes from that creation. You share that fact with every living being. Read more

The Power of Business to Take Good Care of our Planet

This month we are exploring different motives a missional entrepreneur may have for pursuing business as mission as their strategy of choice. In this fourth post, we are exploring the power of business to have a positive environmental impact and care for creation.

ALL businesses are environmental businesses and we need the BAM community to be leading the way in recognising this! That was the conclusion of the first published report from the BAM and Creation Care report series and the first major theme of the recent BAM and Creation Care Consultation:

That every BAM entity has the opportunity to grow in their care of creation.

While all BAM companies can become better environmental stewards, there has been a second major theme to the BAM and Creation Care Consultation:

The opportunity for some Christian entrepreneurs and investors to create new BAM companies that address critical environmental problems with innovative business solutions and new technologies.

Acute environmental damage and degradation is often to be found in places suffering dire poverty and in places relatively unreached with the gospel. This presents BAM practitioners and investors with the challenge and opportunity to respond holistically with environmental solutions at the heart of their business model.

This second theme will be the focus of the soon to be published third paper in the BAM and Creation Care series, ‘Challenge and Hope‘. This blog is an advance excerpt from this new paper, but if you can’t wait to read it, you can watch a video presentation of this content right now – see video below!

A New Perspective on God’s Good Earth

We want to take you on a journey of challenge and hope on God’s good Earth. And to do that we are going to start at the moon…

It has been 52 years since the crew of Apollo 8 circled the moon and took the now famous picture of the Earth rising over the desolate lunar surface. It is estimated a quarter of the earth’s population saw the Apollo 8 broadcasts, and the photo itself was an inspiration for the first Earth Day in 1970.

The Earth from Apollo 8 (Anders & Weigang)

The photo still evokes a sense of wonder. This little blue jewel framed by the lifeless moon and the vastness of space. Our precious, fragile, home.

On Christmas Eve, 1968, as the Apollo 8 astronauts rounded the moon for the ninth time, they read the first ten verses from the Book of Genesis back to Earth. They ended their reading with, “God bless all of you, all of you on the good Earth.”  Read more

The Power of Business to Lift Communities Out of Poverty

This month we are exploring different motives a missional entrepreneur may have for pursuing business as mission as their strategy of choice. In this fourth post, we are exploring the power of business in lifting individuals and communities out of poverty.

Business is uniquely positioned as an essential and sustainable solution to ending poverty. Current global economic shifts and technological advances are creating a unique opportunity at this point to bring this goal in reach. Business by its nature is a relational activity, and a potentially transformational activity. Business not only creates jobs, it is where networks and relationships are the norm, creating networks and relationships that are essential for community restoration and transformation.

I believe the only long-term solution to world poverty is business.  That is because business produces goods, and businesses produce jobs.  And businesses continue producing goods year after year, and continue providing jobs and paying wages year after year.  Therefore if we are ever going to see long-term solutions to world poverty, I believe it will come through starting and maintaining productive, profitable business. — Wayne Grudem, Business for the Glory of God

 

The role of businesses and job creation in ending poverty

Thriving businesses and job creation are vital for ending poverty. Kaushik Basu, the Chief Economist and Senior Vice President at World Bank states, “Jobs are the best insurance against poverty and vulnerability” (World Bank, 2013). John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods, shares from his own business experience, “Business is the greatest creator of value in the world. It’s helped lift humanity out of poverty and into prosperity” (Fox News, 2013).

From the voices of the poor themselves (in a survey of over 60,000), jobs and businesses were cited as major paths out of poverty:

In a large set of qualitative studies in low-income countries, two of the main reasons that people gave for moving out of poverty were finding jobs and starting businesses. (Narayan, Pritchett, and Kapoor, 2009)

The development world has reached a similar conclusion, that aid alone is not the solution to poverty. Renowned books, from Dead Aid, to When Helping Hurts, and Toxic Charity warn us of the destructive tendency of “us to them” aid that wears away at the dignity and productive capacity of people and communities. Read more

7 Creative Ways that Practitioners Integrate Business and Mission

Read this classic blog from our Archives, first published on The BAM Review blog in June 2015 and republished for the Summer Series 2022.

A defining characteristic of a BAM company is that it intentionally integrates mission with business. But what does that look like in practice? What are some creative ways that practitioners work out their goals for spiritual impact, alongside their commercial, social and environmental goals?

We asked a small group of practitioners to share what they do in the business context that moves them towards their missional goals and spiritual impact. This could be something they did when establishing the company, or practices they do on a regular basis in the day-to-day life of the business. The practitioners shared a diverse range of specific practices, but there were some common themes. These seven ways to integrate business and mission stood out:

Keep Purpose Front and Center

Keeping the purpose, vision and objectives of the company at the forefront emerged as a key principle. This is important all the way through the life of the company, from the planning stages and goal setting, to evaluating those goals and choosing measures, to on-boarding processes for new hires, to daily communication with employees. Read more

How Can We Measure an Organisation’s Kingdom Impact?

by James Waters

Five years ago, I quit my job to explore whether it was possible to measure the Kingdom of God coming through businesses and non-profits all over the world. My background was researching and helping the largest secular development organisations understand if they were being effective. I had seen how measuring complex aspects of human social and economic well-being, and organisations’ processes could move from seemingly impossible, to practical and standardised. And yet the concept of measuring ‘spiritual impact’ remained elusive.

Five years later, after hundreds of conversations, dozens of metrics reviewed, multiple assessment tools developed and organisations analysed, I am convinced it is not only possible, but critical. 

Several years ago, BAM Global identified three Big Hair Audience Goals (BHAGs) for the BAM movement at large. In order to know if we are making progress according to the first BHAG: ‘Solve global issues with innovative BAM solutions’ — we need to know if BAM organisations within the movement are having an impact! The recent State of the BAM Movement Report we published in partnership with BAM Global indicated that indeed, many companies are tackling social and spiritual issues, but we want to have evidence of that impact.

Likewise, we want to be good stewards of the resources God has entrusted to us. In my opinion, that looks like knowing the impact of our organisations or investments, so that we can a) help address the needs of those we are serving or working alongside more accurately, b) improve the processes of our organisations so we are more effective, and c) celebrate what God is doing with all our stakeholders.

But how can this be done? How can a Kingdom business leader move from anecdote about their spiritual and social impact, to actual evidence? And how can we become leaders who truly understand our Kingdom impact?[1]

The ‘How’ of Kingdom Impact Measurement

There are many ways to measure Kingdom Impact, but there are three key principles that I have learned from approaching this challenge to date:  Read more

Three Things the State of the BAM Movement Report Tells Us About BAM

by James Waters & Jo Plummer

As part of the lead-in to the BAM Global Congress last year, BAM Global, in partnership with Eido Research, conducted the State of the BAM Movement Survey to get a snapshot of the global business as mission movement. Watch James’ Video Introduction here.

In response to the Survey, Eido Research have produced a State of the BAM Movement Report. Here are three things it tells us:

1. The BAM Movement is Still Young, but Truly Global

Enough people responded to make a representative sample of our global list, and it revealed that it is still quite a young movement. The majority of companies are less than ten years old, and a good additional number (12% of surveyed) looking to start a business soon. However, the BAM Movement is truly global! Although there are a handful of countries where there is a concentration of BAM businesses, there is a diverse global spread.

 

The global map above shows the distribution of active BAM businesses,
according to their turnover. Each dot represents a country, the size of the
dot represents the number of businesses in that country, and the colour represents the average turnover.

 

As João Mordomo writes for the Foreword for Neal Johnson’s new book on BAM, “Business as mission is not a new concept. It has, however, taken on new meaning for the church and her mission in the 21st Century. The modern BAM Movement started about 25 years ago and, like other great movements of God — being God-ordained, God-ignited, God-led, and God-blessed — it began to take shape simultaneously in different places around the global by way of different and diverse groups of people.”

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The State of the BAM Movement Report Overview [Video]

Video Presentation by James Waters

 

 James Waters of Eido Research shares some preliminary findings from the results of the State of the BAM Movement Survey – recorded at the BAM Global Congress in April 2021.

>>Download State of the Movement Report Here

Read more