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Whose Business Is It? The Why of Business as Mission [Video]

Business as mission is a response to some of the world’s most pressing issues. Humans are exploited and trafficked. Communities are suffering with dire poverty. People around the world have never heard about the love of Jesus. Whose business is this? Why should it be ours?

Business as mission is also a growing movement. It is accelerating around the world! At BAM Global we are passionate about connecting individuals and organizations to help drive this movement forward. The BAM Global Summit is a great time to do this because it’s BAM… on a global scale. Hundreds of people gather for the same purpose: to get more connected and equipped for their own BAM journey.

Want to get a taste of online BAM events?
Want to be inspired for business as mission?
Want to find your ‘Why’?

Watch Annie Dieselberg’s incredible testimony and amazing challenge to us all in her keynote address at the BAM Global Congress in 2021.

 

“Trafficking for human beings is now tied for second place in illegal global crime. It is a global crisis affecting millions in every sphere of society, every gender, every age, every nation, every status. The roots run deep beneath the surface of everyday business. Without realizing it we walk on surfaces paved by exploited laborers,we wear garments made from the sweat of the desperate, we eat from the hands of the bound, we are entertained by the violated and we profit daily in part because somewhere, someone by no will of their own is supplying our wants, needs, and desires.” – Annie Dieselberg

Respond to the challenge… Join us at the BAM Global Summit on Thursday 9th May!

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Accelerate Your BAM Journey: Join the Summit

Business as Mission is a movement that is growing globally. It is accelerating around the world! At BAM Global we are passionate about connecting individuals and organizations to help drive this movement forward. The BAM Global Summit is one of the best times to do this because it’s BAM on a global scale. Hundreds of people gather for the same purpose: to accelerate the movement and get more connected and equipped for their own BAM journey.

 

Attendee Testimonies

Every year, after the Summit we get to hear testimonies about the connections that were made that lead to mobilised resources, new partnerships, new BAM businesses getting started, and so on. Here are a few things that past attendees have shared with us about what they gained by coming to an online BAM Global event:

 

Attending this summit and listening to the speakers and panelists, was really encouraging because I felt God confirming the desire to start a BAM and take the necessary steps to achieve that! – BZ, BAM Summit Attendee

 

Love seeing how BAM is growing around the world. God is moving in the marketplace! – CB, BAM Summit Attendee

 

For me, getting to know new people who are doing business as mission around the world and learning from them is the most important take away. I am not so good in attending online meetings, I have a kind of attention disorder when I am in them, but I really enjoyed meeting new people and listening to their stories. – Adrian Buhai, BAM Romania

 

I was encouraged by all the wisdom that God has granted many in the BAM network. We now have so many good examples to learn from and seasoned people to be coached by. – Hakan Sandberg, BAM Global Ambassador

 

I am encouraged by the devotional, all the testimonies of the business people, the workshops, my new network and everything in this event. I really enjoyed my first time experience. I really admire their desire to do business is not just to earn money but to really use this opportunity to share the gospel and reach the unreached. With all the helpful insights I heard today, I will apply the most applicable one to my new role and also to my small business. I will always remember that Christ should be the center and the goal is to reach the unreached and help the needy and also to provide services to people the people with less opportunity. – A, BAM Summit Attendee

 

I took away lessons from real BAM business experiences. It also reinforced that business as mission is one of the ways God uses to bring complete economic, social, environmental, and spiritual transformation, bringing dignity and life to people. It motivates me and encourages me to continue to work for this vision! – Samara Bramen, BAM Brasil

 

The greatest impact for me was being enlarged in what God is doing globally, and a view of how my work/life calling and BAM intersect! Kingdom expansion to bring all to Jesus. – WS, BAM Summit Attendee

 

I loved the diversity of people attending and the genuine desire to see more BAM activity in their region, plus all the encouraging stories of BAM projects already in action. – WG, BAM Summit Attendee

 

It was encouraging to see that the concept of business as mission has taken root across many regions of the world. It was also exciting to see a significant number of new entrepreneurs and those who are thinking of starting businesses learning about BAM through the event. The program was well designed with something new and valuable for everyone. I was encouraged to see that there are a growing number of BAMers from non-western countries, which I applaud. – Joseph Vijayam, BAM South Asia

 

I loved how Christ-centered the whole conference was! I definitely want to connect more and signed up for the online community. – Anon, BAM Summit Attendee

 

My major take away is the diversity, breadth and depth, and unity of the BAM movement. First, the unity of purpose of so many diverse faith traditions is inspiring and encouraging. BAM and the BAM Global events truly exemplify the Body of Christ as I believe Jesus intended. Second, much as Elijah needed to know he was not alone while in the wilderness, the conference showed us just how many BAM-involved people there are around the world. BAMers are not alone! If you feel that way, get involved in BAM Global and you will soon be a part of something so much bigger than you could’ve anticipated. – Mick Bates, BAM Academics

 

Compiled and edited by Jo Plummer.

 

REGISTER FOR BAM GLOBAL SUMMIT 2024

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to see what God is doing through business as mission and join in.

Join us at the BAM Global Summit this year!

 

 Jo Plummer is the co-chair of BAM Global and co-editor the Lausanne Occasional Paper on Business as Mission. She has been developing resources for BAM since 2001 and currently serves as Editor of the Business as Mission website and blog.

 

 

9 Keys for Successful BAM Deployment

Read this classic blog from our Archives, first published on The BAM Review blog in February 2016 and republished for the Summer Series 2022.

Here are 9 Keys for Successful BAM Deployment that have been themes shared over and over by experienced BAM practitioners and mentors. These are principles and practices observed over years of listening to BAM pioneers, writing BAM stories and collecting information about how to do BAM. Many of these Keys have been shared by BAMers and BAM leaders over the last few weeks as we have explored the topic ‘Launching Out and Landing Well’ – they come out in the stories, snippets, and teaching we’ve shared, as well as in the BAM Think Tank research we’ve been drawing on.

1. Walk with God

Abide in Christ. It’s essential to be connected to the Vine, a growing disciple of Jesus, if we are to bear fruit! That means spending time listening and talking to God in prayer and being attentive to His calling and direction for your life. It means growing in Godly character as you are rooted in His word, and opening up to spiritual input from others. Prayer is mentioned over and over by BAMers as a foundation stone for BAM in practice, at all stages: preparation, launch and continued growth. Having a sense of call and leading from God is another often cited core driver for BAMers. Spiritual formation through discipleship and teaching is a life-long pursuit – whether through books, sermons, devotional materials, courses, retreats or intentional relationships. Making yourself accountable to peers or elders that will challenge you to grow in Christ-like character is another way to keep soft and open to the refining work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Read more

Staying Mission True: Business as Mission Looking Forward

by Mats Tunehag

Part 3 of a 3 part series on Business as Mission: Roots, Scope & Future. Read Part 1 here and Part 2 here.

BHAGs: Big Hairy Audacious Goals

We have briefly reviewed the BAM concept’s historical roots, and painted a picture, albeit incomplete, of the scope and nature of the global BAM movement. Now, let’s look ahead. What are some of the challenges facing us?

Over the years and through the global conversations we’ve had, three major challenges have been identified. We call them BHAGs, these are major issues that can only be dealt with if we continue to stay on course and grow the strength of the movement. These are macro issues, which force us to think and act intergenerationally, and to intentionally build an eco-system to optimize holistic impact. They will not be achieved by one company, organization or network alone, but through collaborative effort.

Let me briefly describe them, in no particular order.

1. Align Views of Business with Biblical Principles

BAM is not a technique, but a worldview and a lifestyle. Or as BAM Global puts it: “Business as mission is not simply a method or strategy; it encompasses a worldview and business praxis based on biblical principles and the church’s teaching.”[1]

The sacred-secular divide has been an ongoing issue throughout the history of the church. But Pope John Paul II clearly states: “There cannot be two parallel lives in their existence: on the one hand, the so-called “spiritual” life, with its values and demands; and on the other, the so-called “secular” life, that is, life in a family, at work, in social relationships, in the responsibilities of public life and in culture. … This split between the faith which many profess and their daily lives deserves to be counted among the more serious errors of our age.”[2]

Back to BAM Global’s BHAG statement:

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The Present Movement: Business as Mission Today

by Mats Tunehag

Part 2 of a 3 part series on Business as Mission: Roots, Scope & Future. Read Part 1 here.

Why is There a BAM Movement?

Each generation has to review and highlight old-age concepts and truths and see how they apply to today’s context. That includes various arenas and constituencies, like business, church, and academia.

While acknowledging our roots, we also recognize the emergence of a global BAM movement in our generation. Today we can talk about a global BAM movement – we could not do that 25 years ago. Today there are tens of thousands of businesses on all continents on a BAM journey. Today there are churches and denominations embracing Business as Mission. Today most of the oldest and biggest Evangelical mission agencies in the world are pursuing BAM. Today there are many academic institutions teaching BAM and producing Master and Doctoral theses on Business as Mission. This was not the case just a few decades ago.

Thus, we may ask: why is there a global BAM movement? How did that come about? First and foremost, we recognize that God is the ultimate initiator and conductor of the movement. But allow me to also mention three essential building blocks: common language, communication and collaboration.

Without a common language you cannot communicate. If you cannot communicate you cannot collaborate, and it will lead to disconnected initiatives with limited impact.

BAM Global Think Tank

BAM Global has since 2002 focused on creating and sharing intellectual and social capital. What does that mean? An underlying principle is the belief that there is wisdom in the counsel of many. To that end we have been facilitating global listening processes, where voices from both history and today’s world could be heard, discussions were held, and documented.[1] These inclusive and participatory conversations created ownership of the concept, which continues to be discussed and shared in many languages and contexts. We have also brought people together to not only listen, share and learn, but also to connect and act. The BAM Manifesto and the Wealth Creation Manifesto are essential for establishing a common language for communication and collaboration, to create greater impact. See the BAM A – Z booklet which also expresses the common BAM language.[2]

The 2nd BAM Global Think Tank (2011 – 2013) started over 30 national, regional and international working groups, dealing with BAM in a particular country or region, or BAM related to issues like poverty, human trafficking, unreached peoples, metrics, funding and incubation. Many of these groups produced a report, but the ongoing conversations also catalyzed BAM initiatives around the world which further propelled the global movement. Today there is a growing number of BAM Global Ambassadors serving regions and issues.[3]

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Deeply Rooted: Business as Mission Looking Back

by Mats Tunehag

Part 1 of a 3 part series on Business as Mission: Roots, Scope & Future

She was amazed and perplexed at the same time. She was treated with respect and dignity. She was a woman challenged with disabilities. But her life had changed. With little or no prospect of ever getting a job, she was now working in a manufacturing company. She was creative, she had made friends, and she made money.

Women in this country and religious context were treated as second-class citizens. If they had mental or physical handicaps they were often further down.

But the company she worked for employed and offered jobs with dignity to women with disabilities. It was unheard of, and it made a huge difference not only in her life, but also for the other women who worked there. It even had a transformational impact on families and the community.

This woman asked herself: why is this workplace so different? It changes lives on many levels. She knew that the founder and CEO was a follower of Jesus. So she told herself: If that’s what it means to be a follower of Jesus, I will also follow him. It was a huge and risky step for a handicapped woman in a conservative Muslim environment.

What brought her to Christ? A gospel tract? A Jesus film? A bible study? No, it was human resource management informed by biblical values, underpinned with prayer. Ultimately, it was, of course, God’s doing.

BAM: Concept, Practice, Movement

This true story from the Middle East points towards three aspects of Business as Mission, BAM, which is about serving God and people in and through business, with a Great Commission perspective. BAM is a biblical concept, which is practiced and applied by people around the world with a wide variety of backgrounds, which together form a global movement.

BAM Global has since 2002 engaged around 500 significant leaders in business, church, missions & NGOs and academia, from about 50 countries, in global conversations about the concept and the practice. This has resulted in about 30 peer produced and peer reviewed think tank reports, and two manifestos which summarize our findings [1]. The global and participatory nature of the think tank processes have created an unprecedented spread and ownership of the BAM concept.[2]

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Where is Further Research Needed and Who Else Should We Be Listening To?

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 also asked us:

Where is further research needed? To whom else should we be listening?

We received input from 25 global leaders on theses question especially as it relates to business as mission.

Where is further research needed?

In answer to areas for further research, three broad areas stood out:

1. Mission Strategy
  • Effective church planting and how best to reach unreached peoples today
  • Polycentric mission, mobilising near- or same-culture workers
  • Integral mission strategies, especially enterprise-related
  • Cross-cultural understanding
  • Utilising technology in mission

There are abundant Kingdom resources scattered around the globe, for example, global south billionaires to Christian diaspora communities in least reached nations. These need to be better mapped so we can identify how to capitalize on these resources and where to find additionally needed resources.
HE

With respect to unreached people groups there is much practical research needed to locate Christians and identify those among them who are entrepreneurial. Furthermore, in this context, there is a need to identify the existence of trade and its potential for growth in the short, medium and long terms.
RSH

An area where we need research would be in best practices of utilizing technology and social media as instruments of fulfilling the Great Commission. 
SV

The mapping of those least reached, especially those hidden in plain sight among larger groupings, will certainly help business planners assess how to integrate business necessities such as market size, labour pools, supply chains and resources with missional objectives to reach the unreached.
CS 

The church should follow and further growing research on how corporate culture is formed and functions, and the possible role of corporate culture in evangelism. St. Francis was attributed as saying, “Preach the gospel at all times. Use words if necessary.” Business culture with its daily opportunities for values-based decisions may become a fruitful foundation upon which to disciple all nations, paving the way for the preaching and receiving of the gospel. Research would help us know with more certainty to what extent this is true and the means by which this might occur to best further the Great Commission.
RN 

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In What Areas is Greater Collaboration Most Critical?

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 also asked us:

In what areas is greater collaboration most critical in order to see the fulfillment of the Great Commission?

We received input from 25 global leaders on this question especially as it relates to business as mission. Four themes emerged as follows, illuminated by some direct quotes from leaders:

1. Collaboration between clergy and laity; between the business sphere and the church, mission agencies, and theological institutions.

2. Collaboration and openness by Evangelicals with other church traditions; overcoming barriers to hearing and learning from other perspectives, both political and theological.

3. Collaboration between geographical regions; working against nationalism and communicating and partnering with cultural humility.

4. Collaboration between organisations, and especially different parts of the BAM ecosystem; reducing redundancy, resource wastage and destructive competition.

 

1. Collaboration between clergy and laity; between the business sphere and the church, mission agencies, and theological institutions

I commend the Wealth Creation Manifesto as a foundation for cooperation between the BAM movement and mission organisations. There is great suspicion of business among mission organisations, much of it based on observation of the unethical (Babylonian) way in which so much business occurs.
RSH

The institutional church needs to recognize that itself alone would never be enough to see the fulfilment of the Great Commission. We need missional leaders from all walks of life: the marketplace, the media, the government, etc. to share the vision together and to collaborate.
FKT

There needs to be a much greater collaboration between the business as mission movement and the institutional church. Most pastors do not understand the God of Business, and many perpetuate the dichotomy between “sacred” and “secular.” Many BAM ministries find the church difficult to move in and through, so this work is done in NGOs outside of the church. But once a denomination does commit to this idea, so many pastors are happy to receive this news, because it is a win-win-win-win. It is a win for the business owner, the business itself, the church, and the community. This is powerful.  There is no downside.
RRT  Read more

Resources & Prayer Requests from Our Global Network

One of our goals here at The BAM Review, and in all our work, is ‘to put more global into BAM Global‘. We want to strengthen and invigorate the BAM movement in all parts of the world, creating greater depth and breadth globally.

To continue our ‘BAM: A Global Glimpse‘ series of blogs, we asked nine of our BAM Global Ambassadors to share what resources were available from their network, their plans for the future, and how we can pray for them.

 

What are the plans and activities in your region or issue network for the next 12 months? What resources do you have to share with people? How do people connect with you?

 

ROMANIA

We are planning a BAM event on 16th October, in Bucharest, where the youth from the BAM Incubator program will be able to pitch their business in front of potential angel investors.

I visited and connected with those who are doing Business as Mission in Romania and I wrote down their story on the BAM Romania website. We also want to translate and create some video resources for the BAM Romania website and social media. We are planning to find and visit people who are doing BAM in Romania and write up their story or create a short video with their story.

Connect with us through the BAM Romania website and social media pages:

BAM Romania Website

Facebook

YouTube

Adrian Buhai, BAM Romania

BRAZIL

Our main activity is to organize resources for social media, spread the vision, seek partnerships with other institutions, raise funds, and build a team. I also direct people interested in BAM to find courses, lectures, and partners in the BAM ecosystem operating in Brazil. Plans for the next 12 months include the registration of BAM Brasil as an organisation, developing the website, and the creation of a framework that will allow BAM Brasil to generate resources so that it can grow. We continue to establish as the main BAM network in Brazil, offering events, and training for entrepreneurs, churches, universities and missionary agencies. We’ve been mapping and strengthening the ecosystem for BAM in Brazil and work by partnering with other groups, involving them in our events. Today our partners in the BAM ecosystem include: Mission Agencies, e.g. Crossover, YWAM; Theological seminaries, e.g. FATEV, FABAPAR; International Networks, e.g. Tent Brasil, Open Brasil; Incubators and Investors, e.g. Bluefields, Lightup, Goldstreet Venture Capital; Companies, e.g. Snowman Labs and Asaweb, and many others.

Our main channels are:

Instagram

Facebook

YouTube

Telegram

People can connect directly with us via Instagram. Look out for our new website coming soon, along with our new team email address and contact form.

Samara Bramen, BAM Brasil

SOUTH ASIA

For the BAM South Asia region, we are organizing webinars every two months on helpful topics. Our next regional conference will be in February 2022, Lord willing.  All the major marketplace ministries in the region are now a part of the BAM South Asia Network: ICCC, FCCI, CBMC, BLG, BMFI, Partners Worldwide, etc.

Find out more at the BAM South Asia website. The webinars are listed on that site and people can connect with us via:

Facebook

Email

We also have WhatsApp groups and a mailing list, people can join by invitation through the other channels and marketplace networks mentioned above. Read more

BAM Global Ambassadors: Congress Take Aways

As part of our ‘BAM: A Global Glimpse‘ series of blogs, we asked nine BAM Global Ambassadors to share what they took away from the recent BAM Global Congress.

 

What are your take aways from the BAM Global Congress, including the lead-in webinars, the April main event and follow-up webinars? What have you learned? What has encouraged you?

 

For me, getting to know new people who are doing business as mission around the world and learning from them is the most important take away from the BAM Global Congress. I am not so good in attending online meetings, I have a kind of attention disorder when I am in them, but I really enjoyed meeting new people and listening to their stories, like Hakan from Itzinya, Marian from Turbocam and others.
Adrian Buhai, BAM Romania

 

I took away lessons from real BAM business experiences. It also reinforced that business as mission is one of the ways God uses to bring complete economic, social, environmental, and spiritual transformation, bringing dignity and life to people. It motivates me and encourages me to continue to work for this vision!
Samara Bramen, BAM Brasil

 

It was encouraging to see that the concept of business as mission has taken root across many regions of the world. It was also exciting to see a significant number of new entrepreneurs and those who are thinking of starting businesses learning about BAM through the Congress. The program was well designed with something new and valuable for everyone. The session on “Dealing with Corruption” seemed helpful to many from the Global South. I was encouraged to see that there are a growing number of BAMers from non-western countries, which I applaud.
Joseph Vijayam, BAM South Asia

 

The Congress was really a great event! I was excited about how it was organised. I think that the Congress, with the longer time frame of the pre- and post-congress meetings, plus the possibility to connect in groups or one-on-one gave even more opportunities than an in-person three day Congress would have done. For me to see how all these things were organised is the most important part of the Congress. Of course there were a lot of interesting speakers but I can hardly choose amongst them.
Mikhail Dubrovskiy, BAM Russia

 

From the lead-in pre-Congress webinars, I had been aware of BAM Global but this gave me the opportunity to connect and learn more about the global movement. From the main April Congress, it was so inspiring to get a snapshot of the impact of business for the Great Commission. It was also very motivating to see the immense need for BAM to gain a strong traction in Africa and to make connections with a wide variety of people who would benefit the new BAM Southern Africa network through their experience and expertise. From the post-Congress series, it was excellent to be able to follow up with people and good for networking.
Derick Slabbert, BAM Southern Africa

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