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