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The Impact of the Wealth Creation Manifesto Globally

It is now three years since the Global Consultation on The Role of Wealth Creation for Holistic Transformation and subsequent publications. During August and September 2020, we’ve published a series of articles on wealth creation, reflecting on the eleven affirmations in the Wealth Creation Manifesto, which now exists in 17 languages:

Arabic 

بيان خلق الثروة Wealth Creation Manifesto Arabic

We praise the Lord for all the gifts He has given us. As written in the Bible and the Wealth Creation Manifesto, among them is the gift of wealth creation. Due to the increase in unemployment, the refugee crisis and the economic situation across the Middle East, we urge the church to build the earth and do its part in carrying out the appeals of the Manifesto. The Church of God should act for the glory of God to be realized among all peoples.

Joshua

نحمد الرب من اجل كل المواهب التي اعطاها لنا لمجده. كما هو مذكور في الكتاب المقدس وفي البيان، من ضمن هذه المواهب ‘خلق الثروة’. بسبب ارتفاع البطالة وازمة اللاجئين والوضع الاقتصادي بمجتمعنا وفي الشرق الاوسط بشكل عام، نحن نحث الكنيسة على اعمار الارض وعلى ان تقوم بدورها بالطلبات المذكورة في مناشدة البيان. يجب ان كنيسة الله تعمل لتحقق مجد الله في كل الشعوب

Bahasa Indonesia 

Manifesto Penciptaan / Kekayaan (Wealth Creation Manifesto Bahasa Indonesia)

We are grateful to see the work of Wealth Creation Manifesto, it provides us the framework to both understand and communicate same frequency, the “DNA” of Business As Mission movement worldwide. The urgency and importance for other relevant stakeholders (churches, marketplace leaders, society) to join the cause will help to establish sustainable ecosystem for BAM in the future.

Julian Foe, Kingdom Business Community

 

Chinese 

富宣言 () 拷貝 (Wealth Creation Manifesto – Simplified Chinese)

In Chinese-speaking areas of the business world, business is too often considered by nature unethical and that anything is acceptable if one makes a profit.  The Wealth Creation Manifesto shows that business and work come as a blessing from the Lord, requiring that as Christians we see our faith and work as integrated.

Dwight Nordstrom

 在商界的华语圈,经商往往被认为是不道德的,因为商人只要有利润,任何东西都可以接受。本文则表明,经商和工作都是上帝的祝福,要求作为基督徒,我们要把我们的信仰和工作视为一体。

創富宣言 (正體) 拷貝 (Wealth Creation Manifesto – Traditional Chinese)

我欣賞「創富宣言」呼籲教會、商界、政府和學界的領袖,將「創富」作為我們對社會整體轉化的核心使命。

宣言突顯了創富源於創造萬物的神,祂創造了一個豐富、充滿多樣性的世界。創富者應當受教會接納,經裝備後被派到各國的職場服務。

經過全球大流行的衝擊後,我們更需要以嶄新的思維和方式,加上堅毅的精神創造不同的財富,包括社會的、知識的、物質的和屬靈層面的財富,期望創富者堅持不懈,努力用神所賜他們的恩賜去服侍神和人。~ 東尼 ~

It is appreciated that the “Wealth Creation Manifesto” calls leaders in business, church, government and academia to embrace wealth creation as central to our mission of holistic transformation of peoples and societies.

The manifesto highlights that wealth creation is rooted in God the Creator, who created a world that flourishes with abundance and diversity.  Wealth creators should be affirmed by the Church, equipped and deployed to serve in the marketplace among all peoples and nations.

After the impact of the global pandemic, we need even more new thinking and methods coupled with persistence to create different kinds of wealth, including social, intellectual, physical and spiritual wealth.  I hope that wealth creators will persevere and strive to serve God and people with the gifts God has given them.

Tony

Dutch 

Manifest voor Welvaartschepping / Wealth Creation Manifesto Dutch

My first encounter with the Manifesto was a breakthrough in my thinking about wealth, creating wealth and being wealthy as a Christian. To read these affirmations inspire me and many others to continue what we are doing, based on biblical foundations.

We are a group of people who with enthusiasm and energy are developing a BAM network in the Netherlands.  With the manifesto we feel a part of a much larger movement, part of the Body of Christ. The Manifesto helps us to explain who we are, what we do, why we are doing it, and what we are accountable for.

Ad maiorem Dei gloriam – Voor de grotere eer van God 

Bert Dorr, BAM Nederland

English 

Wealth Creation Manifesto

Wealth Creation Manifesto with Bible References

The 2019 Global Workplace Forum in Manila underscored the critically important role as well as opportunity that Christians in the workplace have in advancing the gospel, and contributing to human flourishing in every dimension of life. The Wealth Creation Manifesto highlights the importance of workplace endeavors that provide jobs and multiply resources for the benefit of entire communities. It celebrates the contribution of creative entrepreneurs as God’s image-bearers, and provides a biblically-based and historically proven route to alleviate poverty. Its eleven affirmations and three appeals warrant careful study and discussion as well as energetic action.

David Bennett, Lausanne Movement

Farsi 

بیانیه تولید درآمد (ایجاد سرمایه) Wealth Creation Manifesto – Farsi

The business principles of wealth creation allows God-given gifts to serve God and people.  Up until now, many churches, groups and even cultures would shy away from this principle simply because they didn’t fully comprehend its Biblical roots and its role in holistic transformation of cultures.  The underground church in Iran is experiencing an explosive growth and part of its sustainability and longevity depends directly on its comprehension of the role of wealth creation.  Wealth creation should no longer be a taboo, but a norm for the Church and society.

Dr. Mike Ansari, CEO of Heart4Iran

مسیحی از این حقیفت به دلیل چالشهای فرهنگی و بومی دوری کرده اند. ریشه ایجاد ثروت و تولید درآمد و ایجاد سرمایه را میتوان در کتاب مقدس مطالعه کرد و اهمیت آن را به عنوان عامل تحول مثبت در جامعه ارزیابی نمود.  از اینرو با در دست داشتن بیانیه تولید در آمد، قدم مثبتی را میتوان برای جامعه مان برداریم.  به امید اینکه روحیه تشویق ، محبت و صداقت برای تجهیزو راه اندازی سرمایه گذاران بخشی اززمینه فرهنگی و ماموریت مرکزی جامعه شود.

دکترمایک انصاری، مدیر مؤسسه Heart4Iran

French 

Manifeste de création de richesse : Wealth Creation Manifesto Français

Mon champ de bataille, en tant qu’entrepreneur, est en particulier le monde francophone et plus spécifiquement en Afrique. Le Manifesto pour la création de richesse est ma passion et ma vision depuis bon nombre d’années et le monde francophone a plus que jamais besoin d’adopter et de vulgariser une telle vision et un tel engagement. Le monde francophone soupire après l’émergence de ces créateurs de richesses, engagés dans la lutte contre toutes les pauvretés, reconnus et encouragés par la communauté des églises. Ils ne doivent pas seulement se limiter à être des consultants mais bien à devenir des entrepreneurs, porteurs d’innovations, créateurs de richesses et d’emplois.

My battlefield, as an entrepreneur, is particularly the French-speaking world and more specifically in Africa. The Manifesto for Wealth Creation has been my passion and vision for many years, and the French-speaking world needs more than ever to adopt and popularize such a vision and commitment. The French-speaking world longs for wealth creators, engaged in the fight against all forms of poverty, recognized and encouraged by the community of churches. They must not limit themselves to being only consultants but to becoming entrepreneurs, bearers of innovation, creators of wealth and employment.

Etienne Atger

German 

Reichtumserzeugungsmanifest : Wealth Creation Manifesto Deutsch

I appreciate the manifesto because it does not condemn wealth for Christians but appeals to people to create and share wealth for the Kingdom of God, and for the common good of society. In Germany, we need Christians in all spheres of society to be blessed and be a blessing. I hope the Manifesto will encourage us to be excellent in our work while glorifiying God through our resources. In the end, everything is from him, through him and for him.”

Evi Rodemann

Hindi 

Wealth Creation Manifesto

The wealth creation manifesto is a key document for the church in India because it dispels the common myth in our culture that wealth creation and Christian calling are contradictory.  The manifesto articulates the reason and purpose of wealth creation by the people of God.  I hope that many will read it and act on it in line with God’s plan for His people.

Joseph Vijayam

Japanese 

Wealth Creation Manifesto Japanese

I always appreciate the manifesto because it provides us with a basic theological affirmation on the role of wealth creation. I hope that the manifesto will continue encouraging Japanese Christians who are engaging in business to unleash their creative potential to effectively serve the Lord and people for His glory.

Tetsuya Morita, Tokyo Christian University

Korean 

Wealth Creation Manifesto Korean

I appreciate the Manifesto because it covers important aspects of the business from the viewpoints of creating wealth biblically according to the Creator’s intent, beneficially for people at large, and holistically addressing the holistic needs of people. I trust that such missional businesses will honor, please, and glorify God. I pray that the Manifesto will shape and sharpen the viewpoints of people – churches and businessmen alike – to help advance God’s Kingdom in and through business in the marketplaces, particularly in the marginalized areas including North Korea.

Jeffrey Lee

Portuguese 

Manifesto Sobre a Criação de Riqueza Wealth Creation Manifesto – Portuguese

No Brasil, precisamos renovar nossas mentes com relação à criação de riqueza e seu papel no Reino de Deus, que é compartilhar recursos intencionalmente e, assim, avançar em justiça e transformação do Evangelho para a glória de Deus. O Manifesto de Criação de Riqueza está provando ser um recurso tremendo para cumprir essa visão.

In Brazil, we need to renew our minds with respect to wealth creation and its role in God’s Kingdom, which is to share resources intentionally and thus move forward in justice and Gospel transformation to the glory of God. The Wealth Creation Manifesto is proving to be a tremendous resource to fulfill this vision.

Samara Brandao, BAM Brasil

Romanian

Manifestul pentru crearea de bogatie Wealth Creation Manifesto Romanian

As an entrepreneur, I appreciate the Wealth Creation Manifesto because it emphasizes the importance of creating goods and services. “There is no wealth to be shared unless it has been created”. In Romania, the church emphasizes the importance of giving. I hope that the church from Romania will understand the manifesto and will value Christian business people and entrepreneurs as part of their mission. Also, I hope that business people from Romania will understand that their business is their mission and God uses it to heal the world.

Adrian Buhai

Russian

Wealth Creation Manifesto Russian Манифест «Создание материальных благ и библейская перспектива»

Большинство евангельских христиан в Евразии считают, что ЕДИНСТВЕННАЯ задача христианина – это рассказывать другим людям о том, какое значение имеет смерть и воскресение Иисуса Христа. Многие считают, что улучшение качества жизни и восполнение материальных нужд не только не является служением Богу, но часто даже препятствует исполнению Великого Поручения, поскольку люди в нужде быстрее откликаются на проповедь. Манифест о создании материальных благ показывает, насколько эта деятельность важна в глазах Бога. И что она сама по себе является неотъемлемой частью Радостной Вести.

Most еvangelicals in Eurasia believe that our only task is to tell others about the story about the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Many believe that improving the quality of life and meeting material needs is not a real ministry. And even more:, many evangelicals believe this hinders the fulfillment of the Great Commission, because people in need respond faster to the Good News. The Wealth Creation Manifesto shows how important this activity is in the eyes of God, and that it is an integral part of the Good News.

Mikhail Dubrovskiy, BAM Russia

Spanish 

Manifiesto de creación de riqueza Wealth Creation Manifesto Espanol

Many Christians have been very concerned with several aspects of the so-called ‘Prosperity Gospel’, and rightly so. Nonetheless, many times this concern may lead us to some sort of animosity toward the creation of wealth, as if wealth creation could never be a gift from God.  My prayer is that in Latin America, where social disparities are so marked, the well-balanced and biblically based content of the ‘Wealth Creation Manifesto’ will contribute to bring awareness to one of the topics that should be at the top of our Christian agenda.

Marcos Amado, Founder and Director of ‘Martureo Center for Missiological Reflection’

Swedish

Manifest om välståndsskapande / Wealth Creation Manifesto Swedish 

In the Nordic countries we need to understand that wealth creation is part of our purpose as co-creators with God. Furthermore, we need to take more initiatives. We should use all the inventiveness and entrepreneurship our region has been known for, to bring glory to God, and bring justice, freedom and development to our world. The Wealth Creation Manifesto gives the church a clear description of our God given mandate and responsibility to challenge and send also our entrepreneurs into all nations, to obey the Lord by using skills and experiences to solve problems, create jobs and welfare.

Hakan Sandberg

Turkish 

Wealth Creation Manifesto – Turkce

Bir Türk Hristiyan, pastör ve yaşamının büyük bir bölümünü seküler iş ortamında geçirmiş biri olarak, bu manifestoyu sevinçle karşılıyorum. Özellikle bu manifesto aracılığı ile tüm Hristiyanların Tanrı’nın kusursuz yaradılışının bir parçası olan işlerimizinde Tanrı’nın yüceliği için kullanılabileceği bütünsel bir iman anlayışını arttıracağını ümit ediyorum.

I am so pleased to hear the manifesto which I welcome wholeheartedly as a Turkish Christian, a pastor and a person who worked in secular field most of his life. I particularly welcome its holistic understanding of mission, where our so called secular life is part of God’s good creation to be redeemed and used for God’s glory.

Revd Engin Yildirim, Team Vicar at St Michael at Bowes Parish Church

More in this series:

Wealth Creation Manifesto: Affirming the Role of Business People in God’s Plan for the World
Shaping Our Views on Wealth, Wealth Creation and Wealth Creators
Creating Wealth for God’s Glory and the Common Good
Business Is a Holy Calling That Should Be Affirmed by the Church
Alleviating Poverty by Creating Businesses and Sharing Wealth
Business as an Agent of Human Flourishing and the Greater Glory of God
Business as Good News to the Poor
A Cup of Cold Water: Business and the Stewardship of Creation

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

More Resources

Download: PDF of the Wealth Creation Manifesto

Read: Wealth Creation Manifesto with Bible References

Read: Calling the Church to affirm Wealth Creators

Download: Wealth Creation Papers:

Click on image to open BAM Global Reports page

 

 

 

 

A Cup of Cold Water: Business and the Stewardship of Creation

by Mark Polet

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.

The purpose of this blog is to reflect and comment on the eleventh affirmation of the Wealth Creation Manifesto:

11. Creation care is not optional. Stewardship of creation and business solutions to environmental challenges should be an integral part of wealth creation through business.

The Wealth Creation Manifesto is an integrated whole, and so I would like to continue from Dr. Rod St. Hill’s blog on affirmations 7 and 8. Rod argues that the BAM movement is committed to the quadruple bottom line – economic, social, environmental and spiritual. He then quotes Amartya Sen, saying threats to environmental sustainability is an ‘unfreedom’ that must be overcome to foster development.

Creation is a gift from God. Eons ago, God created everything we need right now for our businesses. What are we going to do with the gift?’ Specifically, how do we “set the captives free” [1] answering the challenge given by Rod St. Hill?’

Part of the answer lies in Matthew 25:

‘35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

Many of the unreached areas also have the highest water stress and/or the poorest air quality. [2] What if we as wealth creators provide clean water, clean air, clean food or clean energy to help people flourish? Think of the benefits of a restored creation along with restored hearts.

My colleague Anugraha Gaikwad and I have the pleasure of working with wealth creators who are doing this very thing. They are working with local community leaders in unreached areas. They are offering plastics recycling, clean water technology, waste-to-energy solutions, improved sanitation systems, waste-to-product initiatives, clean energy alternatives (both on shore and near shore), and products from natural sources. I challenge you as wealth creators to join your colleagues. Be the one to bring a cup of cold water and you will have the chance to share living water.

There is a consequence if we do not use our talents accordingly. I quote my colleague Revd. Dr. Dave Bookless [3],

‘(T)he later verses of the same parable (Matthew 25:41-46) “Depart from me you who are cursed … For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me’’ are equally applicable to BAM. If we fail to take account of the impact of our business activities on the poorest and most vulnerable, whether through causing pollution, over-exploiting natural resources, or putting profit above people and planet, we are judged by Jesus’ comments in these verses.’ [4]

Jesus does not mince words. The choice is ours as wealth creators. We must take into account our impact on the environment and use God’s gift of creation so all God’s creatures may be set free.

Creation groans. [5] Help make it sing. [6]

 

ENDNOTES

[1]  Luke 4:18-19

[2] soon to be published work by Mark Polet and Anugraha Gaikwad through BAM Global

[3] A Rocha. (2020). Revd Dr Dave Bookless.  available at  https://www.arocha.org/en/people/dave-bookless/

[4] Bookless, Dave. (2020). Email communication. 2020 June 23.

[5] Romans 8:22

[6] Psalm 19:1

More in this series:

Wealth Creation Manifesto: Affirming the Role of Business People in God’s Plan for the World
Shaping Our Views on Wealth, Wealth Creation and Wealth Creators
Creating Wealth for God’s Glory and the Common Good
Business Is a Holy Calling That Should Be Affirmed by the Church
Alleviating Poverty by Creating Businesses and Sharing Wealth
Business as an Agent of Human Flourishing and the Greater Glory of God
Business as Good News to the Poor

mark polet july 2018 031Mark Polet is a professional biologist with over 40 years of experience. Working on four continents, Mark and his wife Terri bridge cultures and traditions with people of good will to serve those who are spiritually and materially impoverished. Mark is passionate about bringing engineers, scientists, and business together to develop solutions to challenging environmental issues. Mark has the privilege to coordinate the BAM Global Creation Care Consultation. Prior to working in the impact business space, Mark & Terri owned a number of companies, including an environmental services company and an environmental consultancy.

 

 

 

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

More Resources

Download: PDF of the Wealth Creation Manifesto

Read: Wealth Creation Manifesto with Bible References

Read: Calling the Church to affirm Wealth Creators

Download: Wealth Creation Papers:

Click on image to open BAM Global Reports page

 

 

Photo by Luis Tosta on Unsplash

Profile photo by Lucie Leduc

 

Business as Good News to the Poor

by Rachel Rose Nelson

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.

Affirmations 9 and 10 of the Wealth Creation Manifesto addresses the power of business to lift people out of poverty and fight injustice:

9. Wealth creation through business has proven power to lift people and nations out of poverty.
10. Wealth creation must always be pursued with justice and a concern for the poor, and should be sensitive to each unique cultural context.

Taken as a whole, the Wealth Creation Manifesto builds a sort of theology of business. It starts where every good theology must – in the identity of God, rooting the reader in the wealth creator’s role model – no less than the Creator of Heaven and Earth. It continues through affirmations of wealth creation as a holy calling, a provocative claim to many church and business leaders alike. But those willing to suspend disbelief at claims of holiness soon reach Affirmations 9 and 10 which tread on nothing less than the holy ground of Jesus’ own announcement of his ministry, words he drew directly from the prophet Isaiah:

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.

Luke 4:18-19

Jesus defined his ministry by its benefit to the poor. The people of Nazareth were moved at first but quickly turned against him. Many explain the drastic shift occurred as the crowd realized the man they knew since childhood was essentially claiming to be Messiah. But it’s worth noting that it was directly after Jesus denied big blessings for his own people that they moved to throw him off a cliff.

Wealth Creators on the Sidelines?

Are we so very different? How do we in the church receive these two Affirmations? Too often we love wealth creators when we think the blessings from their benevolence are headed our way, funding church programs, global missions, and charity to the poor, etc.. However, many harbor suspicions about what good can possibly be accomplished for God’s Kingdom by the businesses themselves.

And how do we in business receive the prophetic summons to bless the poor and vulnerable when stewarding our gifts? Most faith-driven entrepreneurs are certainly willing to give out of the overflow of their business, but never ask God how to use their business model to model Christ, making Him manifest in the places and for the people who need Him most.

Now more than ever we cannot afford for faith-driven wealth creators to be sidelined in the work of reaching the poor and setting captives free. Studies predict the economic impact from COVID-19 could increase global poverty by as much as half a billion people. This will be the first time that poverty has increased globally in thirty years, with people struggling to fulfill the most basic needs like health, education, and access to water, sanitation, and other essentials. [1]

Fighting the Injustice of Modern Slavery and Poverty

And modern slavery, linked as it is to poverty, is predicted to rise rapidly amid the economic vulnerability created by the global pandemic. The International Labor Organization recently reported millions of men, women and children will fall prey to human traffickers promising work and decent jobs. [2]

Pause here. As wealth creators we can become numb to the overwhelming needs of the world. Statistics like those above remain just numbers, without the power to move us from our positions of relative comfort. This is and always has been the curse of kings. We know from Scripture it took prophets willing to face death to move the hearts of kings, who had often grown calloused, ultimately building their own kingdoms alongside or sometimes even rather than God’s. We judge their blindness but many times miss our own.

What is God calling wealth creators to bring to earth as it is in heaven? What is good news to the poor? Many say charity. But if you ask the poor, what most want is a good job. [3]

According to the United Nations and many others engaged in global poverty reduction efforts, job creation has been and continues to be essential. [4]  It is clear: bringing good news to the poor means bringing a job, but not just any job. After all, even those being trafficked and exploited are employed. As faith-driven entrepreneurs we should aim at nothing less than providing jobs that carry out the ministry Christ first proclaimed, making Him manifest for those held captive in the clutches of poverty. That kind of job turns good news into the Gospel.

Blessing the Poor and Captive, Through Business

Andy Crouch, Praxis Partner for Theology & Culture asks, “What would it look like if Christians were committed to living redemptively – actively moving into systems that are bywords for corruption and caveat emptor, and changing the whole game?”[5]  I have seen firsthand what that looks like. In my role as Executive Director of Freedom Business Alliance I have witnessed a global network of leaders building businesses to provide dignified jobs for survivors of human trafficking. It is a mission that requires daily sacrifice on behalf of leaders who could very easily find more success walking down almost any other professional avenue. Yet these leaders remain. They labor daily to build Christ-like communities of support and development only possible in places of employment, but so rarely found in the regions in which they operate. Together they are reimagining business at the intersection of the Cultural Mandate and the Great Commission.

The regions in which they operate are predominantly developing economies, where extreme poverty and modern slavery are all too prevalent and decent jobs scarce. These are places faith-driven wealth creators are desperately needed. But as Affirmation 10 of our Manifesto maintains, when we go into all the world, we must enter with sensitivity so as not to repeat the sins of the past. We bring some important resources but certainly not all. We bring some answers but must first seek understanding. And we bring Christ in us, but must never fall victim to the lie that He has not already been there moving, working in the hearts of the people, and perhaps most importantly, raising up leaders from whom we ourselves must learn. For as Randy Woodley, Distinguished Professor of Faith and Culture at Portland Seminary, outlines in his Missiological Imperatives, “God expects two conversions out of every encounter, our conversion to the truth in their culture, and their conversion to the truth we bring to the encounter.” [6]

As wealth creators we are in many ways the kings of our day, with power which comes from the Lord. But at the risk of being thrown off a cliff, I submit that this power is not granted solely to bless the wealth creator or even the church, but the poor and captive. And this blessing should not come through charity alone but through a reimagined engagement in the art of business patterned after nothing less than the ministry of Jesus.

 

ENDNOTES

[1] Sumner, A., Hoy, C. & Ortiz-Juarez, E. (2020) Estimates of the impact of COVID-19 on global poverty. WIDER Working Paper 2020/43. Helsinki: UNU-WIDER.

[2] International Labour Organisation (ILO), Covid-19 Impact on Child Labour and Forced Labour, www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/—ed_norm/—ipec/documents/publication/wcms_745287.pdf

[3] Clifton, J. (2011). The coming jobs war : What every leader must know about the future of job creation. New York, NY: Gallup Press.

[4] United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Poverty. (n.d.). Employment and Decent Work | Poverty Eradication. United Nations. Retrieved September 3, 2020, from https://www.un.org/development/desa/socialperspectiveondevelopment/issues/employment-and-decent-work.html

[5] Crouch, Andy. “Why Ethical Work is Not Enough. Medium: The Praxis Journal, 3 Sep. 2020, https://journal.praxislabs.org/why-ethical-work-is-not-enough-1d4a42296fc5.

[6] Woodley, Randy, “Mission and the Cultural Other: In Search of the Pre-colonial Jesus” (2015). Faculty Publications – George Fox Evangelical Seminary. Paper 50. http://digitalcommons.georgefox.edu/gfes/50

More in this series:

Wealth Creation Manifesto: Affirming the Role of Business People in God’s Plan for the World
Shaping Our Views on Wealth, Wealth Creation and Wealth Creators
Creating Wealth for God’s Glory and the Common Good
Business Is a Holy Calling That Should Be Affirmed by the Church
Alleviating Poverty by Creating Businesses and Sharing Wealth
Business as an Agent of Human Flourishing and the Greater Glory of God

Rachel Rose Nelson serves as Executive Director of Freedom Business Alliance, the only global network creating business solutions to human trafficking. FBA has 100+ member businesses across 28+ countries. They are on a mission to scale the Freedom Business movement in order to create 100,000 jobs for survivors of human trafficking and those at risk of being trafficked. Prior to her role at FBA, Rachel was an entrepreneur and business consultant in the areas of leadership and brand strategy. She holds a Bachelors in Graphic Communication and a Masters in Ministry Leadership. She and her family live just outside Portland, Oregon.

 

 

 

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

More Resources

Download: PDF of the Wealth Creation Manifesto

Read: Wealth Creation Manifesto with Bible References

Read: Calling the Church to affirm Wealth Creators

Download: Wealth Creation Papers:

Click on image to open BAM Global Reports page

 

 

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

 

 

Business as an Agent of Human Flourishing and the Greater Glory of God

by Rod St Hill

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.

Even the simplest one-person or family businesses as most are, especially in poorer countries, unleash the creative capacity in the human person, bringing together various inputs and transforming them into products that contribute positively to human flourishing. Not only do the products contribute to human flourishing, but the processes associated with business create opportunities for the realisation of human dignity.

The purpose of this blog is to reflect and comment upon the seventh and eighth affirmations of the Wealth Creation Manifesto:

7. The purpose of wealth creation through business goes beyond giving generously, although that is to be commended; good business has intrinsic value as a means of material provision and can be an agent of positive transformation in society.
8. 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.

I studied economic development at university over 40 years ago. I still recall reading Dudley Seers on ‘The Meaning of Development’. [1] He conceptualised development in terms of ‘realisation of the potential of human personality’. For this, he argued there were a number of necessary conditions, namely:

  • Basic needs – food, clothing, footwear, shelter – must be met
  • A job – defined broadly to include paid and unpaid work like studying, working on the family farm and housekeeping – to satisfy the need for self-respect
  • Other conditions such as good education, freedom of speech, and citizenship of a nation that is truly independent

In the first decade of my academic career I taught development economics. My students were certainly made aware of Seers’ concept. I also introduced my students to Amartya Sen’s work. He rejected the idea of ‘development’ and focused on freedom as the ultimate goal of economic life as well as the most efficient means of realising general welfare. According to Sen, overcoming deprivations (‘unfreedoms’) is central to development. These include hunger, ignorance, an unsustainable economic life, unemployment, barriers to economic fulfilment by women or minorities, premature death, violation of political freedom and basic liberty, threats to environmental sustainability, and poor access to health, sanitation, or safe water. [2]   Read more

Alleviating Poverty by Creating Businesses and Sharing Wealth

by Francis Tsui

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.

Affirmations 5 and 6 of the Wealth Creation Manifesto addresses the contrast between wealth creating and wealth sharing, and the power of wealth to alleviate poverty:

5. Wealth hoarding is wrong, and wealth sharing should be encouraged, but there is no wealth to be shared unless it has been created.
6. There is a universal call to generosity, and contentment is a virtue, but material simplicity is a personal choice, and involuntary poverty should be alleviated.

In a January 2020 report, Oxfam International revealed that the world’s 2,153 billionaires have more wealth than the 4.6 billion people who make up 60 percent of the planet’s population. It further pointed out that the 22 richest men in the world have more wealth than all the women in Africa.

The Covid-19 pandemic is ravaging the world’s economy and millions of people have lost their jobs, while millions more are living precariously. Since the beginning of the pandemic, billionaires in the U.S., such as Jeff Bezos (of Amazon), Steve Ballmer (former CEO of Microsoft) and Elon Musk (Tesla & SpaceX) and a few of their peers, have together increased their total net worth $637 billion so far. This is a classic case of the few rich ones got richer, while the millions sink to the bottom of the heap. Even some of those who used to be part of the middle class in many countries find themselves caught in the downward spiral. This wealth polarization happens in spite of the pandemic. Yet, the pandemic has just exacerbated the situation through economic shutdowns and restrictions, as well as uneven government economic aid to different industries. Ethical wealth creation should go hand in hand with fairness in wealth distribution.

Minding the Gap

Those who operate in the free market system show the efficacy and potency of their power in wealth creation and accumulation, especially those who manage to harness the power of technological advancement to increase productivity and efficiency. However, the increasing wealth disparity in the world has signaled something is seriously wrong. Wealth hoarding is definitely wrong, and wealth sharing needs to be encouraged. The Executive Director of Americans for Tax Fairness Frank Clemente once said, “The orgy of wealth shows how fundamentally flawed our economic system is.” Wealth creation without effective wealth distribution is fundamentally defective and unethical. When more people are sinking into financial oblivion, the result is the demeaning of humanity, and the robbing of human dignity.

As the gap between the haves and the have-nots widens, and increasing number of the world’s population are sinking into poverty, the call for generosity is getting louder. Every year, charities are looking for more support and more donation. Unfortunately, many charities have hit a major road block as the pandemic lingers on.

The Association of Fundraising Professionals reports that more than half of charitable organizations in the United States are expecting to raise less funds in 2020 than they did in 2019. Further, many believe that the same will occur in 2021. The picture is very disturbing. While the need for more generosity is required, the reality many charities confront is that funds are drying up. Many who are already living in poverty and hunger remain there, and there seems to have no light at the end of the tunnel.

Created to Create

Wealth creation and poverty alleviation should go hand in hand in our Christian witness. While ordinary Christians may not be in a position to alter the balance of wealth distribution on a global scale, and may not be in the capacity to bring about policy change for secondary distribution on government level, there are plenty of opportunities for us to be an active participant in both wealth creation and poverty alleviation ministry.

Our God is a creative, entrepreneurial, enterprising God as seen through His Creation. He is also a God of abundance and provision. Wealth creation is consistent to the character of God. Likewise, poverty alleviation is also a key attribute of God as on numerous occasions in the Bible He came through for the poor, the widowed, and those who was abandoned by their community.

We need people who share the compassionate heart of God and who are gifted in creating wealth through their entrepreneurial ventures and investment skills to be enlisted in the harvest fields to bring about job opportunities and sustainable economic growth to create wealth for communities and individuals.

Godly and ethical business practice lives out the Christian witness among the peers. Jobs bring livelihood and dignity to individuals. Economic well-being builds community. The Incarnate Jesus is present when the Good News prevails in the local community and people would have the foretaste and a glimpse of Kingdom on earth. The transformative power of the Gospel is alive and vibrant in the local community.

The Book of Ecclesiastes states, “So I commend the enjoyment of life, because there is nothing better for a person under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad. Then joy will accompany them in their toil all the days of the life God has given them under the sun.” (8:15) Further, in the Proverbs, it also reminds us that “The generous will themselves be blessed, for they share their food with the poor” (22:9) and that “the righteous give without sparing.” (21:26)

A Business Story

About 10 years ago, a successful Laotian Canadian Christian banker quit his job and went back to his birthplace, a place he had fled from as a child, along with his family, running away from war and poverty. He took out a long lease with the Laotian government on a plot of land at the Bolaven Plateau and started a coffee farm there. Bolaven Farms’ mission is to redeem the soil and nurture sustainable ecosystems promoting healthy and productive agrarian community developments.

At Bolaven Farms, in their own words, they “believe in sowing the seeds of hope.” By training resident farmers their Integrated Organic System free of charge and making credit available to qualifying graduates, farmers are empowered to break the cycle of poverty, one family at a time. Many of the skilled technicians they are bringing in for the technology transfer are followers of Christ. What they are bringing into this creative access country are their faithful witness in addition to the technical skills. They are convinced that what the poor need is not aid, but jobs – real jobs, not subsidized ones. This is the dignity and self-reliance we are equally created for. The Bolaven Farm resident farmers become proud land owners with productive family farms. Over the years, on the Bolaven Plateau, families are blessed with improved livelihood, and the community transforms, holistically.

Wealth creation could definitely be an instrument of grace and a vehicle to bring forth blessings and giftedness. Increasingly both in overseas mission fields as well as in local communities, BAM businesses such as Bolaven Farm are making an impact in places historically insulated from Christian encounters, earning respect and able to be a witness for Christ. When wealth creation and poverty alleviation go in tandem, they claim more territories for the Kingdom.

As wealth is created, believers may choose to live in abundance or in the virtue of contentment or even material simplicity with no coercion, but simply as a personal lifestyle choice. One way or the other, our God is the God of abundance and grace, ready to bless and happy to invite His good and faithful servants into sharing His joy.

More in this series:

Wealth Creation Manifesto: Affirming the Role of Business People in God’s Plan for the World
Shaping Our Views on Wealth, Wealth Creation and Wealth Creators
Creating Wealth for God’s Glory and the Common Good
Business Is a Holy Calling That Should Be Affirmed by the Church

Francis K. Tsui is from Hong Kong and has been active in Asian mission in the last two decades serving as faculty, mentor, and Board member with Asian Access and AsiaCMS. He holds multiple higher degrees in modern Chinese history, business administration, as well as mission and leadership studies. Currently, he is working on a DMin at Fuller Seminary.

 

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

More Resources

Download: PDF of the Wealth Creation Manifesto

Read: Wealth Creation Manifesto with Bible References

Read: Calling the Church to affirm Wealth Creators

Download: Wealth Creation Papers:

Click on image to open BAM Global Reports page

 

 

Photo by Malcolm Lightbody on Unsplash

 

 

Business Is a Holy Calling That Should Be Affirmed by the Church

by Kara Martin

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.

Affirmations 3 and 4 of the Wealth Creation Manifesto focus on the fact that wealth creation – business – is a holy calling that should be affirmed by the Church:

3. Wealth creation is a holy calling, and a God-given gift, which is commended in the Bible.
4. Wealth creators should be affirmed by the Church, and equipped and deployed to serve in the marketplace among all peoples and nations.

The Wealth Creation Manifesto is a document the Faith–Work Movement (FWM) has needed. An example to illustrate… I was asked to speak at an august seminary in the United States during their Mission Week. There was a lunchtime seminar attended by 70 students and staff on the topic of business as mission, where I was joined by the second guest for the week, an experienced business missionary.

In his introduction, the head of the missions’ centre outlined the value of business as a platform for missionary activity, and that this was the only way to get into some areas of the world. He invited me to respond. I felt fear and trepidation as I rose to speak, wondering if I would have the courage to say what I needed to at this point.

I explained as gently as I could that the concept of business ‘as a platform’ for missionary activity was both an outdated concept, and a failed strategy. I talked about Mark L Russell’s excellent research into ‘fake’ businesses and their impact: loss of money, lacking credibility – reflecting poorly on local Christians, lacking integrity – suggesting Christians can’t be trusted, and creating suspicion – not just about Christians but about the gospel.

Thankfully the other speaker then explained how he had started out creating a business as a platform, had failed, cost money, and created suspicion. He had then realised that business is the mission, in its own right. He went on to build a successful business, creating networks and a good reputation, lauded by the local government, and with the opportunity to openly witness to staff, their families, customers and suppliers.

The Real Warning About Money

Part of the misunderstanding about the capacity of business to be mission, is a poor theology of money. Money is considered evil and many Christians are cautious about even bringing up the subject. However, it is the love of money that is evil; and wise stewarding of money is a Christian’s responsibility.

In seminaries, there is a reluctance to talk about money in leadership programs, and many church leaders outsource responsibility for finances to others in the congregation. A better understanding of the church as a workplace, and money as a tool to be used by God – just like buildings, programs and gifted people – would greatly enhance the ability for a pastor to lead well, and to equip others to influence well; and for both groups to escape the temptation to love money.  Read more

Creating Wealth for God’s Glory and the Common Good

by João Mordomo

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.

The first two affirmations of the Wealth Creation Manifesto focus on the fact that wealth creation is an overflow of God’s nature, and people are created in God’s image:

1) Wealth creation is rooted in God the Creator, who created a world that flourishes with abundance and diversity.
2) We are created in God’s image, to co-create with Him and for Him, to create products and services for the common good.

These affirmations dwell in the convergence zone between theology and economics, and they serve as the biblical-theological foundation for wealth creation. God is the creator (Gen. 1:1 – 2:4; Neh. 9:6; Ps. 104; Col. 1:16; Rev. 4:11) and owner (Gen. 14:19; 1 Chr. 29:11-12; Ps. 24:1; 1 Cor. 10:26) of the universe, and it is his desire, will, and plan that the world and the people therein flourish with abundance and diversity (Gen. 1:28; Ps. 72:1-7; Prov. 28:20; 2 Cor. 9:8; Rev. 7:9). This is the Old Testament concept of shalom, which theologian Cornelius Plantinga beautifully describes as

The webbing together of God, humans, and all creation in justice, fulfillment, and delight is what the Hebrew prophets call shalom. We call it peace but it means far more than mere peace of mind or a cease-fire between enemies. In the Bible, shalom means universal flourishing, wholeness and delight – a rich state of affairs in which natural needs are satisfied and natural gifts fruitfully employed, a state of affairs that inspires joyful wonder as its Creator and Savior opens doors and welcomes the creatures in whom he delights. Shalom, in other words, is the way things ought to be. [1]  Read more

Shaping Our Views on Wealth, Wealth Creation and Wealth Creators

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. [1]

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. [2]

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. [3] 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. [4]

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?  Read more

Wealth Creation Manifesto: Affirming the Role of Business People in God’s Plan for the World

The Bible talks about wealth in three ways; one is bad and two are good. Hoarding of wealth is condemned. Sharing of wealth is encouraged. Wealth creation is both a godly gift and command, and there is no wealth to be shared unless it has been created. But all too often the issue of wealth creation is misunderstood, neglected, or even rejected. The same thing applies to wealth creators.

The Global Consultation on The Role of Wealth Creation for Holistic Transformation aimed at addressing that. During the Consultation process in 2016 and 2017 we discussed various aspects of wealth creation, including justice, poverty, biblical foundation, wealth creators, stewardship of creation and the role of the church.

The Wealth Creation Manifesto below conveys the essentials of our deliberations before and during the Consultation and is now available in 17 languages. It has been just over three years since the Manifesto was first published, with the aim of bringing a much needed affirmation for wealth creation within the global church. It also provides concise biblically-based principles for entrepreneurs and business people in their God-given role as wealth creators (that are then unpacked in 7 full papers on the topic).

This month and next, we are revisiting the Manifesto, with articles covering the eleven affirmations. To kick off this new series, below is a reminder of the Manifesto itself. You can also read a version with bible references here.

CWC Manifesto Cover 200
Background

The Lausanne Movement and BAM Global organized a Global Consultation on The Role of Wealth Creation for Holistic Transformation, in Chiang Mai, Thailand, in March 2017. About 30 people from 20 nations participated, primarily from the business world, and also from church, missions and academia. The findings will be published in several papers and a book, as well as an educational video. This Manifesto conveys the essentials of our deliberations before and during the Consultation.

Affirmations

1. Wealth creation is rooted in God the Creator, who created a world that flourishes with abundance and diversity.

2. We are created in God’s image, to co-create with Him and for Him, to create products and services for the common good.

3. Wealth creation is a holy calling, and a God-given gift, which is commended in the Bible.  Read more

BAM vs COVID: Stories of Innovation and Our Unique Contribution

by João Mordomo

In part one of this post I introduced the idea that BAM can help defeat COVID if we have the right focus: Looking Up, Looking Back, Looking Around and Looking Ahead. In this second part, I’ll talk more about our posture and what that looks like in practice, i.e. telling some stories of innovation amidst the crisis.

Posture

Remember the agape love I mentioned before? How does a BAMer put agape into action through business? What should be their posture?

We could talk about agape again, or being a Christlike servant (Phil. 2:3-5), or depending utterly upon God, but those relate to all Christians in general and the question here relates to BAMers in particular — or more broadly, to Christian entrepreneurs. What is different about us?

When God looks at BAM practitioners, who are created in His image, what does He see that is, in many cases, different than in the lives of other believers? The answer relates to the fact that many BAMers are, by nature, entrepreneurial and/or innovative. They look around and see things that others don’t. Everyone can see the problem of COVID-19, but not all will see solutions. Everyone can all battle COVID-19 in a general way, but BAMers can do it very specifically.

That is the posture of a BAMer or Christian business leader: “I’m a problem solver. I’m made in God’s image to innovate and come up with solutions that don’t occur to other people.” Or, “I’m an entrepreneur. I see solutions that others may also see, but they are not willing to take the risk to make the solution a reality, and I am.”

In the past month, I’ve had contact with several outstanding Christian entrepreneurs with this kind of posture, putting agape into practice through business. I want to tell you about three of them, two of which I am closely associated with.

Practice: Stories of Business Leaders in Action

My Pillow

I’ll start with Mike Lindell and his US-based company called My Pillow. I don’t know Lindell personally, though I would describe My Pillow as a Kingdom-focused company. Lindell is outspoken about his Christian faith, and it seems to drive him with respect to how he runs his business. He’s an example of a Christian entrepreneur and business owner willing to jump into the COVID-19 battle immediately, and not without cost to his business: he recently shifted 75% of his manufacturing capacity to the production of medical masks, to the tune of 50,000 per day! He looked around, saw the need, trusted God, and jumped into the battle with the resources at his disposal. Why not take a minute to do the same thing? Look around. Perhaps God will show you how to get into the battle against COVID-19 with the resources you already have stewardship of.  Read more