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There’s a Role for You in the BAM Ecosystem! Four People Share [Video]

Listen to four people share firsthand how they are contributing their unique gifts and experiences to build the BAM ecosystem.

 


 
The BAM ecosystem is bigger than you think! As well as BAM practitioners – those who actually run the business as mission companies – there are countless others supporting those practitioners and companies.

From mobilisers, to investors… from intercessors, to mentors… from communicators, to business incubators… from recruiters, to trainers… and many more. As well as businesses and business services, the BAM movement also includes academics, mission leaders, church leaders and others.

There is a role for you!
 

>> Read Part 1 of this series for ways to get involved!

 

Discover more on Launching and Landing for BAM and Incubation and Ecosystem.

More great BAM resources at our online Business as Mission Resource Library and The BAM Review Blog.

Are we missing any resources that should be listed? Contact us to share them.

 

 

BAM Ecosystem Builders: How You Can Support the Business as Mission Movement

by Jo Plummer

 

As we began exploring last month, there are many different ways to get involved in business as mission and the BAM movement needs many types of people, skills, experiences and passions. If you are interested in engaging with BAM, there is a path and role for you!

To recap, the two broad pathways are:
1) Getting involved by doing business as mission yourself, in a BAM company context, or
2) Enabling, resourcing or connecting others involved in BAM — through activities such as mentoring, investing, praying, building networks, incubating, training, mobilising, and so on!

God has equipped each of us with various skill sets and backgrounds and He is leading each of us on unique paths.

 

Last month, we started with the topic of getting involved in doing BAM yourself. This month, we’ll continue with ways to support and resource others to do BAM – in other words, how to help build the business as mission ecosystem!

Business as mission companies and practitioners need many different kinds of support and resources to thrive. From obvious roles such as business incubators, investors, mentors, and trainers…

To perhaps less obvious ones, like network builders, recruiters and mobilisers, that enable the pipeline of people getting involved in BAM to flow…

Or communicators and content creators to keep the ideas and stories flowing…

Or perhaps prayer partners to help us all keep in step with the Holy Spirit…

There are many different and necessary roles in the BAM ecosystem!

 

Get Involved Building the BAM Ecosystem

If you are interested in getting more involved in supporting business as mission, chances are you are thinking about one or more of the following:

Providing support and services to individual BAM companies/practitioners, such as consulting, recruiting, investing, prayer, etc.
Building a network or entrepreneurial ecosystem that focuses on a particular region, industry or issue, for example a regional BAM network, a city-focused business incubator, or an alliance or community of practice for a particular speciality.
Contributing skills or services to the global BAM ecosystem as a whole, such as training, mobilisation, communications, prayer, and so on.

And these often overlap. For instance, we pray both for individual BAM companies and the BAM movement every month in BAM Global prayer calls. A city-wide business incubator will also provide services to individual companies. And so on.

So bearing that in mind, here are some different roles in the BAM ecosystem and some ideas for how to get involved in them: Read more

Pathways into BAM: Resources for Your Journey

by Jo Plummer

 

There are many different ways to get involved in business as mission and the BAM movement needs many types of people, skills, experiences and passions. If you are interested in engaging with BAM, there is a path and role for you!

The two broad pathways are:
1) Getting involved by doing business as mission yourself, in a BAM company context, or
2) Enabling, resourcing or connecting others involved in BAM — through activities such as mentoring, investing, praying, building networks, incubating, training, mobilising, and so on!

 

God has equipped each of us with various skill sets and backgrounds, leading each of us on unique paths. No matter how you’ve been equipped, what role you have in business as mission, or where you are on your journey, we hope you will find the resources on this website useful and encouraging.

This month we are starting a blog series that will explore different pathways into BAM and different ways to be involved. We begin this month with the topic of getting involved in doing BAM yourself. In the coming months, we’ll explore more ideas for enabling, resourcing and connecting others to do BAM. If option 2 is you, get ready… we’ll have blogs on resourcing others in BAM and building the BAM ecosystem coming soon.

Get Involved Doing BAM

If you are interested in getting involved in doing business as mission yourself, chances are you are thinking about one of the following options:

A: Starting up a BAM company
B: Joining a BAM company that someone else has started
C: Repurposing an existing company to integrate BAM principles into it

 

There is no right or wrong way to get involved in BAM, but here are some helpful ideas and a roundup of resources for whichever option you are exploring…

General Resources for Everyone

Whatever your approach or path, here are a few resources that will help you get a good foundation in BAM:

BAM Global Summit

Join us at our online BAM Global Summit on Thursday 9th May. With the tagline Accelerate… your journey, your business, the movement, together – the whole goal is to inspire, equip and connect you for your unique journey in BAM. Get a glimpse of what God is doing around the world in business as mission and discover how to be a part of it. Find out more here.

 

BAM Manifesto

The BAM Manifesto is our foundational document to frame business as mission; it shares in one page what BAM is all about. Read it here.

 

Read more

5 Risk Factors Guaranteed to Doom a BAM Business

by Larry Sharp

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

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Stories from the Frontline

Last year I was leading a seminar in a conference in Arizona, when a local business owner asked the question, “Are there no failed BAM businesses?” While I readily agreed there were, I began to think about the question in a more profound way. What is the “good, the bad and the ugly” of real life BAM business experiences – those that demonstrate that there are BAM failures along with the successes?

Over the past 10 years, I have observed risk factors for BAM enterprises which should stimulate every stakeholder in the BAM community towards better recruitment, better preparation, better deployment and better accountability. Many a sports leader, military hero, or young entrepreneur has demonstrated the oft-quoted statement of Benjamin Franklin, “Failure to prepare is preparing to fail.” And that is true in the Kingdom business endeavors of today.

So what are these factors and where are the stories which help us understand basic principles for launching and landing well in a cross-cultural business? How do we best start companies designed to work out the Great Commandment and the Great Commission? How can we improve so that there will be fewer failures and a greater chance of successful transformational businesses in the areas of the world that need them the most? If these five risk factors don’t actually doom your BAM company, not paying attention to them will seriously endanger it… at the very least!  Read more

Editor’s Pick 2020: Making a Positive Impact on the World Through Business – Where to Start?!

EDITORʼS PICK 2020

Our goal is to provide the BAM Community with regular content and resources. As we come to the end of what has been a very challenging year, we are highlighting your and our favourite articles of the past year. Below is the “Editor’s Pick” for January to December 2020.

We hope it inspires you for all the ways Christ-centred business can make a difference in the world as we look forward to 2021. Thanks for reading this year!

Have you ever felt an urgency to make a positive impact on the world, but not known where to start? On the one hand, the Scriptures confront us with eternal realities; yet on the other hand, the news is packed with statistics and updates, challenging us to be global citizens. It is easy to be overcome by the amount of information there is to digest. Do we choose to rescue the damned from hell? Or the slaves from Boko Haram? Should we focus on eliminating poverty? Or educating the under-educated? The problems can seem daunting; the deluge of options overwhelming.

Yet you want to make a difference, so where does an eager change-maker start? And in starting, which of the issues – spiritual or worldly – are the most urgent to address? Can one person, really, truly make a difference?

Working to solve both Gospel and global issues doesn’t have to be that confusing or complicated. Business, the workplace, offers solutions and can impact each of these issues and answer most of the questions.

Consider:

The number of hungry people in the world has actually increased the last few years. One in nine people in the world habitually go hungry. Food security is the biggest threat to the overall health of the human race – more so than malaria, tuberculosis, or HIV. But it’s 2020. Are people really still going hungry? The problem is not that we aren’t producing enough food; rather, people lack access to food.  Many people simply do not have enough money to purchase food or the seeds and fertilizers to grow their own. OPEN workers are creating jobs in 43 countries. We are not a charity that gives things away for free. We don’t give people food, medicine or an education; we give them a job—the empowerment to earn their own living. With a job comes dignity, and with dignity follows questioning, as they seek out the purposes behind our willingness to come and meet most of their basic needs. In that questioning, that seeking, we are invited to tell them the reason – Jesus.

Business moves us beyond talking about issues with people to engaging people with the issues. Through business, we are providing real, impactful solutions.

Read more

Making a Positive Impact on the World Through Business: Where to Start?!

Have you ever felt an urgency to make a positive impact on the world, but not known where to start? On the one hand, the Scriptures confront us with eternal realities; yet on the other hand, the news is packed with statistics and updates, challenging us to be global citizens. It is easy to be overcome by the amount of information there is to digest. Do we choose to rescue the damned from hell? Or the slaves from Boko Haram? Should we focus on eliminating poverty? Or educating the under-educated? The problems can seem daunting; the deluge of options overwhelming.

Yet you want to make a difference, so where does an eager change-maker start? And in starting, which of the issues – spiritual or worldly – are the most urgent to address? Can one person, really, truly make a difference?

Working to solve both Gospel and global issues doesn’t have to be that confusing or complicated. Business, the workplace, offers solutions and can impact each of these issues and answer most of the questions.

Consider:

The number of hungry people in the world has actually increased the last few years. One in nine people in the world habitually go hungry. Food security is the biggest threat to the overall health of the human race – more so than malaria, tuberculosis, or HIV. But it’s 2020. Are people really still going hungry? The problem is not that we aren’t producing enough food; rather, people lack access to food.  Many people simply do not have enough money to purchase food or the seeds and fertilizers to grow their own. OPEN workers are creating jobs in 43 countries. We are not a charity that gives things away for free. We don’t give people food, medicine or an education; we give them a job—the empowerment to earn their own living. With a job comes dignity, and with dignity follows questioning, as they seek out the purposes behind our willingness to come and meet most of their basic needs. In that questioning, that seeking, we are invited to tell them the reason – Jesus.

Business moves us beyond talking about issues with people to engaging people with the issues. Through business, we are providing real, impactful solutions.

Consider:

Over the past decade, there’s been a huge upsurge in conflicts which have greatly increased the number of refugees in the world. Farmers need to abandon their land to save themselves and their families. Then once these farmers reach a safer location, they have no land rights, which means they can’t grow crops. These refugees then need to purchase high-priced imported foods. When they don’t have enough funds to do so, families don’t eat. OPEN businesses that create jobs are meeting basic human needs. When OPEN workers fulfill people’s needs via the workplace, the people respect not only what we do, but who we are. This respect readily transfers over to questions seeking to understand the motives behind our lives and work – Jesus.

Read more

10 Things That Will Help or Hinder BAM Multiplication

As we count down to the BAM Global Congress in April 2020, we revisit some of the key issues that we want to address when we gather together. These 10 topics are all on the agenda for the Congress 2020 and we invite you to join us!

How do we multiply and scale the number of fruitful BAM companies around the world? One of our key tasks must be to envision and mobilise a new wave of would-be business as mission practitioners from every country on the planet. Some of those will come from a corporate or small business background, envisioned with a broader perspective on their skills, experiences or companies. Others will come from a non-profit or mission agency context after seeing the need for business as mission firsthand. Still others will be the next generation coming through schools and colleges, growing up with an integrated passion for business and God’s work in the nations.

There are many strategies and models for mobilising and equipping future BAMers. Whatever your strategy, here are 10 things that will help or hinder BAM multiplication:

1. God is at work

Perhaps our most important opportunity is that God is on the move in the global marketplace. God is at work among business people and business people are hungry for this message. Christ-followers in the marketplace around the globe are sensing God’s call to impact the world in and through their vocation. Our message must affirm business professionals and exhort them to use their vocational experience and expertise for God’s Kingdom work. Since we are co-workers with the Holy Spirit in the work of mobilisation, prayer must be considered vital work in the BAM community. We cannot have fruitful advocacy and mobilisation without this partnership between our efforts and God’s work in people’s lives. This is not another program for us to deliver, but a movement of God. Read more

7 Markers for a Kingdom Business: A Framework for Entrepreneurs

TOP 5 BLOGS IN 5 YEARS

This month we are celebrating 5 years of publishing weekly blogs on The BAM Review and sending out bi-weekly emails!  To celebrate, we are re-posting the TOP 5 most read blogs from the past 5 years for your reading enjoyment.

by Courtney Rountree Mills

A quick framework to help entrepreneurs learn how to integrate their faith life with their business life in a practical way.

Let’s face it. Life is hard enough as an entrepreneur. The whole world always seems to be resting on your shoulders. The pressure to succeed is immense. After all, if you don’t, you let down not only yourself and your family, but also your staff and their families! What gets you through the pressure? Mainly prayer and the passion you have for your business. You love the challenge of being an entrepreneur. It energizes you more than almost anything else. Sometimes thinking about your business becomes more like an addiction – you could work on or think through challenges you face all day, every day and never feel like you are completely caught up.

The only thing you care about more than your business is your relationship with Jesus and your family. Still, it seems your business ends up taking over your prayer life and family life, too. You keep hearing about how you should live an integrated life, but you have no practical idea how to achieve this. You hear people around you using the phrases “Kingdom Business” or “Missional Business.” These sound great to you, but you don’t even know what the definition of a Kingdom Business is. Measuring your business’ Key Performance Indicators is easy, but how do you measure your KPIs when it comes to integrating your life as a believer and business owner? This article provides a quick framework to help entrepreneurs live out their faith in their business. This is a topic that resonated most with the 450 entrepreneurs we have accelerated who were asking the same question. Most of this is not material I wrote. Rather, it is a compilation of some of the best material I have found on living out business as mission.

Kingdom Business: The Definition

First, what is a Kingdom business? The best definition I found is one I slightly adapted from Acton School of Business in partnership with Gateway Church:

A kingdom business is an enterprise directed by the Holy Spirit and managed by a godly leader that uses its time, talent, and money to meet the spiritual and/or physical needs of the community around them to advance God’s purpose.

Ok good. We’ve defined it. Sounds pretty simple right? Now, let’s break apart this definition piece by piece to define the characteristics of a Kingdom Business. From this definition, Acton matched 6 characteristics they believe a Kingdom Business should exhibit. Each one has an associated question you can use to evaluate yourself and your business. I have slightly modified this framework to add a seventh dimension (“Reflection of God’s Character”) that I think is quite helpful. Read more

Is Business As Mission Disruptive Innovation?

by Larry Sharp

A disruptive innovation is an innovation that creates a new market and value network and eventually disrupts an existing market and value network, displacing established market leading firms, products and alliances. The term was defined and phenomenon analyzed by Clayton M. Christensen beginning in 1995.1

BAM takes into consideration, the human condition of poverty and pain (both spiritual and physical) with the creation of a profitable business which creates jobs, which in turn creates wealth (a Biblical value stated in Deut. 8:18). It links that with the goal of making followers of Jesus and with the importance of wise use of human and natural resources. In summary, Business as Mission (BAM) at its core has a Quadruple Bottom Line: 1) Profit and Sustainability, 2) Job Creation, 3) Followers of Jesus, 4) Stewardship of Resources.

So how might this be innovative and how might it be disruptive?

First look at some well-known disruptive innovators. Jeff Bezos did not just improve book sales when he started Amazon. He disrupted everything – speedy book deliveries, then other products to become the world’s largest online shopping retailer. His latest disruptive talk: drones and space warehouses. His mantra, “if you are going to invent, you are going to disrupt.”  Read more

Damaging Beliefs About Work and Missional Calling

by Larry Sharp

In recent years I have taken notice of what pastors have stated on topics related to Business as Mission (BAM), the theology of work and the Great Commission. Here are some comments which give me particular concern and have caused me to wonder how typical they are or if they are part of the cause for the slow growth in the BAM movement.

I was part of a workshop at a BAM conference designed for pastors with about 30 in attendance. At one point after much had been presented and then discussed by the group, one pastor remarked that he was not in agreement with some things because “after all work was a result of the fall of man.” I was shocked, and wondered how long it had been since he read the book of Genesis.

The truth:  God is a God of work demonstrated in the creation of all things, and then He gave a job description to the earth’s first human inhabitants.

Read more

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