by James Waters & Jo Plummer
As part of the lead-in to the BAM Global Congress last year, BAM Global, in partnership with Eido Research, conducted the State of the BAM Movement Survey to get a snapshot of the global business as mission movement. Watch James’ Video Introduction here.
In response to the Survey, Eido Research have produced a State of the BAM Movement Report. Here are three things it tells us:
1. The BAM Movement is Still Young, but Truly Global
Enough people responded to make a representative sample of our global list, and it revealed that it is still quite a young movement. The majority of companies are less than ten years old, and a good additional number (12% of surveyed) looking to start a business soon. However, the BAM Movement is truly global! Although there are a handful of countries where there is a concentration of BAM businesses, there is a diverse global spread.
As João Mordomo writes for the Foreword for Neal Johnson’s new book on BAM, “Business as mission is not a new concept. It has, however, taken on new meaning for the church and her mission in the 21st Century. The modern BAM Movement started about 25 years ago and, like other great movements of God — being God-ordained, God-ignited, God-led, and God-blessed — it began to take shape simultaneously in different places around the global by way of different and diverse groups of people.”
2. BAM Companies Report a Range of Impacts, but Environmental Impact Remains the Weakest
A wide range of Sustainable Development Goals are being impacted by BAM Businesses and the range of spiritual issues addressed is broad too, with ‘impacting culture through demonstrating biblical values’ as the most common.
However, of the ‘four bottom lines of BAM‘, environmental impact remains the weakest. Of the Sustainable Development Goals, the bottom five for current or intended impact include four ‘creation care’ related issues, namely: responsible consumption and production; climate action; clean water and sanitation; and, affordable and clean energy.
This backs up what we have observed in the last decade through many conversations and think tank processes in the global BAM community and that was also found by a significant study on BAM impact by Steve Rundle.
This observation led BAM Global to initiate a Working Consultation on BAM and Creation Care, the findings of which will be published next month, and to publish numerous blogs on this topic over the course of the last 5 years. We focused another significant series of posts on this issue just last month! Watch Mark Polet share compelling reasons why Creation Care is a vital a priority for BAM practitioners.
3. Personal and Spiritual Well-being are Strongly Correlated to Impact
The data also allowed us to ask some interesting questions about the relationship between leaders’ (self-reported) health and the (self-reported) health of their businesses. Firstly there are very strong relationships between individuals’ personal, spiritual, and relational well-being.
Second, the relationship between leaders’ own well-being and the health of their business was moderately strong. But most interestingly, the most significant relationships (statistically) are between:
• Leaders’ personal well-being, and the businesses’ finances, and
• Leaders’ spiritual well-being and the spiritual impact of the business.
Leaders’ combined well-being also strongly associated with all areas of impact, except environmental.
This highlights that it is absolutely vital for BAM practitioners to nurture personal, relational and spiritual health. It’s one of the reasons we posted on BAM & Prayer earlier this month and have dedicated a whole series of posts on this blog to the topic of BAM Endurance and Well-being.
The State of the BAM Movement Survey and Report gives us many more intriguing findings. We hope this will be a baseline for the movement to begin tracking the development of business as mission over the coming years.
Download the State of the BAM Movement Report below.
James Waters is the Director of the Kingdom Impact Framework at Eido Research – a project designed to help Kingdom organisations measure and understand their social and spiritual impact. Previously he worked as an international development consultant and completed a PhD on the resilience of slum-dwellers in Uganda. James is passionate about community transformation and Kingdom business done well, and documenting that impact to give glory to God. He is currently loving the challenge of growing the Kingdom Impact Framework, working with funds, accelerators, businesses and non-profits all over the world. Meanwhile he is delighted to be a new father and enjoys helping to lead prayer movements in Europe.
Jo Plummer is the co-chair of BAM Global and the author and editor of many business as mission papers and articles, including the BAM Global Think Tank Report series. She is a Lausanne Catalyst for Business as Mission and the co-editor of the Lausanne Occasional Paper on Business as Mission. She has been developing resources for BAM since 2001 and currently serves as Editor of this Business as Mission website and blog.
DOWNLOAD THE STATE OF THE BAM MOVEMENT REPORT