Assessing the Viability of a Great Commission Company

by Steve Rundle and Tom Steffen

The following are just a few of the questions that should be asked when assessing the viability of a Great Commission Company (GCC).

Economic Viability
  1. Is there a clear statement of the purpose and goals for the company?
  2. Does the management team have the appropriate experience and training?
  3. Can the business create and maintain a competitive advantage?
  4. From a financial perspective, is the business an attractive investment?
  5. Is there a clear path from start-up to financial sustainability?
  6. Are there investors and other advisers committed to helping the company reach financial sustainability?
  7. Is this a business concept that has worked in other contexts?
  8. What are the risks?
  9. Is the business model flexible enough to allow for expansion, changes in direction or alliances with other companies?
  10. How will the net earnings be distributed?
  11. How and when can the investors expect to be repaid?

Missional Viability
  1. Is the business concept consistent with the missional focus and objectives?
  2. Is there adequate potential for making a significant kingdom impact?
  3. Does the company have a multicultural, multi-generational team of kingdom professionals in place that has a track record of effective ministry inside and outside the workplace?
  4. Has the management team identified other mission organizations working in the area, and are they open to partnering with them?
  5. Does the plan demonstrate an understanding and respect for the legal and ethical boundaries between for-profit and nonprofit activities?
  6. Does the business create socially beneficial “backward linkages” with local firms?
  7. Is the net impact on the host economy’s balance of payments positive?
  8. Is there a plan to turn over as much authority and responsibility as possible (missions and business) to local professionals?
  9. Is the management team committed to serving under the local church (if one exists)?
  10. Is the management team committed to communicating regularly with other stakeholders so that they know how to pray and know what things they can do to benefit the work (for example, short-term trips)?

Excerpt from Great Commission Companies: The Emerging Role of Business in Missions (Second Edition) by Steve Rundle and Tom Steffen, pages 97 -98. Copyright(c) 2011 by Steve Rundle and Tom Steffen. Used by permission of InterVarsity Press PO Box 1400 Downers Grove, IL 60515.