We are sharing a series throughout October on ‘What in the World is God Doing through Business as Mission?!’ We are aiming to ‘put the global into BAM Global’ by highlighting encouraging BAM developments from different parts of the world during this month.
God is on the move across Europe! To give you a flavour, we asked just four business as mission network leaders to give us an update on BAM developments in their nation:
It’s encouraging to witness the growing interest in engaging with God-centered business across various European countries. Romania, in particular, is emerging as a hub for Christian business networks. BAM Romania and the BAM Connect team play a crucial role in this evolving movement.
This movement includes Christian startup entrepreneurs, NGOs aiming to venture into business activities, and companies exploring ways to incorporate missions into their existing organizations. All are seeking inspirational stories, practical courses, teaching, and events to connect with like-minded individuals. In February of this year, we organized the BAM Connect Summit in Bucharest, which attracted over 100 participants from eight different countries. As a team, we expanded our network, believing in Romania’s significance within the BAM movement in Europe.
After the conference, we set aside time for prayer, team discussions on new opportunities, and consultations with various international BAM leaders. As we acknowledge our calling and seek ways to nurture our passion, we are excited about an invitation to participate in a particular project. In this project, we’ll collaborate with NGO leaders and leverage our specially developed BAM Connect platform and tool. Through this platform, leaders can create Business or Mission Model Canvases to optimize the impact of their organization’s mission and activities.
In Romania, it’s challenging to draw a distinct line between an NGO and a business (as mission). Over the last decades, numerous NGOs have had significant roles within Romanian society. However, they now confront impending challenges such as rising costs, fundraising hurdles, and stricter legal requirements. The BAM movement presents itself as one of the solutions to prepare NGOs for the future and to have sustainable impact.
The personnel, the experience, the services, the knowledge, and the network are all present in the BAM Connect team to serve those organizations in Romania and beyond. People can get in touch with us by email or via bamconnect.net
Here in the Netherlands we see a growing number of influential business owners and investors engaging in business as mission, and local BAM initiatives growing in size and influence. Meanwhile we’re involved with some key mission organizations to encourage them towards BAM.
Right now we’re in full preparation for our annual two-day congress on November 9 and 10. This year, our theme is Integrating the 4 P’s of BAM: People, Planet, Profit and Pneuma. This Congress is bi-lingual in English and Dutch, find out more about the BAM Congress Netherlands here. You are welcome!
Besides that, we see BAM-related initiatives developing, partly as spin-offs from yearly congresses:
- Itzinya – A course to help entrepreneurial migrants start a business, this training is now available and running in several parts in the Netherlands. Meanwhile the initiating team is helping Hakan Sandberg (based in Sweden) to develop internationally.
- BAM and church (planting) – There have been steady relationship developments with key leaders involved with church planting and church buildings of the National Protestant Church. Similarly with HeartEdge NL, a network initiated by theologian Sam Wells from the UK (a speaker at our last congress). We facilitate connection between entrepreneurs with a vision in this area and help to bridge the church-business divide.
- Authentic Lives / Business – Developing life-giving cultures in businesses and organizations. A working group is engaging with this global (and BAM-related) movement based in the UK and their material has now been translated into Dutch.
For the future we are excited that, next to a steady growth in size and influence, we see more depth spiritually. Last year at our congress we introduced prophetic prayer at a workshop led by prophet prophet Sander Wuister. We also gave opportunities during the day for attendees to receive personal prayer. This was meaningful for quite a number of people. Since than some even hired Sander for monthly consultancy. This year at our congress we will have three prophetic prayer-persons available for those who’d like to receive encouragement.
Simultaneously BAM Moves was started. This is an English speaking podcast connected to an hybrid learning platform with courses and retreats based on the experiences of BAM-veteran Bill Job. We are aiming for spiritual growth – especially for BAM practitioners – in the Netherlands and worldwide. The two retreats that BAM Moves has organized so far were deep and meaningful; it strengthened relationships with the Lord and with one another.
Recent developments in Germany’s BAM movement highlight a pivotal shift where individuals and separate initiatives are increasingly coming together to forge a unified platform. Entrepreneurs and organizations, recognizing the potential of integrating faith and business, are collaboratively shaping the BAM and marketplace ministry landscape, marking a significant stride towards cohesion and synergy in the movement. This also includes new cross-border collaboration with initiatives in Switzerland.
We see a growing hunger of marketplace people to realize impact for God’s kingdom. This connects with the need for proper, context-specific ‘Theology of Work’ content to train future pastors and church leaders how to equip their communities to fulfil the kingdom purpose of the marketplace. Currently a BAM entrepreneur course is being developed for Master students.
Looking forward, the prospects for BAM are invigorating. Visionary entrepreneurs and leaders are propelling action towards deeper collaboration between business and faith, with a strong commitment to addressing pressing societal issues.
From March 22-24, 2024 we will host the second cross-border German speaking BAM conference, the B4T Forum, in Winterthur, Switzerland. One ministry partnering in this is Creative Kingdom Solutions, based in Mannheim, noteworthy because of the redemptive focus of their work.
The anticipation of witnessing BAM principles not only gaining wider acceptance but also actively driving social and economic transformation fuels our motivation, promising an action-packed journey ahead! Get in touch with us via b4t.global.
This has not been an easy time for Christian business people in our nation, but despite that there have been many encouraging developments. We have been developing BAM media, and running seminars on business as mission, speaking at every conference possible. I visited two cities in September with BAM seminars and will take part in a conference for Christian business people and pastors in Moscow in November.
We’ve been initiating contact to help local Christian business communities understand and accept BAM. Praise God – we are seeing that more and more people in Russia now at least have heard about business as mission!
There is some progress in every direction. We now have more than 1000 subscribers on the BAM Russia Telegram channel and 500+ on BAM Russia YouTube. And now I have a helper who helps a lot with media! We are planning to develop BAM media in Russian to have a bigger impact and use our subscribers to build a real community.
The first BAM conference in Rostov-na-Donu just finished, we had about 100 participants from 12 cities. The next BAM conference will be held in Krasnodar at the end of November. I can see more and more conferences and other meetings where Christians discuss how to do business (and even broader – how to work) not just for money but for the glory of God and for His Kingdom.
I hope there will be more cities ready to do local BAM conferences soon and develop local BAM communities. For instance, in Spring we are going to organise a BAM conference for the southern part of Russia (it’s a rather big region). Also we dream to hold a nation-wide BAM Russia Conference again.
While some media channels are blocked in Russia, the best way to get in contact is via our telegram channel t.me/bamrussia – you can make a comment on any post. When other media opens up again, you can connect via our Facebook and Instagram pages.
Compiled by Jo Plummer, with thanks to BAM network leaders in Romania, the Netherlands, Germany, Russia – and across the continent working to catalyse business as mission in Europe.
Jo Plummer is the Creative Director & Co-Founder of BAM Global 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 the Business as Mission website and The BAM Review Blog.
Discover more from other Regions:
Join us live and find out more!
Come to the FREE BAM Global Connect event on Wednesday 8th November, 13:30–15:30 UTC. We’ll be sharing more about business as mission, plus an update on BAM Global news. There will be an opportunity to ‘Ask us Anything’ about BAM or BAM Global, and a chance to talk to BAM Global leaders live during our networking time about starting a BAM network in your region or country. Plus we’ll have a live report from BAM in Southern Africa & Ethiopia. Find out more about BAM Connect here.