‘Business as Mission’ is a growing trend in mission that encourages the use of business to further the kingdom of God.
I think many are put off the idea of mixing the two, which is a real shame. Just read these affirmations and recommendations from the Business as Mission Manifesto written by the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelisation 2004 Forum Business as Mission Issue Group:
- We believe that God has created all men & women in His image with the ability to be creative, creating good things for themselves and for others – this includes business.
- We believe in following in the footsteps of Jesus, who constantly and consistently met the needs of the people he encountered, thus demonstrating the love of God and the rule of His kingdom.
- We believe that the Holy Spirit empowers all members of the Body of Christ to serve, to meet the real spiritual and physical needs of others, demonstrating the kingdom of God.
- We believe that God has called and equipped business people to make a Kingdom difference in and through their businesses.
- We believe that the Gospel has the power to transform individuals, communities and societies. Christians in business should therefore be a part of this holistic transformation through business.
- We recognise the fact that poverty and unemployment are often rampant in areas where the name of Jesus is rarely heard and understood.
- We recognise both the dire need for and the importance of business development. However it is more than just business per se. Business as Mission is about business with a Kingdom of God perspective, purpose and impact.
- We recognise that there is a need for job creation and for multiplication of businesses all over the world, aiming at the quadruple bottom line: spiritual, economical, social and environmental transformation.
- We recognise the fact that the church has a huge and largely untapped resource in the Christian business community to meet needs of the world – in and through business – and bring glory to God in the market place and beyond.
- We call upon the Church world wide to identify, affirm, pray for, commission and release business people and entrepreneurs to exercise their gifts and calling as business people in the world – among all peoples and to the ends of the earth.
- We call upon business people globally to receive this affirmation and to consider how their gifts and experience might be used to help meet the world’s most pressing spiritual and physical need through Business as Mission.
From the perspective of Bible and Mission, one of the things I like about the Business as Mission movement is the way in which it engages with Scripture from the very beginning, appealing to Genesis 1-3 to illustrate the holistic nature of God’s creation and redemption purposes.