One of the best answers to the question ‘what is Business as Mission’ (BAM) comes from Jo Plummer on the Business As Mission website:
Business as mission is demonstrating what the Kingdom of God is like in the context of business – and as we do so, engaging with the world’s more pressing social, economic, environmental and spiritual issues.Reference http://businessasmission.com/get-started/
This is a great snapshot of what BAM is but let’s explore this further in several key areas.
Doing business the Bible way
Entrepreneurs, business leaders, and even company cultures have a general way of doing business. Some negative stereotypical examples would be pushy car salesmen, cutthroat lawyers, or greedy bankers. Some positive examples could be a doctor’s Hippocratic oath, Zappos commitment to excellent customer service, or TOMS Shoes one-for-one philanthropic efforts.
The way you do business matters! If you have a reputation for cheating customers, delivering faulty products, or not taking responsibility for your failures; you are going to struggle to stay in business long term. If instead you are known for superior quality products, proven ethics, and radical generosity; you will be respected and probably successful. Thus, the way you do business largely determines how successful you will become and how you are perceived in the marketplace.
The good news is you can control your personal way of doing business. Not only that, there are some proven principles that can be found in the Bible to guide you on this journey. This is where the shift to Business as Mission starts.
Some general categories of Biblical guiding principles include:
- Sincere generosity
- Integrity and moral purity
- Stewardship and financial responsibility
- Balancing faith and risk
- Diligence and worth ethic
- Clear communication
- Self-discipline and control
- Conflict resolution
- and more!
When you start digging into the Word of God it shows you exactly how you need to conduct yourself both in your personal life as well as in the context of business. As you start applying the underlying principles in these areas, you essentially are demonstrating what it means to do business the Bible way. This is the first step of Business as Mission.
Connecting your work or business to the kingdom mission
Once you are doing business the Bible way, you then need to look for ways to connect what you are doing to the mission of Christ. There are many ways to do this. Below are a few examples.
- Financial contribution (tithes and offerings)
- Giving of your time (serving, volunteering, and ministry/missions involvement)
- Hiring and/or mentoring people
- Giving of your abilities (using your skills, abilities, or professional services for kingdom work)
- Be a living witness on the job, while running a business, and in day to day life
When you embrace Biblical principles in your professional life and business you are a living example of what it means to be a Christian business leader and/or entrepreneur. That is a huge witness for Jesus! Some people may never visit your church but they will see how you conduct yourself at work.
As you look for ways to connect your vocational efforts to furthering kingdom purpose; you start getting God’s attention. He desires to bless His people when they are willing to be a conduit for Him to channel blessings not only into their own lives but also into the work of the Lord. If He can trust you to do that, you will start to see blessings flow into your life.
This is what it means to live in the flow of blessing! As you receive from God, you give back to the work of God, and in turn, you receive more that you can, in turn, give back to Him. It is a wonderful cycle of blessing and is the best way to live!
If you would like to learn more about what is Business As Mission and how to live it out in your life, go listen to our Podcast episode with Pastor Caleb Adams about Business As Mission.