You may think that business can only be an instrument for business activity or maybe job creation schemes. But the truth is, business can be about missions by creating stable and profitable businesses while passionately building the Kingdom of God … and seeing the spiritual transformation of people and society.
For too long the business community has mainly been asked to financially support missions—which is great—but business as missions asks them to become involved with their hearts and hands as well.
It leads mission-minded business people through seeking God’s direction to engage other business people one at a time.
Creating Sustainable Ministry Income
One key area of a business ministry focuses on helping mission-oriented individuals or teams establish self-sustaining businesses. Business people help individuals establish legitimate business platforms for the sharing of the Good News and for the development of Kingdom-focused businesses. This strategy is most common in developing countries.
The world is becoming much more technologically and socially aware. It is increasingly difficult to minister in these countries without a visible means of support. Establishing oneself as a fellow businessperson lessens the concerns of the community. The locals see you as a peer working to make a living, like them—creating trust and serving as a platform for building relationships.
One huge benefit of this method of ministry is that once a plan is implemented successfully, funding is no longer an issue. This allows the team to focus on sharing the gospel with their business contacts and the new friends they come in contact with.
This is also a wonderful way for a ministry to lead by example—actually running a Kingdom-focused business. With this business model, there are several results:
- God is honored
- Fellow workers are evangelized
- Profits are used to promote the Kingdom
- Employees and customers are treated differently, reflecting a business full of God’s love and goodness
Reaching the World Through Business
The second key focus of a business as missions ministry is to engage seasoned businessmen and women—many who have never been asked to participate in this manner—in utilizing their spiritual gifts for Kingdom work.
This takes many shapes such as:
- Volunteering to work with an established ministry in training and consulting with missionaries to establish businesses
- Going overseas to train and consult with nationals to increase profits in their businesses, gaining more relational leverage in their communities
- Starting and running a foreign business that is Kingdom-focused and mission-minded
Profitability is NOT a Four Letter Word
In a parable in Luke 19: 12-27, Jesus teaches that profit is good! During the settling of accounts he responded positively to the servants who had earned a profit saying, “Well done!”
While the ability to earn a profit is not a universal given, the key is to help nationals understand this is part of God’s plan. You then can show them how to use this profit to help build a business and become more Kingdom-focused in their own place and time.
Unemployment and underemployment is a significant source of suffering in developing countries. Helping struggling businesses become more successful and making them a Kingdom business is a real blessing.
As these businesses become more successful it provides the opportunity for them to help others get on their feet. It allows us to live out our faith as believers in Jesus and to actually make a difference … one person at a time.
Business for Transformation
East-West has used business as missions as a strategy to spread the gospel in restricted-access nations through Business for Transformation (B4T).
To implement this type of strategy, we use a specific process that includes the following steps:
- Analysis of the business/ministry idea
- In-depth review of the direct participant(s)
- Formulation of a financial plan
- Evaluation of funding and how to secure it
- Clear direction for how ministry will take place once a business is established
Through B4T, experienced business people are helping believers establish profitable businesses that fund their evangelism ministries. There are as many great opportunities as there great ideas and people willing to implement them!