Restoring Enterprise to its Place in the Body of Christ

Business as Mission, Kingdom Business, Great Commission Companies, Purpose-Driven Business, Enterprising Ministry, Kingdom Entrepreneurship - It goes by many names, but there is a new, and yet very old calling in the Global Body of Christ. Many believers are called to walk out their calling in the marketplace. A subset of those believers are called to plant and grow businesses that serve God and the rest of the church. It is their ministry, enterprising ministry, that we describe, support, and explore here.

Friday, August 18, 2017

5 STAGES OF THE BIRTH OF A NEW BAM COMPANY

Peter Shaukat , CEO of Transformational SME (TSME), identifies five stages in the emergence of a new business as mission company. Each stage, from conception to launch, involves the integration of missional and commercial elements.
Preparation Stage
This is before the ‘baby is born’, the preparation that has taken place even before the business journey starts. It is about recognising what God has already done in the practitioner’s life in regards to their sense of missional call and life experiences; the tapestry woven together in their life before the BAM entity begins to be incubated. Preparation includes both business preparation and missiological preparation. What has God been doing to both missionally and professionally prepare the person, in terms of their skills and competencies?
This is where mentoring should begin: Tell me what God has been doing in your life? Tell me what your sense of call is? Tell me how God has been preparing you? The incubation process needs to begin there. The incubation of a new BAM business is the result of the process that God has already been doing before that.
Perception Stage
The perception stage is the next step. This is about gaining an understanding of what is going on in the environment that God has called you to do business as mission within; and what God wants to do through the business. What is going on in that environment in commercial terms? What are the needs? What is the market? What is the specific missional element? What is the missional calling to the people group? How is God raising up your business? The perceiving stage addresses the question: What is your business going to be about, commercially and missionally? This is the beginning of the gestation stage of the new business.
Activities in the perception stage will include formal market research, missiological research, taking exploratory trips, etc. There is no hard and fast rule, but this perception process needs to be at least 6 months to a year of really studying the market.
There are a couple of common stumbling blocks in the BAM movement in this stage. On the commercial side there has too often been inadequate market research. BAM companies have moved prematurely to the launch of the business without adequately researching the market. This is the stumbling block of falling in love with your product and discovering after the fact that the market doesn’t have the same affinity for it! Mentoring comes into this process. The BAM practitioner will need someone who is business-minded to ask good questions, to ask have you thought about these things? Where are you getting your commercial perceptions from? Have you checked out the local Chamber of Commerce? Have you met with government officials? And so on. The other common stumbling block is inadequate understanding of the missiological, anthropological, and sociological issues that are at play.
TSME has engaged with lots of BAM practitioners over the years at this perception stage; asking them questions around market, around their business readiness, around missiological understanding, etc. We have found that some practitioners need more commercial development, while others need more missiological development.
Persuasion Stage
This is the period of incubation that primarily involves team building, persuading others to join you. If you hold that it is risky and hard to launch a BAM company in isolation, as an individual, and that it is ideal to build a team around this business idea, then incubation will involve this stage of persuasion. Persuasion follows on from the perception stage and is about envisioning others and getting your team lined up, your investors lined up, engaging your spouse, and so on. From a funding perspective that will involve getting your ‘family, friends, and fools’, or, alternatively, your ‘love capital’, lined up for the start-up. The persuasion process is critical, it is bringing others on board, with commitment, with a willingness to sacrifice, to get to the point of ‘we’re going to do this together’.
The persuasion process also includes working together with national Christians and understanding together the context and business. This will involve persuading each other of the vision and intent of the company, and further refining what might work and what won’t. This should be bilateral; an expat that is not willing to listen to national Christians on what tweaking and refinement is needed is doomed to failure. This of course is not the same thing as listening to all voices – for there will be many nay-sayers and people who just don’t get it.  Choose your national counsellors with discernment and humility.
Through the persuasion stage you will also be perceiving new things about what God is doing. So these are not cut and dry, consecutive stages, this is an iterative process, where elements from previous stages repeat and intensify one another. It is like a river flowing in a linear direction, but within that flow there are eddies and circular movements sometimes carrying you forward, sometimes backward. In business incubation you get this reinforcement between persuasion and an even greater perception, as the vision for the business moves forward.
At this stage, the mentor is more hands-off. There is a mentoring process there, but it says to the practitioner, “If you are not able to persuade others to join your team, then I am not able to persuade them for you.” What is needed is availability and more of a Barnabas-type encouragement role. If you are the BAM practitioner, you have to do that persuasion process yourself to engage others to join your team, to finance your business and so on. For the business incubator the key role in this stage is to be an encourager to the persuader.
This is one of the key reasons that TSME has not funded start-ups. TSME has itself gone through the incubation process and as we developed our business model, we perceived that businesses could start with available resources from people closest to the entrepreneur – especially if it is a lean start-up – but it was the continuation process that they were most struggling with, in financial terms. We also realised that when the funding comes too easily at the start-up phase, the resilience of that persuasion process can actually be undermined. We fund businesses that have already been through that persuasion process, that have already got others engaged to start the business, and now they need to develop it.
Planning Stage
This is the detailed process of getting all the essential elements of your business lined up – the business planning process. It is understanding what the inputs to the business are, in turn, moving through a finite set of business processes, to what the business outputs are. Again it is an iterative process, after all, how can you persuade people if there are major unresolved pieces of the business planning process? However, persuasion begins first, because you need people willing to join you so that the planning can take place in a team context, otherwise you will be planning in a vacuum. You need to get people lined up behind the vision before the planning is complete, because in a sense it will never be complete. Although, there will be elements of the persuasion stage that will be dependent on presenting a decent plan – and that is legitimate and to be expected.
In terms of the services that are provided in the planning stage, again coaching and mentoring are very important. It is important to be thinking through with people experienced in business who can help you plan. This is where the traditional concept of incubation and the activities of the incubator are often centered. There is classically this idea of a ‘hothouse’ environment or facility where there is mind-share with like-minded groups, where the incubator has a group of experienced, committed coaches who are helping to refine the business plan and that the business planning process is being acted on step by step.
Business as mission is not a purely commercial enterprise, so the planning process for BAM companies is going to include missional planning and the development of a spiritual impact plan. This may include a cultural adaptation and language learning phase, living with a national family, for instance, or other necessary preparations.
Perseverance Stage
This is the launch cycle, where the ‘baby is born’ in sense – and where it might be keeping you up at night, there might be teething problems! The incubation process involves persevering through the phase of business start-up. What do you need at that point? This is where field-support in terms of mentoring and coaching, and prayer support is needed.

This material was first published in the BAM Think Tank Report on BAM Incubation.

The Parable of Mission Camp - Enterprising Ministry For the Next Wave

 I had a dream in 1994. No, really...

I had happened every night for several weeks, and each night the dream continued on adding  the next chapter of the story. I wrote it out, and even sent to a friend to edit it. I lost it to a computer virus in 1995.

I am brought back to it today 22 years later because I think the time is right for it, the story makes more sense now than ever.  The story unfolds like the lives of those called to Kingdom Business Entrepreneurship with whom I have worked  for all these years since the dream.  If you are called to minister before God in enterprise, Prayerfully consider whether there is a message here for you.

  1. Arrival By accident
  2. The Hotel
  3. The Cafe
  4. The Camp
  5. The Tower
  6. The Equipping Center
  7. The Perimeter
  8. The Kidnapped
  9. The Raiders
  10. Reconciliation


Monday, June 12, 2017

Three Things Company Culture is, Three Things it is Not

The following points are shamelessly stolen from a blogsite called Military Leadership Methods, and is about how the Marine Corps built and is managing its culture.  The U.S Marines are a very long and successful cases study of deliberate organizational Culture management. The article points to three things that company Culture is, and is not ( editor has created the question bits)

1.  It is the result of  collective interactions.
2.  It Is not "owned by anyone". Even North Korea Culture is influenced by how Kim Jung Un's  leaders choose to react to his control.

Who owns the culture here? The answer shouldn’t just be the boss or any one person. Is everyone encourage to engage in culture discussion? If leadership is not looking through a wide lenses at culture it can miss the people who are talking about it, leaving you exposed when it changes without you.

2.  Culture exists in every company every minute every day. Sometimes We try to influence it by deliberate events. The events only influence the culture. 

2.  Culture is not a set of standards. The Real Culture is not what people say. It is more. It is how they interact with tasks and people, what  they say, do, and the choices they make when no one is looking.

 Is culture an “all the time” thing? If you are doing an event or two a year to “grow the team”, I can assure you that you are not driving culture, but it is happening. Don’t allow the discussion around who you are to be limited to an event, make culture something you talk about in meetings, performance reviews and with 1-on-1’s. You don’t need to announce it just weave it in, all the time.


3.  Culture Is a dynamic movie . It changes by means of every new person or leader you hire, every new product you develop, every new customer, every new competitor.

3.  Culture is not a snapshot. Any attempts to keep it frozen by leadership will cause a personality split between what the real culture is and what The leadership says it is.

– Change requires direction and attention, not resistance. As your company grows the culture will adjust to include the ever growing diversity in your workforce. Your leadership role is to help steer, not to ensure that nothing ever changes, because everything changes.
Marines believe they are the greatest fighting force on the planet. They will stand and fight when others would run because the culture permeates through every Marine. This way of thinking is not an accident, it is done on purpose all the time, in training, in briefings, and in how we celebrate our heritage. You can have that same effect in your organization.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Business as Mission:a Possible Funding Structure

Disclaimer: I'm a business guy trying to solve a business problem-and every business or non profit is structured differently. I'm not a lawyer, please don't take any of this as legal advice or execute any plan with out running it be legal where ever you area.I'd welcome a comment from someone who knows more than me.

Problem:  Many Non-Profit entities want to provide funding for Independent For-Profit business start up and expansions, which are providing an income source directly to a non-profit entity in a remote region around the world. This has been a difficult thing for 501(c)3s to do.

501(c) 3s can own for profit companies, as long as all income comes back to the 501(c)3.
But they cannot give money to an independent for-profit business except for services rendered.

Some States have created something called  a  Limited Low-Profit Liability Company, sometimes a  L3C. They may receive non-profit funds to execute the charitable purpose of the Foundation in some cases.

So: In example:

  1. Large Foundation or Other Non-profit is set up with a charter that includes Business as Mission Activities, and creating local bank-business partnerships.
  2. LC3 is set up to offer and administer Grants and/or business as mission low interest loans, partnered with a local bank near the business.
  3. L3C solicits projects  on behalf of one or more Foundations:
  4. A business plan is approved, for a specific project, in two parts: one part grant, and if business goals are met, the other part loan. It would also include interest subsidies to the partner bank and fees to the L3C.
  5. The charitable foundation gets a pre-approval letter from the IRS that the Foundation's principle funds can be used for that purpose, noting that returning principle funds will stay with the L3C.
  6.  The Foundation Funds and administers the Grant porition. andmovest the loan principle to the LC3.
  7. The L3C holds the loan principle, and expected fees in the Foundations account in the L3C.
  8. When criteria for giving the loan are met, The LC3 gives the loan principle, acting as the loan investor, to the local bank. 
  9. The LC3 pays the local bank near the business a pre-arranged difference from their normal interest rate to the lower BAM interest rate. (some local banks can charge high rates of interest)
  10. Loan principle and low BAM interest repayments are made back to the LC3, who puts it, by agreement, into the account LC3 set up for the Foundation. This principle may be loaned out again to another project as directed by the Foundation,
  11. As the Foundation's account in the L3C grows, it can use the funds to fund other projects but will not receive it back, and thery by maintains its charitable status.
Complicated, but one done, can get easier each time it is repeated.






LC3 Still not legal in Texas



Prior to 2008, the prevailing for-profit business entities required high returns on investment.   Because most socially beneficial business ventures are not highly profitable, organizations pursuing these objectives are commonly set up as non-profit corporations. The problem with non-profit organizations is that they have very limited access to capital due to IRS regulations that restrict profit-seeking objectives.   For social and community conscious business ventures to succeed, they need a flexible, lightly regulated business structure that allows access to investment capital. The L3C format was designed to satisfy this need.
In 2008, Vermont became the first state to enact legislation authorizing the creation of the L3C as a new business entity. Since then several states have enacted similar legislation making the L3C a viable option for socially conscious entrepreneurs. As of January 2012, the following states had enacted L3C legislation: Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, and Wyoming. 

L3C Structure

An L3C is structurally exactly the same as an LLC.   It has members, managers, an operating agreement, and flexibility with ownership rights. From a legal standpoint L3Cs differ from LLCs in one significant area: profit motive. In general, legislation authorizing the creation of low-profit limited liability companies has three requirements: 
(1) that the company significantly furthers charitable or educational purposes as defined by the IRS, 
(2) that no significant purpose of the company is the production of income or appreciation of property, and 
(3) that no purpose of the company is to accomplish political, legislative, or lobbying activities. This structure makes the L3C a more suitable vehicle for raising capital previously inaccessible to low-profit and non-profit organizations.

5 Culture questions-is your Company Culture Special?

Is your talent strategy rooted in your business strategy? Culture can’t just be an assortment of well-meaning HR practices; it has to grow out of distinctive business practices. As I reflect on the great companies I’ve gotten to know — companies that are winning big in tough, competitive fields — they all exude what brand strategist Adam Morgan calls a “lighthouse identity.” Every time you encounter them, however you encounter them, you understand what makes them different, what they’re prepared to do that other companies aren’t, and why what they’re doing is relevant today. That’s why building a great culture starts with intellectual clarity about what your organization stands for and why you expect to win. There can be no talent strategy without a compelling business strategy.
Does your company work as distinctively as it competes? Yes, the most successful companies think differently from everyone else — that’s what separates them from the competition in the marketplace. But they also care more than everyone else — that’s what holds people together as colleagues in the workplace. So much of what we focus on as leaders is how to be more clever: big data, slick apps, social media. A great culture allows clever organizations to be more human, to make everything they do more authentic, real, memorable. The true promise of a culture, argues influential venture capitalist Ben Horowitz, is to “be provocative enough to change what people do every day.” That’s the real connection between culture and strategy: If you want to energize and elevate how your organization competes, you have to energize and elevate how your people behave.
Can you capture what it means to be a member of your organization? At its core, the role of culture is to reinforce a sense of belonging, a shared commitment among colleagues about how they solve problems, share information, serve customers, and deliver experiences. Which is why the most enduring cultures are built on language and rituals that are designed to create a palpable sense of community — which, in many cases, only makes sense to people who are part of that community. A favorite slogan among students and faculty at Texas A&M University, a long-established school with a one-of-a-kind culture, sums it up: “From the outside looking in, you can’t understand it. From the inside looking out, you can’t explain it.” That’s the spirit I’ve seen at companies with the most powerful cultures. Their leaders devote enormous time and imagination to devising small gestures and little symbols that send big messages about what it takes for everyone to be at their best every day.
Is your culture built for learning as well as performance? High-output cultures are all about fierce competition, crisp execution, and a relentless commitment to service. But truly enduring cultures are also about change and renewal. It’s one of the hazards that comes with success: The better an organization performs, the more ingrained its culture becomes, and the harder it can be for executives and employees to stay alert to big shifts in markets, technology, and culture. That’s why the best cultures and the most effective leaders keep learning as fast as the world is changing. They’re constantly scanning for new practices from other companies, new ideas for unrelated industries, a new sense of what’s possible in their own fields. At WD-40, a company with one of the richest learning cultures I’ve seen, CEO Garry Ridge likes to challenge his colleagues with a simple question: When’s the last time you did something for the first time?
Can your culture maintain its zest for change and renewal, even when the company stumbles? It’s a lot easier to maintain high levels of energy and morale at a company when sales are booming and the stock price is soaring. But the reality of competition today is that long-term success is virtually impossible without short-term stumbles. For any organization, part of staying relevant is experimenting with dramatically new technologies, sketching alternative business models, and rethinking how it engages with customers — all of which are bound to involve setbacks and disappointments. That’s why the most enduring cultures are the most resilient cultures. Colleagues at every level embrace the power of creative ideas, deep convictions, and confidence in the face of missteps. Leadership scholar John Gardner calls this outlook “tough-minded optimism,” and it’s a hallmark of cultures that can move and morph with the times.

Friday, May 19, 2017

The Ministry of Words

A man has Joy in an Apt answer, and how delightful is a timely word.
Proverbs 15:23

Like Apples of gold in settings of silver is a word spoken in the right circumstances
Proverbs 25:11.

The "word" in these verses, is the Hebrew word " daw bawr' " (. H1697 דּבר dâbâr daw-bawr' ) From H1696; These are only two of the over 1300 times this word is used in the old testament. The English translation to "word" is a vast understatement of the meaning.

It can mean:

  1. a speech
  2. a plan
  3. a course of action
  4. a communicated issue
  5. a "thing"
  6. a story
  7. a Chronicle
  8. a communicated promise
  9. a communicate commitment
  10. a gift
  11. a cause
  12. a message
  13. an accusation
  14. a report
  15. a deed
  16. a timely, deliberate doing of nothing
  17. an instruction, a teaching
  18. a blessing
and many more, depending on context.

A more complete definition as:

a Dawbar' moment is "a meaningful moment of epiphany delivered to one human though another, sometimes deliberately given, but more often incidental to other activity. A communication from God, delivered by his holy spirit. If God sends me a Dawbar' word, it enables me, equips, encourages me, corrects me, informs me, reassures me, lays out a principle he intends to be a tool for my journey.

It services a purpose to advance God's kingdom. God often drops it into our path as the next stepping stone in the path he is laying out for us.

So what is the ministry of dawbar'?

The ministry of  dawbar' is being a vessel God uses to provide these connecting, equipping and energizing moments. Clearly it is among the gifts of a pastor, or shepherd. But I see it happening between people all over as God's Kingdom advances, in the fellowship of believers and in the marketplace. The ones God seems to use most are almost invisible to the body of Christ, but they are like the sons of Issachar,  (I chronicles 12:32). They appear at the right time, the Dawbar' moment happens, and then they are out of the link as the "flow" is restored.

Years ago I asked God to use my words to advance his Kingdom. Now that I understand the Dawbar' moment and its many forms, I see that he has used me in unexpected ways that I could never claim credit for.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Low Profit Limited Liability Corporation ( L3C) Update

I believe Low Profit Limited Liability Corporations (L3Cs),  are key entities that will allow believers to fund  BAM initiatives in mission environments.. L3Cs are entities that may allow Corporations to Fund Entrepreneurial Projects and yet still receive Charitable Contribution tax credits.

It's  still complicated to set up, but there is legislation pending, the PRIs Promotion Act,
which is aimed at making funding of  BAM and other social enterprise start ups easier.

The following article is an update on the status of the L3C and the legislation.

********************************

by  Steve Gunderson, president and CEO of the Council on Foundations.

Earlier this year, Americans for Community Development held its inaugural conference, “L3C A to Z,” in Evanston, Ill., to educate nonprofits on Low-Profit Limited Liability Companies (L3Cs) and the advantages they provide for those pursuing program-related investments (PRIs).

At the opening plenary, I served on a panel, along with Robert Lang and Max Martin, on new philanthropic funding structures-focusing primarily on PRIs.

PRIs are an increasingly attractive tool because they allow achievement of charitable goals without depleting endowments, even producing a modest return in many cases. Such investments can provide much-needed capital to initiatives for which a foundation cares about and can often lead to innovative solutions. Examples include low-interest loans and equity investments to entities aligned with the core values of a foundation.

Another type of PRI is the L3C, a special IRS designation for for-profit companies whose primary goal is to provide a social benefit.

  • It is a cross between a charity and a for-profit company. 
  • While PRIs offer several advantages to foundations, government regulations are extremely burdensome. 
  • Under the current system, before a foundation can enter into a PRI it must make a determination that the investment is primarily intended to further a charitable purpose. This is a legal determination based on the facts and circumstances of each transaction. 
  • For old tried and true PRI models, this can be relatively simple because IRS regulation, published letter rulings, and other experience provide guidance about what is and is not allowed. 
  • Newer models for PRIs, particularly L3Cs, are not so straightforward because there are not many examples to rely on to determine when a particular investment’s structure will be considered “charitable” by the IRS. 
  • As a result, foundations may be uncomfortable with the uncertainty of a particular PRI, potentially leading to two choices: advising against the investment or recommending the foundation seek a private letter ruling from the IRS-in other words, killing the opportunity outright or delaying it so long it dies out. 
To ease the burdensome regulations and assist foundations in mission-driven investing, the Council supports legislation creating a voluntary procedure for entities seeking foundation participation in PRIs to obtain an IRS determination that such participation constitutes a permissible charitable activity.
  • The PRIs Promotion Act would restrict how much time the IRS has to respond to these requests, thus encouraging lawyers to seek IRS approval rather than advise against the investment. 
  • The legislation also would increase the efficiency of the system by allowing multiple foundations to rely on a single determination that a PRI is charitable. Currently, each foundation has to make its own determination-increasing the costs and time involved. 
The PRIs Promotion Act has yet to be introduced in Congress, but it is among priority legislation contained in the Council’s legislative agenda. To stay up to date on this and other legislative priorities relating to philanthropy, sign up for our weekly Public Policy Update and visit our Legislative Action Center.

And if you are attending the Council’s 2011 Fall Conference for Community Foundations, you have a great opportunity to learn more about L3Cs: Attend the preconference session, “The L3C-New Opportunities for Community Foundations.”

The Council has lined up a number of speakers, including Sanders Davies, senior partner, PKF O’Connor Davies; Ericka Harney, assistant director of development, The Council of State Governments; and Robert Lang (moderator), founder, Americans for Community Development. Community foundations will have the chance to learn more about using this new tool to help fulfill their mission. Steve Gunderson is president and CEO of the Council on Foundations.


Friday, August 26, 2011

From the Regeny

Three Kingdom Business/Business as Misssion related books

Reinventing the Wheel: A New Spin on American Business Leadership By Jonathan D. McDowell


 As America loses faith in current models of leadership, the current need for a new type of leadership is described. A reinvention of leadership is suggested through the use of Romans 12:9-21 as a baseline. After laying that foundation, three foci for a leader are outlined: Purpose, Community and Fortitude. These ideas from contemporary business thought are then applied to business with the text of Romans 12:9-21. The result is what a reinvented American business leader should aim to achieve in personal and organizational leadership.



 Servant Leader Workplace Spiritual Intelligence: A Shield of Protection from Workplace Stress By Gary Roberts, Ph.D. and Daryl Green, Ph.D.

 Servant leader spiritual intelligence is the foundational scriptural approach to leadership. Servant leadership is the essential character attribute that enables managers to promote the Great Commandment and Great Commission in the workplace. This article describes the constituent elements of servant leader spiritual intelligence and its benefits. Servant leadership spiritual intelligence helps managers develop a capacity for transcendence, achieve a higher state of God consciousness, interject the sacred into everyday events, use scriptural principles to solve workplace problems, and engage in ethical and virtuous behavior such as forgiveness, love, transparency, and humility.


  • Our preliminary study indicated that managers who scored higher on servant leadership, an important workplace spiritual intelligence attribute, reported lower levels of job stress and higher levels of workforce engagement (more satisfied with peers and job challenge, higher organizational commitment and loyalty, greater motivation to improve performance, and higher overall performance level).
Examining Viral Marketing and the Diffusion of the Gospels By Lisa Renz and A. Gregory Stone, Ph.D. 

Viral marketing is emerging as a viable strategy for organizations as part of the marketing mix. Research into viral marketing is still in its infancy. Socio-rhetorical criticism is one approach to examine viral marketing, and more specifically, the diffusion of the Gospels to gain insights into what factors led to their successful long-term diffusion. Future research may choose to examine the influences of gender, age, intrinsic and extrinsic incentives, and feedback. Making Sense of the Journey:

The Christian Business Leader as Pilgrim By Corné J. Bekker, Ph.D.

Recent voices have argued that the discipline of faithfully reading and interpreting the sacred Scriptures of the Old and New Testament in the context of business can have a positive effect on economic development. There also seems to be clear evidence that communities in the early Church benefited economically from their conversion to Christ experience.

This article proposes that theological reflection on Biblical perspectives on work and business assists the manager or business leader to interpret her deepest inner values and beliefs as they relate to the workplace, correlate those interpretations with the other information gathered through the tools of management and leading, and finally assess the adequacy of both the theological and business interpretations and correlations to the world in which they labor..

From  Regent University Newsletter

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Friday, August 12, 2011

Is My Business Labor an Act of Worship?

The word "ministry" carries different meanings depending who's using it and what's being described.
In the last decade, there's a movement among some workplace-based believers who pursue business labor as an act of worship.One of the names the movement carries is  Business as Mission (BAM).
People involved in Business as Mission, Workplace Ministry, "tentmaking", church planting, Kingdom Business Professionals, Great Commission Companies use the word ministry in a way that appears to carry  a different meaning than when the word "ministry" is used by clergy. Some clergy participating in BAM discussions cautiously explore what BAM people mean by the word "ministry".
Some questions they ask are:

Do you mean ministry alongside of your work to make money?
Do you mean ministry during work breaks with people you meet at work?
Do you mean ministry to the body of Christ by providing employment, so that those employed can do ministry?
Do you mean out-reach in the workplace so that you can draw them into a church somewhere?
Do you mean generating wealth to give to ministries?


To answer, I wanted to look at how the word "ministry" is used in the Bible:


The old testament uses three Hebrew root words that most English versions of the bible translate as "ministry":


Kahan - To  act  as  priest or mediator between God and Man, a ministry before God and men. For example, offering sacrifices.


Aboha - To labor in bondage or in service to a religious project such as a craftsman ministering by labor to build the temple.


Sharatch - to assist or serve alongside: this was the word used for Samuel when he first came to Eli as a child to minister in the temple.


The New testament only uses two Greek root words that most English versions of the bible translate as "ministry":


Hupo -  or rower, as in a ship a  low level laborer. God spoke directly to Paul at his conversion on the road to Damascus and said that his ministry was to be a "rower".


Leturgio  to perform religious or  priestly Service:


Acts 13:2 (worshiping, fasting, ministering before the Lord) 
Romans 15:16, 27 Gentiles churches ministering to  the Jewish churches financially
Hebrews 1:7, 8:6, 9:21, 10:11: When Paul was teaching Jews about the ministry of Jesus as mediator of the new covenant. He called that Jesus' ministry.

Business-based believers are saying that their activities in business are no less than leturgio ministry before the Lord, Acts of Worship.Financial support of other ministries is also part of their worship.

Apostles, Overseers, Elders, Deacons etc are a different question of service (ministry). For example, Diaconia by a diacano (Service done by a deacon) is used  for other acts of service or ministry to the body of Christ.

Conclusion

Under the new covenant, ministry is not restricted to clergy or to acts of church administration. Some people minister before the Lord in acts of worship by conducting business. Yes, they share their faith, do out reach and serve the body of Christ in many other way, too.

The clergy do litergio ministry to God, serving in the role of administration for  the body of Christ past, present and future. They sometimes do this full time.

Some believing entrepreneurs do literugio ministry to God by serving the Body of Christ, past, present and future in the role of the administration of business.

Neither is more is more anointed (Set apart) than the other.


Thursday, July 14, 2011

5 Christian owned Companies Uncomfortable With BAM

Christian entrepreneurs who own some kinds of businesses will become uncomfortable the deeper they get into Business as Mission. BAM Questions the world view that make them successful,and when they ask the hard questions, they must either embrace BAM  or turn away from it. People who own these five kinds of businesses will be challenged by real  BAM concepts:

1. Business by The World's Book :Acknowledge Responsibility only to the law and shareholders. Shareholders are majority Christian but exert not influence or do not believe they are accountable for the actions of the company.
2. Old School Sacred/Secular Separatists: Businesses who's Christian owners believe that business is inherently "old nature", and they separate secular and sacred activities and standards. Their job is to operate in the"dirt business world" according to its rules, and reclaim "mammon" to give to the church. Only an organization who's home is in a church building can do God's work. Often in co-dependent complicit relationship with a sacred only church.
3. My Kingdom Business. An un-surrendered business by me, for me and mine from which I donate occasionally to God's work.
4. A Jesus-free Business. Humanitarian based  Social Enterprise. May be Christian in name only, and thereby inoculated against any real Kingdom of God Contribution. a "good place" to work as long as you keep your god generic. Perhaps worships a large religious institution like "The Church" or has a large christian denomination in its name.
5.  Ministry wearing business clothes. A business designed to create interactions with people whether it grows revenue or not. Run by gifted Church planters, pastors or Missionaries, who have no entrepreneurial business gifts. Requires regular cash infusions from other sources to survive, and has no business plan that leads to long term profitability and growth.


More to be published later

-Lee Royal





Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Does BAM Pursue Business Success or Business Fruit?

- (David Skews )The best thing I ever saw on success in the 30 years I have worked as a business owner grappling with the challenges (both business and spiritual) of taking a small business (survival) to a medium one (health and growth) and now to transaction while balancing a heart for mission - was from Henri Nouwen, it went like this...

"There is a great difference between successfulness and fruitfulness. Success comes from strength, control, and respectability. A successful person has the energy to create something, to keep control over its development, and to make it available in large quantities. Success brings many rewards and often fame. Fruits, however, come from weakness and vulnerability. And fruits are unique. A child is the fruit conceived in vulnerability, community is the fruit born through shared brokenness, and intimacy is the fruit that grows through touching one another's wounds. Let's remind one another that what brings us true joy is not successfulness but fruitfulness".

I suspect God wants to see more businesses that are fruitful and for His glory - how else can we measure what we do? It seems to me that business can no longer be considered with a purpose to increase shareholder value (Friedman) but for us it has to be to bless the nations (all our stakeholders). God gave His business people the ability to create wealth - so that His covenant will be fulfilled, the one he spoke to our forefathers (Abraham) that was - to bless (apologies for messing with Deuteronomy 8:18ff)

Yes, I know its hard, but so was going to the moon and that's why they did it!

David Skews



Friday, June 17, 2011

The Actions of Living A Surrendered Work Life

How do I inhabit my new life as a fully empowered ambassador of Christ in the business world?

A little word study of
Colossians 3: 1-18

Deliberately choose to set your mind on things going on in the spiritual world, in God's kingdom, in the heavenlies, things above the things being acted out in the natural world.

Because you'r dead to the natural world, and are hidden away in Christ.

When Christ is revealed, you will be too.

So......

Make a well reasoned and thoughtful decision to categorize your earthly parts as dead, as unresponsive to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed (If my body is conditioned to reflexively respond to to those things, it amounts to being a slave to, or worshiping those things)

Why is this important? Because, it's those things that bring the wrath of God upon the sons of disobedience.

You once walked on that path yourselves, you were once living inside those things.

But now, step out of those things, abandon that place, leave it deserted. Don't try to redecorate the house you used to live in that was  created by the four walls of anger, wrath, malice and slander. Don't even keep it or rent it, or even allows  someone else to live in that house you built. Walk away, leave it abandoned, deserted. Don't even try to destroy it yourself, that's God's Job. That's not how it works for us believers. We must abandon that stronghold of the enemy. Don't let your rage and greed "motivate" you to do good things. Thats like a broken water tank. It looks like it can satisfy your thirst, but when you try and drink from it you find no water.

Your actions are to abandon that house and  live in the world, not in a house but in fully protective new clothes provided by God.


So how do we do that?


First, we don't  lie to one another,since you have left that old house behind, and since you have put on the new self, like new clothes, new beautiful clothes that you sink into, clothes that completely cover and protect you, not clothes that try and dress up your old self.

Like clothes, we put them one one piece at a a time.

Five Principles



First, Dress. Put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience, letting them cover us completely, sinking deep into their covering.

Second, bear and forgive. with others when God's Children are doing or saying things that are offensive to you, and if they succeed in giving you offense, forgive them, right on the spot before it has a chance to fester and grow into something else.

Third, Peace is your Umpire act under the assumption that  the peace of Christ act as an umpire in your heart, an umpire that makes rulings as things come up in your life. What does The peace of God's Spirit tell you you should do, or you should not do?

Fourth, invest  frequent cosnsistent time time God's Wordtime so that the word of God completely fills you up, with a plethora of things, with all wisdom, teaching and lovingly correcting one another with pslams, hymns and spiritual songs. Singing them with thankfullnes in your hearts to God.

Fifth Do all  in your Master's Name, what ever you do in word or deed, in business, at home at church in all recreation, in all practcingof the arts, in entertainment, in your sleep, at night, in the day, do it all in the name of Jesus who is your highest authority, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.



So How Do I  apply these five Principles in my  work life?


First, Put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience, letting them cover us completely, sinking deep into their covering with every candidate, employee, prospect, customer, Potential vendor, vendor, delivery driver, receptionist, warehouse worker, banker, project manager, trainer, leader, cleaning person.

Second, when God's Children are doing or saying things that are offensive to you ( and they will). Bear it without striking back, and even responding in love and affirmation both publicly and privately. Tf they succeed in harming you or giving you offense, forgive them, right on the spot before it has a chance to fester and grow into something else.

Third, listen carefully to peace of Christ in your heart, for every response, for every action, decision interaction.Let it umpire that makes rulings as things come up in your life. What does The peace of God's Spirit tell you you should do, or you should not do?

Fourth, invest time so that the word of God completely fills you up, so that His word is present as tools, in your heart mind and spirit, in your mouth. It is the sword of God for your workplace, where ever your are. And join together with other believers in your workplace and fight the good fight together, whether they goto your home church or not.

Fifth, what ever you do in word or deed at work do it all in the name of Jesus who is your highest authority, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.

****************

These are the ACTIONS we take while on our journey in the workplace. We are not asked to passively take what the world gives us until we can run back to church to get cleaned up. We are  to take action in our role there by sinking deeply into the new clothes Christ has given us to cover us; we are to bear and forgive, listen to the peace of Christ as he umpires our interactions, stay steeped in His Word, and live an integrated life, doing every action including business in the name of the Lord.




Thursday, June 16, 2011

A BAM Awakening

Have you ever felt as a business person or professional that you’re about the only person in church who hasn’t got something to offer mission? I certainly did.

I can remember watching teachers, builders, medics, plumbers, electricians, cooks, parents, social workers and all other manner of other people being exhorted to get involved in short-term mission trips. Along with the others who were seen as ‘business people’, ‘office workers’, ‘consultants’ or ‘professionals’, I was exhorted to get involved too, but only by contributing money. We were left with the sense of being second class, good for nothing but tithing and bringing work colleagues along to church events. Little did I know the journey of learning that God had in store for me.

The Rest @ YWAM BAM