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.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

My Fruit in the Space and Time God Gives Me

 It's a profound mystery that God uses broken people to advance his kingdom. There is an amazing continuity of believers before you and me, and believers coming after us that God uses to advance His Kingdom. Therefore, as followers of the way , we have been given a God-ordained space in the lineage of his Kingdom. 

The question is, what am I doing with my work of gratitude, in my space in time?

Whether I am called to the ministry of enterprise, in the for profit or the non-profit world, I have things to do to advance his kingdom. Small things, large things, long and short things. What am I doing with the moments He has created for me? like Joel Gregory once said, "We're obsessed by trivial things, and miss the monumental things."

It is likely, like best men and women of the bible, that I will have both successes and failures. Either way I will be both rewarded and held accountable for my actions in my space and time.

Case Study - Asa

After David and his son Solomon, Israel was divided. Jeroboam, appointed King of Israel by 10 of the 12 tribes, led his tribes away from God, and forged golden goat and calf idols. He kicked out the priests of God, and appointed his own priests to his new idols.

Abija, king of the other two tribes, fought to maintain the Independence of the two remaining tribes, Judah and Benjamin. His son, Asa kept the two tribes in peace for ten years; Then:
The Spirit of God came on Azariah son of Oded. He went out to meet Asa and said to him,

“Listen to me, Asa and all Judah and Benjamin. The LORD is with you when you are with him. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will forsake you.  For a long time Israel was without the true God, without a priest to teach and without the law. But in their distress they turned to the LORD, the God of Israel, and sought him, and he was found by them."  

(In those days it was not safe to travel about, for all the inhabitants of the lands were in great turmoil. One nation was being crushed by another and one city by another, because God was troubling them with every kind of distress)

"But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.”

- II Chronicles  15:1-7 , NIV @ Biblegateway

Asa's reign ended up uneven. He drew the two tribes back to God in many ways, but when he was threatened by a larger country, and later with his physical sickness, he did not go to God, but went to a king in Damascus, an ungodly country.  God withdrew his favor from them, and Asa was at war the rest of his reign.


What Am I doing in My Space and Time that advances God's Kingdom?

What Am I doing in My Space and Time that works against God's Kingdom?

What Am I doing in My Space and Time that dissipates my spiritual energy and initiative, that entertains myself alone, that makes me unavailable to serve God's Kingdom?


Monday, February 21, 2011

BAM's Four Components

Business As Mission (BAM) has four core components.

  • First, it involves the creation of a business controlled by Great Commission minded owners and senior management who seek to glorify God with every aspect of the their business operation. This eliminates Tentmaking which focuses on individual impact rather than the business impact.
  • Second, it has profit (or at least sustainability) as a goal. This eliminates business "platforms" and other ministries and NGOs which cannot operate without donor funds.
  • Third, it exists primarily to advance the gospel among less reached peoples of the world. This eliminates marketplace ministries which are typically not cross-cultural in emphasis.
  • Fourth, it is socially responsible; it does not seek profit at any cost. Restricting our definition in this way is not to say that these excluded strategies are not desirable or effective.
-Source WikiBAM

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Ten Principles For Enterprising Ministry Leadership

Principle One: The workplace is the primary appointed place of ministry for those called to Enterprising Ministry leadership.

The Marketplace is the is field ripe for harvest, the church building is the seed store. We some times operate as if the workplace is the seed store and the church building is the field for harvest. We are the workers, the church leadership is delighted to be the equippers of  workplace saints.

Principle Two: Enterprise without profit is like a local church without the gospel. 

Even non-profit enterprises must generate more income than they spend to invest in stability and growth.

An enterprising ministry that spends more than it takes in looks and sounds good, but it is no more than a representation of  a real enterprise, a fruitless fruit tree. It has no strength to stand in adversity, no passion to advance the kingdom. It has no real opportunity to support families or fund other kingdom work. It is facade, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

Principle Three: The Workplace must be reclaimed as a place of salty light for believers to carry out their primary ministry, not a place of contamination for the

There is an unspoken belief among "old school" Christian business and clergy people that business is at least a place of compromise, and at worst a stronghold of the enemy, and that Christians called to business operate there only to reclaim the enemy's money so that it may be redeemed in "real" ministry outside of the marketplace. This is a tragic myth; the marketplace must be reclaimed as a place of  salty light for believers to carry out their primary ministry.

Principle Four: The marketplace is a primary place to for relationships to develop between believers and those who will be believers.

Construct your work processes with Purpose Driven Design Principles, maximizing opportunities for believing workers to interact as believers with those around them that don't know Christ both inside and outside the Enterprise.

Principle Five: A Business owned or controlled by believers  belongs to the Lord,  and they are Stewards of the Enterprising Ministry.

No believer owns anything. The enterprising business is of God, by God, and for God. The owners are Stewards with a burden and responsibility similar to the ones Pastors and Elders hold for a church.

Principle Six: A godly enterprise may be mundane and simple, but it is sin for a Steward to operate an enterprise that advances the enemy's kingdom.

No business services or products that enslave people, draws people away from Christ or facilitates the enemy's agenda. 

Principle Seven: believer in enterprise operates under the same standards of ethics and behavior as the rest of the body of Christ.

As ambassadors for Christ in a non-Christian world, as standard bearers in a Kingdom Business, you may not keep two set of  behavioral books.

Principle Eight: Stewards of Enterprising Ministry are by definition equipped by God to be contributors toward other ministry.

As stewards of financial, job, and business resources and assets, as well as opportunities, you have a responsibility to listen to petitions and requests, submit them to to the Lord in prayer, and respond as directed by the Lord.

Principle Nine: At the End of the day, Enterprising Ministry, business, is about People that matter to God. How you treat your employees, suppliers, and customers is carried to God by Christ as worship, an aroma, a perfume..

Principle Ten: Enterprising Ministry Stewards are teachers, responsible to develop the next generation of Kingdom Entrepreneurs.