Latest Learnings from the BAM World
As GSI is co-leading a Business-as-Mission Missions Agency Workgroup, Heather recently attended a conference organized by our partner BAM Global Network. Here are her observations and insights:
Business and Ministry have much in common
Whatever sector we find ourselves working in while participating in God’s mission, many common principles apply.
(1) Glorifying God
Time with God is the one daily appointment we must never cancel. The conference speakers challenged BAM practitioners to not get so busy producing results, that we sacrifice time with Him because He wants us more than He wants our results. It is about more than just spending time with God, it’s about really knowing Jesus. For a BAM practitioner, since Jesus is our CEO, do we know how He would run the business? If we’re not sure what He would think of our policies and decisions, would we be willing to ask Him? Have we ever read the Bible as a manual for business?
(2) Prioritising our families
Abandoning our families to meet with clients or for travel does not glorify God. Your spouse may agree to these burdens “for the good of the family”, but have you asked Jesus about it? Is your lack of engagement with your family a good witness? How is God glorified when you don’t respect time with your family, one of the greatest gift he has given you?
(3) Being the Body of Christ
It was amazing to hear how easily BAM practitioners were able to share the teachings of Jesus in hostile environments and without knowing it, the employees were modeling the actions of a healthy church. What if your business were focused on serving people, taking care of employees, praying for each other, meditating on the Word, and teaching from the Bible? What if every employee came to faith and you didn’t need to change anything because you were already modeling discipleship? What would happen if we welcomed everyone as a disciple instead of as an employee?
(4) Joy and Excellence
Finally, we glorify God by serving others with joy and excellence. We can’t give everyone what they want, but are we putting more emphasis on meeting the needs of others, or our own needs? Even in ministry we sometimes focus on what is easiest, most efficient, or enjoyable for us. The Bible speaks often of joy (242 times) and one speaker shared how he wouldn’t leave the house until he was at least an 8 out of 10 on the joy scale. Business is tough and he knows there is rarely a day without challenges and the joy keeps him connected to God. Another speaker reminded us that we serve an excellent God and our work, just like the Old Testament sacrifices, must be of the best quality for it to be accepted as worship.
Both ministry and business should first glorify God, serve people and meet needs, and then deal with the money. And through all of that make disciples who follow the same pattern.