There is an exciting change happening in missions – Jesus is working through ordinary men and women to reclaim the workplace, especially in places where he is not invited. His influence is extending through individuals and communities, to be a blessing to those who don’t yet know him, and to bring his good news to those who have never had a chance to hear.
From tentmaking to groundbreaking
The idea of Business as Mission (BAM) is not a new one, Paul used his tentmaking skills to support his work, and to be a blessing to others (Acts 18:3, 20:34-35), but BAM is evolving in new and promising ways. Other entry strategies are getting harder –Muslim nations are often the most difficult to reach; in some countries even charitable and community development activities are seen as criticism that a country’s government can’t cope.
Sustainable, legitimate businesses that create jobs, pay taxes, and bring in foreign capital are almost universally welcomed. They also allow us to demonstrate our work as our worship, pointing to a God who created us to work and care for this world in the very beginning, declaring it ‘good.’
At Frontiers some of our workers use business to tackle our goals of pioneering into hard places and pursuing movements of disciples and churches in the Muslim world. We are developing a specific strategy that focuses on small and profitable businesses because increasingly we see this to be a part of the solution for many looking to pioneer, long-term, with Muslims.
Business that honours God
Bob G, a successful entrepreneur who leads on BAM for Frontiers told us, “Small, profitable businesses give our field workers many opportunities to demonstrate the love of God through the way we work, our goals, and how we treat employees.” Through his businesses he’s found Muslims commending the goal to honour God through work and used that foundation to start many spiritual conversations with employees, their families and the community around them.
He adds, “It’s important in our approach that business should be secondary to pioneering and seeing movements of Muslims towards Christ. We are not insisting that everyone has to keep their business small. Rather, we are suggesting a "small business" approach, where the business is less important than bringing the kingdom to hard places and making disciples.”
Opportunities far and near
So, in this new era of business as mission we recognise that it can go far beyond giving access to hard places. Business done well raises good questions. When others see how we deal with corruption, reward good work, and desire to be a blessing to the community it provides a way to live out our witness, building relationships and creating opportunities to openly talk about spiritual things. And for those pioneering into the hardest countries it not only answers the questions of what you do and why you’re there, it demonstrates them in ways that can start deep discussions about God.
You don’t need to be a businessperson to get excited about the opportunity here. Pioneers in this field need your prayers, encouragement, and support. But if you do feel a calling to the workplace, how might God use you to see breakthroughs in the Muslim world through business? Do you feel that entrepreneurial, apostolic desire to start, find and grow new opportunities? Might you help equip and mentor those wanting to go? Our team would love to hear from you. Please get in touch with us to start a conversation: