One of the biggest questions is how can we make disciples through our business activities? In our work in Asia and the Gulf States we’ve focused that down to the challenge, "How can I create opportunities to have spiritual conversations in families?"
Ifran was a high school student we wanted to employ to work in a project in Delhi. Whenever you employ someone it opens opportunities to meet with their families. Sometimes it’s to calm their fears over their son or daughter working for non-Muslims, or it might be to explain to the wider family our business values and how it honours God.
In Ifran’s case, because he was young, the concern was how he’d spend the money we were paying him. Before we employed him, we said we wanted to speak with his parents, and his parents were very open to us visiting.
We shared with his parents that, because God loves families, we didn’t want to hire Ifran without talking to them first. It allowed us to explain what we do, our godly values, and that we wanted the money we paid Ifran to be a blessing to the whole family.
The result was that the money was used to help them build a better home in the slum and provided a foothold for the gospel in that place. We were also able to explain that the work involved their son helping our clients to read the holy books in Urdu. We asked for their blessing, explaining it would also include the Injil (the New Testament). We offered to read the Injil with them ahead of time, but they were too busy for that (unfortunately!). However, they did give us their full blessing to read the Injil with their son.
This is just one example of many where we can use business to openly talk about Jesus. We don’t want to be doing anything in secret. Instead, we ask for permission up front, explaining we are followers of God who want to honour him with our work in their community. By getting their permission before we even begin, whether it’s employing someone or starting a whole new business, it protects the business from any accusations of being underhanded, and most importantly, seeds the opportunity for movements towards Christ to grow.
Bob G, India