"God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in numbers: fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground." (Genesis 1:28)
A Reflection on Profitability and Productivity By Jeffrey J. Lee, CEO of SfK Ministries
We tend to review and interpret God's Word spiritually. Rightfully so. But if the interpretation of the Scripture is confined only to the spiritual realm, we may miss the implication and message of certain concepts that are applicable to business as a high and holy calling for serving the needs of humanity.
Although business is a secular entity, it can be a means of service or worship to God. However good our intentions, it is prone to temptations for misuse or abuse. To further illustrate this point, we use water as an example of something that is good in essence and necessary for life. However, when there is too much, it causes devastating floods. Too little water causes drought. Waterborne diseases and can harm humans or other living things. In the same way, when businesses fall to being misused it can bring harm to people in many forms. So, how can we mitigate these negative aspects/outcomes with the benefits that we see in the world? Christians have been called to being the ambassadors of Christ on reconciling the world, all things in it, to God. (2 Corinthians 5:18-20). We must have a view of business as a means of worship, to serve those that God intends for us to serve.
Before sin entered humanity, God's perfect world, the Garden of Eden, was functioning with the principles of productivity and profitability. Profitability and productivity are two concepts that are frequently used in the business world. Some extremists tend to view profitability and even productivity as something inherently bad because they are associated with business. But even these critics benefit from businesses and the products and services that businesses provide.
In Genesis 1:28, as cited above, God commanded Adam and Eve to be fruitful (productive and profitable) and subdue the earth. The word 'Subdue' means to create benefits for themselves or be profitable. In other words, these 'business' concepts existed even before humanity polluted themselves and the world with sin. The concepts are inherently good in God's eyes. But sin contaminated them and human greed fell into temptation to make these inherently good concepts have the perception of being something that is generally bad.
We Christians who are on the call and pathway for reconciling the world and everything in it to God have a mandate to restore these crooked and twisted concepts to God's originally intended meanings.
We are on the journey to restore and reconcile everything that has turned bad due to sin, including business concepts, such as profitability and productivity, This mandate is not just for missional entrepreneurs or business people, but also for all Christians. Obedience is what is expected of us.
Mark Russell is a businessman, a scholar and a seminary trainer minister. His passion is in bringing values to people and His Kingdom through business as mission. He put his passion into a book, titled "The Missional Entrepreneur: Principles and Practices for Business as Mission." It is a book that is a must-read for anyone who is interested in serving the Lord and His Kingdom through business as mission. SfK Newsletter is going to share some excerpts from his book going forward. Mark serves as a member of the board of directors at SfK Life Corporation.
Lausanne Consultation on Wealth Creation for Holistic Transformation (March 7-11, 2017, Chiang Mai, Thailand). After several months of pre-consultation meetings, a group of 30 people from 16 nations gathered in Chiang Mai, Thailand to present the papers in 7 sub-groups and provided feedbacks for each other. The Consultation adopted the draft of Wealth Creation Manifesto and will publish 7 articles that will eventually turn into a book. It was an exciting gathering to bring knowledge, wisdom, and insights on wealth creation into writings. Click HERE to see pictures and read more about this gathering.
Special Dedication Service for SfK Korea and SfK BAM Fund I (March 16, 2017, Seoul, Korea). Almost 100 people gathered to dedicate SfK Korea and SfK BAM Fund I to the Lord. Almost every Korean who is involved in BAM participated in this special celebration. Those who desire to make an impact investment in the Kingdom of God through missional business, please contact Dr. William Son at firstname.lastname@example.org. Click HERE to read the story and see the photos of this special event.
SfK Ministries Korean Webpage is now up and running. Coinciding with the launch of SfK Korea, the Korean webpage of SfK Ministries is now up and running. Please browse www.sfkministries.org
Skybay Thailand held the second anniversary celebration in Bangkok (March 23, 2017). Skybay Thailand is the implementing member of SfK Ministries in Thailand. This company and its sister foundation, Thai Miracle Community or TMC, celebrated their second anniversary with an unusual ensemble concert of classical music and Christian hip hop dancing. This event was carried at a Thai Cultural Center in Bangkok and several other ministries or organizations jointly participated in the celebration. Approximately 300 people attended the event.
SfK MBA Seminar in Bangkok (March 27, 28, 2017) A handful of missional entrepreneurs received an intensive education seminar on effective management of BAM. It is a journey to become an effective missional entrepreneur. Learning should never be stopped because life never stops teaching.
6. SfK MBA Training in Kigali, Rwanda. (April 3-7, 2017, Kigali, Rwanda) SfK Ministries held its first training session in Kigali, Rwanda. Seven missional entrepreneurs in Kigali and two from Arusha, Tanzania attended this intensive course and received their certificates of completion. Seven missional entrepreneurs are in the process of establishing a medical center and an 18-room guest house. The buildings are currently under construction and they plan to begin the operations on January 1st, 2018. There will be a follow up training session in October. To view more story and photos from the training, click HERE.
UPCOMING EVENTS & PRAYER REQUESTS
BAM Class at World Mission University (May 8-19, 2017, Los Angeles, California) World Mission University and SfK Ministries will jointly offer a BAM Class that will be offered to the students for a grade as well as to the general public. Anyone who is interested in attending this evening class (6-10pm for 10 days) should register with the office of World Mission University. Jeffrey Lee will be the primary lecturer but a handful of guest speakers will also teach, such as Mark Russell and Tom Phillips. Please pray that this class will produce lasting impact in many people to bring honor and glory to God.
SfK Breakfast in Los Angeles (May 2-19, 2017, Los Angeles and its vicinity) While Jeffrey Lee will be in Los Angeles, there will be numerous breakfasts to be sponsored and held at various locations. During this time, short presentations will be made to the participants about BAM and SfK Ministries. Please pray that God will mobilize many people to be interested in hosting and participating in the events that will be fruitful.
International Business (BAM) Alliance (IBA) Forum, Sorak, Korea, (June 19-21, 2017) This forum provides a fertile ground for scholars and practitioners to come together to share their insights about various aspects of BAM. All the presentations will be collected into a book for others to benefit from. Jeffrey Lee will participate as one of keynote speakers and a contributor in writing. Please pray that this forum will be insightful and productive so that the outcome will benefit many BAMers and potential missional entrepreneurs.
IBA Nemo House (Neo Moravian House) in Seoul, Korea (July 3-28, 2017) IBA is the de facto platform on BAM for mission agencies and churches in Korea. IBA will hold its second year BAM training course for commissioned missionaries or BAM practitioners. If you are interested, please register at the IBA. Please pray that many effective BAM practitioners will be produced out of this training program.
There is strong probability of SfK MBA Training in Chiang Mai, Thailand in September and in Kigali, Rwanda in October. Details need to be ironed out, but if and when they materialize, the September training may become an annual program and the October training would be the first training program held in cooperation with a church denomination. Please pray that these events will gain God's favor and materialize into reality.
Until we get back in contact with you, may God's peace be with you!