It was warm and humid. One may say almost too hot for a Swede. But the story that emerged was more than cool.
I listened to the mayor of a small Muslim village. We sat outside his house, drank tea and nibbled on fruit, nuts and sweets. He was enthusiastic and composed. As a devout Muslim he had come to appreciate Christian business people in a way that surprised him. There is a long and sometimes violent history of severe distrust and tension between Muslims and Christians in Indonesia.
The village used to be quite poor. Rats ate 40 percent of the crops every year. These creatures also spread disease. Collaboration for irrigation was non-existent. There was a lack of entrepreneurial spirit and seemingly no-one thought about praying for a difference.
Mats Tunehag is speaker, writer and consultant from Sweden and has worked in about half the countries of the world. For the last 20 years he has had a special focus on developing the Business as Mission, BAM. In 2002 he initiated and co-led the first global think tank on BAM, which produced the Lausanne Paper on BAM as well as the BAM Manifesto (2004). In 2011 he and Mrs Jo Plummer developed another much bigger global think tank on Business as Mission with over 30 national, regional and international working groups. Tunehag is a senior leader on Business as Mission in both the Lausanne Movement and World Evangelical Alliance, and he lectures globally on Business as Mission.
The following article is the second in the series of excerpts from The Missional Entrepreneur by Mark Russell.
One of the most notable things about the Genesis creation account, seen in all of Scripture actually, is that God desires to work through humans to carry out His mission in the world. Consider the creation of human beings. God created Adam and Eve in two distinct ways: Adam from dirt and Eve from Adam’s rib. He was undoubtedly capable of creating more human beings in innumerable ways. However, instead of making human beings ad nauseum by Himself, He invited Adam, Eve, and their descendants to do so with Him. His first command was to “be fruitful and increase in number” (Genesis 1:28).
Lausanne Movement and BAM Global Think Tank published the Wealth Creation Manifesto in May. Please CLICK HERE to review it.
SfK Board Meeting was held in Los Angeles on May 13, 2017. All board members were present from six different time zones. The board held a productive discussion and made important decisions, including approval of Vision 2020 and our 4-year strategic plan.
World Mission University BAM Class - Jeffrey together with three guest speakers (Tom Phillips, Mark Russell, Brian Chun) led a class titled "Principles and Practices of BAM" at World Mission University in Los Angeles from May 8 - 19, 2017. A total 10 undergraduate and graduate students participated in the class. Participants have given great feedback with many saying their perspective on business has fundamentally changed. Praise the Lord!
SfK Ministries has two important investments currently underway.
UPCOMING EVENTS & PRAYER REQUESTS
IBA Leaders Forum (June 19-21) and IBA Conference BAM Prism (June 23,24) - IBA is a representative platform for BAM in Korea, playing an active role in mobilizing and training Korean BAM practitioners. Jeffrey will be a keynote speaker on Innovative Finance to Help the Socially Disadvantaged at both events. Please pray that the gatherings will inspire and motivate many people.
SfK Korea will hold its first board meeting on August 3. Please pray that this board meeting will lay the necessary foundation for future ministries.
Transformational Business Network (TBN) of Asia will hold its annual conference in Jakarta, Indonesia during September 14-16, 2017. SfK Ministries will be participating in reviewing business plan proposals from impact entrepreneurs. Please pray that all participants will experience God's presence and witness His power. Also pray that important contacts will develop for SfK Ministries to establish presence in Indonesia, a predominantly Islamic nation.
BAM Conference in Dallas in September 15-17, 2017. - BAM Global will hold its annual conference this year in Dallas. This insightful conference will challenge you to reconsider the role a business can play and how you can help redeem business as mission. To learn more about the conference and register, please go to: http://bamconference.com/.Please pray that more people of God will respond positively to the call for business as mission.
SfK MBA (Missional Business Academy) Chiang Mai 2017 - SfK Ministries will hold its missional business academy in Chiang Mai, Thailand during September 18-27, 2017. This intensive practical training about BAM will equip participants to better understand what BAM is and to prepare and present actual missional business plans. SfK Ministries plans to hold this MBA annually in Chiang Mai. This year's training will be conducted in Korean. A Business Plan Contest will also be implemented. Please send your inquiry to email@example.com to learn more about this training. Please pray that this first event of the planned annual training program in Chiang Mai will be well prepared and produce a significant impact in all participants.
SfK MBA Kigali 2 will take place in Kigali, Rwanda from October 28-November 10, 2017. This MBA will be held for missional business entrepreneurs from Kigali Diocese of Rwanda Anglican Church. The training will be conducted in English, but the trained participants should be able to train the next generation participants in Kinyarwanda. Please pray the preparations are thoroughly adequate to train a significant number of trainers to lead and equip Rwandan business people in Kinyarwanda.
Seeking Kingdom Fellows - SfK Ministries continue seeking Kingdom Fellows who have been blessed with knowledge and skills in accounting, who may lead our efforts in establishing Shared Accounting Services. Please pray that the Lord will send someone in His time.
We also continue seeking Kingdom Fellows to help us with Resource Development in the following regions: Los Angeles, Dallas, Denver, Atlanta and Memphis/Birmingham. God has sent Kaye Min to SfK Ministries who will cover New York and New Jersey Regions. Praise the Lord! Please keep praying for other regions also to be covered.
Until our next update, may you be abundantly blessed by God and become a greater blessing to your neighbors!
This Wealth Creation Manifesto was released by Lausanne Movement and BAM Global Thinktank as a result of Lausanne Consultation on Wealth Creation for Holistic Transformation held in March 2017 in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
The Bible talks about wealth in three ways; one is bad and two are good. Hoarding of wealth is condemned. Sharing of wealth is encouraged. Wealth creation is both a godly gift and command, andthere is no wealth to be shared unless it has been created. But all too often the issue of wealth creation is misunderstood, neglected, or even rejected. The same thing applies to wealth creators.
The Global Consultation on The Role of Wealth Creation for Holistic Transformation aimed at addressing that. During the Consultation process 2016 – 2017 we discussed various aspects of wealth creation, including justice, poverty, Biblical foundation, wealth creators, stewardship of creation and the role of the church. The findings will be published in several papers and a book, as well as an educational video.
The Manifesto enclosed below conveys the essentials of our deliberations before and during the Consultation. (Click here for pdf file Wealth Creation Manifesto)
After the Manifesto below there is a short introduction to three other global consultations that also have dealt with issues related to wealth creation. There are excerpts from their respective Manifesto, Declaration and Statement, as well as links.
Wealth Creation Manifesto
The Lausanne Movement and BAM Global organized a Global Consultation on The Role of Wealth Creation for Holistic Transformation, in Chiang Mai, Thailand, in March 2017. About 30 people from 20 nations participated, primarily from the business world, and also from church, missions and academia. The findings will be published in several papers and a book, as well as an educational video. This Manifesto conveys the essentials of our deliberations before and during the Consultation.
Wealth creation is rooted in God the Creator, who created a world that flourishes with abundance and diversity.
We are created in God’s image, to co-create with Him and for Him, to create products and services for the common good.
Wealth creation is a holy calling, and a God-given gift, which is commended in the Bible.
Wealth creators should be affirmed by the Church, and equipped and deployed to serve in the marketplace among all peoples and nations.
Wealth hoarding is wrong, and wealth sharing should be encouraged, but there is no wealth to be shared unless it has been created.
There is a universal call to generosity, and contentment is a virtue, but material simplicity is a personal choice, and involuntary poverty should be alleviated.
The purpose of wealth creation through business goes beyond giving generously, although that is to be commended; good business has intrinsic value as a means of material provision and can be an agent of positive transformation in society.
Business has a special capacity to create financial wealth, but also has the potential to create different kinds of wealth for many stakeholders, including social, intellectual, physical and spiritual wealth.
Wealth creation through business has proven power to lift people and nations out of poverty.
Wealth creation must always be pursued with justice and a concern for the poor, and should be sensitive to each unique cultural context.
Creation care is not optional. Stewardship of creation and business solutions to environmental challenges should be an integral part of wealth creation through business.
We present these affirmations to the Church worldwide, and especially to leaders in business, church, government, and academia.
We call the church to embrace wealth creation as central to our mission of holistic transformation of peoples and societies.
We call for fresh, ongoing efforts to equip and launch wealth creators to that very end.
We call wealth creators to perseverance, diligently using their God-given gifts to serve God and people.
Ad maiorem Dei gloriam – For the greater glory of God
Excerpt from The Missional Entrepreneur by Mark
One of the most notable things about the Genesis creation
account, seen in all of Scripture actually, is that God desires to work through
humans to carry out His mission in the world. Consider the creation of human
beings. God created Adam and Eve in two distinct ways: Adam from dirt and Eve
from Adam’s rib. He was undoubtedly capable of creating more human beings in
innumerable ways. However, instead of making human beings ad nauseum by Himself, He invited Adam, Eve, and their descendants
to do so with Him. His first command was to “be fruitful and increase in
number” (Genesis 1:28).
of faith in their right mind thinks that humans are creating humans by
themselves. We contribute the easiest and most simple part of it (at least
males do) and understand that God is doing the mysterious and miraculous part.
As the Apostle Paul said, “So neither he who plants
nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow” (1
Corinthians 3:7). So it is with creating a child. We have our part, but God is
the One who makes the child grow.
has become increasingly more real to me as I have become a parent. Watching our
children being formed in my wife’s womb, through ultrasound technology,
produced a tremendous sense of humility within me. I realized that I had done
so little, yet God had allowed us to partner with Him in the extraordinary and
awesome task of bringing a new child into the world. Though human beings have
played their part in reproducing since the time of Adam and Eve, it is clear that
God “from one
man [has] made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth”
(Acts 17:26). Thus we are partners with God or as Paul said, “We are God’s fellow workers” (1 Corinthians
concept is not limited to childbearing but also extends to other forms of work.
God created the entire universe without any human help. Paul makes clear, “[God] is not served by human
hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and
breath and everything else” (Acts 17:25). Yet
clearly He created humans so that we could partner with Him in continuing His
work in the world.
Genesis 2, the idea of work as partnership with God becomes increasingly clear.
In verses 19 and 20, God and Adam work together in the naming of all of the
animals. God created the animals and brought them to Adam, and Adam was given
the task of naming them. Thus work is fundamentally a way of partnering with
God to carry out His mission in the world in service to one another and all of
creation. It seems clear that God desires to work with and through humans and
His creation to express His love to humans and creation; and for humans and
creation to express their love for Him. This is the essence of spirituality.
This is why He invited Adam to name the animals, and commissioned Adam and Eve
to fill the earth and care for it.
Barth in his Church Dogmatics
advocated that only humans were created to be “a genuine counterpart” to God.
The meaning and purpose of our creation is to be a partner with God. Barth
notes that God “willed the existence of a being which in all its non-deity and
therefore its differentiation can be a real partner.” Barth also connects this
concept of partnership with the idea that we are to imitate God, saying that we
are a “creaturely repetition, as a copy and imitation, can be a bearer of
[divine form] of this form of life.”
and nurses partner with God to provide healthcare and treatment to other
partner with God to provide care for animals. Botanists similarly work with
plants. Police and fire professionals partner with God to protect humans and
property from harm. Professors partner with God to teach, educate, and train
others. Scientists partner with God to explore the natural order in service to
God, humanity, and creation. Pastors, preachers, and priests partner with God
to explore His truths and communicate them in a meaningful way to people.
Likewise, business is a way of partnering with God and imitating Him in service
to humanity and creation through the development and distribution of goods and
By stating, in essence, that we
partner with God to generate profits, I do not mean to imply that somehow God
profits. God already owns everything (Haggai 2:8). As with all endeavors in which
humans partner with God, the benefits are for us as God cannot gain what is
already His. The benefit of the profits thus goes to humankind. Therefore, we
should be careful that the profits from business are not hoarded but rather are
dispersed. Through the dispersion of profits, humans partner with God to
provide for other humans. This partnering with God and providing for one
another should be seen as living faith.
Volf noted in a lecture at Yale Divinity School, “We make decisions in boardrooms,
we flip hamburgers at McDonald’s, we clean houses, we drive buses—and by doing
that, we work with God and God works through us. No greater dignity could be
assigned to our work.”