BAM (Business as Mission) Global Movement

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BAM (Business as Mission) Global Movement
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If you are doing business work, how do you practice your Christian faith in it?

Recently I am reading a book - BAM Global Movement (BAM Global Movement: Business as mission concept & stories: Gea Gort;Mats Tunehag: 9781683070870: Amazon.com: Books)

The word business brings up a secular image in our mind. This book is opening my mind to understand business in a fresh way.

I would like to share my thoughts in this thread on this topic as I progress in my reading through this book.

Most welcome to join in reading the book together or take part in this discussion.

Thank you!

I have learned some BAM lessons in my theology class.I am grateful to God for giving me the opportunity to learn about this field.I learned that BAM is a very holy and meaningful work, better than any business in the world.

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i think it is challenge. I may put goals to testify my faith

#1 From the book

Not only is business holy, but all work is holy. “It is not a coincidence that the first verse in the Bible begins with God creating heaven and earth. The first time God’s name is mentioned, it is connected to work: God created. I myself did all the spiritual exercises that you can imagine. I have prayed and fasted, because I desired to know what God wants, but every time there seemed to be some kind of distance. Please allow me to speak from my own experience, but I’ve never experienced God’s presence before as I do now. When I am busy with creating here in this restaurant, God is unfolding himself.”

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#2 From the book

A Missional God

For many decades, mission was mainly linked to Jesus’ commandment, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations” (Matt. 28:19), which became known as the “Great Commission” under the influence of William Carey—at least within a large part of the Protestant world, as he was one of the first overseas missionaries in the eighteenth century.

God desires to show redemption through our lives, while expressing it in all facets of life on earth.

Thank you for bringing up this topic. This will definitely be helpful to many in developing a right perspective about BAM!

Interesting topic. Will peep in some time :slight_smile:

#3 From the book

we have inherited a dualistic mind-set where we consider our Christian lives to be spiritual—that is, belonging mainly to a Sunday church life—and we hardly seek God as to how we could bring his redemption into the different areas of our day-to-day work. The tide is changing, however, and many books about faith in the marketplace have been published over the past decades, but it is generally quiet from the Sunday pulpit when it comes to the area of work. It is rare to find vision, prayer, or commissioning for the mission of businesspeople or of everyday workers within their various fields of influence.

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#4 From the book

There are different reasons why a dualistic mind-set can be so persistent. One of them is our idea concerning the “end times.” Will only what is “spiritual” last, or will our daily work also have eternal value? Our beliefs about the future impact what we do today. When we expect that God will destroy the earth and all material things with it, why then bother with those material things? But when we believe that God will transform the earth—because he is a God of renewal, redemption, and transformation—then our present earthly endeavors might not altogether be in vain. That idea shines new light on our daily work.

Reflection: This is also my problem. I was influenced by this view also. I also feel guilty to waste time. I also try to find meaning to do the daily work. Because of over concerning one day I am going to leave the world, I can’t enjoy normal daily life and work. Always trying to search something significant and couldn’t rest my soul. I really hope to find meaning of each small daily work and enjoy each daily small work.

#5 From the book (Chapter 1)

Bible is the word of God, but it is not a clear guidance (sort of dishwasher manual). Instead He gave humans brains, emotions and freewill and we are challenged to seek how His principles apply to today’s day and time.

(ANY COMMENTS ON THIS?)

Proverbs 16:1 To humans belong the plans of the heart, but from the LORD comes the proper answer of the tongue.
Proverbs16:9 In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps.

We are created in the image of God. God creates, and He also gave us the ability to create.

God is the source of wisdom and love.

We are coworker of God. God works 99%, and we also need to work to finish our 1%. The harder we work, the more we know our limitations.

#6 From the book:

“We base entrepreneurial activities on the belief that God is involved in our spiritual as well as our material lives. God created us to be his coworkers; he wants us to steward his creation and desires shalom for families and communities. He wants to elevate us from poverty and desires for us to live in peace, prosperity, and productivity.”

Reflection: How do you think about poverty?

I am kind of no feeling about poverty. I can’t imagine there are people in the world no food to eat and not clothes to wear. I have grown up in a small village. No money, but we have land. Planting fruit trees and vegetables. And raising chicken, ducks, and pigs sometimes. We have lakes, so we do fishing. We can sell fruits and vegetables to exchange money for some rice and clothes etc. The land is not good to produce rice. In my memory, all family members work daily and never lack food and clothes.

In my world, simply thought is if you work, you can live well. Couldn’t imagine there are still many people in the world no food to eat and no clothes to wear.

If have chance, really want to go to Africa to see what happened there?

Who could share something to help understand this issue?

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When reading more about the book, I got more answer about my questions:

More from the book:
“We know that it is not easy to work with the poorest of the poor,” admits Corrie. “I’m aware of the thought that they ‘always need help,’ and there is some truth to that. We should realize that they live in garbage dumps, are vulnerable and often mentally drained. They are also at the mercy of disasters; whole communities here in the Philippines have been wiped out through floods.

When I touched these words, I feel I can understand the issues more. Normally, a normal person we can maintain a normal life through work. But if mentally got hurt, it became harder to handle a normal life.

This mentally harm destroys the normal thinking of people. We may behavior different from normal people. If can’t be understood well and treated patiently, they will be despised by normal class and become more and more shrivel.

“We have one billion very desperate people in the world. We need to rally businesspeople and help them develop vision and strategy to end poverty.”

Personally, I don’t know well how to be with people that are mentally vulnerable. I have not much experience. I treat everybody the same. If they can’t respond as everybody else. Then what I could do?

Love requests sacrifice. If your kids have some difficulties to adapt the society, how much you wish they could get better and normal? How much efforts you will make to help them?

This questions requires lots of thinking.

#7 From the book (the end of Chapter 2):

“We need a new social movement. Let’s teach kids at a young age that business is also God’s mission, that they can be wealth creators and job providers.”“We need a new social movement. Let’s teach kids at a young age that business is also God’s mission, that they can be wealth creators and job providers.”

Amen, these words gave me lots of hope there are something we can do to make society better based on the most core mission: teaching God’s transforming words.

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#8 From the book (CHAPTER 3. FROM DONATING TO INVESTING
Down the Ladder, in Touch with Brokenness)

No one promised us an easy ride. This is true as well for Business as Mission. The people engaged in BAM don’t avoid brokenness. They go down the ladder into the mud and chaos, as Mats addresses in his chapter “Business as Mission Can Be Smelly.” BAMers invest themselves in people and communities, in faith that their endeavors will bear fruit in due time. Their aim is to stand eye to eye with people, as they believe that through developing loving and trusting relationships, the way is paved for partnership, empowerment, and the joy of ownership.

Reflection: Business as Mission: to do a business to influence people. I still feel this way takes time. But I do know several church members. They first worked with us and then became Christians and church members because they were touched by Christians’ life during work. I feel this way is not easy but natural. Especially for those who are in struggling how to survive, work speaks louder than words.

#9 From the book (Chapter 4 EMBRACING THE LOCAL IN A GLOBAL WORLD)

Get started with your idea!

Do you have idea to start a BAM business?

Do not be fooled brothers and sisters in Christ.

Matthew 6:24 New International Version (NIV)
> 24 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.

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#10 From the book (Chapter 5 IN COMMUNITY, FOR COMMUNITY
From Individualism to Community)

BAM practitioners tend to be outward focused. They are on a journey to find connection with the social environments of different believers, in a desire to make God’s kingdom tangible for them. From the perspective of “in community, for community” they connect, build relationships within their own community (business/church group), while aiming to include and serve the broader community. All this while embracing the outward force of the gospel: planting seeds sometimes far away from the tree, the institutional church, and other times flowering under its branches. All are needed—flowers, plants, and trees—as they can strengthen and complement one another.

Reflection: it seems there are many misunderstanding about business and business man. My vision is to become a bible teacher. But now I am doing business. How to relate my work with my faith always becomes a good question to think. If doing business is just for making money. then it’s really not from God’s heart. If making money for self and then for God’s kingdom, it also not pleases God. If you doing business for God’s kingdom first, then consider about your own daily bread need, it’s BAM. I believe it could happen on Christians. Even we have many temptations about money, God’s will is the priority of our life. I wish more and more the third type of Christians can shown up.

I really like BAM! But till now, in the book, the business models still simple and narrow. Wish to see more BAM models. The more near reality/secular and the better.

#11 From the book (BAM in Indonesia) This story inspires me~~Kind of long but

Let me share a story from Indonesia, which illustrates the potential transformational power of business. It is part of my BAM journey. I witnessed firsthand how a Muslim village was transformed through prayer, Christian businesspeople, and owls. It was a warm and humid day in Indonesia. One may say almost too hot for a Swede. But the story that emerged was more than cool.
I spent a day with 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 businesspeople 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 mayor told me that the village used to be quite poor. Rats ate 40 percent of the crops every year, and these creatures also spread disease. Collaboration for irrigation was nonexistent. There was a lack of entrepreneurial spirit, and it seemed that no one thought about praying for a difference.
Then one day, some Christian businesspeople visited the mayor and his village. They wanted to help, and they wanted to build bridges across a religious divide.
At first, the mayor declined. Why did businesspeople come and not charity workers or government people? On top of that, these people were Christians—not Muslims. But one Christian businesswoman suggested that they could at least pray. She said that prayers make a difference; yes, God can make a difference. It was agreed. Something happened, and it became a turning point. The mayor invited them to come back and they did.
The team of Christian businesspeople did research and explored ways to kill the rats in an environmentally friendly way. They also researched how one could increase the agricultural production and start profitable businesses.
They found an owl called Tyto alba that eats rats but is also very hard to breed. Some told them it was impossible. But they prayed, conducted research, and it worked. I could see birdhouses everywhere on the fields. Since then the loss of crops has decreased from 40 to 2 percent per year, and new wells and irrigation have doubled the annual yield of rice.
I asked the mayor why they didn’t dig wells and develop irrigation before the businesspeople came. He said that the Christians changed their mind-set regarding work and working together, and they first and foremost taught them the importance of prayer, to always start with prayer. “Now we are open to change and we take action,” said the mayor. “But we always start with prayer.”
My Indonesian business friends have started business training courses in the village—based on biblical principles. They have also helped start small manufacturing businesses, improve marketing and sales, and strengthen local infrastructure.
This small village with 2,320 people has now become a model village in Indonesia. National televi
At the same time, there was an exponential growth of unemployment and underemployment. It was on a scale that most of us find hard to fathom. With it came all kinds of social problems. How could we as followers of Jesus respond to this need? Businesspeople were needed. But churches and mission agencies did not call upon the people qualified to address these challenges.
So in the mid-1990s we started to explore how we could engage, equip, and connect Christians in business with the needs and opportunities in the Central Asia region. We started the Central Asia Business Consultation and ran it for ten years. The lessons learned— including developing processes and networks to listen, learn, share, and connect—were foundational for the later development of the global think tanks on Business as Mission.
Rwanda, Church Growth, and Genocide
A second game changer was the genocide in Rwanda in 1994. If our sole success criterion is church planting and growth, Rwanda was probably the ultimate success story in the history of church and missions. In about a hundred years, it went from 0 to approximately 90 percent of the population becoming members of various churches. But in the spring of 1994, about one million people were killed in just a few months. It literally was Christians killing Christians. Rwanda had people in church, but not church in people. The gospel had not transformed ethnic relations, politics, or media.
What Is Our Mission?
These tragic events forced me to review our mission. What is the mission of the church? How can we serve people and nations toward a holistic transformation, believing that God can transform individuals and communities, churches and nations? What does it mean to be a Christian in the marketplace? How can we do business as mission, law as mission, education as mission, and city planning as mission? How can we serve God and the common good? What does it mean in practice, and what are the lessons learned regarding seeking the shalom and prosperity of cities and nations as stated in Jeremiah 29? How do we affirm, equip, and deploy businesspeople to exercise their gifts of wealth creation for the nations as in Deuteronomy 8?
BAM x Three
BAM has three components: concept, praxis, and a movement. BAM is a biblical concept that is increasingly being applied around the world in many industries. The two global BAM think-tank processes, starting in 2002, have been instrumental in bringing about global cohesion and an increasing mutual understanding of the BAM concept.
But it is also a growing global movement of leaders in several constituencies: business, church, mission, and academia. The BAM Global Think Tanks have gathered intellectual and social capital: it has developed the BAM concept and a common language around it, as well as connected people and developed various networks. This has created an unprecedented connectedness of people and ideas.
BAM is certainly not a Western idea or network, and a large part of my journey into BAM has meandered through non-Western contexts.
BAM in Indonesia
Let me share a story from Indonesia, which illustrates the potential transformational power of business. It is part of my BAM journey. I witnessed firsthand how a Muslim village was transformed through prayer, Christian businesspeople, and owls. It was a warm and humid day in Indonesia. One may say almost too hot for a Swede. But the story that emerged was more than cool.
I spent a day with 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 businesspeople 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 mayor told me that the village used to be quite poor. Rats ate 40 percent of the crops every year, and these creatures also spread disease. Collaboration for irrigation was nonexistent. There was a lack of entrepreneurial spirit, and it seemed that no one thought about praying for a difference.
Then one day, some Christian businesspeople visited the mayor and his village. They wanted to help, and they wanted to build bridges across a religious divide.
At first, the mayor declined. Why did businesspeople come and not charity workers or government people? On top of that, these people were Christians—not Muslims. But one Christian businesswoman suggested that they could at least pray. She said that prayers make a difference; yes, God can make a difference. It was agreed. Something happened, and it became a turning point. The mayor invited them to come back and they did.
The team of Christian businesspeople did research and explored ways to kill the rats in an environmentally friendly way. They also researched how one could increase the agricultural production and start profitable businesses.
They found an owl called Tyto alba that eats rats but is also very hard to breed. Some told them it was impossible. But they prayed, conducted research, and it worked. I could see birdhouses everywhere on the fields. Since then the loss of crops has decreased from 40 to 2 percent per year, and new wells and irrigation have doubled the annual yield of rice.
I asked the mayor why they didn’t dig wells and develop irrigation before the businesspeople came. He said that the Christians changed their mind-set regarding work and working together, and they first and foremost taught them the importance of prayer, to always start with prayer. “Now we are open to change and we take action,” said the mayor. “But we always start with prayer.”
My Indonesian business friends have started business training courses in the village—based on biblical principles. They have also helped start small manufacturing businesses, improve marketing and sales, and strengthen local infrastructure.
This small village with 2,320 people has now become a model village in Indonesia. National television has portrayed it as a model on how to build bridges between Muslims and Christians, and as a model on how to develop transformational businesses. The village is also now a national learning center on how to breed owls that kill rats.
During my visit, I heard other testimonies on how concrete prayers had led to concrete answers—related to rain, a paved road, a job, a motorcycle, and more.
As we left the village, I was encouraged and felt privileged. I had witnessed significant indicators of economic, social, environmental, and spiritual transformation. I asked myself: What were some of the key contributing factors? Prayers, Christian businesspeople, and owls.
It has been an exciting journey, both surprising and overwhelming. But it is a true privilege to be a part of a global community that is on a rediscovery journey of biblical truths about work, justice, business, profit, and creating in community for community. We are witnessing a great reawakening in the church worldwide. May this lead to a reformation, as we shape and reshape our businesses for God and the common good.

As a person who has a “vision” to become a “Bible” teacher, would not your first focus be to learn all you can about the Bible? You cannot teach what you do not know.

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